28 Bible Verses About Dogs

28 Bible Verses About Dogs

Do you wonder what the Bible says about dogs and their roles? You might be surprised to learn that dogs are mentioned numerous times in various contexts throughout the scriptures. This article will explore these referencesproviding insight into their significance.

Stay with us—these verses may surprise you!

Dogs in Biblical Narratives

An oil painting of stray dogs feasting on meat amidst a gloomy backdrop, representing their characteristic in biblical narratives.

Dogs play many roles in the Bible. In 1 Kings 14:11, it says dogs ate those who died in the city, showing their predatory behavior. The same happens in 1 Kings 16:4 and 21:23, where dogs devour Jezebel’s body by the wall of Jezreel.

This image repeats in King Ahab’s story (1 Kings 22:38). Dogs symbolize loyalty but are also street animals with mighty appetites.

In these stories, they are not pets but scavengers eating dead bodies. They appear again and again to highlight various lessons from our Lord and Savior about wickedness or humility.

Luke 16:21 mentions them licking a beggar’s sores, depicting lowly states among sinners seeking salvation or eternal life through understanding transgression over worldly matters like children’s bread thrown to evil workers.

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!"

1 Kings 14:11 says, “Dogs will eat those belonging to Jeroboam who die in the city.” This verse shows dogs as scavengers and unclean. The LORD spoke this warning against Jeroboam’s family due to their sins.

It was a sign of disgrace and judgment.

The Bible often uses dogs to represent impurity and sin. In this context, it means that sinners face shame even after death. Dogs were not pets but wild animals seeking food from wherever they could find it, including dead bodies.

1 Kings 16:4

"Dogs will eat those belonging to Baasha who die in the city, and birds will feed on those who die in the country."

Anyone belonging to Baasha who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs. This is mentioned in 1 Kings 16:4. Dogs show up often when talking about death and misery.

This verse shows how serious things are for those against God. The Bible uses dogs here as a symbol of judgment and punishment. It paints a dark picture of what happens to Baasha’s people, linking their fate directly with these animals.

1 Kings 21:23

"And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’"

1 Kings 21:23 speaks about Jezebel. It says, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.” This verse is found in the Old Testament.

Jezebel was a queen and wife of King Ahab. The prophecy discusses her grim fate. According to this prediction, dogs will consume her body near the wall of Jezreel. This imagery shows how severe judgments and consequences can be for actions taken against God’s will.

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."

Dogs licked up the blood at a pool in SamariaProstitutes bathed there, and a chariot was washed after a battle. The verse shows how dogs acted in Biblical times, highlighting God’s judgment.

Elijah’s prophecy said that dogs would lick Naboth’s blood, and it came true here too. Male prostitutes are called “dogs” in other verses like Deuteronomy 23:18. This connection makes the scene even more powerful.

Dogs as a Metaphor

An oil painting style silhouette of a full-body dog with fangs exposed, set against a dark, moody background, symbolizing its metaphor in the Bible.

People in the Bible often saw dogs as symbols of negative traits. In Philippians 3:2, Paul warns to “beware of evil workers” and calls them dogs. This shows how folks stray from God’s path by acting sinful.

Revelation 22:15 talks about those outside heaven, calling them “dogs and sorcerers.” This means people who don’t follow God won’t enter His kingdom. Isaiah 56:10-11 also speaks of greedy shepherds compared to dogs with big appetites but no understanding.

Matthew 7:6 says not to give what is holy to dogs, meaning don’t waste good things on those who don’t value them.

Philippians 3:2

"Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh."

Philippians 3:2 warns the Philippian Christians about people whom Paul calls “dogs.” He used this term to describe those who had malice against true followers of Christ. These “dogs” opposed the faith and spread false teachings.

Paul wanted the believers to stay alert. He emphasized that these false teachers could harm their walk with God. By using strong language, he stressed how serious it was to guard their faith from deceitful ideas.

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."

Revelation 22:15 talks about those who are outside the New Jerusalem. These people are called “dogs,” sorcerers, sexually immoral, murderers, idolaters, and liars. The term “dogs” here is a metaphor for male prostitutes, Gentiles, and the morally impure.

The verse shows that dogs represent wickedness and impurity. They symbolize those not fit to enter heaven because of their sins. This usage paints a clear picture of moral corruption from which believers must stay away.

Isaiah 56:10-11

"Israel’s watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream, they love to sleep. They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain."

Isaiah 56:10-11 speaks about Israel’s watchmen. These leaders were called blind and silent dogslacking knowledge. They were compared to mute dogs that can’t bark or guard the flock.

