Don't Throw Your Pearls to Pigs! Okay, What's a Pearl? And, What's a Pig?

I’m sure most of you reading this have heard of Jesus’ saying, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine.” Matthew 7:6 I’ve seen this concept applied broadly in the context of many different situations. One of the problems in the application of this verse, is that there are entirely too many people classified a pigs and too many things classified as pearls. All too often, the definition of pigs and pearls leads perilously to inconsistent practice. And so, a few questions:


1. What’s a pearl? Give an example.

2. Who’s a pig? Again, Give an Example.

3. Does the application of this verse mean that we can never share the things of God with unbelievers?




0 thoughts on “Don't Throw Your Pearls to Pigs! Okay, What's a Pearl? And, What's a Pig?

  1. chosenrebel says:

    First, I think the imagery of Jesus’ language was designed to shock. It is hyperbole in defense or to highlight his point. His point seems to be that we ought not to take our observations of others sins and their remedy and cast them into other people’s lives when our own lives might be the biggest barrier to another taking us seriously.
    A story.

    I had just driven across country, flagrantly flaunting the speed limit. I stopped in West Virginia to see my brother, a non-believer at the time, who was a freshman at WVU. When I got to his apartment he proudly showed me two things. One was the portable dishwasher he had that could be hooked up to the kitchen faucet when needed and rolled into a hall closet and neatly hidden from view when done. Second, he showed me how he and his across-the-hall apartment mate had conspired to splice into the same cable for TV access and split one bill between them. The second thing was illegal and first thing was against the landlord’s rules.

    My lips were closed. I could say nothing, because the beam in my own eyes, my speeding for 2500 miles across country, was a barrier to being heard. My “pearls” about his behavior would have been rejected and thrown right back in my face (rightly so).

  2. Marc Winter says:

    Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute… The Message

  3. Marshall says:

    how do we know there are no swine reading hear? {grin}

  4. Jim says:

    I wouldn’t bother anyone with any of my understandings on this verse except that I’d been reading and thinking about Mt.7:6 right before I saw your blog post.

    Jesus said, “Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them with their feet, and turn and tear you.” Maybe we could consider “That which is holy” as referring to OBJECTIVE TRUTH that belongs to God, and “your pearls” as the SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE which are ours. Dogs and pigs, I believe, were considered people who were religious and unclean in some way.

    At any rate I saw Matthew 7:6 as related to the matter of taking care of others. Many times when we have seen a certain truth, gotten a revelation or come into some light, we tell others about it with no regard to whether they are “dogs,” “lambs,” or “swine.” We sometimes care only for our feeling of excitement over our “pearls”. In our excitement, we may share this with the wrong person. We have to consider those we are speaking to…speaking to them according to their capacity to receive what we have to say. Or else we can trigger wrong perspectives and reactions. So maybe whenever we contact others, we should know what their spiritual “temperature” is, caring more for their situation than the unwise gushing forth of “pearls”.

  5. Sardonicus Suinius says:

    It means do not feed pearls to pigs because they could get stuck in their teeth and they cannot digest them. They might choke on them or even die and we are all God’s creatures, are we not? Even Satan was one of God’s creatures.Pigs are lovely creatures. Friendly and caring and genetically they are next in line to chimps as being closest to man. Leave the pigs and hogs alone. Thank you.

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