Things that make you go … hmmm??? This is one of those.
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. Matthew 7
What? Dogs, pearls, and pigs? Trampling, turning, and tearing? Oh my! *grin*
The things we can learn when we dig into scripture. As I was reading about dogs, I find it very ironic that dogs were considered unclean and not even allowed in the heathen temples. And yet, they are the one animal readily accepted as a companion in many homes. Sure, cats are too, but people rarely take cats everywhere with them like people do dogs. And we all know what, even today, we think of pigs.
Albert Barnes writes:
“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, Php_3:2; 2Pe_2:22; Rev_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, 2Pe_2:22; Pro_11:22.
There is a Jewish saying,
“do not cast pearls before swine”, nor deliver wisdom to him, who knows not the excellency of it; for wisdom is better than pearls, and he that does not seek after it, is worse than a swine.”
It seems maybe Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s commentary makes the most sense:
Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors insulted, when it is forced upon those who cannot value it and will not have it. But while the indiscriminately zealous have need of this caution, let us be on our guard against too readily setting our neighbors down as dogs and swine, and excusing ourselves from endeavoring to do them good on this poor plea.
Albert Barnes paints a more colorful picture:
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 brings to mind a similar thought we will investigate later when Jesus sends out the 72.
It seems the reprove, admonishment, and preaching isn’t meant for everything. There is to be some discrimination when sharing truths.