You Can Lead a Horse to Water

“Pearls before swine” is such an oft quoted phrase that you’d think it’s meaning would be obvious, yet it belongs to a highly metaphorical quatrane in Matthew 7:6:

Do not give that which is holy to the dogs,
Nor throw your pearls before swine,
Lest they trample them under their feet,
And turn around and rend you.

What does this mean? In Jesus’s day, dogs were considered unclean, and nothing fit for men was Horse_To_Watergiven to them, but here, they and the swine (i.e. pigs) are metaphores for those who are unready to hear the message of the kingdom of heaven and will criticize it and attack the one who delivers it. Like the proverbial horse, it is pointless to lead them to the water, because you can’t make them drink. You can’t make anyone who is not ready take the leap of faith; they have to do it themselves.

Image by Heywood Hardy [Public domain via Wikimedia Commons]

Advertisements

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
This entry was posted in philosophy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s