As a Christian with an extensive background in biblical studies, I believe God made all animals
and saw that it was good. One of the animals that many people have made their companions is
a dog. Some people care for them as they would a child. The Bible reveals that God cares for all
his creation, including animals, so he feeds them even when we don’t. I often hear people
debating whether dogs are considered good pets in the Bible. Since I am a pastor, some people
ask me, “what are the bible verses about dogs?”
In this article, I aim to discuss what the Bible says about dogs. Join me in this exploration as we
examine the Bible verses about dogs. You will also discover whether dogs are pure animals,
according to the Bible. Keep reading to find out more!
In many scriptures in the Bible, dogs have been used to suggest unclean animals. They are used to referring to times of disaster, evil, wickedness, and suffering. The Bible implies that Hebrews used dogs to guard flocks and watch over houses. This is why Isaiah 56: 10 implies Israel’s watchmen are blind; they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs; they cannot bark, they lie around and dream, and they love to sleep. On the other hand, Job 30:1 suggests that dogs watched over flocks. The scripture says, “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheepdogs.
Therefore, dogs were considered unclean animals. 1 Kings 14:11 talks of how dogs walked over dead bodies, while Psalm 59:6 suggests that dogs would roam the streets. The word ‘dog’ in the Bible was often used to reproach or indicate humiliation in someone. This is why 2 Kings 8:13 implies Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” The scripture implies Hazael looked down upon the servant. These animals are not portrayed as domestic pets. They are more of wild dirty animals, so even persecutors and false preachers are called dogs.
Were dogs considered pure in the Bible?
Religious scholars insinuate that dogs were not seen as pure in religious times. From all the referrals made and comparisons to dirty unforgivable deeds, dogs are not seen as pure. They were seen as unclean and not worthy of enjoying good meals or good treatment. The name ‘dog’ was used about sinners and unworthy people or acts.
Let’s look at numerous bible verses about dogs and what they mean.
- Revelation 22:15: Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.– This scripture mentions the blessed ones who cleaned themselves from sin and entered the gate leading to the Tree of life. The ones left outside were the evil and unclean ones.
- Philippians 3:2: Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.- Only evildoers focus on things that please the flesh, hence are compared to dogs and evildoers.
- Matthew 7:6: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces-Jesus advises people not to correct those unwilling to receive correction, who are like dogs and swine, because they will respond with hostility.
- Luke 16:20-21: At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.- Lazarus was very poor, to the point that even dirty animals like dogs liked his wounds.
- 1 Kings 21:19: Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’ Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood, dogs will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”- God instructs Elijah to go and condemn Ahab for killing an innocent man. He curses King Ahab, saying that dogs will have the last laugh on his blood.
- 1 Kings 14:11: Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city, and the birds will feed on those who die in the country. The Lord has spoken!’-Ahijah explains to Jeroboam’s wife how a disaster will fall on the people of Jeroboam until dogs will feast on their dead bodies.
- Psalm 22:16: Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands, and my feet-David prays to God, explaining his humiliation. He cries about how even dirty dogs look down upon him.
- Exodus 22:31: “You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs – God sets laws for the people of Israel, warning against eating bad meat. He says the meat can be given to dogs that don’t matter.
- Proverbs 26:17: Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears, is someone who rushes into a quarrel, not their own-Christians are advised that interfering in someone’s quarrel is as useless as pulling a dog by its ears.
- 1 Samuel 24:14: “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?- David describes himself as insignificant as he tries to prove to Saul that he does not intend to harm him.
- 2 Peter 2:22: Of them, the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”– The false teachers are said to be people who know the Word, yet do the opposite and are compared to stupid dogs that always eat their vomit.
- Isaiah 56:11: They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, and they seek their own gain-God describes wicked men as people who never have enough, just like hungry dogs.
- Jeremiah 15:3: “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy-The scripture explains how the bodies of the slain will not be buried but will be exposed, dragged by crazy dogs and eaten by wild beasts.
- Matthew 15:26-27: He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes, it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
- 1 Kings 22:38: They washed the chariot at a pool in Samaria (where the prostitutes bathed), and the dogs licked up his blood, as the Word of the Lord had declared-It shows how Ahab died terribly that even dogs licked his blood.
- Psalm 22:20: Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs-David cries out to God to save him from being dragged and mauled by dirty wild dogs.
- 1 Samuel 17:43: He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods-Goliath wonders how low David regards him, to try to kill him with sticks.
- 2 Samuel 16:9: Then Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my Lord, the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”– In the scripture, Abishai diminishes Shimei for cursing David. He looks down upon him like you would a dog.
- Psalm 59:6: They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city-When Saul sent his soldiers to watch David’s house to kill him; the scripture describes how they returned from a fruitless search, howling in disappointment like dogs.
- Psalm 68:23: your feet may wade in the blood of your foes, while the tongues of your dogs have their share.” David’s song of praise describes how your enemies will be shamed, and you will turn out victorious, to the point that your feet can wade in the blood of your foes. Don’t forget that even dogs will lick on your enemies’ blood.
The scriptures well imply that dogs in the Bible were looked down upon. They were seen as animals that roam the streets and feed on dirt like pigs. The wrongdoers and other sinners were many times in the Scriptures compared to these animals, showing just how low they were seen. Dogs today are among the most loved pets, but it remains shocking how back then, they were equated to nothing important. So let’s just say that dogs were not the most loved dogs in ancient religious times and were not considered man’s best friend like they are now.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.