Philippians 3:4-7 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinks that he has whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 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; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church [congregations]; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
‘Circumcised the eighth day’ – Part of the Abrahamic covenant all Hebrew males were to be circumcised at the age of eight days (Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3).
‘Stock of Israel’ We can read the history of Israel’s stock in Genesis 29:21-30 and 35:16-29.
‘Pharisee’ – a sect of self-righteous and zealous Jews who held to the letter of their interpretations of the law and their traditions, regardless of whether they nullified the Word of God or not. They were Christ’s bitterest enemies (3:4-6; Mat. 15:2; 23:1-33; Mark 7:8-13; Luke 11:42; Gal. 1:14).
‘Zeal’ – Paul zealously persecuted the congregations and Christians (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-2; Gal. 1:13).
‘Blameless’ – As to meeting every requirement of Judaism, being of pure stock, and of fanatical zeal he had no superior (3:4-6; Gal. 1:13-14; 2Cor. 11:22).
‘But what things were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ.’ All these advantages (of Philippians 3:4-6), the honour and respect which I held among the Jews, as well as my future with them, I counted loss for Christ.
‘Loss’ [Greek: zemia] loss as applied to trade, especially the voluntary loss incurred by casting wares overboard to lighten a sinking ship (3:8; Acts 27:10, 21).