Philippians 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;

New Living Translation
I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin--a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law.

English Standard Version
circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee;

New American Standard Bible
circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee;

King James Bible
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee;

International Standard Version
Having been circumcised on the eighth day, I am of the nation of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As far as the Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee.

NET Bible
I was circumcised on the eighth day, from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. I lived according to the law as a Pharisee.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Circumcised on the eighth day, of the family of Israel, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew, son of a Hebrew, in the Law, a Pharisee;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I was circumcised on the eighth day. I'm a descendant of Israel. I'm from the tribe of Benjamin. I'm a pure-blooded Hebrew. When it comes to living up to standards, I was a Pharisee.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Circumcised the eighth day, of the lineage of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

King James 2000 Bible
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

American King James Version
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

American Standard Version
circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Being circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; according to the law, a Pharisee:

Darby Bible Translation
as to circumcision, [I received it] the eighth day; of [the] race of Israel, of [the] tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of Hebrews; as to [the] law, a Pharisee;

English Revised Version
circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Webster's Bible Translation
Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; with respect to the law, a Pharisee;

Weymouth New Testament
circumcised, as I was, on the eighth day, a member of the race of Israel and of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew sprung from Hebrews; as to the Law a Pharisee;

World English Bible
circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;

Young's Literal Translation
circumcision on the eighth day! of the race of Israel! of the tribe of Benjamin! a Hebrew of Hebrews! according to law a Pharisee!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-11 Sincere Christians rejoice in Christ Jesus. The prophet calls the false prophets dumb dogs, Isa 56:10; to which the apostle seems to refer. Dogs, for their malice against faithful professors of the gospel of Christ, barking at them and biting them. They urged human works in opposition to the faith of Christ; but Paul calls them evil-workers. He calls them the concision; as they rent the church of Christ, and cut it to pieces. The work of religion is to no purpose, unless the heart is in it, and we must worship God in the strength and grace of the Divine Spirit. They rejoice in Christ Jesus, not in mere outward enjoyments and performances. Nor can we too earnestly guard against those who oppose or abuse the doctrine of free salvation. If the apostle would have gloried and trusted in the flesh, he had as much cause as any man. But the things which he counted gain while a Pharisee, and had reckoned up, those he counted loss for Christ. The apostle did not persuade them to do any thing but what he himself did; or to venture on any thing but that on which he himself ventured his never-dying soul. He deemed all these things to be but loss, compared with the knowledge of Christ, by faith in his person and salvation. He speaks of all worldly enjoyments and outward privileges which sought a place with Christ in his heart, or could pretend to any merit and desert, and counted them but loss; but it might be said, It is easy to say so; but what would he do when he came to the trial? He had suffered the loss of all for the privileges of a Christian. Nay, he not only counted them loss, but the vilest refuse, offals thrown to dogs; not only less valuable than Christ, but in the highest degree contemptible, when set up as against him. True knowledge of Christ alters and changes men, their judgments and manners, and makes them as if made again anew. The believer prefers Christ, knowing that it is better for us to be without all worldly riches, than without Christ and his word. Let us see what the apostle resolved to cleave to, and that was Christ and heaven. We are undone, without righteousness wherein to appear before God, for we are guilty. There is a righteousness provided for us in Jesus Christ, and it is a complete and perfect righteousness. None can have benefit by it, who trust in themselves. Faith is the appointed means of applying the saving benefit. It is by faith in Christ's blood. We are made conformable to Christ's death, when we die to sin, as he died for sin; and the world is crucified to us, and we to the world, by the cross of Christ. The apostle was willing to do or to suffer any thing, to attain the glorious resurrection of saints. This hope and prospect carried him through all difficulties in his work. He did not hope to attain it through his own merit and righteousness, but through the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - Circumcised the eighth day; literally, at circumcision eight days old. The apostle was not a proselyte, circumcised at his reception into the Jewish Church; nor an Ishmaelite, circumcised, like Ishmael, at the age of thirteen. Of the stock of Israel Neither were his parents proselytes; he was by descent an Israelite. He uses here the highest title of God's ancient people, the title which implied the inheritance of the covenant made with Jacob. Other nations were descended from Abraham and Isaac; the Israelites alone could claim Jacob for their ancestor; they only could glory in the covenant name given to him when he wrestled all night long with the angel, and proved himself a prince with God (comp. Trench, 'Synonyms of the New Testament,' sect. 39.). Of the tribe of Benjamin. His family had preserved their genealogy; he came from the tribe which gave the first king to Israel; which never swerved in its allegiance to the house of David; which, after the Captivity, united with Judah and the Levites to go up and build the house of the Lord (Ezra 1:5); the tribe of Esther and Mordecai; the tribe within whose boundary stood the holy city. A Hebrew of the Hebrews; rather, of Hebrews; omit the article. His father and mother were not only Israelites, but also they retained, though living at Tarsus, the Hebrew language and customs. St. Paul was not a Hellenist; he was brought up at Jerusalem under the great Rabban Gamaliel; he spoke Hebrew (Acts 21:40), and uses the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Septuagint translation. All the descendants of Jacob were Israelites; those were called Hebrews distinctively who adhered to the use of the sacred language (Acts 6:1). As touching the Law, a Pharisee. He was by birth an Israelite, by education a Hebrew; he became by choice a Pharisee (Acts 23:6); he embraced the straitest sect "as regards Law," the sect which took the strictest view of the Law of Moses.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Circumcised the eighth day,.... Circumcision was an appointment of God to Abraham, and his male issue; to him and them God gave the covenant of circumcision: this to Abraham personally was a sign and seal, that the righteousness of faith, which he had while he was an uncircumcised person, should come upon the uncircumcised Gentiles in the times or the Messiah, when the Gospel should come among them; and it was a distinguishing character of the Jews from the Gentiles, until the coming of Christ; it was typical of the effusion of his blood to cleanse from all the impurity of original and actual sin, and represented the circumcision of the heart. The Jews valued themselves much upon it, and treated the Gentiles with contempt for the want of it; and would neither converse with them in a civil or religious way, because they were uncircumcised: but the apostle was no Gentile, or an uncircumcised person; he had this mark in his flesh to glory in as well as others, if it had been lawful to trust in it; he was the subject of this ordinance while it was a standing one, and before it was abolished by Christ; and it was performed on him at the precise time fixed in the original institution of it, which was not always observed; for not to take notice of Jewish proselytes; who were circumcised at any age, when they became such, whether in youth, manhood, or old age; and which by the way shows, that the apostle was no proselyte, but a natural Jew; Gershom, the son of Moses, was not circumcised till some years after his birth; and all the while the children of Israel were in the wilderness this ordinance was neglected, till Joshua had led them into Canaan's land, and then he circumcised all that generation that was born in the wilderness, some of whom must be near forty years of age; and in after times it was usual with the Jews, for one reason or another, to put off circumcision to a longer time. Take the following story as an illustration of this (q):