Their silence made them useless protectors.

These verses use dogs as a metaphor for negligent leaders. Just like watchdogs that don’t bark at threats, these leaders failed their duties. The Bible uses this imagery to show how important it is for leaders to be alert and knowledgeable in guiding their people.

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."

Matthew 7:6 warns, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.” Jesus tells us to avoid sharing holy things with those who are wicked. It means we should be careful about giving precious spiritual truths to people who won’t value them.

Pigs and dogs were considered unclean. This verse teaches believers to be wise about whom they share the gospel with. Some people will mock or reject deep spiritual truths. So it’s better to save these messages for those willing to appreciate their worth.

Dogs in Proverbs and Wisdom Literature

An oil painting of a dog licking its vomit in a grassy field, symbolizing the proverb about repeating folly.

Proverbs 26:11 says, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” This shows how people can make the same mistakes over and over. Ecclesiastes 9:4 states, “Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” Here, dogs symbolize life and opportunity.

In Psalm 22:16, it says, “Dogs surround me—a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet.” Dogs here represent wicked forces. Proverbs 30:30-31 describes a mighty lion but mentions that no animal turns back before it—showing strength like a bold warrior or king.

Proverbs 26:11

"As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly."

Dogs returning to their vomit is a vivid pictureProverbs 26:11 uses this image to show the foolishness of repeating mistakes. It says, just as dogs go back to what they have thrown up, fools repeat their foolish actions.

This proverb paints a clear and strong warning against making the same errors again and again.

The verse emphasizes how repulsive and unwise it is to keep sinning or being fooled by the same deceptions. By comparing human folly with dogs’ behavior, it makes readers think about their own actions deeply.

The Bible uses such examples to teach important life lessons through writing that sticks in our minds easily.

Proverbs 30:30-31

"There are three things that are stately in their stride, four that move with stately bearing: a lion, mighty among beasts, who retreats before nothing; a strutting rooster, a he-goat, and a king secure against revolt."

Proverbs 30:30-31 talks about four stately beings. The list includes a lion, a rooster, a he-goat, and a king. Each of these animals shows strong and notable traits.

The verse also mentions the greyhound. This dog has a slender body and is quick on its feet. Looking at these creatures helps us learn lessons in wisdom from their traits.

Ecclesiastes 9:4

"Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!"

living dog is better than a dead lion. This means there is hope as long as we are alive. Even dogs, which were not seen as noble animals, have potential when they’re alive.

In Jesus, being a living dog equals royalty because life holds many blessings from God. Different Bible translations might word this differently but the message stays the same: value life and embrace its potential for good things.

Psalm 22:16

"Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet."

Psalm 22:16 talks about enemies who surround the speaker. It mentions that these enemies are like dogs, showing their greed and fierce nature. This verse also says, “they pierced my hands and my feet,” which many see as a sign of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

The phrase “power of the dog” in Psalm 22:20 shows how threatening and relentless these foes are. Dogs here symbolize the intense persecution faced by the speaker. In this biblical context, dogs often represent things that are impure or sinful.

Dogs in the Context of Cleanliness and Food

An oil painting of a hand offering a crumb to a dog, signifying dogs in the context of cleanliness and food in the Bible.

Eating dogs was forbidden by God as the Bible says they are “unclean” food (Exodus 22:31). People were instructed to treat dogs differently from other animals. For example, in Matthew 15:26-27, Jesus spoke of giving crumbs meant for children to dogs.

This shows that foods set aside should not be given to unclean animals like dogs.

In Mark 7:27-28 and Luke 16:21, similar stories highlight that dogs were not part of clean eating practices among God’s people. These verses reflect that dogs had specific roles and boundaries in biblical times.

The rich man and Lazarus’ story also points out how even less fortunate beings sought comfort from dog interactions without breaking dietary laws.

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."

Exodus 22:31 tells God’s people to stay pure and holy. It says not to eat meat from animals torn by wild beasts. Instead, they should throw it to the dogs.

This verse shows that dogs are linked with impurity in this context. It reminds believers of the need for cleanliness and holiness in their lives.

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.”"

Jesus spoke to a Canaanite woman. He told her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” The children meant the house of Israel, God’s chosen people.

Dogs referred to Gentiles, who were seen as unclean in Jewish culture.

The woman replied with humility. She said even dogs eat crumbs from their masters’ table. Her answer showed her faith and understanding of her place. Jesus tested her faith with this comparison.

Her response pleased Him, and he granted her request.

