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Cast pearls before swine

The phrase cast pearls before swine has an ancient origin, it is most often rendered as its negative, don’t cast your pearls before swine. We will examine the meanings of these phrases, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

To cast pearls before swine means to offer something very valuable to someone who is unable to appreciate that value. Most often, the phrase is rendered as the admonition don’t cast your pearls before swine, meaning don’t offer what you hold dear to someone who won’t appreciate it. The term is taken from the New Testament of the Bible, from the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 7:6: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Don’t cast your pearls before swine may be considered a proverb, which is a short, common saying or phrase that particularly gives advice or shares a universal truth.


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Examples

The contralto sang “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd” and it was pearls before swine. (The Naples Daily News)

“The hardest part of ministry is when you are casting your pearls before swine,” Reiss said Wednesday. (The Detroit News)

To quote the biblical adage sir, don’t cast your pearls before swine. (The Huffington Post)

“Throw not your pearls before swine,” the Lord teaches, meaning, among other things, “Be grateful wherever the character string ‘C h r i s t — ’ isn’t flashing next to underwear ads on Jumobtrons in Times Square.” (The National Review)

He said prior to that he was heavily involved with the Malabar Football Club in the semi-pro league and with Tuesday’s incident he was walking away from community activism because it was “like casting pearls before swine.” (The Trinidad Guardian)

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