What is the 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.