Matthew 7:6

New Testament

3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs; otherwise they will trample them under their feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. 7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.

Pirkei Avot 6:2


2 Rabbi Joshua ben Levi said: every day a bat kol (a heavenly voice) goes forth from Mount Horeb and makes proclamation and says: “Woe unto humankind for their contempt towards the Torah”, for whoever does not occupy himself with the study of Torah is called, nazuf (the rebuked. As it is said, “Like a gold ring in the snout of a pig is a beautiful woman bereft of sense” (Proverbs 11:22). And it says, “And the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tablets” (Exodus 32:16). Read not haruth [‘graven’] but heruth [ ‘freedom’]. For there is no free man but one that occupies himself with the study of the Torah. And whoever regularly occupies himself with the study of the Torah he is surely exalted, as it is said, “And from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and Nahaliel to Bamoth” (Numbers 21:19).

 Notes and References

"... m. Baba Qamma 7:7 says that chickens are not raised in Jerusalem on ac­count of 'the Holy Things'. This is followed by a reference to pigs and dogs, supporting Qumran's association of chickens and dogs with im­purity: 'They do not rear pigs anywhere. A person should not rear a dog, unless it is kept tied up by a chain.' This concern seems to be echoed in a saying that Matthew attributes to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount: 'Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls be­ fore swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you' (Matthew 7:6) ... These passages seem to reflect a concern similar to that voiced by the author of 4QMMT, that dogs will eat sacred food or sacrificial offerings ... Ugaritic and Hittite texts express a similar view that dogs should not have access to sacrificial offerings. Furthermore, in the Hittite texts dogs and pigs are considered unclean, defiling temple and sacrificial offerings through their presence: 'Maintain great respect for the sacrificial loaves (and) libation vessel(s) of the gods.... If a pig or dog does somehow force its way to the utensils of wood or clay that you have, and the kitchen worker does not throw it out, but gives it to the gods to eat from an unclean (vessel), to that one will the gods give excrement and urine to eat and drink.' Jesus' statement about not giving what is holy to dogs is echoed in Exodus, where God enjoins the Israelites to be holy by avoiding unclean meat (specifically 'meat torn by animals'), which should be thrown to the dogs ..."

Magness, Jodi Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus (pp. 51-52) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011

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