Matthew 4:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

New Living Translation
During that time the devil came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread."

English Standard Version
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Berean Study Bible
The tempter came to Him and said, "If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

Berean Literal Bible
And the one tempting, having come to Him, said "If You are Son of God, speak, that these stones may become loaves of bread."

New American Standard Bible
And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

King James Bible
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the tempter approached Him and said, "If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

International Standard Version
Then the tempter came. "Since you are the Son of God," he said, "tell these stones to become loaves of bread."

NET Bible
The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread."

New Heart English Bible
And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And The Tempter approached him and said to him, “If you are The Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread."

New American Standard 1977
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones be made into bread.

King James 2000 Bible
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you are the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

American King James Version
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

American Standard Version
And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Darby Bible Translation
And the tempter coming up to him said, If thou be Son of God, speak, that these stones may become loaves of bread.

English Revised Version
And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou art the son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

Weymouth New Testament
So the Tempter came and said, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into loaves."

World English Bible
The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."

Young's Literal Translation
And the Tempter having come to him said, 'If Son thou art of God -- speak that these stones may become loaves.'
Study Bible
The Temptation of Jesus
2After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. 3The tempter came to Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”…
Cross References
Matthew 14:33
Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God!"

Matthew 16:16
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Matthew 26:63
But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to Him, "I charge You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God."

Mark 1:1
This is the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Mark 3:11
And when the unclean spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, "You are the Son of God!"

Mark 5:7
And he shouted in a loud voice, "What do You want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God not to torture me."

Luke 1:35
The angel replied, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 4:41
Demons also came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But He rebuked the demons and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Christ.

Luke 22:70
So they all asked, "Are You then the Son of God?" He replied, "You say that I am."

John 1:34
I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."
Treasury of Scripture

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

the tempter.

Job 1:9-12 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Does Job fear God for nothing…

Job 2:4-7 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that …

Luke 22:31,32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have …

1 Thessalonians 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your …

Revelation 2:10 Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil …

Revelation 12:9-11 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, …

if.

Matthew 3:17 And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom …

Luke 4:3,9 And the devil said to him, If you be the Son of God, command this …

command.

Genesis 3:1-5 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which …

Genesis 25:29-34 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint…

Exodus 16:3 And the children of Israel said to them, Would to God we had died …

Numbers 11:4-6 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the …

Psalm 78:17-20 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in …

Hebrews 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for …

(3) When the tempter came.--Nothing in the narrative suggests the idea of a bodily presence visible to the eye of sense, and all attempts so to realise it, whether as Milton has done in Paradise Regained, or as by rationalistic commentators, who held that the Tempter was, or assumed the shape of, a scribe or priest, are unauthorised, and diminish our sense of the reality and mystery of the Temptation. The narrative is not the less real and true because it lies altogether in the spiritual region of man's life.

If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.--"These stones," as if in union with glance and gesture, pointing to the loaf-like flints of the Jordan desert. The nature of the temptation, so far as we can gauge its mysterious depth, was probably complex. Something there may have been, suggested from without, like that which uttered itself in Esau's cry, "What profit shall this birthright do to me?" (Genesis 25:32). Hungry, exhausted, as if life were ebbing away in the terrible loneliness of the desert, the "wild beasts" around him, as if waiting for their victim, what would it avail to have been marked out as the Son of God, the long-expected Christ? With this another thought was blended. If He were the Son of God, did not that name involve a lordship over nature? Could He not satisfy His hunger and sustain His life? Would He not in so exercising the power of which now, for the first time it may be, He was the conscious possessor, be establishing his status as the Christ in the eyes of others? That thought presented itself to His mind, but it was rejected as coming from the Enemy. It would have been an act of self-assertion and distrust, and therefore would have involved not the affirmation, but the denial of the Sonship which had so recently been attested.

