·Watch out for [Beware] those who do evil, ·who are like dogs [L beware the dogs; C a derogatory reference to Paul’s opponents], ·who demand to cut the body [L beware the mutilation; C a mocking reference to those who demand circumcision of Gentile believers].
Be on your guard against these curs, these wicked workmen, these would-be mutilators of your bodies! We are, remember, truly circumcised when we worship God by the Spirit, when we find our joy in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in what we are in the flesh.
Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.
Be shomer and on your guard and watch out for those [unclean, prowling] kelevim (dogs Ps 22:17(16),20; Rv 22:15), watch out for the evil po’alim (workers), watch out for the “circummutilators” (Ga 6:12).
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