"it is a tradition of R. Nathan; once, says he, I went to the cities of the sea, and a woman came to me who had circumcised her first son, and he died; the second, and he died; the third she brought to me; I saw him that he was red, I said unto her, my daughter, "wait a while" for him till his blood is swallowed up in him; she waited for him a while, and circumcised him, and he lived; and they called him Nathan the Babylonian, after my name. And again another time I went to the province of Cappadocia (the Jerusalem Talmud (r) has it Caesarea of Cappadocia), a certain woman came to me, who had circumcised her first son, and he died; the second, and he died; the third, (the above Talmud adds, and he died, the fourth,) she brought to me, I saw that he was green, I inspected him, and the blood of the covenant was not in him, I said unto her, my daughter, "tarry a while" for him; (the Jerusalem Talmud has it, , "let him alone to another time";) till his blood fall in him, she waited for him, and circumcised him, and he lived; and they called him Nathan the Babylonian, after my name.

The Jewish canon, with regard to the time of circumcision, runs thus (s):

"an infant may be circumcised at eight days, or at nine, or at ten, or at eleven, or at twelve, neither less nor more (not less than eight, nor more than twelve), how? according to its course at eight. If it is born between the two evenings, it is circumcised on the ninth day; if between the two evenings of the sabbath eve, it is circumcised on the tenth day; if on a feast day after the sabbath, it is circumcised on the eleventh; if on the two days of the beginning of the year, it is circumcised on the twelfth. An infant that is sick, they do not circumcise him until he is recovered.