Verse 3. - The tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5 only; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3). Came; came up to him (προσελθών). The word expresses local nearness, and suggests, though we cannot affirm it as certain, that he appeared visibly. The thought of physical nearness is continued in "taketh him" (vers. 5, 8), and "the devil leaveth him" and "angels came near" (ver. 11; cf. ver. 5, note). On the other hand, such expressions may be parabolic, and intended to express the closeness of the spiritual combat. To him; not after "came," but after "said" (Revised Version, with manuscripts). If thou be; art (Revised Version) (εἰ... εϊ) - the "if" of assumption (cf. Colossians 3:1). The devil does not attempt to throw doubt on the truth of the utterance in Matthew 3:17. His words rather mean, "Thou knowest what was said, thou bast been gradually realizing that assurance of Sonship; use, then, that privilege which thou undoubtedly hast" (comp. Matthew 27:40, where, in mockery, the same truth is assumed). Wetstein, following Origen and pseudo-Ignatius,' Philipp.,' § 9, says that the tempter did not know, or at least doubted, whether Jesus was really God, for otherwise he would never have tempted him. This is, surely, to miss the meaning of the temptation for our Lord himself; for he was tempted as Man. Satan might well haw known that he was God incarnate, and yet not have known whether as Man he might not yield. Weiss ('Life,' 1:343) mistakenly thinks that the object of this first temptation was to insinuate doubt in the mind of Jesus as to his Messiahship. "Command that these stones become bread, and if thou canst not do so, then thou art not the Son of God." Command that; εἰπὸν (cf. Westcott and Hort, 2. App., p. 164) ἵνα (cf. Matthew 20:21, and Winer,§ 44:8). These stones, ie. lying about. Farrar (on Luke 4:3; and especially in 'Life of Christ,' illustrated edit., pp. 99, 100) suggests that there is a special reference to the "loaf-shaped fossils," septaria, which are found in Palestine - as, indeed, in most other countries. But though these "flattened nodules of calcareous clay, ironstone, or other matter" (Page, ' Handbook of Geolog. Terms,' etc., 1859, p. 327) often assume fantastic shapes, perhaps even distantly resembling either an English loaf or a fiat Jewish cake (vide infra) , it seems quite unnecessary to see any allusion to them here. (For the comparison of bread and a stone, cf. Matthew 7:9.) Be made; Revised Version, become; rightly, because there is no thought of the process of manufacture in γένωνται, Bread; Revised Version margin, "Greek, loaves" (ἄρτοι). "The Israelites made bread in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one's thumb, and as large as a plate or Platter; hence it was not cut, but [e.g. Matthew 14:19] broken" (Thayer). In Luke the devil points to one stone only, and tempts him to bid it become a loaf. And when the tempter came to him..... By "the tempter", is meant the devil, see 1 Thessalonians 3:5 so called, because it is his principal work and business, in which he employs himself, to solicit men to sin; and tempt them either to deny, or call in question the being of God, arraign his perfections, murmur at his providences, and disbelieve his promises. When he is here said to come to Christ at the end of forty days and nights, we are not to suppose, that he now first began to tempt him; for the other Evangelists expressly say, that he was tempted of him forty days, Mark 1:13 but he now appeared openly, and in a visible shape: all the forty days and nights before, he had been tempting him secretly and inwardly; suggesting things suitable to, and taking the advantage of the solitary and desolate condition he was in. But finding these suggestions and temptations unsuccessful, and observing him to be an hungered, he puts on a visible form, and with an articulate, audible voice, he said,

if thou be the Son of God; either doubting of his divine sonship, calling it in question, and putting him upon doing so too; wherefore it is no wonder that the children of God should be assaulted with the like temptation: or else arguing from it, "if", or "seeing thou art the Son of God"; for he must know that he was, by the voice which came from heaven, and declared it: and certain it is, that the devils both knew, and were obliged to confess that Jesus was the Son of God, Luke 4:41 by which is meant, not a good, or righteous man, or one dear to God, and in an office; but a divine person, one possessed of almighty power; and therefore, as a proof and demonstration of it, be urges him to

command that these stones be made bread, pointing to some which lay hard by; "say" but the word, and it will be done. He did not doubt but he was able to do it, by a word speaking; but he would have had him to have done it at his motion, which would have been enough for his purpose; who wanted to have him obedient to him: and he might hope the rather to succeed in this temptation, because Christ was now an hungry; and because he had carried his point with our first parents, by tempting them to eat of the forbidden fruit. 3. And when the tempter came to him—Evidently we have here a new scene.

