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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Matthew 4:2-3.
Lu 4:1-13. Temptation of Christ.
(See on Mt 4:1-11.)See Poole on "Luke 4:3" 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 4:4. καὶ ἀπεκρίθη, etc.: the answer of Jesus as given by Lk., according to the reading of   , 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).
 Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.
 Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.
 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.
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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