And in the last case, they reckon seven days from the time of the recovery of the child, as Maimonides (t) observes; with whom may be read other cases, in which circumcision was not always performed on the eighth day, but sometimes was deferred, and sometimes it was done the same day the child was born. But circumcision on the eighth day was reckoned most valid and authentic, and according to rule; and therefore it is not without reason, that the apostle mentions the time of his circumcision, and puts an emphasis upon it,

Of the stock of Israel; this is said to distinguish him from an Ishmaelite, or an Edomite, who were circumcised, and from the son of a proselyte, who might be circumcised on the eighth day; but he was a natural Israelite, to whom the various privileges belonged, mentioned in Romans 9:4; and therefore had as much reason to trust in the flesh as any Israelite whatever,

Of the tribe of Benjamin; who was a genuine and legitimate son of Jacob, whom he had by his lawful and beloved wife Rachel. Of which tribe was the first king of Israel, whose name was Saul, 1 Samuel 9:1, and which was the apostle's first and Jewish name, and which perhaps was common in that tribe on that account. In this tribe stood the city of Jerusalem, and the temple of the Lord; this tribe retained the true worship of God with Judah, when the ten tribes revolted and worshipped the calves at Dan and Bethel, and returned with Judah from captivity, when the others did not. And the apostle was not only able to make himself appear to be of the stock Israel, but could name the tribe to which he belonged, which many of the Jews, that were of one, or rather of the ten tribes, were not able to do, and may be his chief reason for mentioning this circumstance,

An Hebrew of the Hebrews; not so called only because he could trace his pedigree from Abraham the Hebrew, or understood, and could speak the Hebrew language, which the Hellenistic Jews could not, or was an illustrious one among them, but because both his parents were Hebrews; he was an Hebrew by the father and mother's side both; he was a genuine Hebrew. The Arabians have the same way of speaking; and with them a genuine Arab is called an Arab of the Arabs (u) as here. Some there were whose mothers were Hebrews, and their fathers Gentiles; such an one was Timothy, Acts 16:1; and there were others whose fathers were Hebrews, and their mothers Gentiles; and these are thought by some to be the same the Talmudists (w) call, "profane": they not being reckoned so holy as such whose fathers and mothers were both Hebrews; of which the latter gloried over the other,

As touching the law, a Pharisee: with respect to the interpretation and observance of the law, which was according to the traditions of the elders, and not the literal and genuine sense of it, he followed; and was of the sect of the Pharisees, which was strictest sect among the Jews, and in the greatest esteem among the people: and though they had put many false glosses on the Scripture, and held many erroneous principles, and were very tenacious of human traditions, yet they were preferable to the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection of the dead, and other things; and were more zealous in their devotion and religion, and more strict in their morals, and external holiness of life and conversation. They separated and distinguished themselves hereby from other people, and hence they had their name; See Gill on Matthew 3:7. Now the apostle was not only a Pharisee, but the son of one; he was always brought up in that strict sect and severe way, Acts 23:6.

(q) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 47. 2.((r) T. Hieros. Yebamot, fol. 7. 4. (s) Misn. Sabbat, c. 19. sect. 5. Vid. Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. & Misn. Eracin, c. 2. sect. 2. & Bartenora in ib. (t) Hilch. Mila, c. 1. 16. (u) Pocock. Specim. A. ab. Hist. p. 3, 9. (w) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 69. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. In three particulars he shows how he "might have confidence in the flesh" (Php 3:4): (1) His pure Jewish blood. (2) His legal preciseness and high status as such. (3) His zeal for the law. The Greek is literally, "Being in circumcision an eighth day person," that is, not one circumcised in later life as a proselyte, but on the eighth day after birth, as the law directed in the case of Jew-born infants.

of the tribe of Benjamin—son of Rachel, not of the maid-servant [Bengel].

Hebrew of the Hebrews—neither one or other parent being Gentile. The "Hebrew," wherever he dwelt, retained the language of his fathers. Thus Paul, though settled in Tarsus, a Greek city, calls himself a Hebrew. A "Grecian" or Hellenist, on the other hand, in the New Testament, is the term used for a "Greek-speaking" Jew [Trench].

touching the law—that is, as to legal status and strictness.

a Pharisee—"of the straitest sect" (Ac 26:5).

Philippians 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Righteousness through Faith
4although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.
Cross References
Luke 1:59
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah,

Acts 6:1
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenistic Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

Acts 22:3
"I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.

Acts 23:6
Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead."

Acts 26:4
"The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem.

Acts 26:5
They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee.

Romans 11:1
I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.

2 Corinthians 11:22
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.
Treasury of Scripture

Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;

Circumcised.

Genesis 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every …

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the …

John 7:21-24 Jesus answered and said to them, I have done one work, and you all marvel…

of the stock.

Acts 22:3 I am truly a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, …

2 Corinthians 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they …

of the tribe.

Romans 11:1 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also …

an.

Genesis 14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for …

Genesis 40:15 For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and …

Genesis 41:12 And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the …

1 Samuel 4:6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, …

Jonah 1:9 And he said to them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God …

Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, …

2 Corinthians 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they …

Pharisee.

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the …

Acts 26:4,5 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among my …

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