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Dogs in the Bible
Dogs were frequently mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments. Dogs were used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses (Isaiah 56:10), and for guarding their flocks (Job 30:1).
There were troops of semi-wild dogs that wandered about devouring dead bodies and the offal of the streets (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; 21:19, 23; 22:38; Psalm 59:6, 14).
As the dog was an unclean animal, the terms “dog,” “dog’s head,” “dead dog,” were used as terms of reproach or of humiliation (1 Samuel 24:14; 2 Samuel 3:8; 9:8; 16:9).
Paul calls false apostles “dogs” (Philippians 3:2). Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are also so designated (Rev. 22:15). Persecutors are called “dogs” (Psalm 22:16).
Hazael’s words, “Thy servant which is but a dog” (2 Kings 8:13), are spoken in mock humility, impossible that one so contemptible as he should attain to such power.
The word dog appears in these verses:
- Exodus 11:7—But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
- Exodus 22:31—And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.
- Deuteronomy 23:18—Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
- Judges 7:5—So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, ‘Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.’
- 1 Samuel 17:43—And the Philistine [Goliath] said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
- 1 Samuel 24:14—After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.
- 2 Samuel 3:8—Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish–bosheth, and said, Am I a dog's head, which against Judah do shew kindness this day unto the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to day with a fault concerning this woman?
- 2 Samuel 9:8—And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
- 2 Samuel 16:9—Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
- 1 Kings 14:11—Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it.
- 1 Kings 16:4—Him that dieth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat.
- 1 Kings 21:19—And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.
- 1 Kings 21:23-24—And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
- 1 Kings 22:38—And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.
- 2 Kings 8:13—And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
- 2 Kings 9:10—And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.…
- 2 Kings 9:36—…And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
- Job 30:1—But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
- Psalm 22:16—For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
- Psalm 22:20—Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
- Psalm 59:6—They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
- Psalm 59:14—And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
- Psalm 68:23—That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.
- Proverbs 26:11—As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
- Proverbs 26:17—He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
- Ecclesiastes 9:4—For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
- Isaiah 56:10-11—His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
- Isaiah 66:3—He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck…
- Jeremiah 15:3—And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the Earth, to devour and destroy.
- 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.
- Matthew 15:26-27—But he answered and said, It is not meet [meaning: right] to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
- Mark 7:27-28—But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet [meaning: right] to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.
- Luke 16:21—And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
- Philippians 3:2—Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
- 2 Peter 2:22—But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
- Revelation 22:15—For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Article Version: August 19, 2018