9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9 - 11
ESV - 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. 10 So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.
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Things under the Earth refers to the Underworld. The Greek word "katachthonios" (G2709) is used to refer under the earth; it means subterranean; infernal world (Php. 2:10; cp. Ps. 16:10 with Mt. 12:40 and Eph. 4:8- 10). This includes the angelic inhabitants in tartarus (2Pet. 2:4 Jude 1:6- 7 1Pet. 3:19); the pre- Adamites and demon inhabitants of the abyss (Lk. 8:31; Rev. 9:1- 21 20:3, 7); the giant races that have no resurrection (Gen. 2:4; Isa. 26:14); the human inhabitants of Sheol/Hades (Ps. 9:17; 16:10; 71:20; Prov. 9:18; 15:24; Isa. 14:9; Ezek. 31:14- 18 32:18- 27 Lk. 16:1- 31 Rev. 20:11- 15); and all other inhabitants of the infernal world (Php. 2:10 Rev. 5:13). This proves that hell is not the grave.
The 3-fold division that Paul uses here is a reflection of Near Eastern Cosmology. The ancient near eastern peoples saw a three-fold division of the entire cosmos. They view the cosmos as containing the 3 divisions of the heavens, which incorporated the sky, the heavens (as in the area which contained the moon, stars and sun), and the heavens of heavens, the place of God’s dwelling. The second division, being the earth, was viewed as sitting upon the deep, being the primordial waters, upon foundations. The third division was "under the earth," being the place and abode of the dead, with death itself being the only way to gain entrance. This place of the dead held all, both righteous and wicked in it. We see reflections of this in Jesus’ parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Both ended up in the same geographical location; however there was a separation between them, with one part being paradise, the other being Hell, yet Lazarus was able to see Abraham and Lazarus. What Paul is doing here is using that cosmological worldview to tell the readers that the Lordship of Christ was absolute and was complete, that Jesus IS THE ruler of the entire Cosmos, that He is Lord of everything.
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