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Cast Your Pearls Before Swine Matthew 7

Posted by hystar on March 26, 2010

KJV Matthew 7:6
6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

It’s easy to see and explain the practical lessons taught by the physical aspects of this parable. Why would anyone give holy things to dogs or pearls to a pig? It would be far too easy to remain bogged down while attempting to define the word holy, so this study will focus only on the key words dog, pearl and swine in an attempt to reveal a portion of the spiritual meaning of the text. Additional key words may be interpreted using the same method. Following are some of the texts that will reveal the spiritual meaning for each of the key words.

A swine with pearls


KJV Isaiah 56:9. All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 10. His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 12. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

Isaiah provides a highly detailed description of the spiritual meaning for the word dog. They are defined as watchmen, who are further described in the book of Ezekiel.

KJV Ezekiel 3:17. Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

A spiritual watchman is anyone carrying a message or warning from God. God’s followers are required to convey this information onto others. Ezekiel explains, the watchman is responsible for those he failed to warn. In the case of Isaiah 56 the watchmen are described as dumb dogs, shepherds that cannot understand. They obviously have chosen to provide their own warning in place of the warning provided by God.

Spiritual dogs are known for being greedy. No other book provides a better description of greed than Revelation.

KJV Revelation 18:12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, 13. And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. 14. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. 15. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

Revelation 18 lists over 25 forms of merchandise. There must be a reason why this list is so detailed. Isaiah tells us, greedy dogs are never satisfied. Dogs not only represent people chained by financial greed, but by every course of sin which leads one to exalt themselves above others. For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. KJV Psalms 22:16-18.

The greedy dogs are also referred to as shepherds who do not understand. The Bible identifies two classes of shepherds. Those who lead God’s followers and those who mislead His followers.

KJV Philippians 3:2. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

KJV Revelation 22:14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Among other things, dogs are also described as evil workers, sorcerers, murderers and liars, found outside the new city of Jerusalem. In any case, it becomes clear why it would be wasteful to give holy things to spiritual dogs. They are people who care little for anything beyond themselves.


KJV Leviticus 11:7. And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.

KJV Deuteronomy 14:8. And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.

Swine are unclean and unfit for food.

KJV Isaiah 65:3. A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4. Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5. Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

There may not be a direct spiritual interpretation for the word swine, but Isaiah leads us to an important point to consider. In God’s eyes, eating of swine’s flesh is a sign of open rebellion in the worse form. At this point the study turns from a simple word study into an inductive study. Isaiah shows us, people who eat swine’s flesh are known for disregarding God’s law. They are also filled with the sense, they are above God. To gain a better understanding of Isaiah 65 we must compare it to other texts with similar thoughts.

Sin began in this world when Satan promised Eve she could be like a god. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. KJV Genesis 3:5.

It was never Satan’s intent to elevate Eve, he knew there was no power in the fruit. Although this remains one of Satan’s favorite deceptions. Satan’s only desire was to gain control of Eve. Satan has always had the desire to elevate himself above God. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. KJV Isaiah 14:12-14.

Based on an inductive view of the word swine we see it represents Satan and his followers, who openly defy God and his laws.


KJV Revelation 17:4. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

KJV Revelation 18:12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

KJV Revelation 18:16. And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17. For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Revelation 17 and 18 refer to Babylon, in this case, a spiritual symbol which can be interpreted using the methods shown in this study, comparing scripture with scripture. For this particular study it is only important to understand the connection between the spiritual city Babylon and pearls. They are one of the items the woman and the merchants use to measure and display their wealth. This also exhibits a connection between the woman, the spiritual city Babylon and the merchants of this world.

Most people are satisfied with a physical interpretation of the word pearl. The Bible shows pearls are used as merchandise, a way of measuring or showing wealth. They have a form of worldly value. They also have a spiritual meaning as seen through the connection illustrated by the woman and Babylon. In this case Revelation 17 and 18 show a spiritual connection to the dark side, the agents of Satan.

KJV Revelation 21:21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Pearls also represent the gates to the holy city, new Jerusalem.

Because pearls can represent two spiritual figures, one good and the other evil, we must determine which application fits the context of Matthew 7. This can be accomplished by paraphrasing the parable using both interpretations.

At this phase of a study it is wise to write a chart of the key words and their spiritual meanings.

Dogs represent evil people.

Swine represent Satan and his followers.

Pearls represent the gates of the new city Jerusalem.

Pearls also represent merchandise used by evil people, spiritual Babylon and the whore.

KJV Matthew 7:6
6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

A swine with pearls

Paraphrase the text, substituting the spiritual meaning for the key words.

Do no give anything holy to those who are evil, neither show the gates of Heaven to Satan and his followers. They will trample them under their feet and turn to rip you apart.

A second paraphrase using the second interpretation of pearls will read.

Do no give anything holy to those who are evil, neither show Babylon and the whore to Satan and his followers. They will trample them under their feet and turn to rip you apart.

The first paraphrase makes perfect sense, while the second makes little sense. We can see from this lesson, a key word may have more than one spiritual definition. Paraphrasing the text with the spiritual definitions will show which suits the context of the parable.


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