Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

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lsayre
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by lsayre » Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:28 am

It seems that there is another (an angel) to whom the name above all names has previously been bestowed:

Exodus 23:20-25
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.

“But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

“When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.
I find it interesting that this angel is to be the Lord and God of the Hebrews, as instructed by the God who has placed his name within this angel. The Hebrew God is therefore an angel. Is he also Joshua?

Stefan Kristensen
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:20 am

lsayre wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:28 am
It seems that there is another (an angel) to whom the name above all names has previously been bestowed:

Exodus 23:20-25
“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.

“But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

“When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.
I find it interesting that this angel is to be the Lord and God of the Hebrews, as instructed by the God who has placed his name within this angel. The Hebrew God is therefore an angel. Is he also Joshua?
This passage is interesting, but I think the angel is an angel and not God and not Joshua. But I think you may be very right in bringing up this passage, and there may be a connection seen by the Christian/Jewish interpreters with Joshua and with the Phil. Hymn, IMO.

The Israelites definately get all kinds of angelic help throughout the whole exodus-story (something that was apparantly amplified in Jewish tradition; also Mark 1:13c) and this angel here apparantly has something special about him. I don't think the angel refers to God himself, because even though an angel might be helping the Israelites in their conquest (under Joshua) of Canaan, that doesn't mean automatically that it is also this figure that they must worship. It can be an angel that helps with the conquest and still be God that is to be worshipped.

There is the whole issue here in the Book of Exodus of whether or not God is actually going to travel along with the Israelites into the promised land, being with them, among them, with his blessing presence. The issue is part of the whole conflict between God and the hard-hearted Israelites in the desert, when they continually question God and 'put him to the test' and question whether "God is with us?" (the 'immanuel' motif). And it is taken up explicitly after Moses' first revelation on Mt. Sinai in the Golden Calf episode (Ex 32:1-29), where God says to Moses afterwards in his infinite mercy, 'ok ok, I'm not gonna kill off Israel, I'll just smite them with some good plague, but I'm not gonna go with them now, but I'll send my angel in front of them when you bring them to the land' (32:30-33:6). Eventually Moses convinces him to go with them anyway, so that his "presence" will be with Israel, and this happens after the very peculiar epiphany where Moses has a close encounter with God where two things happen:
1) God's "presence", i.e. Hebrew "face", comes before Moses and passes by Moses; but Moses must not see it (for then he will die).
2) God pronounces his "name" before Moses as he passes by him; Moses apparantly hears God pronouncing his own name.

After that episode everything is fine and well again and God says he will travel along with Israel into the promised land (despite the Golden Calf failure). God being with the Israelites is formulated as "his presence" being with them, i.e. in Hebrew "his face" being with them. After his encounter Moses receives the Law anew in the cloud on the mountain with God's glory (Ex 34:10-28) and he comes down from Sinai with his face(!) shining. I can't help but think that this shining face of Moses' is meant to represent the fact that God is now with Israel - that they can't see God's face, but they can see the glory of his face reflected in the face of Moses. And the reason Moses' face reflects God's glory is not because Moses has seen God's face, because he hasn't, but because God transferred his "presence", the glory of his face, to Moses by pronouncing the name before Moses in that epiphany. So that it is the power of the name that transfers the glory of God to Moses and confers his authority upon Moses.

So God will be with Israel through his name, and this is why the angel spoken of in Ex 23 has God's name "in him". But when the Israelites then make the Golden Calf God will not go with them himself after all, which means, then, that he will send an angel (Ex 33:2), but his name will not be in the angel, as he had promised at first. It is only after Moses' face/name-epiphany that God decides anew to go with Israel himself, i.e. also in the form of his name which holds his power. And that power, the power of God's name, is understood to be visible in the glory reflected in the face of Moses who had heard God pronounce the name when he made his "presence"/"face" pass by Moses. So that God's "presence" among Israel is intimately connected with God's "name", and his "presence" is visible in the "face" of Moses.

Now, when Jesus is transfigured at the mountain and the voice of the cloud proclaims that "this is my son! Hear him!" this is most likely a reference to Deut 18:15-18, "the Prophet" that God will raise up from among the Israelites. In the context of Deut 18 it refers to Joshua, who "speaks in my name" (Deut 18:19). Also the Transfiguration has Jesus change into shining form, which is arguably both a reference to Jesus' resurrected and exalted state of being as well as a reference to Moses' shining face after he had been in the cloud and heard the name of God. Also, the two persons present with Jesus, Elijah and Moses, are the two persons that have been on the mountain of God in the presence of God, for Elijah has his own parallel experience to Moses, where God "passes by him" (1 Kings 19:1-18). (For the same reason I think it can be argued that Mark 6:45-52 is to be understood as a foreshadowing of the resurrection appearance, cf. Jesus wanting to "pass by", 6:48.)