Mark 7:27-28

"First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”"

Mark 7:27-28 tells a story about a Gentile woman. She asks Jesus for help, even though she isn’t Jewish. He says that it’s not right to take the children’s food and give it to dogs, using “dogs” as a metaphor for Gentiles.

But she replies that even dogs get crumbs from the table.

The word He uses for “dog” in this passage means household pet, which softens the tone—but it still might not feel nice. This tiny kindness shows how much Jesus loved everyone, no matter their background.

The woman’s faith impressed Him deeply.

Luke 16:21

"and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores."

Luke 16:21 talks about a poor man named Lazarus. He lay covered in sores at the gate of a rich man’s house. The dogs licked his sores, showing kindness to him.

This verse highlights how even the dogs showed more empathy than the wealthy person did. It contrasts the uncaring attitude of the rich man with the compassion shown by animals. This story teaches us to be kind and empathetic, just like those simple creatures were to Lazarus.

Dogs and Wickedness

An oil painting of five dogs howling with heads raised, full body, capturing the essence of wickedness.

2 Peter 2:22 states, “A dog returns to its vomit“. This highlights how people sometimes go back to their bad ways. Psalm 59:6 mentions dogs growling and prowling around the city, showing wicked behavior.

They are restless and seek trouble.

Isaiah 66:3 warns about those who sacrifice a lamb but act like they kill a dog. It equates evil actions with treating someone as low as a dog. These verses show that in biblical times, dogs often symbolized evil or sinful actions connected with false teachings and evildoers.

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.’"

2 Peter 2:22 warns about people who return to sinful ways. It compares them to dogs returning to their vomit and pigs going back to the mud. This verse paints a strong picture of defilement.

The verse tells us that these behaviors are like pollution, messy and degrading. Believers should resist such temptations and strive for spiritual growth. This way, they stay faithful to their Heavenly Father and avoid becoming like the unclean animals mentioned.

Psalm 59:6

"They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city."

Psalm 59:6 shows David comparing his enemies to wild dogs. These dogs are despised and unowned. They roam hungry and howling, feeling disappointed. The verse paints a picture of these unwanted creatures prowling the city at night.

These verses portray the foes as loathsome and degraded beings. They have no voice, panting instead of barking, always on the lookout for food. David’s comparison underscores their menacing presence, much like he describes his own adversaries in Psalm 59:6.

Psalm 59:14

"They return at evening, snarling like dogs, and prowl about the city."

Dogs prowl and howl about the city each evening. They create noise, looking for food and causing trouble. In Biblical times, dogs symbolized impurity and sin. People saw them as unclean and something to avoid.

The verse links to the broader theme of wickedness. Dogs with strong appetites but lacking understanding are also seen in other verses. This shows a negative view of dogs in those days.

They were not pets or friends but symbols of things hated and impure.

Isaiah 66:3

"But whoever sacrifices a bull is like one who kills a person, and whoever offers a lamb is like one who breaks a dog’s neck; whoever makes a grain offering is like one who presents pig’s blood,"

Isaiah 66:3 warns against false worship. It likens sacrificing a bull to killing a person and offering a lamb to breaking a dog’s neck. This verse shows how much God dislikes empty rituals without true faith and repentance.

It speaks of using God’s mercy for sinful deeds, stressing the need for sincere hearts. The people are cautioned that their actions must be honest in God’s eyes. This is part of a broader message in Isaiah about improper behavior and fake devotion to God’s commands.

Dogs and Humility

An oil painting of a dog bowing its head while being pet by its master, expressing a moment of humility.

David once cut off a piece of Saul’s robe to show mercy. After doing this, he felt deep humility and called himself “a dead dog” (1 Samuel 24:14). He did not see himself as mighty or proud but recognized his smallness before God and others.

Mephibosheth also showed humility when he met King David. He bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” (2 Samuel 9:8). This act showed deep respect and an understanding of his lowly place compared to the king’s greatness.

Each story teaches us about seeing our true selves with modesty before the Lord.

1 Samuel 24:14

"Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea?"

Saul chased David, but David spared Saul’s life in a cave. Saul called out and cried. David then spoke to him. “Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog?” he asked. This showed humility from David.

Kings like Hezekiah and Manasseh also used the term “dog” as an insult or to show low status. It made them seem less important than others, almost worthless. The Bible uses “dogs” in different ways—sometimes good, sometimes bad—to explain lessons about life and faith.

2 Samuel 9:8

"Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?’"

Mephibosheth called himself a “dead dog” in 2 Samuel 9:8. He did this to show his humility and unworthiness to King David. Mephibosheth was the grandson of Saul, who was once King of Israel.

David showed kindness to Mephibosheth despite him feeling lowly.

