Do not tempt the Lord (Lk 4:12-4:12)

“Jesus answered

The devil.

‘It is said.

‘Do not put

The Lord,

Your God,

To the test.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι Εἴρηται Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σο

 

Once again, this is like Matthew, chapter 4:7, but here it is the 3rd rather than the 2nd temptation.  The wording is almost the same, indicating a common source.  Jesus answered the devil with a short response (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  Jesus told the devil that it has been said (ὅτι Εἴρηται) that he should not tempt or test the Lord his God (Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σο), as if the devil accepted God.  Jesus used this biblical quotation from Deuteronomy, chapter 6:16, where Yahweh was calling for no more rebellions like that at Massah, when they complained about the lack of water.  They were not to test Yahweh anymore.  So too, the devil was not to test Jesus anymore.

The forty day fast (Lk 4:2-4:2)

“For forty days,

Jesus was tempted

By the devil.

He ate nothing

At all

During those days.

When these days

Were over,

He was very hungry.”

 

ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου. Καὶ οὐκ ἔφαγεν οὐδὲν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις, καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν ἐπείνασεν.

 

This text is like Matthew, chapter 4:2, almost word for word, indicating a common source, perhaps Q.  Luke said that Jesus was tempted (πειραζόμενος) for 40 days (ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα) by the devil (ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου).  During this time or in those days (ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις), Jesus did not eat anything at all (Καὶ οὐκ ἔφαγεν οὐδὲν), since he was fasting.  When the 40 days were over or completed (καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν), Jesus was really hungry or famished (ἐπείνασεν).  There was a symbolism in this fast of 40 days.  Luke did not mention 40 nights, like Matthew.  Fasting was a common Hebrew exercise, while 40 was the same number of years that the Israelites were in the wilderness during the Exodus.  Jesus was really hungry at the end of his 40 day fast.  The devil, the personification of evil, tempted Jesus.  Mark, chapter 1:13, has an abbreviated description of the temptations of Jesus compared to Matthew, and Luke.  All 3 synoptics agreed that Jesus was in the wilderness 40 symbolic days.  All agreed that Jesus was tempted by Satan or the devil, the adversary or the accuser.  This concept of the adversary showed the Persian influence on the Israelites after the exile.  The older devil concept was considered a fallen angel without all the powers of God, but nevertheless very strong.  Mark said that Jesus was with the wild beasts, but this remark was not found in the other longer detailed descriptions of Matthew and Luke.  Mark made it seem like the temptation was physical, like the fear of wild animals, as he then said that the good angels ministered to Jesus, waiting on him and taking caring for him.

The response of Jesus (Mt 4:10-4:10)

“Jesus said to the devil.

‘Away with you!

Satan!’

It is written.

‘Worship

The Lord!

Your God!

Serve only him!”

 

τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Ὕπαγε, Σατανᾶ· γέγραπται γάρ Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις.

 

Just like in Luke, chapter 4:8, the wording is the same, indicating a common source, perhaps Q. Once again, Jesus had a very direct response (τότε λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He simply told Satan or the devil to go away (Ὕπαγε, Σατανᾶ). Then he referred to another scriptural writing (γέγραπται γάρ) from Deuteronomy, chapter 6:13. This was again a simple statement that you should only worship and serve the Lord your God (γάρ Κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις). You should serve him alone (καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις). It looks like the devil would not be successful with any of these temptations. In Deuteronomy, chapter 6:13, Yahweh had said they should only fear and serve Yahweh and swear by his name only.

The response of Jesus (Mt 4: 7-4:7)

“Jesus said

To the devil.

‘Again,

It is written.

You shall not tempt

The Lord

Your God.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πάλιν γέγραπται Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σο

 

Once again, this is like Luke, chapter 4:12, but was the 3rd third rather than the 2nd temptation as here. The wording is the same, indicating a common source, perhaps Q. Jesus’s response was short and sweet (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς). He told the devil that he should not tempt the Lord his God (Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις Κύριον τὸν Θεόν σο), as if the devil accepted God. This quotation (Πάλιν γέγραπται) was once again taken from Deuteronomy, chapter 6:16, where Yahweh was calling for no more rebellions like that at Massah, when they complained about the lack of water. They were not to test Yahweh anymore

The first temptation (Mt 4:3-4:3)

“The tempter came.

He said to Jesus.

‘If you are the Son of God,

Command these stones

To become loaves of bread.’”

 

καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ πειράζων εἶπεν αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.

 

Once again, this the same as in Luke, chapter 4:3, as they continued with their common source, perhaps Q.  This devil, the tempter, came to Jesus (καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ πειράζων) after his 40 day and night fast.  Jesus was really hungry at this time.  Then this devil, or the tempting one as he is called here, taunted Jesus (εἶπεν αὐτῷ) by telling him that if he was truly the son of God (Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could just say the word and make these stones turn into loaves of bread (εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται).  Then Jesus could eat these loaves of bread and take away his hunger.  The terminology of the son of God had been used in the Hebrew scriptures, as it indicated a special relationship with God.

Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Mt 4:2-4:2)

“Jesus fasted

Forty days

And forty nights.

Afterwards,

He was hungry.”

 

καὶ νηστεύσας ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα καὶ τεσσεράκοντα νύκτας ὕστερον ἐπείνασεν.

 

Once again, this text is like Luke, chapter 4:2, word for word, indicating a common source, perhaps the Q source.  There was a symbolism in this fast of 40 days (ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα) and 40 nights (καὶ τεσσεράκοντα νύκτας).  Fasting (νηστεύσας) was a common Hebrew exercise, while 40 was the same number of years that the Israelites were in the wilderness during the Exodus.  This was a real fast, not one that ended when the sun went down, since it included a night fast also.  Jesus was really hungry of famished (ἐπείνασεν) at the end of this time. (ὕστερον).

The chaff burns (Mt 3:12-3:12)

“His winnowing fork

Is in his hand.

He will clear

His threshing floors.

He will gather

His wheat

Into the barn granary.

But he will burn

The chaff

With an unquenchable fire.”

 

οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ διακαθαριεῖ τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ, καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην, τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ.

 

Once again, there is a common source for John’s menacing saying between Luke, chapter 3:17, and Matthew, perhaps Q. God, the Lord of this farmer, has the winnowing fork in his hand (οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ). He was going to clear the threshing floors (καὶ διακαθαριεῖ τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ,). He was going to gather his wheat into his barn in the granary (καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην). The leftover chaff would be burned with an everlasting fire that could not be put out (καὶ συνάξει τὸν σῖτον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην). This was a warning against the useless ones who would burn in an unstoppable fire.