dog Summary and Overview
dog in Easton's Bible Dictionary
frequently mentioned both in the Old and New Testaments. Dogs were used by the Hebrews as a watch for their houses (Isa. 56:10), and for guarding their flocks (Job 30:1). There were also then as now 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; Ps. 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 Sam. 24:14; 2 Sam. 3:8; 9:8; 16:9). Paul calls false apostles "dogs" (Phil. 3:2). Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are also so designated (Rev. 22:15). Persecutors are called "dogs" (Ps. 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.
dog in Smith's Bible Dictionary
an animal frequently mentioned in Scripture. It was used by the hebrews as a watch for their houses, #Isa 56:10| and for guarding their flocks. #Job 30:1| Then also, as now troops of hungry and semi-wild dogs used to wander about the fields and the streets of the cities, devouring dead bodies and other offal, #1Ki 14:11; 21:19,23; 22:38; Ps 59:6| and thus became so savage and fierce and such objects of dislike that fierce and cruel enemies are poetically styled dogs in #Ps 22:16,20| moreover the dog being an unclean animal, #Isa 66:3| the epithets dog, dead dog, dog's head, were used as terms of reproach or of humility in speaking of one's self. #1Sa 24:14; 2Sa 3:8; 9:8; 16:9; 2Ki 8:13|
dog in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
DOG . Ex 11:7. The dog was not only an unclean animal by the Jewish Law, but was regarded with peculiar contempt, Ex 22:31; Deut 23:18; 1 Sam 17:43; Lev 24:14; 2 Sam 9:8; 2 Kgs 8:13; Phil 3:2; Rev 22:15; and he is so regarded at the present day by the Turks, who can find no more abusive and contemptuous language to apply to a Christian than to call him a dog. In Eastern countries dogs are more like wolves than our dogs, and live wild in the open air. Solomon puts a living dog in contrast with a dead lion to show that the meanest thing alive is of more importance than the noblest that is dead. Eccl 9:4. Abner's exclamation, "Am I a dog's head?" 2 Sam 3:8, has a signification of the same kind. Isaiah expresses the necessity of repentance and sincerity to make a sacrifice acceptable to God by declaring that without them "he that sacrifices a lamb" does nothing better than "as if he cut off a dog's neck." Isa 66:3. The only useful purpose to which dogs appear to have been put was to guard the flocks. Job 30:1, and even in that passage they are spoken of with contempt. Isaiah may be understood to allude to this manner of employing them in his description of the spiritual watchmen of Israel. Isa 56:10-11. Although dogs were numerous in the Jewish cities, they were not kept in the houses, but wandered through the streets (as they do to this day in Constantinople), picking up whatever was Dog modelled in Clay. ???(From Kouywijik. After liawUnson.)??? thrown out of the remains of the table after the family had eaten. So David speaks of his wicked enemies. Ps 59:6, Ps 59:14-15. The Mosaic law directed the people to throw to the dogs the flesh that was torn by beasts. Ex 22:31. This manner of living accounts for the savageness of dogs in the East. They preyed upon human flesh, licked the blood of the slain, and sometimes were wild enough to attack men as bloodhounds do. 1 Kgs 14:11; Lev 16:4; 1 Kgs 21:19, Heb 12:23; 1 Kgs 22:38; 2 Kgs 9:10, Eze 23:36; Ps 22:16, Ruth 4:20; Ps 68:23; Jer 15:3. Their habits made them dangerous to touch. Prov 26:17. The Eastern people were in the practice of applying the names of animals to men who resemble them in their disposition, as we call a cunning man a fox, a brave man a lion, etc. So our Saviour told his disciples, "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs," lest they turn upon you and tear you after they have eaten it. Matt 7:6, meaning that they should not offer the sacred truths of the gospel to those insolent and abominable men who would only heap abuse on them for it, having reference, also, to the practice of the priests at the altar, who would not throw to the dogs any of the meat used in sacrifice. He told also the Syro-Phoenician woman that it was not proper to give the children's meat to dogs. Matt 15:20-that is, the gospel was sent first to the Jews, who are called the children, and was not yet to be given to one of the Gentiles, as she was, whom the Jews called dogs-for the children must first be fed before the meat was thrown into the street. Those who are shut out of the kingdom of heaven are dogs, sorcerers, etc.. Rev 22:15, where the word is applied to all kinds of vile persons, as it is to a particular class in Deut 23:18. The comparison of Solomon illustrating the return of a fool to his folly, Prov 26:11, cited in 2 Pet 2:22, is taken from a natural fact. Persecutors are called dog. Ps 22:16.
dog in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
The watch of the house, and of the flock (Isaiah 56:10-11; Job 30:1). Sometimes domesticated, as the Syrophoenician woman's comparison and argument imply, "the household (kunaria, 'little' or 'pet') dogs eat of the crumbs (Matthew 15:26-27; Mark 7:27-28) which fall from their master's table." More commonly ownerless, and banded in troops which divide cities into so many quarters; each half-starved, ravenous troop keeps to its own quarter, and drives off any intruder; feeding on blood, dead bodies, and offal; therefore regarded as "unclean" (1 Kings 14:11; 1 Kings 16:4; 1 Kings 21:19; 1 Kings 21:23; 1 Kings 22:38; 2 Kings 9:10; 2 Kings 9:35-36). Their dismal howlings at night are alluded to in Psalm 59:6; Psalm 59:14-15; "they return at evening, they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city"; perhaps in allusion to Saul's agents thirsting for David's blood coming to Michal's house at evening, and to the retribution on Saul in kind, when he who had made David a wanderer himself wandered about seeking vainly for help against the Philistines, and went at last by night to the witch of Endor. As unclean (Isaiah 66:3), dog, dead dog, dog's head, are terms of scorn or else self-abasement (1 Samuel 24:14; 2 Samuel 3:8; 2 Samuel 9:8; 2 Samuel 16:9; 2 Kings 8:13). A wanton, self-prostituting man is called a "dog" (Deuteronomy 23:18). One Egyptian god had a dog form. "Beware of the (Greek) dogs," those impure persons of whom I told you often" (Philemon 3:2; Philemon 3:18-19); "the abominable" (Revelation 21:8; compare Revelation 22:15; Matthew 7:6); pagan in spirit (Titus 1:15-16); dogs in filthiness, snarling, and ferocity against the Lord and His people (Psalm 22:16; Psalm 22:20); backsliding into former carnality, as the dog "is turned to his own vomit again" (2 Peter 2:22). The Jews regarded the Gentiles as "dogs," but by unbelief they ceased to be the true Israel and themselves became dogs (Isaiah 56:10-11). "Deliver my darling from the power of the dog," i.e. my soul (literally, my unique one, unique in its preciousness) from the Jewish rabble; as "deliver My soul from the sword" is Messiah's cry for deliverance from the Roman soldiery and governor. The Assyrian hunting dog as vividly depicted on Assyrian sculptures resembled exactly our harrier or foxhound.