Commands of Christ

Do Not Cast Pearls

Where is this command found?

“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.”

Matthew 7:6

Applying This Command

More and more in our day there is a growing disdain toward the things of God, His Word and the truth it contains. While we as believers see God as holy and His Word as a precious gift, the world rejects both. In fact, not only does the world reject God and His Word, but they call evil good and good evil. This is why the command of Christ, Do Not Cast Pearls, is so important.

As Christians, God has given us the wonderful privilege of sharing His Word with others. But as this command warns, we must be careful with whom, how, and when we share it. If we are not careful, we risk casting what is holy and precious at the feet of those who will not only trample them, but will also attack us. It is only the wisdom and understanding that comes from God, His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit that will enable us to have the discernment we need.

The book of Proverbs is full of examples of the result of either heeding or rejecting God’s Word. Those who reject it become ensnared, but those who heed it, find it to be a precious treasure of priceless value. Let’s daily look to God to provide us wisdom and opportunities to share His Word with those who are ready to hear it!

Bible Verses for Meditation

In addition to meditation on Matthew 7:6, meditating on the verses below will provide you with further insight and understanding of Christ’s command: Do Not Cast Pearls.

Philippians 3:2

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.”

Proverbs 19:25

“Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”

Proverbs 23:9

“Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.”

Proverbs 9:6–8

“Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”

Proverbs 14:6–7

“A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth. Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.”

Matthew 10:14

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”

Related Episodes

From the Podcast

Dive deeper into the command Do Not Cast Pearls with these episodes from the Commands of Christ podcast!

Study Question

Q: Jesus praised the Good Samaritan for helping a wounded stranger. Why did He then tell a Syrophenician woman He could not help her suffering daughter because He could not give what He had to the dogs?

A: In our day, a dog is regarded as “man’s best friend.” In Biblical times, however, dogs were often wild, hungry, and looked down upon. In the Bible, three words are translated “dog.”

The Greek word Jesus used in this command is kuon. It is the same word Paul used in a figurative sense when he wrote, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers” (Philippians 3:2).

The Hebrew word for dog is keleb, meaning “dog” or, figuratively, “a male prostitute.” This Hebrew word was referred to in the Law. “There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow …” (Deuteronomy 23:17–18).

In the account of the Syrophenician woman, Jesus used a different Greek word for dog. He used the term kunarion, which means “a puppy.”

“Then she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.” (See Matthew 15:25–28.)

It was not a lack of compassion that motivated Jesus to deny the initial requests of this woman. Instead, His final answer to her would indicate that He was carefully discerning her motives and testing her faith.

When she first began calling after Jesus to help her daughter, He ignored her. The disciples urged Him to send her away, because she kept shouting at them. Instead, He responded: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24). Then, she began to worship Him and pleaded for help. This is when He told her it was not good to give the children’s bread to the dogs.

Her recognition of the fact that Jesus was the only One Who could help her daughter and her persistence in pleading for His mercy and assistance revealed her great faith, which pleased God and stirred His heart of compassion towards her, resulting in a miracle.

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