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Matthew 4:1-11

Context
The Temptation of Jesus

4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness 1  to be tempted by the devil. 4:2 After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished. 2  4:3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” 3  4:4 But he answered, 4  “It is written, ‘Man 5  does not live 6  by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 7  4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, 8  had him stand 9  on the highest point 10  of the temple, 4:6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you 11  and ‘with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12  4:7 Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘You are not to put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13  4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur. 14  4:9 And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship 15  me.” 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, 16  Satan! For it is written: ‘You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’” 17  4:11 Then the devil left him, and angels 18  came and began ministering to his needs.

1 tn Or “desert.”

2 tn Grk “and having fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry.”

3 tn Grk “say that these stones should become bread.”

4 tn Grk “answering, he said.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant, but the syntax of the phrase has been changed for clarity.

5 tn Or “a person.” Greek ὁ ἄνθρωπος (Jo anqrwpo") is used generically for humanity. The translation “man” is used because the emphasis in Jesus’ response seems to be on his dependence on God as a man.

6 tn Grk “will not live.” The verb in Greek is a future tense, but it is unclear whether it is meant to be taken as a command (also known as an imperatival future) or as a statement of reality (predictive future).

7 sn A quotation from Deut 8:3.

8 sn The order of the second and third temptations differs in Luke’s account (4:5-12) from the order given in Matthew.

9 tn Grk “and he stood him.”

10 sn The highest point of the temple probably refers to the point on the temple’s southeast corner where it looms directly over a cliff some 450 ft (135 m) high. However, some have suggested the reference could be to the temple’s high gate.

11 sn A quotation from Ps 91:11. This was not so much an incorrect citation as a use in a wrong context (a misapplication of the passage).

12 sn A quotation from Ps 91:12.

13 sn A quotation from Deut 6:16.

14 tn Grk “glory.”

15 tn Grk “if, falling down, you will worship.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”

16 tc The majority of later witnesses (C2 D L Z 33 Ï) have “behind me” (ὀπίσω μου; opisw mou) after “Go away.” But since this is the wording in Matt 16:23, where the text is certain, scribes most likely added the words here to conform to the later passage. Further, the shorter reading has superior support (א B C*vid K P W Δ 0233 Ë1,13 565 579* 700 al). Thus, both externally and internally, the shorter reading is strongly preferred.

17 sn A quotation from Deut 6:13. The word “only” is an interpretive expansion not found in either the Hebrew or Greek (LXX) text of the OT.

18 tn Grk “and behold, angels.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).



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