CHRISTIANS Why Should We Not Give the Word of God to Dogs or Swine?


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Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 120 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Matthew 7:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Do not give what is holy to dogs: The Greek word (hagios) rendered holy is referring to in this context holy things, especially the Word of God. The Greek word (kuōn) rendered dog can refer to any kind of dog but here in this context, it is referring to the wild or unclean dog. The wild and unclean dog has a repulsive habit of vomiting food it has gulped down and then eating it again later. This is used in Scriptures for one who has abandoned the way of righteousness and then goes back to their former state of uncleanness. (2 Peter 2:20-22; Prov. 26:11) In the Scriptures, morally unclean persons are referred to as dogs. Jesus Christ in this text has compared persons who have no interest or appreciation for spiritual things (e.g., God’s Word) to dogs.


Do not throw your pearls before swine: The Greek word (margaritēs) rendered pearl is referring to a hard, lustrous spherical mass, typically white or bluish-gray, formed within the shell of a pearl oyster or other bivalve mollusk and is a highly prized or valued jewel. In this context, pear can refer to the Word of God. The Greek word (choiros) rendered swine is a reference to a pig but in this context, it is referring to a person regarded with contempt and disgust.

They [swine] will trample them under their feet: The Greek word (katapateō) rendered trample means to tread on, to stomp heavily or roughly on with the intent of causing harm.

Turn and tear you to pieces: The dog-like people will turn to attack you and the swine-like people will trample you underfoot to pieces. The Greek word (rhēssō) rendered tear you to pieces means just that, to tear apart abruptly or violently.


Apparently, Jesus meant that, if there is a person who proves or evidences himself or herself to be like like a dog or a swine, having no appreciation for spiritual things (e.g., the Word of God), we should go no further in our effort to share spiritual thoughts and biblical teachings with him or her. These mentally corrupt persons are only seeking to mock, scoff, ridicule, to test you or try and trip you up, as they go about trampling on your valuable spiritual truths, abusing or injuring you as you honest-heartedly endeavor to share the Word of God with them.


Thus, figuratively speaking, “what is holy” and “pearls” can refer to the precious Scriptural truths found in God’s Word. All Disciples of Jesus Christ are to share these truths with everyone. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15) However, again, if any individuals show themselves to be without recognition or grasp of the Word of God based the tone of their words and the demeanor of their character, like dogs or swine, Christians were to seek out more receptive ears (hearts and minds). – Matthew 10:14; Luke 9:5; 10:11; Acts 13:45, 46; 18:6

Mental darkness is a sort of mental blindness where one sees what others see and even understands the meaning, but their mind is beyond repentance, unreceptive, closed, so they see it as foolish. They are in darkness mentally. Thus, to follow the wicked who is incapable of guiding anyone is to be led astray (taah), be it a belief or a course of action. In friendship, the righteous will always be misled into a wrong view or belief of something or wrong behaviors by the wicked. The righteous one will figuratively wander off the path of righteousness.


All Christians have an obligation to evangelize. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1;8; 1 Peter 3:15) However, they are not obligated to evangelize everyone. Some might try and goad us into debating or discussing the Word of God or our faith by referring to 1 Peter 3:15, which says that Christians need to “always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” While this is generally true, it is not always true. The Greek words rendered “always” and “anyone” can be used as hyperbole and so in Greek “all,” “always,” “anyone,” and “everyone” does not always mean “all,” “always,” “anyone,” and “everyone.” It is more of a generally speaking, as there are exceptions to the rule. We do not evangelize Pharisaical minded people. What does that mean? Just as the Pharisees often came up to Jesus to test him and try and trip him up, we have some who want to ask questions simply to test us or try and trip us up. They do not care how much time and effort one invests in trying to give them a rational, reasonable, evidence filled answer. These critics just move on when you respond to another issue as though they never asked the first one. We do not evangelize ridiculers, scoffers, mockers, as they are a stiff-necked people with hard and unreceptive hearts. In other words, they are beyond repentance. – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.


It should be noted that this article is not saying Muslims are dogs or twine but that some Muslims within Islam are dogs and swine in the figurative sense applied here. Just as is the case with some atheists, or unbelievers of any sort really. Because a person is upset, having doubts, is very difficult, this does not automatically put them into the dog and swine group. Because of the history of Christianity, the abuses by some that have taken place in Christianity, the hypocrisy of some within Christianity, and the twisting of the Scriptures by some within Christianity, it is expected that some will have issues when they cross the paths with true Christianity. Yet, if there is disdain, scoffing, mocking, ridiculing, seeking to test and trip you up for their personal enjoyment or mere gain, that is, their only seeking attention publicly; then, we have a dog and a swine in our midst.

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