Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Philippians 2:7

    Philippians 2:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But made himself of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But he made himself as nothing, taking the form of a servant, being made like men;

    Webster's Revision

    but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;

    World English Bible

    but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;

    Clarke's Commentary on Philippians 2:7

    But made himself of no reputation - Ἑαυτον εκενωσε· He emptied himself - did not appear in his glory, for he assumed the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of man. And his being made in the likeness of man, and assuming the form of a servant, was a proof that he had emptied himself - laid aside the effulgence of his glory.

    Barnes' Notes on Philippians 2:7

    But made himself of no reputation - This translation by no means conveys the sense of the original According to this it would seem that he consented to be without distinction or honor among people; or that he was willing to be despised or disregarded. The Greek is ἑαυτον ἐκένωσεν heauton ekenōsen. The word κενόω kenoō means literally, to empty, "to make empty, to make vain or void." It is rendered: "made void" in Romans 4:14; "made of none effect," 1 Corinthians 1:17; "make void," 1 Corinthians 9:15; "should be vain," 2 Corinthians 9:3. The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, except in the passage before us. The essential idea is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and, hence, it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes in respect to that as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station. In regard to its meaning here, we may remark:

    (1) that it cannot mean that he literally divested himself of his divine nature and perfections, for that was impossible. He could not cease to be omnipotent, and omnipresent, and most holy, and true, and good.

    (2) it is conceivable that he might have laid aside, for a time, the symbols or the manifestation of his glory, or that the outward expressions of his majesty in heaven might have been withdrawn. It is conceivable for a divine being to intermit the exercise of his almighty power, since it cannot be supposed that God is always exerting his power to the utmost. And in like manner there might be for a time a laying aside or intermitting of these manifestations or symbols, which were expressive of the divine glory and perfections. Yet,

    (3) this supposes no change in the divine nature, or in the essential glory of the divine perfections. When the sun is obscured by a cloud, or in an eclipse, there is no real change of its glory, nor are his beams extinguished, nor is the sun himself in any measure changed. His luster is only for a time obscured. So it might have been in regard to the manifestation of the glory of the Son of God. Of course there is much in regard to this which is obscure, but the language of the apostle undoubtedly implies more than that he took an humble place, or that he demeaned himself in an humble manner. In regard to the actual change respecting his manifestations in heaven, or the withdrawing of the symbols of his glory there, the Scriptures are nearly silent, and conjecture is useless - perhaps improper. The language before us fairly implies that he laid aside that which was expressive of his being divine - that glory which is involved in the phrase "being in the form of God" - and took upon himself another form and manifestation in the condition of a servant.

    And took upon him the form of a servant - The phrase "form of a servant," should be allowed to explain the phrase "form of God," in Philippians 2:6. The "form of a servant" is that which indicates the condition of a servant, in contradistinction from one of higher rank. It means to appear as a servant, to perform the offices of a servant, and to be regarded as such. He was made like a servant in the lowly condition which he assumed. The whole connection and force of the argument here demands this interpretation. Storr and Rosenmuller interpret this as meaning that he became the servant or minister of God, and that in doing it, it was necessary that he should become a man. But the objection to this is obvious. It greatly weakens the force of the apostle's argument. His object is to state the depth of humiliation to which he descended, and this was best done by saying that he descended to the lowest condition of humanity and appeared in the most humble garb. The idea of being a "servant or minister of God" would not express that, for this is a term which might be applied to the highest angel in heaven. Though the Lord Jesus was not literally a servant or slave, yet what is here affirmed was true of him in the following respects:

    (1) He occupied a most lowly condition in life.

    (2) he condescended to perform such acts as are appropriate only to those who are servants. "I am among you as he that serveth;" Luke 22:27; compare John 13:4-15.

    And was made in the likeness of men - Margin, habit. The Greek word means likeness, resemblance. The meaning is, he was made like unto people by assuming such a body as theirs; see the notes at Romans 8:3.

    Wesley's Notes on Philippians 2:7

    2:7 Yet - He was so far from tenaciously insisting upon, that he willingly relinquished, his claim. He was content to forego the glories of the Creator, and to appear in the form of a creature; nay, to he made in the likeness of the fallen creatures; and not only to share the disgrace, but to suffer the punishment, due to the meanest and vilest among them all. He emptied himself - Of that divine fulness, which he received again at his exaltation. Though he remained full, John 1:14, yet he appeared as if he had been empty; for he veiled his fulness from the sight of men and angels. Yea, he not only veiled, but, in some sense, renounced, the glory which he had before the world began. Taking - And by that very act emptying himself. The form of a servant - The form, the likeness, the fashion, though not exactly the same, are yet nearly related to each other. The form expresses something absolute; the likeness refers to other things of the same kind; the fashion respects what appears to sight and sense. Being made in the likeness of men - A real man, like other men. Hereby he took the form of a servant.