A Tongue of Gold


“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

This passage (or pericope?) retraces the Covenant pattern, which is also played out in the flow of the history of Israel. We’ll have a look at the structure of the passage and then I want to discuss the significance of the literary placement of “every tongue.”

WARNING: Weird ahead.

[This post has been refined and included in Sweet Counsel: Essays to Brighten the Eyes.]

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2 Responses to “A Tongue of Gold”

  • Ethan Russell Says:

    ‘By the Spirit, he becomes a human “fiery one” (seraphim) come to wage holy war against a city robed as Babel who has falsified her Covenant oath. Hers is not the unity of the Holy Spirit.’

    Reminds me of the wayward wife who feigns piety and calls in the fool saying she has purified herself.

    Is this a solid connection here with “brazen face” and “sounding brass or a clanging cymbal”?

    13 So she seizes him and kisses him
    And with a BRAZEN face she says to him:
    14 “I was due to offer peace offerings;
    Today I have paid my vows.
    15 “Therefore I have come out to meet you,
    To seek your presence earnestly, and I have found you.
    16 “I have spread my couch with COVERINGS,
    With colored linens of Egypt.

    Every time the world pursues peace without God disaster ensues.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Interesting. I would say a “brazen” face would be more like a shield — a bold-faced lie. When Solomon’s golden shields were taken by Egyptian invaders, they were replaced with bronze look-alikes. Bronze seems to be “natural” (earthy) and gold “spiritual” (heavenly).