Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 094
- (93) <Jesus said,> "Do not give what is holy to dogs, lest they throw them on the dung-heap. Do not throw the pearls to swine, lest they [...] it [...]."
- Mt 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.
The meaning of the simple riddle is easy.
- Pr 26:11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
- 2Pe 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.
- Pr 11:22 ¶ [As] a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, [so is] a fair woman which is without discretion.
The dog represents those who go back to their sin and the swine is one who has no discretion in what they 'eat'. They accept any teaching as true.
But the simple meaning of the riddle does not address the issues brought up by Thomas.
The word קדש for 'holy' also means 'male temple prostitute' and so does the word for 'dog' כלב. The phrase 'lest they throw them on the dung-heap' which does not occur in Matthew is likely an addition to highlight the word play for 'holy' and 'dogs' by focusing attention on the idea of 'abominable things' such as dung.
- 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [followed by a second group].
There are two meanings to this. There are two resurrections, those who have died previously, then those who are alive at his coming, and the righteous and the unrighteous. Paul picked up on the first meaning, Thomas is showing the second.
The reason that the male temple prostitute represents the opposite of 'Holy' is based on symbols we have already examined.
The female represents those who do not see clearly; they do not understand, and they are also pictured as 'the blind'. The male represents those who understand. The one who understands, but willfully chooses to be deluded is represented by the sodomite, a male choosing the behavior of the female. This willful rejection of God is amplified by the action taking place in the temple, indicating that it is not merely a rejection of God, but an attempt at usurping God's position.
Jesus uses the same imagery when confronting the money changers in the temple saying that the tax collectors and harlots would enter the kingdom before they would. The tax collectors only collect money in the flesh, but those who sold things in the temple had served mammon spiritually. The harlots had sinned in the flesh, but the Pharisees had sold themselves figuratively as temple prostitutes because they had brought their false god and religion into the temple. He is saying that they knowingly and willingly were rejecting God and replacing him with their own religion of greed.
The second half of Thomas's saying is missing, but it will likely show a similar word play that we may be able to discern from Matthew's saying.
There are a few things in the scriptures which were trampled down: A counselor to the king (who did not believe Elisha (2Ki 7:2), Jezebel (2Ki 9:33), thistle (2Ki 14:9, 2Ch 25:18), the Messiah (Ps 7:5). The key is the thistle חוח which represents a distinction of choice between lifestyles. (ח represents life). The swine is undiscerning in it's diet. It will, for a time, claim the truth to be truth, but then will turn again and proclaim the lie to be truth. It is said that there is nothing worse than a sober drunk except a drunk sober drunk. They turn against sobriety with a vengeance. One who accepts the truth of Christ intellectually, but is not converted in Spirit becomes the most vociferous opponent of Christ when they choose to reject their intellectual conversion.
The purpose of this post is not to condemn anyone, but to show the symbolism used by Thomas in the context of orthodox Christianity. This post has nothing to do with gender, gender identity, sexual preferences, etc. The female is used to represent the blind. It says nothing about women.
The word 'rend' also means 'to accuse'. The swine cannot discern truth from error, and will accept truth for a time, until that truth suggests that they not longer wallow in abominable things, then they will accuse the bearers of truth as being judgmental, and worse.