The second temptation (Mt 4:5-4:6)

“Then the devil took Jesus

To the holy city.

He placed him

On the pinnacle

Of the temple.

He said to him.

If you are the Son of God,

Throw yourself down.

It is written.

‘He will command his angels

Concerning you.’

And

‘On their hands,

They will bear you up,

So that you will not dash

Your foot

Against a stone.’”

 

Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν, καὶ ἔστησεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ,

καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε, μή ποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου.

 

There is a difference between Matthew and Luke, chapter 4:5-11, since Luke has this temptation as the last temptation, not the second one. However, the wording is the same indicating a shared common source, perhaps Q. Interesting enough, the devil or the tempter cited Psalm 91:11-12, so that even the devil can quote scripture. This devil took Jesus to the holy city (Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν), which was Jerusalem. The devil placed Jesus on the top of the Temple (καὶ ἔστησεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ). Once again, the devil said that if Jesus was truly the Son of God (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), he could throw himself down (βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω). Then God’s angels would catch him (γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ). The devil, citing Psalm 91:11-12, said that God would command these angels to protect him (ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ). They could catch him in their hands (καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε), as if angels had hands. Thus, their feet would never touch a stone (καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε). Yahweh, in this original psalm was going to send his angels to protect the good ones, so that they would never stub their feet on any stones.

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Yahweh will plant the sprig (Ezek 17:22-17:22)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I myself

Will take a sprig

From the lofty top

Of the cedar.

I will set it out.

I will break off

A tender one

From the topmost

Of its young twigs.

I myself

Will plant it

On a high mountain,

On a lofty mountain.’”

Yahweh himself was going to plant this sprig branch on a high mountain. He was going to take it off the top of a very high cedar tree. He was going to break off a tender twig from the top of that tree. Then he was going to plant it on a high lofty mountain. There would be no more eagle plantings. Yahweh himself was stepping in.

The Babylonians took the large ornate pillars (Jer 52:20-52:23)

“The bronze

Of all these things

Was beyond weighing.

This included the two pillars.

The one was the bronze sea,

With the twelve bronze bulls

Under the sea.

King Solomon

Had made these

For the house of Yahweh.

As for the pillars,

The height of the one pillar

Was eighteen cubits.

Its circumference was twelve cubits.

It was hollow.

Its thickness was four fingers.

Upon it was a capital of bronze.

The height of the capital

Was five cubits.

Lattice work

With pomegranates,

All of bronze,

Encircled the top of the capital.

The second pillar

Had the same thing

With pomegranates.

There were ninety-six pomegranates

On the sides.

All the pomegranates

Encircling the lattice work

Numbered one hundred.”

This is an expanded version of what appeared in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The Babylonians took the two large pillars that were about 27 feet high (18 cubits) and 18 feet (12 cubits) around. The bronze was about 4 inches thick. There is a very precise description of one pillar, while the second pillar was similar to it. Apparently these pillars were around the bronze sea with the 12 bronze bulls that King Solomon had made. These hollow pillars had a column or capital at the top that had lattice work with about 24 pomegranates on each of the 4 sides with 4 in each corner totally 100 pomegranates around it.