Not bread alone (Lk 4:4-4:4)

“Jesus

Answered him.

‘It is written.

‘One does not live

By bread alone.’”

 

καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Γέγραπται ὅτι Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος.

 

Once again, this is the same as Matthew, chapter 4:3, nearly word for word.  Luke said that Jesus responded to the devil (καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by citing a Septuagint written phrase (Γέγραπται) from Deuteronomy, chapter 8:3, about the fact that man does not live by bread alone (ὅτι Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος).  Luke did not finish this phrase the way that Matthew did by saying that man lives by all the words that come from the mouth of God.  In Deuteronomy, Yahweh had reminded the Israelites that they had been tested for 40 years with hunger.  Then came this saying about not living by bread alone, but by every word that came from the mouth of Yahweh, an anthropomorphism for Yahweh’s law.  The Book of Deuteronomy was the most quoted book of the Torah in these New Testament writings.

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The fourth beatitude about righteousness (Mt 5:6-5:6)

“Blessed are

Those who hunger for righteousness,

Those who thirst for righteousness,

They shall be filled.”

 

μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην, ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσοντ

 

The happy, blessed, and fortunate ones (μακάριοι) were those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness (οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην).  They would not go away empty handed.  They would be satisfied or filled (ὅτι αὐτοὶ χορτασθήσοντ).  Isaiah, chapter 55:1-2 has an invitation to those without money to come to drink and eat.  They could have water, wine, milk and bread.  They would enjoy themselves at this banquet.  Matthew may have been referencing Psalm 107:4-9, where Yahweh had helped a small group of lost Israelites who were hungry and thirsty, while wandering in the desert.  He satisfied their thirst and filled their hunger with good food.  In their distress, they called out to Yahweh, who heard them.  He led them in a straight path to an inhabited town.  Thus, they gave thanks to Yahweh.  So too, those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness, the right way of doing things, would be satisfied or filled with this righteousness.

The temptations of Jesus

Once John baptized Jesus, according to all three synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the Judaean desert. After this fast, the devil, the tempter, or Satan appeared to Jesus trying to test or tempt him. Jesus refused each of the 3 human temptations concerning the hedonism of hunger, the egotism of power, and the materialism of wealth. These temptations were to mislead and pervert the thinking, wishing, and feeling of Jesus. Although Mark‘s account was very brief, Matthew and Luke described the temptations in great detail that may have come from their common Q source. Is this a parable? What was the purpose of these accounts? There is no doubt that Matthew used language from the Old Testament Septuagint with a series of quotations from Deuteronomy. Fasting was a preparation for a great spiritual struggle. Once the temptations were over, Satan departed. Then angels of God began looking after Jesus. These temptations of Jesus have had many portrayals in art, literature, film, and music, since they have captured the imagination of many of the followers of Jesus Christ

The response of Jesus (Mt 4:4-4:4)

“But Jesus answered.

‘It is written.

One does not live

By bread alone,

But by every word

That comes

From the mouth of God.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν Γέγραπται Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος Θεοῦ.

 

Once again, Matthew and Luke, chapter 4:4 shared a common source, perhaps Q.  Jesus responded (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) to the tempter by citing a written phrase (εἶπεν Γέγραπται) from Deuteronomy, chapter 8:3, about the fact that man does not live by bread alone (Οὐκ ἐπ’ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος,), but rather man lives by all the words that come from the mouth of God (ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος Θεοῦ.).  Actually, the Book of Deuteronomy was the most quoted book of the Torah in these New Testament writings.  In Deuteronomy, Yahweh had reminded the Israelites that they had been tested for 40 years with hunger.  Then came this saying about not living by bread alone, but by every word that came from the mouth of Yahweh.  The mouth of God was an anthropomorphism for Yahweh’s law.

 

The safe and secure life (Ezek 34:28-34:29)

“They shall no more

Be plunder

For the nations.

The wild animals

Of the land

Shall not devour them.

They shall live

In safety.

No one

Shall make them

Afraid.

I will provide

For them

A splendid vegetation.

Thus,

They will no longer

Be consumed

With hunger

In the land.

They will no longer

Suffer the insults

Of the nations.”

Once they were back in their land, the Israelites would no longer become plunder for the various nations. The wild animals in the land would not devour them. They would live in safety, since no one would make them afraid. Yahweh was going to provide for them with splendid vegetation. They would never have to worry about hunger in their land. They would no longer suffer any insults from the various nations.

The three kinds of deadly punishment (Ezek 6:11-6:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘Clap your hands!

Stamp your foot!

Say!

Sadly!

Because of all

The vile abominations

Of the house of Israel!

They shall fall

By the sword,

By famine,

By pestilence.

Those far off

Shall die of pestilence.

Those nearby

Shall fall by the sword.

Anyone who is left

Or spared

Shall die of famine.

Thus I will spend

My fury

Upon them.’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel to clap his hands and stamp his foot. He was to speak about all the vile abominations of the house of Israel. They were going to suffer death three ways. They would either first fall by the sword. If not killed by the sword, they might die from famine or pestilence. Those far away would die from the pestilence. Those nearby would be killed by the sword. Otherwise, they would die of hunger from the famine. There was no mention of those living in captivity here. Yahweh was determined to show his fury among these Israelites.

Cry for the children (Lam 2:19-2:19)

Qoph

“Arise!

Cry out

In the night,

At the beginning

Of the watches!

Pour out

Your heart

Like water

Before the presence

Of Yahweh!

Lift your hands

To him

For the lives

Of your children.

They faint

For hunger

At the head

Of every street.”

This author wanted everyone to cry to Yahweh at night, at the beginning of every watch change of the guard. However, there was nothing to guard. They were to pour out their heart like water before Yahweh. They were to pray with outstretched hands for the children who were fainting with hunger on every street corner in town. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Qoph. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.