“dogs…pigs.” Here in Matthew 7:6, “dogs” and “pigs” represent, by the figure of speech hypocatastasis, those things that are most unclean and vile to the Jew. Although in some contexts, “dogs” represent Gentiles, that is not the case here, for even Jesus gave pearls of wisdom to Gentiles (cp. the Samaritan woman in John 4). Here they refer to those who are unclean and ungodly in their thoughts and lifestyle. Those who reject the pearls of love and blessings that are given to them will not only reject what was said to them, but often use what was said to them against the one who spoke to them. The verse is a lesson in that we have to use wisdom in what we say to whom. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools show contempt for wisdom and sound teaching.”
[For more on the figures of speech of comparison, and the figure hypocatastasis, see commentary on Rev. 20:2.]
“pearls.” Pearls were very expensive in the ancient world, and very highly valued.
[For more on pearls, see commentary on Revelation 18:12.]