I grew up in a Christian home, meaning our bedtime stories came from the Bible. When I was around nine, my father read me an interesting story from the Bible that I remember to date. It was in Luke 15:11-32 and was about the prodigal son. After the reading, I wondered why Jesus had used the pig and not any other animal in this story. Having been a staunch Christian with 15 years of experience in Christian ministry, I have read the Bible several times and encountered the animal pig being mentioned in the Bible a few times. With this, I have always wondered, “What Does A Pig Symbolize In The Bible?”.
The animal pig has been mentioned several times in the Bible. However, these mentions have not been linked to any positive thought or teaching, in which scholars suggest that a pig symbolizes negative things. For instance, a pig in the Old Testament symbolized uncleanliness. During the time of Moses, God gave him clear instructions on what the Israelites were to eat and what not to eat. The pig was among the animals not to be eaten as they were unclean, as Leviticus Leviticus 11:7 suggests.
So, join me in this article as we discuss other topics related to the pig. We will look at where pigs are mentioned in the Bible, what pigs represent in the Bible and the spiritual meaning of pigs. We will also discuss the meaning of pigs in different cultures, among others.
Where in the Bible does it talk about pigs?
The pig is first mentioned in Leviticus 11:7, where God reveals that even though a pig has a divided hoof, it is unclean as it does not chew the cud. This was among the animals God had commanded Moses and the Israelites not to eat.
Pigs are also mentioned in Isaiah 65:1-4, where God describes the acts of those who do not walk in his way. God describes these people as those who sit among the graves, spend their nights’ vigil, and eat the flesh of pigs. God had already warned the Israelites against eating the meat of pigs, s he considered this animal unclean.
The Bible also talks about pigs in Luke 15:11-15 during his teachings on the lost/prodigal son. Jesus gives a narration of a man who had two sons. The youngest then asked his father to give him his inheritance, which the father did. The young son went out into another country where he misused his part of the wealth and was soon left with nothing. He then decided to seek manual jobs, which landed him feeding pigs. The Bible narrates how the prodigal son suffered and even wished to feed on what the pigs were feeding on. This only shows how taking care of pigs was considered a low position then.
Matthew 7:6 also mentions pigs, which encourages Christians not to throw their pearls at the pigs, as they will only trample and tear them down.
The Bible also talks about pigs in Isaiah 66:3, where it likens those who offer grain offerings to those who present pigs’ blood as an offering. Giving sacrifices to God was a big thing in the Old Testament, and it was considered a taboo or sin to give grains as an offering or slaughter a pig, an unclean animal, and use its blood to sacrifice God.
Another mention of pigs is seen in Matthew 8:28-32, where Jesus encountered two demon-possessed men. Jesus was walking in different places teaching when he arrived in the region of Gadarenes. While at this place, two men possessed by demons came from the tombs to meet him. They instantly recognized Jesus and questioned him on what he wanted with them. The demons then begged Jesus to send them to a herd of pigs at a near distance if he was to cast them out of the two men. Jesus did that, and the demon was driven into the pigs, who ran into the lake and died.
The last mention of pigs in the Bible is in Proverbs 11:22, where the author likens a beautiful woman with no discretion to a gold ring put on a pig’s snout as an adornment.
What do pigs represent in the Bible?
Pigs have been used in the Bible to represent something unclean and not worthy before God. God warned Moses and the people of Israel against eating pigs as they were considered unclean. God also warns against his people killing pigs to use them as sacrifices, as they have already been labeled unclean.
Pigs are also used in the Bible to represent someone who lacks wisdom, as it equals a gold ring on a pig’s snort, as a beautiful woman who does not have any discretion. Pigs have also been used in the Bible to represent evil, or satanism, as Jesus drove the demons from the two men in the tomb into a herd of pigs near him. This only shows how unclean the pig is.
What is the spiritual meaning of pigs?
Pigs may be used to mean success in spirituality. Seeing a pig in a dream or encountering one may suggest that success is on its way to coming and that you should do everything in your power to receive it. You may have encountered different sculptures of pigs in the market or even in stores that most people buy to save money. This is because pigs are associated with wealth or success; therefore, a person believes they will become successful if they save their money in a piggy bank.
Pigs can also be used spiritually to mean that they are unclean or doing something wrong in a certain aspect of their life and therefore need to separate themselves from the act. If you have taken the time to observe pigs, you know how dirty these animals are. They prefer to play in the filthiest conditions they get and have been considered dirty. Additionally, Christians believe pigs are unclean animals, as the Israelites were warned against eating their meat in the Old Testament.
What do pigs mean in different cultures?
Pigs are used in Chinese culture to mean wealth, fertility, and even Goodluck. Piggy banks, objects people use to save money, are believed to have been invented by the Chinese people who linked them to wealth. Pigs are also used in Chinese culture to mean honesty and transparency. A pig is one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, and it is believed that a person born under a pig zodiac is honest and transparent.
