Philippians 2:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

King James Bible
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Darby Bible Translation
who, subsisting in the form of God, did not esteem it an object of rapine to be on an equality with God;

World English Bible
who, existing in the form of God, didn't consider equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Young's Literal Translation
who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal to God,

Philippians 2:6 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Who, being in the form of God - This verse has been the subject of much criticism, and some controversy. Dr. Whitby has, perhaps, on the whole, spoken best on this point; but his arguments are too diffuse to be admitted here. Dr. Macknight has abridged the words of Dr. Whitby, and properly observes that, "As the apostle is speaking of what Christ was before he took the form of a servant, the form of God, of which he divested himself when he became man, cannot be any thing which he possessed during his incarnation or in his divested state; consequently neither the opinion of Erasmus, that the form of God consisted in those sparks of divinity by which Christ, during his incarnation, manifested his Godhead, nor the opinion of the Socinians, that it consisted in the power of working miracles, is well founded; for Christ did not divest himself either of one or the other, but possessed both all the time of his public ministry. In like manner, the opinion of those who, by the form of God understand the Divine nature and the government of the world, cannot be admitted; since Christ, when he became man, could not divest himself of the nature of God; and with respect to the government of the world, we are led, by what the apostle tells, Hebrews 1:3, to believe that he did not part with even that; but, in his divested state, still continued to uphold all things by the word of his power. By the form of God we are rather to understand that visible, glorious light in which the Deity is said to dwell, 1 Timothy 6:16, and by which he manifested himself to the patriarchs of old, Deuteronomy 5:22, Deuteronomy 5:24; which was commonly accompanied with a numerous retinue of angels, Psalm 68:17, and which in Scripture is called The Similitude, Numbers 12:8; The Face, Psalm 31:16 : The Presence, Exodus 33:15; and The Shape of God, John 5:37. This interpretation is supported by the term μορφη, form, here used, which signifies a person's external shape or appearance, and not his nature or essence. Thus we are told, Mark 16:12, that Jesus appeared to his disciples in another μορφη, shape, or form. And, Matthew 17:2, μετεμορφωθη, he was transfigured before them - his outward appearance or form was changed. Farther this interpretation agrees with the fact: the form of God, that is, his visible glory, and the attendance of angels, as above described, the Son of God enjoyed with his Father before the world was, John 17:5; and on that as on other accounts he is the brightness of the Father's glory, Hebrews 1:3. Of this he divested himself when he became flesh; but, having resumed it after his ascension, he will come with it in the human nature to judge the world; so he told his disciples, Matthew 16:27 : The Son of man will come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, etc,. Lastly, this sense of μορφη Θεου, is confirmed by the meaning of μορθη δουλου, Philippians 2:7; which evidently denotes the appearance and behavior of a servant or bondman, and not the essence of such a person." See Whitby and Macknight.

Thought it not robbery to be equal with God - If we take these words as they stand here, their meaning is, that, as he was from the beginning in the same infinite glory with the Father, to appear in time - during his humiliation, as God and equal with the Father, was no encroachment on the Divine prerogative; for, as he had an equality of nature, he had an equality of rights.

But the word ἁρπαγμον, which we translate robbery, has been supposed to imply a thing eagerly to be seized, coveted, or desired; and on this interpretation the passage has been translated: Who, being in the form of God, did not think it a matter to be earnestly desired to appear equal to God; but made himself of no reputation, etc. However the word be translated, it does not affect the eternal Deity of our Lord. Though he was from eternity in the form of God - possessed of the same glory, yet he thought it right to veil this glory, and not to appear with it among the children of men; and therefore he was made in the likeness of men, and took upon him the form or appearance of a servant: and, had he retained the appearance of this ineffable glory, it would, in many respects, have prevented him from accomplishing the work which God gave him to do; and his humiliation, as necessary to the salvation of men, could not have been complete. On this account I prefer this sense of the word ἁρπαγμονbefore that given in our text, which does not agree so well with the other expressions in the context. In this sense the word is used by Heliodorus, in his Ethiopics, lib. vii. cap. 19, etc., which passage Whitby has produced, and on which he has given a considerable paraphrase. The reader who wishes to examine this subject more particularly, may have recourse to Heliodorus as above, or to the notes of Dr. Whitby on the passage.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

in.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck...

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful...

Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called...

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands of Judah...

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is...

John 1:1,2,18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ...

Colossians 1:15,16 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature...

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels...

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

Hebrews 1:3,6,8 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

thought.

Genesis 32:24-30 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day...

Genesis 48:15,16 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk...

Ezekiel 8:2-6 Then I beheld, and see a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire...

Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold...

Hosea 12:3-5 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God...

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, said the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd...

John 5:18,23 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father...

John 8:58,59 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am...

John 10:30,33,38 I and my Father are one...

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father...

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to him, My LORD and my God.

Revelation 1:17,18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand on me, saying to me, Fear not; I am the first and the last...

Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end...

Library
Notes on the Second Century
Page 94. Line 9. The Book of ---- The reference here is to the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon xiii. 1-5. Page 104. Med. 33. As originally written this Meditation commenced thus: Whether the sufferings of an. Angel would have been meritorious or no I will not dispute: but'---- And the following sentence, which comes after the first, has also been crossedout: So that it was an honour and no injury to be called to it: And so great an honour that it was an ornament to God himself, and an honour even to
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

July 11. "For it is God which Worketh in You" (Phil. Ii. 13).
"For it is God which worketh in you" (Phil. ii. 13). A day with Jesus. Let us seek its plan and direction from Him. Let us take His highest thought and will for us in it. Let us look to Him for our desires, ideals, expectations in it. Then shall it bring to us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Let Him be our Guide and Way. Let us not so much be thinking even of His plan and way as of Him as the Personal Guide of every moment, on whom we constantly depend to lead our every step.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Copies of Jesus
'Do all things without murmurings and disputings; 15. That ye may be blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world, 16. Holding forth the word of life.'--PHIL. ii. 14-16 (R.V.). We are told by some superfine modern moralists, that to regard one's own salvation as the great work of our lives is a kind of selfishness, and no doubt there may be a colour of truth in the charge. At least the meaning
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Paul and Timothy
'But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20. For I have no man like-minded, who will care truly for your state. 21. For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. 22. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. 23. Him therefore I hope to send forthwith, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me: 24. But I trust in the Lord that
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 5:18
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

John 10:33
"We are not stoning you for any good work," they replied, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

John 14:28
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

John 17:5
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 8:9
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

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