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Philippians 3:2 Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;

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Philippians 3:2 >

      2. Beware--Greek, "Have your eye on" so as to beware of. Contrast "mark," or "observe," namely, so as to follow Php 3:17.
      dogs--Greek, "the dogs," namely, those impure persons "of whom I have told you often" (Php 3:18, 19); "the abominable" (compare Re 21:8, with Re 22:15; Mt 7:6; Tit 1:15, 16): "dogs" in filthiness, unchastity, and snarling (De 23:18; Ps 59:6, 14, 15; 2Pe 2:22): especially "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Php 3:18; Ps 22:16, 20). The Jews regarded the Gentiles as "dogs" (Mt 15:26); but by their own unbelief they have ceased to be the true Israel, and are become "dogs" (compare Isa 56:10, 11).
      evil workers-- (2Co 11:13), "deceitful workers." Not simply "evildoers" are meant, but men who "worked," indeed, ostensibly for the Gospel, but worked for evil: "serving not our Lord, but their own belly" (Php 3:19; compare Ro 16:18). Translate, "The evil workmen," that is, bad teachers (compare 2Ti 2:15).
      concision--Circumcision had now lost its spiritual significance, and was now become to those who rested on it as any ground of justification, a senseless mutilation. Christians have the only true circumcision, namely, that of the heart; legalists have only "concision," that is, the cutting off of the flesh. To make "cuttings in the flesh" was expressly prohibited by the law (Le 21:5): it was a Gentile-heathenish practice (1Ki 18:28); yet this, writes Paul indignantly, is what these legalists are virtually doing in violation of the law. There is a remarkable gradation, says BIRKS [Horæ Apostolicæ] in Paul's language as to circumcision. In his first recorded discourse (Ac 13:39), circumcision is not named, but implied as included in the law of Moses which cannot justify. Six or seven years later, in the Epistle to Galatians (Ga 3:3), the first Epistle in which it is named, its spiritual inefficiency is maintained against those Gentiles who, beginning in the Spirit, thought to be perfected in the flesh. Later, in Epistle to Romans (Ro 2:28, 29), he goes farther, and claims the substance of it for every believer, assigning the shadow only of it to the unbelieving Jew. In Epistle to Colossians (Col 2:11; 3:11), still later, he expounds more fully the true circumcision as the exclusive privilege of the believer. Last of all here, the very name is denied to the legalist, and a term of reproach is substituted, "concision," or flesh-cutting. Once obligatory on all the covenant-people, then reduced to a mere national distinction, it was more and more associated in the apostle's experience with the open hostility of the Jews, and the perverse teaching of false brethren.

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Hypocrisy?

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Watchfulness?

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Philippians Images and Notes

The Book of Philippians

Philippians 1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Philippians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Painting of the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt - 1657
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657

Introduction to The Book of Philippians

Brief Summary. Paul had been imprisoned at Rome sends the church at Philippi a love letter of thanks, commending them for their liberal giving. His attitude shows all Christians to rejoice in every situation even suffering, for Jesus Christ is our example and our prize.

Summary of The Book of Philippians

Purpose. One of the obvious reasons that Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians was to thank them for their generous offering. He also wanted to commend the unselfishness of Epaphroditus, as well as informing them of his love for them, and his own personal condition. He wanted to make them aware that Timothy would soon be visiting them, and that Epaphroditus would be returning to them (Philippians 2:19-20). Paul also warned them that they would be suffering for the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:29, 30), and that they should be aware and guarded against false doctrines creeping into the church (Philippians 3:1 ff). Paul's joy, and love for them clearly shows through in this letter.

Philippi. The city of Philippi was a Roman colony and the chief city of Macedonia (Acts 16:12). Philippi was originally named after Philip of Macedon. the people that live there were Roman citizens, receiving all the favor of Rome. There were very few Jews in Philippi, and no synagogue with a "place for prayer" by the river (Acts 16). Paul established the church in Philippi while he was on his second missionary journey, just after he had been in Troas and received the "Macedonian call" (Acts 16).  The Church of Philippi was the first church to be established in Europe, and it had a reputation of being very generous in their support of Paul's work (2 Corinthians 8; Philippians 4:15-19). a half-century later Polycarp commended the church in Philippi for their devotion.

Authorship. Paul was the author of Philippians, he names himself and his style and personality shows through.

Date. Philippians was written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment, about 62 AD.

Outline of the Book of Philippians

Jesus Christ is Our Life - Chapter 1
Jesus Christ is Our Example - Chapters 2
Jesus Christ is Our Prize - Chapter 3
Jesus Christ is Our Peace - Chapter 4

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Philippians Maps and Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)