What Does Pearl Symbolize in The Bible (Symbolism and Meaning)?

Growing up, my mother’s favorite piece of jewelry was a sterling silver necklace that had a single, dainty pearl hanging from it. She always wore it, and I somehow knew it was very special to her. One day, I asked her about it, and the response I got stuck with me. My mother said, “Because I am God’s pearl.” I didn’t understand what she meant back then since I was only seven years old, but now as a fully grown adult and minister, I know exactly what she meant. Many people out there could still be confused, but that’s where I come in. So, what does a pearl symbolize in the Bible?

In the Bible, it is believed that pearls are a symbol of value, prosperity, beauty, and salvation. Looking at Biblical texts like Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 7:6, it is clear that God loves his Church so much that He considers it as precious as pearls.

In this article, I took a deep look at the symbolism of pearls according to the Holy Book and God’s teachings. Expect to learn all about the spiritual meaning behind these prized stones and the dreams involving them. There are also plenty of Bible references for you to read through. I hope you enjoy this piece.

What the Bible Says About Pearls?

The Bible, in numerous pieces of Scripture, says that pearls are valuable and precious stones. So much so that Jesus Christ gave a parable where the Kingdom of God is metaphorically equated to pearls (Matthew 13:45-46). Also, whenever other verses mention pearls, they are seen as signs of opulence and wealth. For example, in 1 Timothy 2:9, the women are told to dress plainly and not adorn themselves with priceless stones like pearls. The high value of pearls carries symbolic weight within the faith, which we shall look at in this article.

What Is the Significance of Pearls in The Bible?

What Does Pearl Symbolize in The Bible?
Significance of Pearls in The Bible. Image source: Freepik

According to the Bible, pearls play a significant part in the creation of a New Jerusalem for God’s people. Theological interpretation points to Revelation 21:21 for evidence of this. In this verse, it is stated that the twelve gates of the city will be composed of margarites. When translated from Greek to English, the word means ‘pearls .’They are precious stones worthy of decorating God’s Kingdom.

Pearls are also used as a standard for measuring worth in the Bible. Gabiysh is a Hebrew word describing an unused root or cryrtak, which is translated by Strong’s Concordance as ‘pearls .’In the Bible, Job says gaining wisdom is more precious than gabiysh or pearls (Job 28:18). With such a reference, these gemstones are considered to be a sort of S.I unit for value.

Another Biblical significance of pearls has been drawn from the pearls before swine parable. This was a parable given by Jesus right before the Passover season of 28 A.D. He gave it as part of the Sermon on the Mount to his disciples and the public. In Matthew 7:6, Jesus advises the people to not cast their pearls before the dogs or swine. Pearls, in this context, signify God’s wisdom and salvation. Christ was communicating that wisdom should not be thrown around because it may fall before the wicked (dogs and swine).

Bible Verses About Pearls

Pearls are mentioned severally within Scripture, particularly in the New Testament. Let us have a look at some bible verses about pearls. Check them out below:

  • Matthew 13:45-46 – In these verses, Jesus tells the parable of the pearl. He says that God’s kingdom is like a merchant in search of pearls. That is just how Christ is looking for His followers. He is ready to do anything to save their souls and have them as part of His Kingdom.
  • 1 Timothy 2:9Here, women are being dissuaded from going to extreme lengths of vanity. This includes wearing gold and pearls. Pearls are seen as extremely beautiful to the point where some may take them as a sign of vanity.
  • Revelation 17:4 – A woman adorned with beautiful attire and pearls is described as being outwardly beautiful but inwardly rotten. Again, this verse shows how pearls are a sign of opulence and beauty.
  • Revelation 21:21When describing the New Jerusalem, this verse explains how it shall be adorned with pearls. Specifically, twelve gates will be twelve pearls. This illustrates how pearls are a symbol of purity and preciousness.
  • Matthew 7:6 – Christ reminds his followers to not throw their pearls before pigs (swine) because they can turn on them and attack. This was a parable meaning that one’s wisdom and effort (pearls) should not be placed in unrighteous or useless endeavors or people (pigs). It will not end well. Our “pearls” should be utilized carefully because they are very valuable.
  • Job 28:18 – This verse says the price of wisdom is above pearls. Pearls are so precious that they can be used as a standard for measuring something’s value. In this case, wisdom is more valuable than even pearls.

4 Symbolism of The Pearl in The Bible

What Does Pearl Symbolize in The Bible?
Symbolism of The Pearl in The Bible. Image source: Pixabay

Christians believe that pearls carry relevant Biblical teachings and symbolic meaning. These are some of them, according to Forerunner Commentary:


Pearls are viewed in the Christian faith as symbols of value and wealth. According to the International Gem Society, natural pearls are extremely rare to come by and harvest. This significantly increases their price tag. Likewise, the Bible in Matthew 7:6 admonishes believers from “throwing their pearls before swine .”The verse is equating pearls to something very important and valuable that should not be wasted.

Endurance and Prosperity

Pearls are the only gems produced by living organisms – oysters. They form around sand grains or parasites that have invaded the oyster and are a reaction to injury. The pearl layer protects the oyster until it is out of harm’s way. But after the ordeal, a beautiful stone is left behind. Similarly, Christians being God’s creations, are tainted by their sinful nature. Even with the inherent inclination to evil within us, the pearl symbolizes we can emerge victorious and beautiful in God’s sight (Ephesians 2:1-6).

Purity and Holiness

In pearl formation, the stone is first embedded in easily corrupted flesh. It then is separated and cleansed from its environment. This process has been taken as a symbol of purity, beauty, and holiness, according to the Bible and Christianity. The Church is compared to pearls because, likewise, believers are in this corrupt world, but they must be separated. God makes the Church pure and holy within an abyss of sin, just like these gemstones (John 15:19).


Pearls can also signify God’s salvation. Oysters contain pearls and are usually found at the bottom of the ocean. They must be lifted from the bottom of the sea to retrieve the precious stones. Similarly, God must take the Church (the pearl) away from what is ungodly. Isaiah 59:19 says how, “the enemy comes in like a flood”. Psalm 18:4-6 then explains how at present, the Church’s beauty is hidden away, but God will come and lift it up.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Pearls in The Bible?

In the Bible, many understand the spiritual meaning of pearls to be that the Church is of great beauty, value, and virtue. It is known to be precious and magnificent in God’s eyes. To illustrate this, the parable of the pearl is referenced. It can be found in Matthew 13:45-46. In this story, a merchant is on the hunt for the finest and best gems. He travels extensively to find them because he knows he will earn a lot from trading them. When the merchant finally finds a single pearl, he sells all he has to get it. Jesus Christ is the trader/merchant. He is the Shepherd in search of His flock (Luke 19:9-10, John 6:44 and Romans 3:11). The precious pearl the merchant found symbolizes Christians. Jesus is willing to go to any lengths to save our souls because we are so important, according to this parable. He is ready to pay any price. Which He did.

What Does It Mean to Dream About Pearls in The Bible?

Although the Bible does not explicitly state the meaning behind these dreams, expert dream analysts like Jamie Young hold the belief that dreaming about pearls is a sign that good fortune is coming your way. Since pearls are largely considered signs of purity, beauty, and prosperity, visions of them while you sleep may be indicating efforts in your life will soon be rewarded. The Scripture can support these interpretations since it does recognize that pearls are signs of endurance, prosperity, and beautiful outcomes.

According to Young, these dreams can also mean that you are gaining a good reputation. You could be garnering respect and admiration from people around you. Kind of like how pearls are revered and admired.

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