Among the Jews, dogs were scavengers; they are mentioned in Jesus' parable as adding to the distress of Lazarus the beggar (Luke 16: 21). Because they might feed on corpses, dogs were unclean, and Gentiles were called dogs as an expression of contempt. As in Mark 7: 27, the historical context is that of the rich urban Gentiles of Tyre being fed at the expense of the poor Jewish hinterland. In Phil. 3: 2 Paul rounds on his Jewish, or possibly Jewish Christian, opponents with the invective that they reserved for Gentiles; the opponents are like savage dogs who prowl round Christian congregations helping to win over Gentile converts.