In Celtic culture, pigs were used to symbolize wealth, procreation, and strength. The Celtic people worshipped a god called Moccus, who they believed would bring them wealth and power whenever they prayed to him. The Celtic people used to invoke this God, especially hunters, so that he would guide them in their activities. Pig meat was also considered sacred in Celtic culture and mostly used to appease Moccus.
In the African culture, owning a large number of pigs meant that one was wealthy and prosperous, as they could use their pigs in exchange for other goods, such as fat or meat. Pigs were also used in the African culture to show how a person was independent, as they could carry out anything using their large numbers of pigs.
Pigs were also used in the African culture to represent the slavery Africans had to undergo during colonization. The white could capture Africans and put them in a sty where they would be forced to sleep and even eat what the pigs ate. This act made African cultures associate pigs with slavery or punishment.
In Egyptian cultures, pigs were used to symbolize fertility. The ancient Egyptians majorly associated pigs with their gods, like the great mother and the sky deity, who were believed to help those seeking to be blessed with children.
Native American culture
In the Native American culture, pigs were used to represent someone greedy or foolish. It was also majorly associated with other negative attributes, and everyone hated being associated with pigs.
Six symbolic meanings of pigs in the Bible
Pigs in the Bible symbolize something unclean and, therefore, should not eat it, let alone touch it. Deuteronomy 14:8 suggests that a pig is unclean, and the Israelites should not touch or eat its corpse.
Symbol of disobedience
In the Old Testament, giving sacrifices to God was one way of worship, as the type of sacrifice one gave to God showed how much one obeyed and valued God. Killing a pig and burning it as a sacrifice to God was an act that was considered taboo or sinful, as God had already warned the Israelites against eating the flesh of pigs. Using pigs as sacrificial animals only meant that one was using an unclean animal for sacrifice, and his act was therefore considered insincere worship. Isaiah 66:3 also likens a grain offering to that of a pig’s blood, implying that they were both ‘stupid’ sacrifices to God.
Symbol of foolishness/ lack of wisdom
The Bible speaks highly of a person full of wisdom, just like King Solomon did. Pigs are used in the Bible to symbolize a foolish person with no wisdom. The book of Proverbs 11:22 implies that putting a gold ring which may mean anything valuable, in a pig’s snout is like a beautiful woman who shows no discretion. Gold is one of the most expensive materials, and putting it in a pig’s nose will be useless, as the pig will only drive it into the mud or dirty waters it plays in and not see the value of it.
A symbol of greed or materialism
Pigs have also been used in the Bible to symbolize greed or those that love materialistic things. The Bible tells us the story of the prodigal son, who, after squandering all the wealth he had gotten from his father, went to feed pigs as that was the only job he could get. The book shows how greed or materialism can lead to unworthy positions or places.
A symbol of sin
Pigs are also used in the Bible to symbolize sin. For instance, God prohibited the people of Israel from eating pigs. Whoever ate the meat of pigs was considered to have sinned. Additionally, one who has sinned if they came in contact with a dead pig or used their blood to offer sacrifices to God.
A symbol of something/ someone that is considered low or unworthy in the society
Pigs have also been used in the Bible as a symbol of something regarded as low or unworthy in society. From the parable of the lost son, we see Jesus revealing that the lost son got himself some work that involved feeding pigs, implying that he could not land any other befitting job other than feeding fitly pigs.
What does it mean to see pigs in your dreams?
Seeing pigs in your dream may mean either positive or negative. For instance, seeing a pig in your dreams may indicate that wealth and success are on your way, and you only have to keep going until it finds you.
Seeing pigs in your dreams can also mean that you are intelligent, yet to tap this potential in your life and are constantly doubting yourself. This could be a sign that you need to believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed in whatever you do.
Seeing a pig in your dream can also mean looming betrayal from someone close to you or a coming punishment if you are a Christian. Christianity usually associates the pig with negative outcomes. Therefore you should be very careful and analyze what you did wrong as a Christian, as the pig may be a sign that you have become distant from God.
What does it mean when you encounter a dead pig?
Encountering a dead pig may come as a warning sign of something negative that is about to happen in your life. Having an encounter with a dead pig may also indicate positivity regarding a financial breakthrough if you have been having a rough phase with finances. Having an encounter with a dead pig may also mean that you are about to transition to a new phase of your life.
Is encountering pigs a bad omen?
Encountering pigs can be a good or bad omen depending on your culture and your view of pigs as a Christian. If you are a Christian, encountering pigs may mean everything negative, as pigs are not associated with anything positive in the BibleBible. If you are from a culture that links pigs with positive news, encountering pigs can be a good omen.
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.