Matthew 7:6 Meaning of Do Not Cast Your Pearls Before Swine

Matthew 7:6
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Explanation and Commentary of Matthew 7:6

It may sound harsh, but it is an important principle for the man or woman of God’s righteousness. It can be difficult for the principled Christian to know when to speak and when not to speak. There are those that are so hardened to the truth that to give it to them only adds fuel to the fire or their unbelief.

This goes along with what Jesus said to the disciples when he sent them on their preaching tour (Lk 10:10-11). If their message was rejected, they were to shake the dust off and keep going until they found fertile soil for the gospel. Jesus never pursued and begged people to follow him, he only invited. Those with the ears to hear will hear. Those who will not have been blinded. They should be prayed for and loved, but it is right to look for other places to cast our pearls or throw our seeds.

This also releases us from the responsibility of the unbelievers in our lives. As disciples of Jesus, we are responsible to everyone with how we live and the truth we proclaim, but only God is responsible for them, and even he will not stop a person from exercising their free will to ignore, or run away from the truth, or even turn and tear at the truth-teller. It is enough that a soul has heard the gospel and understands the choice they make to oppose it.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 7:6

#1 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.”
Both dogs and pigs are unclean animals. The symbolism, though it sounds harsh, is that the people who have rejected God and his people are not sacred and not clean.

#2 “if you do, they may trample them under their feet,”
The gospel should be preached to all people, but the children of Satan (Jn 8) will only trample the truth and go on the offensive in their hatred of God and the things of God. When an unbeliever who refuses God, though deep down they know the truth, hears the gospel, they are enraged. Christ says that they may be trampled by them. The other thing the “swine” may be is indifferent. In either case, moving on to fertile soil is in order.

#3 “and turn and tear you to pieces.”
This will obviously come on a spectrum of severity. Some will stop at glaring and verbally tearing down the truth-teller. Others have violently persecuted prophets and preachers, even killing them.

Expert Overview of Matthew Ch. 1-13

Biblical Translations of Matthew 7:6

NIV
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

NLT
“Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

ESV
“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.”

KJV
“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.”

NKJV
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”

Matthew 7:6 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.