Just like in Phil 2:9-11 the Transfiguration shows Jesus' exaltation where he has God's authority (cf. also Matt 28:16-20). At the Transfiguration the motif with God's presence with Moses and Elijah at Mt. Sinai/Horeb is used. In the Phil. Hymn the motif of God's 'name' as his power and authority is used, but isn't it all connected?

1. The story of Moses on the mountain in Ex 24/33-34 was understood as showing God, despite the scandal of the Golden Calf that almost ended the whole adventure, being present among the Israelites by his authority and power, mediated by his 'name', which is in the helping angel (Ex 23:20-25; 33:2; etc.) but also physically visible by God's glory reflected in the face of Moses (who talks to God 'face to face').

2. So, the motif of Moses' shining face was understood in connection with God's "name" being among the Israelites, i.e. his authority conferred upon Moses (as well as the angel), when he "passed by" Moses.

3. Jesus' shining appearance on the mountain also points to his authority from God, who says from the cloud "Hear him!" in reference to the promised prophet of Deut 18:15 ("Hear him") who will "speak in my name" (Deut 18:19). The exalted shining Jesus on the mountain is to be understood as Jesus having received the authority that is in God's name.

4. The Phil. Hymn says that "God endowed him with the name that is above every name". This can now be understood within the same conceptual frame as the Transfiguration: The Jesus who shines with God's 'glory' like Moses' face, has received the authority of God which is in his name, in the same way as Moses, and so now God says "hear him!" because he now speaks in God's name.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:15 am

Stefan Kristensen wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:20 am
This passage is interesting, but I think the angel is an angel and not God and not Joshua. But I think you may be very right in bringing up this passage, and there may be a connection seen by the Christian/Jewish interpreters with Joshua and with the Phil. Hymn, IMO.
Good stuff. Justin Martyr and other Christian exegetes did connect this angel with Joshua. And, of course, the original intent of a passage does not have to be what Christians drew from the passage. I have laid out a lot of possible Joshua/Jesus connections here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3076, and this is one of them. The textual variants in Jude [1.]5 may be related to this matter, as well.
Now, when Jesus is transfigured at the mountain and the voice of the cloud proclaims that "this is my son! Hear him!" this is most likely a reference to Deut 18:15-18, "the Prophet" that God will raise up from among the Israelites. In the context of Deut 18 it refers to Joshua, who "speaks in my name" (Deut 18:19).
This would agree with pseudo-Philo:

Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 20.2: 2 Then said God unto Jesus the son of Naue: Wherefore mournest thou, and wherefore hopest thou in vain, thinking that Moses shall yet live? Now therefore thou waitest to no purpose, for Moses is dead. Take the garments of his wisdom and put them on thee, and gird thy loins with the girdle of his knowledge, and thou shalt be changed and become another man. Did I not speak for thee unto Moses my servant, saying: "He shall lead my people after thee, and into his hand will I deliver the kings of the Amorites?"

Pseudo-Philo, Biblical Antiquities 25.6: 6 And then all Israel gathered together to bury [Jesus], and they lamented him with a great lamentation, and thus said they in their lamentation: Weep ye for the wing of this swift eagle, for he hath flown away from us. And weep ye for the strength of this lion's whelp, for he is hidden from us. Who now will go and report unto Moses the righteous, that we have had forty years a leader like unto him? And they fulfilled their mourning and buried him with their own hands in the mount Effraim and returned every man unto his tent. And after the death of Jesus the land of Israel was at rest.

Also the Transfiguration has Jesus change into shining form, which is arguably both a reference to Jesus' resurrected and exalted state of being as well as a reference to Moses' shining face after he had been in the cloud and heard the name of God. Also, the two persons present with Jesus, Elijah and Moses, are the two persons that have been on the mountain of God in the presence of God, for Elijah has his own parallel experience to Moses, where God "passes by him" (1 Kings 19:1-18).
Agreed.
(For the same reason I think it can be argued that Mark 6:45-52 is to be understood as a foreshadowing of the resurrection appearance, cf. Jesus wanting to "pass by", 6:48.)
Agreed. "He wished to pass them by" = "he wished to grant them a theophany."
Just like in Phil 2:9-11 the Transfiguration shows Jesus' exaltation where he has God's authority (cf. also Matt 28:16-20). At the Transfiguration the motif with God's presence with Moses and Elijah at Mt. Sinai/Horeb is used. In the Phil. Hymn the motif of God's 'name' as his power and authority is used, but isn't it all connected?
Connecting the Jesus Hymn to the Transfiguration in this way makes a lot of sense. It also provides more fodder for the notion that the Transfiguration is a resurrection appearance event thrust back into the ministry.
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John2
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by John2 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:45 am

