Metaphors in the Gospels: Why Did Jesus Call the Woman of Canaan a Dog? And: Who are the Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing?


Illustration: "Jesus and the Woman of Canaan" by Michael Angelo Immenraet

Public Domain

The story of the Canaanite woman with the sick daughter can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 15 (it is also found in Mark 7). In this chapter there are many interesting stories, some of which we have discussed extensively in other articles. But for us, the one that bears directly on the Canaanite woman is the opening question about the disciples of Jesus not washing their hands before they eat bread.

What has to be understood here is that we are NOT speaking about literal hands; nor about literal bread. In the same way the section of the Lord ’s Prayer: “….give us our daily bread….” has nothing to do with real bread or hunger pains felt in the stomach.

Although, I can give many examples, such as: "Joseph who was in charge of the wheat production, yet was given the daughter of a priest in marriage"; nevertheless, the easiest and simplest way for us to understand the connection between “bread” and “spiritual knowledge” is to recall is that Jesus is described as: “the word of God” and Jesus said: “his body was like unleavened bread”. In addition, the rabbis have claimed for centuries that: “The Torah is the Bread of Life”.

Therefore, the Pharisees are speaking about literally washing one’s hands before they literally eat bread, while Jesus is speaking about receiving spiritual messages from God and these messages do not come via the hands.

Regardless, just as we discussed in other articles, the psychologist Maurice Nicoll pointed out in his books that when the Gospels speak of: “older brothers”, or: “mother in laws”, or: “daughters”, these are references to: "internal aspects of our own personality" which are preventing us from hearing the word of God.

The Hebrew word for: “daughter” is also the word for: “a container used to hold wine” and “wine”, even to this very day, is also referred to as: “a spirit”. Hence the woman from Canaan is NOT a mother with a sick daughter at home suffering from a virus or whatever. What we are talking about in this story is: “a spiritually confused woman”.

But: what is the source of her: “illness” (i.e. confusion)? Well, Jesus tells us quite plainly: “she is a dog” and a dog likes to eat meat.

In many, many other articles in this series we have shown that the Hebrew word for: “gospels” also means “meat” and therefore: “the Gospel of Mathew” can also be interpreted as: “The meat of Matthew”. We also discussed that Paul of Tarsus compared: “a mother’s milk” to: “easy to understand spiritual teachings” and: “meat” to “difficult to understand religious teachings” Thus we see in John, chapter 6 that when Jesus began to talk about eating his flesh and drinking his blood (In Hebrew the words for flesh and meat are the same), immediately everyone started to claim that this teaching about: “the meat” was “too difficult”

Throughout this series of articles we have tried to show that while, in general, “all foods” represent: “knowledge”; yet specifically, “each type of food” (as well as each type of meat), represents: “a certain type of knowledge”. So, for example, the “savory goat stew”, which Rebecca prepares for Isaac, represents “deceptive teachings”

Esau: the brother of Jacob, who sells his birthright for a serving of red food, is described as: "a hunter" (i.e. a person who runs after meat). Furthermore, Isaac, the man who enjoys eating the meat of Esau, is described as being: “blind”. Thus, it should be no surprise that here in chapter 15 Jesus also refers to the Pharisees as being: “blind”.     

What should be noted here is that Jacob cooks a meal for Esau and succeeds in obtaining his birthright. Then later, Rebecca cooks a meal for Isaac and she succeeds in helping Jacob obtain Esau’s blessing as well. Hence, “a cook” is a metaphor for someone with: “the skill to manipulate religious teachings” and make them “more appetizing” to others (i.e. he knows how to get others to believe, or to do, things they normally would not believe or do). Even in modern times, accountants use the phrase: "cook the books" to mean: "make something appear better than it really is...."

Thus, when Joseph arrives in Egypt with a spice caravan, it seems quite logical to learn that Pontiphar, the Egyptian who buys Joseph as a slave, is described in Hebrew as being: “a cook” and we should remember also that the name "Joseph" means "to add", hence this is why he arrived with the spices.....(The English language versions of the Old Testament saying Pontiphar is “Captain of the Guard” do not even come close to being the correct translation).

Regardless, even without all of these explanations, we should immediately begin to appreciate that the story of the Canaanite woman is based on metaphors, because she comes seeking help for her “sick” daughter, yet, in reply, Jesus begins to talk about bread (i.e. since when is bread considered to be a medicine?)

In other words: what Jesus is saying is that the spiritual teachings given to the Jews are NOT for everyone. They are the inheritance of Israel and this is why: “The Land of Milk and Honey” means: “a school that provides religious teachings about God”. Jesus is repeatedly described as: “The word of God” and, in Hebrew, the term for “bee” and the term for “word” are the same. Hence: “honey” is a metaphor for: “easy to accept spiritual teachings” which consists of “words from a bee” and we have already noted that Paul of Tarsus said: milk (i.e. a mother’s milk) is a metaphor for “easy to digest spiritual teachings”.

Thus, what Jesus is saying to the woman is that as: “a Canaanite” she is like a dog because she will “eat” any type of meat offered to her and give them all equal value. This is further reinforced by the Old Testament which says that the peoples of Canaan are being expelled from the land for sexual perversions, one of which is adultery. Here “adultery” means: “mixing or watering down of spiritual doctrines” and even to this very day “an adulterated text” means “an impure text”.

The woman agrees, however, she then goes on to point out that: “even the dogs are allowed to eat the crumbs which fall from the table”.


Here we have several important issues:

1)    If: “food” represents: “knowledge”, then: “a table” where people eat represents: “a school”. Hence, Moses is: “a servant” of the lord who serves food to the children of Israel and we have already noted that Jesus should be associated with: "unleavened bread".

