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Matthew 7:6

    Matthew 7:6 Translations

    King James Version (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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast you your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, or put your jewels before pigs, for fear that they will be crushed under foot by the pigs whose attack will then be made against you.

    Webster's Revision

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you.

    World English Bible

    "Don't give that which is holy to the dogs, neither throw your pearls before the pigs, lest perhaps they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you.

    Definitions for Matthew 7:6

    Cast - Worn-out; old; cast-off.
    Rend - To divide; break or tear apart.
    Swine - Pigs.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 7:6

    Give not that which is holy - Το αγιον, the holy or sacred thing; i.e. any thing, especially, of the sacrificial kind, which had been consecrated to God. The members of this sentence should be transposed thus: -

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

    Lest they turn again and rend you:

    Neither cast ye your pearls before swine,

    Lest they trample them under their feet

    The propriety of this transposition is self-evident. There are many such transpositions as these, both in sacred and profane writers. The following is very remarkable: -

    "I am black but comely;

    "As the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon."

    That is,

    "I am black as the tents of Kedar,

    "Comely as the curtains of Solomon."

    See many proofs of this sort of writing in Mr. Wakefield's Commentary.

    As a general meaning of this passage, we may just say: "The sacrament of the Lord's supper, and other holy ordinances which are only instituted for the genuine followers of Christ, are not to be dispensed to those who are continually returning like the snarling ill-natured dog to their easily predominant sins of rash judgment, barking at and tearing the characters of others by evil speaking, back biting and slandering; nor to him who, like the swine, is frequently returning to wallow in the mud of sensual gratifications and impurities."

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 7:6

    Give not that which is holy ... - By some the word "holy" has been supposed to mean "flesh offered in sacrifice," made holy, or separated to a sacred use; but it probably means here "anything connected with religion" - admonition, precept, or doctrine. Pearls are precious stones found in shell-fish, chiefly in India, in the waters that surround Ceylon. They are used to denote anything especially precious, Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:12-16; Matthew 13:45. In this place they are used to denote the doctrines of the gospel. "Dogs" signify people who spurn, oppose, and abuse that doctrine; people of special sourness and malignity of temper, who meet it like growling and quarrelsome curs, Philippians 3:2; 2 Peter 2:22; Revelation 22:15. "Swine" denote those who would trample the precepts underfoot; people of impurity of life; those who are corrupt, polluted, profane, obscene, and sensual; those who would not know the value of the gospel, and who would tread it down as swine would pearls, 2 Peter 2:22; Proverbs 11:22. The meaning of this proverb, then, is, do not offer your doctrine to those violent and abusive people who would growl and curse you; nor to those especially debased and profligate who would not perceive its value, would trample it down, and would abuse you. This verse furnishes a beautiful instance of what has been called the "introverted parallelism." The usual mode of poetry among the Hebrews, and a common mode of expression in proverbs and apothegms, was by the parallelism, where one member of a sentence answered to another, or expressed substantially the same sense with some addition or modification. See the Introduction to the Book of Job. Sometimes this was alternate, and sometimes it was introverted - where the first and fourth lines would correspond, and the second and third. This is the case here. The dogs would tear, and not the swine; the swine would trample the pearls under their feet, and not the dogs. It may be thus expressed:

    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,

    Neither cast ye your pearls before swine,

    Lest they (that is, the swine) trample them under their feet,

    And turn again (that is, the dogs) and rend you.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 7:6

    7:6 Here is another instance of that transposition, where of the two things proposed, the latter is first treated of. Give not - to dogs - lest turning they rend you: Cast not - to swine - lest they trample them under foot. Yet even then, when the beam is cast out of thine own eye, Give not - That is, talk not of the deep things of God to those whom you know to be wallowing in sin. neither declare the great things God hath done for your soul to the profane, furious, persecuting wretches. Talk not of perfection, for instance, to the former; not of your experience to the latter. But our Lord does in nowise forbid us to reprove, as occasion is, both the one and the other.