Philippians 2:7

7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[a] of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Philippians 2:7 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
English Standard Version (ESV)
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
New Living Translation (NLT)
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,
The Message Bible (MSG)
7 Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human!
American Standard Version (ASV)
7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men;
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
7 Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
7 Instead, he made himself nothing. He took on the very nature of a servant. He was made in human form.

Philippians 2:7 Meaning and Commentary

Philippians 2:7

But made himself of no reputation
Or "nevertheless emptied himself"; not of that fulness of grace which was laid up in him from everlasting, for with this he appeared when he was made flesh, and dwelt among men; nor of the perfections of his divine nature, which were not in the least diminished by his assumption of human nature, for all the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily; though he took that which he had not before, he lost nothing of what he had; the glory of his divine nature was covered, and out of sight; and though some rays and beams of it broke out through his works and miracles, yet his glory, as the only begotten of the Father, was beheld only by a few; the minds of the far greater part were blinded, and their hearts hardened, and they saw no form nor comeliness in him to desire him; the form of God in which he was, was hid from them; they reputed him as a mere man, yea, as a sinful man, even as a worm, and no man: and to be thus esteemed, and had in such account, he voluntarily subjected himself, though infinitely great and glorious; as he did not assume deity by rapine, he was not thrust down into this low estate by force; as the angels that sinned when they affected to be as God, were drove from their seats of glory, and cast down into hell; and when man, through the instigation of Satan, was desirous of the same, he was turned out of Eden, and became like the beasts that perish; but this was Christ's own act and deed, he willingly assented to it, to lay aside as it were his glory for a while, to have it veiled and hid, and be reckoned anything, a mere man, yea, to have a devil, and not be God: O wondrous humility! astonishing condescension!

and took upon him the form of a servant;
this also was voluntary; he "took upon him", was not obliged, or forced to be in the form of a servant; he appeared as one in human nature, and was really such; a servant to his Father, who chose, called, sent, upheld, and regarded him as a servant; and a very prudent, diligent, and faithful one he was unto him: and he was also a servant to his people, and ministered to men; partly by preaching the Gospel to them, and partly by working miracles, healing their diseases, and going about to do good, both to the bodies and souls of men; and chiefly by obtaining eternal redemption for his chosen ones, by being made sin and a curse for them; which though a very toilsome and laborious piece of service, yet as he cheerfully engaged in it, he diligently attended it, until he had finished it: so he was often prophesied of as a servant, in ( Isaiah 42:1 ) ( 52:13 ) ( Zechariah 3:8 ) , in which several places he is called in the Targum, (axyvm ydbe) , "my servant the Messiah": put these two together, "the form of God", and "the form of a servant", and admire the amazing stoop!

and was made in the likeness of men;
not of the first Adam, for though, as he, he was without sin, knew none, nor did any; yet he was rather like to sinful men, and was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was traduced and treated as a sinner, and numbered among transgressors; he was like to men, the most mean and abject, such as were poor, and in lower life, and were of the least esteem and account among men, on any score: or he was like to men in common, and particularly to his brethren the seed of Abraham, and children of God that were given him; he partook of the same flesh and blood, he had a true body, and a reasonable soul, as they; he was subject to the like sorrows and griefs, temptations, reproaches, and persecutions; and was like them in everything, excepting sin: a strange and surprising difference this, that he who was "equal to God", should be "like to [sinful] men!"

Philippians 2:7 In-Context

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

Cross References 3

  • 1. 2 Corinthians 8:9
  • 2. S Matthew 20:28
  • 3. S John 1:14; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:17

Footnotes 1

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.