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6“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. ESV

Popular interpretations of this verse do not seem to fit well with its immediate context. Is Jesus offering a temper to his command not to judge, by saying there are some cases where judgement is necessary? It seems unlikely given his emphasis throughout the sermon on loving one's neighbour to the uttermost, and the immediately preceding verses (1-5) would seem to rule out an attitude that would consider someone a 'dog' or 'pig'.

I am suggesting that he is teaching that the Law condemns an attitude that would highlight one's perceived difference in moral standing with someone else; that to 'give dogs what is holy' or 'cast pearls before pigs' is such an action - as if I am setting the person up to fail, so I can say 'Did you see what they did with what I gave them? That just shows that they truly are unclean dogs/pigs!'

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Is this a question or an answer? –  maj nem ɪz dæn Apr 13 at 12:55
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@JamesKrieg I agree w/Dan, are you asking a question or airing your opinion: if it is the 1st, then delete the last paragraph, and modify the 2nd one to clarify your question: otherwise it may get closed. –  user2479 Apr 13 at 13:23

1 Answer 1

What is the correct interpretation of Matthew 7:6?

Beginning with Matthew chapter 5, Yeshua gives a lengthy discourse with a good deal of revelation mixed with correction, much of which is aimed directly at the Pharisees, Scribes, Sadducees, etc.

Yeshua begins chapter 7 with an admonition against judging others. This morphs into a plea to get your own life in order before looking into the shortcomings of others; THEN comes verse six.

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. (AV)

Dogs and pigs were at the very bottom rung of life in Jewish thinking; both were despised in the extreme. I see the admonition not to give that which is holy to dogs and swine as being a reference to the religious leaders of the day. We are never to entrust holy (sacred) things to people whose sole intent is to ridicule, find fault, and judge (Matthew 7:1-5). This is the standard operating procedure for the religious leaders with regard to Yeshua's ministry. The revelation(s) given from God are holy (sacred), and if an attempt is made to share that with those who have deemed themselves unworthy (Acts 13:46) of these sacred revelations, they will ill-treat that revelation and turn on that man and find fault with him and his faith.

In addition, this is where I see the greatest need to always prepare the soil prior to sowing any seed. One sows seed to reap a specific harvest; people never sow random handfuls of mixed seed into any soil. The soil must be prepared for the type of seed it is to receive. If a man is going to embrace any pearls (revelations), his heart (soil) must first be prepared to receive it; else it will be trodden under foot.

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Would preparation of the soil being prepared, be acts of kindness, generosity, fairness? I am considering that to mean just that ! Thanks for such a freedom explanation of this Scripture.. –  Lorie Detter Oct 12 at 2:23

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