Dogs in the Bible

Dogs are loved, so much so that they are even called “man’s best friend.” 

In Scripture, however, dogs are mentioned about 40 times but not as your cute and cuddly companion. 

In ancient days, comparing a human to a dog was to imply that they were of lowly status. (2 Kings 8:13; 2 Samuel 3:8; Ecclesiastes 9:4; 2 Samuel 9:8). 

For the most part, the word "dog" was used to symbolize unholy people. 

Dogs are described as roaming the wild looking for food and eating unclean things. Exodus 22:31 says, You are to be my holy people. You must not eat the meat of any animal that has been killed by wild animals. Instead, give it to the dogs.

Dogs are described as those with voracious instincts. Matthew 7:6 warns, “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”  They are the ones who can not recognize or discern what is holy. They instead ‘bark’ back at you and bite.

The word “dog” is used to refer to fools, false leaders, apostates, hypocrites and unrepentant sinners. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. - Revelations 22:15. Another verse is Proverbs 26:11 - A dog that returns to its vomit is like a fool who reverts to his folly.

An interesting fact is that while dogs are mentioned in the Bible, cats are not mentioned even once.  

Animals were often used as metaphors that must be interpreted within its proper context. Therefore, this article is not intended to insult your furry friends. 


By Sarah
Bible Portal Staff


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