pearls before swine, Cast not

An adaptation of a saying of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. The entire passage reads, “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.”


The meaning of the passage is disputed, but seems generally to be that the followers of Jesus should pass his message on to those most likely to accept it.


Generally, to “cast pearls before swine” is to share something of value with those who will not appreciate it.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.