Of Dogs and Swine

John MacArthur

_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._ – Matthew 7:6

It is clear from this verse that Jesus doesn’t exclude every kind of judgment—here He commands a specific type. But to obey His command, you need to know who the dogs and swine represent.

In biblical times dogs were largely half-wild mongrels that acted as scavengers. They were dirty, greedy, snarling, and often vicious and diseased. No responsible Jew would ever throw to a dog a piece of holy meat that had been consecrated as a sacrifice in the temple. Since no man was allowed to eat this meat, how much less should it have been thrown to wild, filthy dogs.

Swine were considered by the Jews to be the epitome of uncleanness. Like the scavenging dogs, those swine were greedy, vicious, and filthy.

Dogs and swine represent those who, because of their great perversity and ungodliness, refuse to have anything to do with the holy and precious things of God except to trample them under their feet, turning and tearing God’s people to pieces.

Jesus’ point is that certain truths and blessings of our faith are not to be shared with people who are totally antagonistic to the things of God. Such people have no appreciation for what is holy and righteous. They will take that which is holy, the pearls of God’s Word, as foolishness and an insult. We need not waste God’s holy Word on those who both reject it and mock it.

Ask Yourself

What are some specific situations in your own daily experience where the wisdom of this statement really comes into play? What should you watch for in others to see whether they’re perhaps becoming receptive to Christ and His Word? Until then, what’s the best way to stay true to your faith in their presence?

From _Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1_, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com._Additional Resources_

* Free Sermon Downloads
* Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1
* NAS MacArthur Study Bible (Hardcover)

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