he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread—rather, "loaves," answering to "stones" in the plural; whereas Luke, having said, "Command this stone," in the singular, adds, "that it be made bread," in the singular (Lu 4:3). The sensation of hunger, unfelt during all the forty days, seems now to have come on in all its keenness—no doubt to open a door to the tempter, of which he is not slow to avail himself; "Thou still clingest to that vainglorious confidence that Thou art the Son of God, carried away by those illusory scenes at the Jordan. Thou wast born in a stable; but Thou art the Son of God! hurried off to Egypt for fear of Herod's wrath; but Thou art the Son of God! a carpenter's roof supplied Thee with a home, and in the obscurity of a despicable town of Galilee Thou hast spent thirty years, yet still Thou art the Son of God! and a voice from heaven, it seems, proclaimed it in Thine ears at the Jordan! Be it so; but after that, surely Thy days of obscurity and trial should have an end. Why linger for weeks in this desert, wandering among the wild beasts and craggy rocks, unhonored, unattended, unpitied, ready to starve for want of the necessaries of life? Is this befitting "the Son of God?" At the bidding of "the Son of God" surely those stones shall all be turned into loaves, and in a moment present an abundant repast."4:1-11 Concerning Christ's temptation, observe, that directly after he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, he was tempted; great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favour, will not secure any from being tempted. But if the Holy Spirit witness to our being adopted as children of God, that will answer all the suggestions of the evil spirit. Christ was directed to the combat. If we presume upon our own strength, and tempt the devil to tempt us, we provoke God to leave us to ourselves. Others are tempted, when drawn aside of their own lust, and enticed, Jas 1:14; but our Lord Jesus had no corrupt nature, therefore he was tempted only by the devil. In the temptation of Christ it appears that our enemy is subtle, spiteful, and very daring; but he can be resisted. It is a comfort to us that Christ suffered, being tempted; for thus it appears that our temptations, if not yielded to, are not sins, they are afflictions only. Satan aimed in all his temptations, to bring Christ to sin against God. 1. He tempted him to despair of his Father's goodness, and to distrust his Father's care concerning him. It is one of the wiles of Satan to take advantage of our outward condition; and those who are brought into straits have need to double their guard. Christ answered all the temptations of Satan with It is written; to set us an example, he appealed to what was written in the Scriptures. This method we must take, when at any time we are tempted to sin. Let us learn not to take any wrong courses for our supply, when our wants are ever so pressing: in some way or other the Lord will provide. 2. Satan tempted Christ to presume upon his Father's power and protection, in a point of safety. Nor are any extremes more dangerous than despair and presumption, especially in the affairs of our souls. Satan has no objection to holy places as the scene of his assaults. Let us not, in any place, be off our watch. The holy city is the place, where he does, with the greatest advantage, tempt men to pride and presumption. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes a man a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at. Is Satan so well versed in Scripture as to be able to quote it readily? He is so. It is possible for a man to have his head full of Scripture notions, and his mouth full of Scripture expressions, while his heart is full of bitter enmity to God and to all goodness. Satan misquoted the words. If we go out of our way, out of the way of our duty, we forfeit the promise, and put ourselves out of God's protection. This passage, De 8:3, made against the tempter, therefore he left out part. This promise is firm and stands good. But shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? No. 3. Satan tempted Christ to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary; by that men are most easily imposed upon. Christ was tempted to worship Satan. He rejected the proposal with abhorrence. Get thee hence, Satan! Some temptations are openly wicked; and they are not merely to be opposed, but rejected at once. It is good to be quick and firm in resisting temptation. If we resist the devil he will flee from us. But the soul that deliberates is almost overcome. We find but few who can decidedly reject such baits as Satan offers; yet what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Christ was succoured after the temptation, for his encouragement to go on in his undertaking, and for our encouragement to trust in him; for as he knew, by experience, what it was to suffer, being tempted, so he knew what it was to be succoured, being tempted; therefore we may expect, not only that he will feel for his tempted people, but that he will come to them with seasonable relief.
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