Luke 4:4
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
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4:1-13 Christ's being led into the wilderness gave an advantage to the tempter; for there he was alone, none were with him by whose prayers and advice he might be helped in the hour of temptation. He who knew his own strength might give Satan advantage; but we may not, who know our own weakness. Being in all things made like unto his brethren, Jesus would, like the other children of God, live in dependence upon the Divine Providence and promise. The word of God is our sword, and faith in that word is our shield. God has many ways of providing for his people, and therefore is at all times to be depended upon in the way of duty. All Satan's promises are deceitful; and if he is permitted to have any influence in disposing of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, he uses them as baits to insnare men to destruction. We should reject at once and with abhorrence, every opportunity of sinful gain or advancement, as a price offered for our souls; we should seek riches, honours, and happiness in the worship and service of God only. Christ will not worship Satan; nor, when he has the kingdoms of the world delivered to him by his Father, will he suffer any remains of the worship of the devil to continue in them. Satan also tempted Jesus to be his own murderer, by unfitting confidence in his Father's protection, such as he had no warrant for. Let not any abuse of Scripture by Satan or by men abate our esteem, or cause us to abandon its use; but let us study it still, seek to know it, and seek our defence from it in all kinds of assaults. Let this word dwell richly in us, for it is our life. Our victorious Redeemer conquered, not for himself only, but for us also. The devil ended all the temptation. Christ let him try all his force, and defeated him. Satan saw it was to no purpose to attack Christ, who had nothing in him for his fiery darts to fasten upon. And if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Yet he departed but till the season when he was again to be let loose upon Jesus, not as a tempter, to draw him to sin, and so to strike at his head, at which he now aimed and was wholly defeated in; but as a persecutor, to bring Christ to suffer, and so to bruise his heel, which it was told him, he should have to do, and would do, though it would be the breaking of his own head, Ge 3:15. Though Satan depart for a season, we shall never be out of his reach till removed from this present evil world.Being forty days tempted - That is, through forty days he was "tried" in various ways by the devil. The temptations, however, which are recorded by Matthew and Luke did not take place until the forty days were finished. See Matthew 4:2-3.

He did eat nothing - He was sustained by the power of God during this season of extraordinary fasting.


Lu 4:1-13. Temptation of Christ.

(See on [1564]Mt 4:1-11.)

See Poole on "Luke 4:3"

And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written,.... In Deuteronomy 8:3

that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God; suggesting hereby, that when it is the will of God, human nature may be maintained by the influence of divine power, without the use of ordinary means; and that bread itself, without a divine blessing, would not support life; and so not this stone, or stones, if turned into it: wherefore, it became him, as man, to depend upon God, submit to his will, and wait the issue of providence, who had brought him thither, and not take any such steps to remove his hunger; and especially at his solicitations, who had no other end, but to have him, if he could, at his beck and will. By "every word of God", is not meant all Scripture, and every part of it, which is given by inspiration of God, and may be said to proceed out of his mouth; neither the law, and the precepts of it, as the Jews interpret it, by obedience to which the Israelites lived in the land Canaan; nor the Gospel, and the truths of it, which are the wholesome words of Christ, and the words of faith and good doctrine, with which believers are nourished, and are that to the soul, as bread, or any other wholesome food, is to the body; for of spiritual living, and the means of that, the text is not to be understood; but either of the word of God's power, by which he upholds and sustains all things in being, which he has created; and with which he could, if he would, support the bodies of men without the use of any sort of food; as the bodies of Moses and Elijah, and now the body of Christ, were for many days; and as the bodies of the saints will be after the resurrection, to all eternity: or else the blessing of God, which he commands on bread, and other food, and the virtue and strength which he puts into them, and conveys by them, are meant, without which not, any sort of food is nourishing; or rather every thing which God declares and orders to be eaten, even every creature of his which is good, and not to be refused, but received, with thanksgiving, being sanctified by the word of God, and prayer, as well as bread; so manna, which is mentioned in the text in Deuteronomy; and likewise any other food, as pulse: and water, he is pleased to direct to. Some little difference there is between Matthew and Luke, in citing this passage; in the latter it is, "by every word of God"; and in the former it is nearer the Hebrew text in Deuteronomy 8:3 "by, every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"; and so some copies read here, as do also the Arabic and Ethiopic versions: but neither of them have the words exactly as in the original text, where it is added, "doth man live"; which, doubtless, were not produced by our Lord, as being unnecessary, and therefore not mentioned by any of the evangelists.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Luke 4:4. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη, etc.: the answer of Jesus as given by Lk., according to the reading of [42] [43] [44], was limited to the first part of the oracle: man shall not live by bread only; naturally suggesting a contrast between physical bread and the higher food of the soul on which Jesus had been feeding (J. Weiss in Meyer).

[42] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[43] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[44] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

4. It is written] The perfect gegraptai means ‘it has been written,’ it standeth written as an eternal lesson. Jesus foils the tempter as man for man. He will not say ‘I am the Son of God,’ and ‘does not consider equality with God a prize at which to grasp’ (Php 2:6), but seizes “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

man shall not live by bread alone] The quotation is from Deuteronomy 8:3, where Moses tells the people that God has suffered them to hunger, and fed them with manna, to shew them the dependence of man on God, and the fact that life is something more than the mere living, and can only be sustained by diviner gifts than those which are sufficient for man’s lower nature. Bread sustains the body; but, that we may live, the soul also, and the spirit must be kept alive. Exodus 16:4; Exodus 16:15. “They did all eat the same spiritual meat.” 1 Corinthians 10:3.

but by every word of God] These words, though implied, are probably added in this place from Matthew 4:4, since they are omitted by א, B, D, L, and various versions. “Word” is not in the original Hebrew. The verse conveys a most deep truth, and by referring to it our Lord meant to say ‘God will support my needs in His own way, and the lower life is as nothing in comparison with the higher.’ There are many most valuable and instructive parallels; see John 4:32-34, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of … My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” Job 23:12, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Wis 16:6, “God’s word nourisheth man.” The Jewish Rabbis had the remarkable expression, “The just eat of the glory of the Shechinah.” Comp. John 6:27-63.

Luke 4:4It is written

See on Matthew 4:4.

By bread ( ἐπ' ἄρτῳ)

Lit., "on bread," implying dependence. Compare, by every word (ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι, Matthew 4:4).

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