Stefan (in keeping with his awesomeness) wrote:
So even though Jesus has his own name, Jesus, he has been bestowed with the authority of God by receiving his name in the meaning of authority. I think it means that Jesus has been bestowed various central divine attributes of God, YHWH, that was connected with the very name of YHWH. I think what is meant in Phil 2:9-11 is that the divine power that recided also in the sacred name of God, the tetragrammaton, was transferred to the person of Jesus. The person of Jesus has received authority of the power that recided in the name YHWH. Which means that Jesus' own name now invokes the power of God that previously was invoked by God's own name, YHWH.
This has been my hunch/impression too but I could never have expressed it as well as this. The idea seems akin to the divine "authority, glory and sovereign power" that is given to the "son of man" in Dan. 7:14 (and thus to Jesus).

Dan. 7:14: "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power..."

Mk. 1:22: "The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law."

Mk. 11:27-33:
They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you authority to do this?”

Jesus replied, “I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin? Tell me!”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ . . . ” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
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lsayre
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by lsayre » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:35 am

I believe that someone once argued (and even wrote a short book) with regard to all of the miracles of Jesus in the book of Mark (and by implication, in the other Gospels as well) actually being post resurrection events, and that Mark has somehow jumbled these into a pre resurrection history of Jesus. Did not Eusebius state that Mark got the order of things all jumbled up? Perhaps we don't understand the extent to which the jumbling occurred.

Stefan Kristensen
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Re: Phillipians 2:9-11, What name is given in exaltation?

Post by Stefan Kristensen » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:10 am

John2 wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:45 am
The idea seems akin to the divine "authority, glory and sovereign power" that is given to the "son of man" in Dan. 7:14 (and thus to Jesus).
Indeed, I also think it's the exact same idea, expressed in different ways. And for another interesting aspect of this, then in my view we have to keep in mind the concrete experience of the earliest Christians: the experience of being empowered themselves by the perceived 'spirit'. This could be in the ecstatic states at the gatherings (1 Cor 14) or in perceived healing 'miracles' or just in the joyful event of conversion upon preaching. It seems that this concrete charismatic experience of the early Christians were understood specifically within this frame: God had conferred authority upon Jesus, and Jesus had conferred authority upon the Christians. Their channeling of God's power constitued ruling, exercising dominion, even warfare. But it was the rule of Christ, his battle against the dominion of Satan and his forces. When the power of God was working through the tongue or the hands of the Christians, it was Christ wielding God's power.

That God "endowed" Jesus "with the name that is above every name" could perhaps mean: 'The power of God the creator which accompanies his name, YHWH, is now attached to Jesus' name'. Thereby magnifying the authority of Jesus' own name. So Jesus' name was changed at his exaltation (resurrection) so that the power of God hitherto connected with the name YHWH was now instead connected with Jesus' name. (It was still God's power, of course.)

So, the charismatic experience of the early Christians was linked to the belief that they were all running around channeling God's power by the name of Jesus, something that had hitherto had to happen through the name of YHWH, and only by specially chosen righteous men. Jesus was the ultimate righteous man, who could now be called upon to channel the power of God, but his position of favor with God allowing him to act in the name of God like all the prophets before him was not something temporary like them. He was God's son, "being in the form of God", and therefore he had even been endowed with God's name himself. In this way I think Phil 2:9 says the same thing as Heb 1:4, that Jesus had "inherited" God's name:

Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
(Heb 1:1-4)

But I think that the belief in Jesus sitting in heaven now wielding God's power, which had hitherto been attached to the name of God, YHWH, was evidenced for the Christians by their charismatic experiences. And this was understood as his royal rulership, his dominion. Furthermore, I think this dominion in the inner machinery of early Christian theological thinking was connected not just with the rulership of the 'human' figure of Dan 7 and the "people" of Dan 7:27, but also the "dominion" spoken of in Gen 1:26-28. I'd see the tripartite division of Christ's rulership in Phil 2:10 as corresponding to the tripartite division of creation in Gen 1:26-28, but that's another story.

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