King David offered protection and a place at his table for Mephibosheth. This act displayed mercy and grace from the king towards someone who felt like nothing more than a “dead dog.” The story teaches about kindness and humility, reflecting on how we view ourselves through God’s eyes.

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.’"

Abishai talks to King David in 2 Samuel 16:9. He is angry at a man cursing David and calls the man a “dead dog.” This shows how dogs were seen as lowly animals back then. Abishai wants to harm the man, but David chooses not to retaliate.

He stays humble even when insulted.

David’s response highlights his humility during difficult times. The term “dead dog” reflects the cultural view of dogs as unclean and insignificant. By staying calm, David demonstrates strength through patience and moral integrity amidst adversity.

2 Kings 8:13

"Hazael said, ‘How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?’ ‘The Lord has shown me that you will become king of Aram,’ answered Elisha."

Hazael talks with Elisha in 2 Kings 8:13. He says, “But what is your servant—a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?” Hazael thinks of himself as lowly like a dog.

Elisha replies that God showed him Hazael will be king. Despite comparing himself to a dog, Hazael will rise to power. This verse shows how dogs were seen as unclean back then. They are often linked with bad behavior and eating dead bodies.

Dogs in Prophecy and Judgment

An oil painting of a pack of dogs in pursuit of a terrified man, embodying a scene of prophecy and judgment in the Bible.

Jeremiah 15:3 talks about God’s punishment. He sends many troubles, including wild dogs, to punish people for their sins. These dogs symbolize danger and judgment from God. Another verse, Psalm 68:23, says that even the feet of dogs will be covered in the blood of enemies.

Isaiah 13:22 mentions wild animals living in ruined cities as a sign of God’s anger. Micah 1:8 shows how sad the prophet feels about future events; he uses imagery with jackals (wild dogs) to express his sorrow.

These Bible verses show how dogs represent both warnings and divine judgment.

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."

God will send four types of destroyers: the sword to kill, dogs to drag away bodiesbirds to feed on them, and wild animals for further destruction. This is a harsh picture of judgment and punishment.

Those who face this judgment won’t have a proper burial. Their bodies will be left out as food for animals. Dogs play a role in dragging away these remains, showing God’s anger against those people.

Psalm 68:23

"That your feet may wade in the blood of your foes, while the tongues of your dogs have their share."

Psalm 68:23 shows a vivid scene. It talks about feet wading in the blood of enemies and dogs taking part in it. This verse is strong and intense. It emphasizes the Lord’s mighty power over foes.

The New International Version describes feet shattering enemies in their own blood, with dogs playing a part too. Other Bible verses show dogs having big appetites and lacking understanding, painting them as fierce creatures involved in overcoming evil forces, creating a powerful picture for readers.

Isaiah 13:22

"Hyenas will inhabit her strongholds, jackals her luxurious palaces. Her time is at hand, and her days will not be prolonged."

Wild animals howl in empty places. Jackals and dogs lurk where people once lived. Isaiah 13:22 describes a gloomy scene. The verse talks about the fall of Babylon, explaining its bitter end.

The mention of jackals and wild beasts living there paints a picture of despair. Dogs symbolize desolation and chaos here. This has led to many debates about animals in biblical texts.

Micah 1:8

"Because of this I will weep and wail; I will go about barefoot and naked. I will howl like a jackal and moan like an owl."

Micah 1:8 speaks about a prophet’s deep sorrow. He mourns with loud cries, like jackals and ostriches. The prophet is filled with the Spirit of the Lord. This verse shows how Judah will face judgment for its leaders’ unjust actions.

The Bible uses animals to show intense emotions. Jackals and ostriches make loud, haunting sounds. These animals help us understand the depth of Micah’s pain over his people’s sins.

What Does the Bible Say About Dogs?

The Bible mentions dogs in different ways. Sometimes, it uses them to describe people with negative traits. For example, Philippians 3:2 warns about “dogs” who cause trouble and mess things up.

In Revelation 22:15, dogs are outside the holy city because they did bad things.

Dogs also appear in stories to show how unclean or lowly something is. In 1 Kings, several verses talk about dogs eating dead bodies as a form of judgment (1 Kings 14:11; 16:4). They also represent humility or worthlessness at times.

David calls himself a “dead dog” when speaking to King Saul in 1 Samuel 24:14 to show his low status.


Dogs are mentioned many times in the Bible. They have various roles and meanings. Sometimes, dogs symbolize wickedness or humility. Other times, they serve as metaphors for understanding life lessons.

It’s clear that dogs held significance in ancient biblical contexts.

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