2)    The image of people eating food: “under the table” appears in several stories in the Bible and is a reference to: “lower levels of understanding”.

Nevertheless, the woman, in effect, is saying: “Please give me spiritual knowledge, even at lower level of understanding, because I know the teachings of God are very powerful and, even these lower level teachings, will be enough to help me”.

Thus, she is called: "a woman of great faith”, but here: “faith” does not mean: “simply to believe in”. According to Maurice Nicoll: “faith” actually means: “a new way of thinking” or: “establishing a new set of values”.

Although, there is not 100% agreement, many academics believe that the Hebrew word for: “Canaan” comes from the root of the verb: “to buy” and even today we can hear the expression: “I don’t buy it” when some idea or explanation is rejected. Hence, “A Canaanite” is a person who will “buy into anything” and “accept any teaching”, just like a dog will accept and eat almost any type of meat with equal enthusiasm.

So, Jesus concludes that she has now become: "a woman of great faith”, because she has come to value one teaching above all others….and now realizes that one teaching is NOT just as good as another…

The issue of the wolves in sheep’s clothing is similar to the Canaanite woman in that a wolf is also a meat eater, yet the problem here is that we are told the wolf looks like a sheep.

Hence: Who or what is a sheep?

Jesus is called: “the lamb of God” and the children of Israel are always referred to as: “sheep”. BOTH Jesus and the Children of Israel are described as: “The Son of God”.

Everyone has studied in school the concept of:

 If A equals B and B equals C then C equals A


If “Jesus” is: “the Son of God” and “the word of God” and: “the Children of Israel” are also “the Son of God”, then the Children of Israel must also be: “the word of God”

In other words: The Children of Israel are the custodians of God’s word and this is why they are called: “sheep”, but, as we saw in the story of King Saul, not all sheep are the same. In the Old Testament there are : “God’s sheep”; there are: “Baal’s sheep” and there are: “Dagon’s sheep”. The sin of Saul, and the reason he was removed as king, was that he thought one sheep was just as: “valuable” as another. So, in his mind, and in the minds of the general population of Israel, “Amalikite sheep” were very valuable and worthy of sacrifice to the Lord. God, however,  was saying: “the Amalikite sheep” represent: “a false and worthless teaching” and should be destroyed without hesitation.

One of the things that I find amusing about rabbis and Roman Catholic priests is that they both draw their theologies from the same source: Rabbi Gamaliel of the Hillel School of thought. So, just as most rabbis don’t follow the teachings in the in first five books of Old Testament; most priests don’t follow the teachings in the Gospels of New Testament. One example being the admonition of Jesus that his disciples not allow themselves to be addressed as: “father”.

One of the major distortions of the New Testament is the name: “Barabbas”. His name is NOT “Barabbas”, his name, in Hebrew,  is actually two words: “Bar Abba” which means: “son of the father”. Another major distortion is the name given to Peter by Jesus: “Barjona”. Here too this name, in Hebrew, consists of two words and is actually: “Bar Yona” which means: “son of the dove” (i.e. "the word of the spirit")  

We have already discussed that Jesus is described as: “the son of God” and “the word of God”, thus “the son” is a metaphor for: “word” and this is why Paul of Tarsus constantly refers to his disciples as: “my son thru the gospels” (i.e. they taught the gospels in the exact same way he taught the gospels).

So, when Pontus Pilate offers to free Jesus, the crowd, led by the Pharisees, cries out that they want: “Bar Abba” to be free, not Jesus. But, in reality what the text should be telling us is: “The people wanted the word of the Pharisees to be freely distributed, not the word of God”.

Thus, what we see is that the entire New Testament is one giant metaphor. The story is not really about the betrayal and rejection of a real live man; but the betrayal and rejection of the written Torah and the Old Testament. In short, the Pharisees have made a deal with the Romans: “Suppress and discredit the written Torah, and allow us to teach the Talmud and oral laws”.

Therefore, when Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd and my sheep know my voice”, he is actually saying: “I teach ONLY the words of God and those people who study and know ONLY the written Torah recognize my words and follow me”.

The people who don’t recognize his words and don’t follow him are the rabbis and Pharisees who study and teach ONLY the oral law.

So, the Pharisees want to appear like they are God’s children and follow the words of Moses, (i.e. that they are sheep), but in reality what they want to do is destroy the sheep and replace the word of God with their own teachings. Thus, Herod the Great’s son, known as: Herod Antipas is the man who beheaded John the Baptist and had his head “served on a platter” like food.

Accordingly, after Herod Antipas interviewed Jesus and sent him back to Pilate, it is written that the Roman and the Herod Antipas became good friends. Rome, of course, is associated with the wolf via the story of Romulus and Remulus, who were raised by a she wolf who treated them as: “her sons”.

Of course, the most crucial element of the story is that Herod the Great and his sons are NOT really Jews, but, in reality, are Edomite converts and the descendants of Esau. Hence, Esau wanted to kill Jacob; while Herod: the descendant of Esau, wanted to kill Jesus: the descendant of Jacob. It is also quite important to understand that Herod the Great did NOT become King of the Jews because the people requested him to be king. Herod the Great was appointed "king" by the Romans. 

In conclusion: dogs and wolves are meat eaters who will believe anything.


A dog is basically passive, friendly and accepting, while a wolf wants to destroy another’s beliefs and replace them with his own. First the wolf ingratiates himself into the community and then, waiting for the proper moment to strike down and discredit the former teaching, moves in and substitutes his teaching instead. This then, in short, is one of the major themes running throughout the New Testament….

If you have any questions or comments, you can send them to my Facebook Page which I have set up specifically  for this purpose: