The Kenosis of Aragorn

Thorongil, alias Aragorn, part 6

In the Appendix A account of Thorongil/Aragorn, the statement that the latter was not “holding himself higher than the servant of his [Denethor’s] father” is evocative of the Apostle Paul’s discussion of the kenosis (“self-emptying”) of Christ in Philippians 2:5-11:

“Let this mind be be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

We’ve already noted Aragorn’s kenosis in The Lord of the Rings in his being the suffering servant, “despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53), in Bree, but we might also mention here his entering his kingdom (Gondor) through his own act of “obedience unto death” (following the Paths of the Dead), as well as his camping outside Minas Tirith as a stranger even after bringing victory and healing to the city (cp. Hebrews 13:12). Like Christ, Aragorn becomes a king only after first becoming an obedient and dying servant.

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Aragorn and the Prophet’s Reward

Thorongil, alias Aragorn, part 2

I began posting a few days ago on Appendix A’s account of Thorongil, Aragorn’s alias in Gondor while in the service of Ecthelion II, father of Denethor. Another somewhat surprising feature of the account is the warm welcome and esteem Thorongil receives from the Gondorians, especially in contrast to the the suspicion and scorn we know Aragorn to have been held in by the Breelanders, and this despite the fact that Aragorn’s Numenorean lineage is of the Northern line of Arnor, and not of the Southern line of Gondor. To quote from the Prologue of John’s Gospel, “he came to his own, but his own received him not.” I’ve already commented on Aragorn’s Melchizedekian union of the offices of king and priest, but it would seem he only assumes these roles after enduring the fate of the prophet, the one Jesus describes as being “not without honour, but in his own country” (Mark 6:4).