Matthew 7:6 Is a Chiasm

In the last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“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” (Matt 7:6).

The first two lines should be seen as parallel:

  • “Do not give dogs what is holy”
  • “and do not throw your pearls before pigs”

What’s with the third line though? If its verbs correspond to the order of the first two lines, then the dogs trample the pearls and the pigs turn to attack. That seems odd, though, and the scholars who argue for a chiastic design are surely correct.

  • “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”

Seen this way, the pigs will trample the pearls, and the dogs will turn to attack. That makes the most sense of the language Jesus uses. 

Matthew 7:6, then, is a chiasm. 

Advertisements

One thought on “Matthew 7:6 Is a Chiasm

  1. Pingback: Interpreting Pearls and Pigs – What Does Matthew 7:6 Mean? | Soli Deo Gloria

Leave a Reply

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