Luke 4:5
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
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(5) The kingdoms of the world.—St. Luke uses the word (literally, the inhabited world) which was commonly used as co-extensive with the Roman empire. On the difference in the order of the temptations, see Note on Matthew 4:5.

In a moment of time.—The concentration of what seems an almost endless succession of images into the consciousness of a moment is eminently characteristic of the activity of the human soul in the state of ecstasy or vision.

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.)

Ver. 5-8. See Poole on "Matthew 4:8". See Poole on "Matthew 4:9". See Poole on "Matthew 4:10". Those words, Luke 4:6,

for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it, are only mentioned by Luke; where we may observe, that the devil was a liar from the beginning. The dominion over the things of the world was not given to the angels, but to man. Neither hath he any such power as he pretends to, being not able to do any thing against Job till he had obtained leave from God, nor to enter into the swine without licence first obtained from Christ.

And the devil taking him up into an high mountain,.... Somewhere near Jerusalem, but what mountain is not certain. The Evangelist Luke makes this to be the second temptation, which, with Matthew, is the third and last; and whose order seems to be more proper and natural than this, and to be the true and genuine one, which Luke neglects, though he does not contradict it: he relates matters of fact, without attending to the strict order of them; whereas Matthew strictly regards it, observing, that after the first temptation, "then the devil taketh him, &c." and that being finished, says, "again the devil taketh him, &c." and upon those words, "get thee hence", with what follows, remarks, that then the devil leaveth him: all which show, that his order is the most accurate, and to be followed. But to go on with the account; the devil having taken him from the pinnacle of the temple, and carried him to some high mountain, as Lebanon, or Pisgah, or some other near Jerusalem, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world; not of the Roman empire only, though that consisted of many kingdoms, and is called the whole world, Luke 2:1 where the same word is used, as here; but of the whole universe, every kingdom that was under the heavens; which he represented to Christ, not in a map, since the glory of them could not be described in that way: for

he showed him all the glory of them, as Matthew adds; and for this a mountain was no more a proper place, than any other; nor was, it any real object he presented to his bodily sight, or any real prospect he gave him of the kingdoms of the world, which are not to be seen from any one place, no not one of them, not even from the highest mountain in the world, and still less to be seen together at once in a moment: but this was a mere phantasm, a deception of the sight, with which he endeavoured to impose on Christ, but could not; nor did Christ; who is the maker of the world, and the governor among the nations, need any representation of the kingdoms of the world from him; see Gill on Matthew 4:8 and this he did in a moment of time; in the twinkling of an eye, not by succession, and in process of time, as one kingdom after another, but all at once, and in an instant: what a moment of time is; see Gill on Matthew 4:8.

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luke 4:5-8. Second temptation. Mt.’s third.—καὶ ἀναγαγὼν, without the added εἰς ὄρος ὑψ. of T.R., is an expression Lk. might very well use to obviate the objection: where is the mountain so high that from its summit you could see the whole earth? He might prefer to leave the matter vague = taking Him up who knows how high!—τῆς οἰκουμένης: for Mt.’s τοῦ κόσμου, as in Luke 2:1.—ἐν στιγμῇ χ., in a point or moment of time (στιγμὴ from στίζω, to prick, whence στίγματα, Galatians 6:17, here only in N. T.).

5. And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain] Probably “the devil” and “into a high mountain” are added from St Matthew. How the devil took Him up we are not told. Scripture, to turn away our thoughts from the secondary to the essential, knows nothing of those journeys through the air which we find in Apocrypha and in the ‘Gospel of the Hebrews.’

It is remarkable that St Luke (whom Milton follows in the Par. Regained) here adopts a different order of the temptations from St Matthew, perhaps because he thought that the temptation to spiritual pride (which he places third) was keener and subtler than that to temporal ambition; perhaps, too, because he believed that the ministering angels only appeared to save Christ from the pinnacle of the Temple. That the actual order is that of St Matthew is probable, because (1) he alone uses notes of sequence, “then,” “again;” (2) Christ closes the temptation by “Get thee behind me, Satan” (see on Luke 4:8); (3) as an actual Apostle he is more likely to have heard the narrative from the lips of Christ Himself. But in the chronology of spiritual crises there is little room for the accurate sequence of ‘before’ and ‘after.’ They crowd eternity into an hour, and stretch an hour into eternity.

of the world] See above on Luke 2:1.

in a moment] Rather, in a second; comp. 1 Corinthians 15:52, “in the twinkling of an eye”—in the sudden flash of an instantaneous vision. The splendour of the temptation, and the fact that it appealed to

“the spur which the clear spirit doth raise,

The last infirmity of noble minds,”

might seem to Satan to make up for its impudent, undisguised character. He was offering to One who had lived as the Village Carpenter the throne of the world.

Luke 4:5. Εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν, into a high mountain) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.[40] The sentence would sound defective (‘hiulca’ having a hiatus) if read thus [as the Vulg. reads it], “Et duxit illum diabolus, et ostendit illi,” etc. [Some interpreters suppose a double conflict (between Jesus and Satan) on the mountain, inasmuch as it is put by Luke before that upon the pinnacle of the temple, whereas it is put after the latter by Matthew. But ‘all’ of the temptation had (consisted of) three assaults in all, Luke 4:13; and therefore Luke must clearly be employing a transposition in this passage. Nor is it the best way of consulting for the honour of the Lord, to double the temptation on the mountain; for, in fact, He seems to have once repelled it, and, at the same time, by that once to have repelled it universally and for ever. Moreover, Luke, by putting the ascent to (the pinnacle at) Jerusalem in the last place, was enabled to use more appropriately the verb ὑπέστρεψεν, in ch. Luke 4:14, just as that verb is used, ch. Luke 2:39, of the return from the same city to Galilee. Harm, p. 151].—ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου, in a moment of time) A sudden showing of them: a sharp temptation [a violent and acute one, as opposed to a more gradual and stealthy one].

[40] BL Vulg. omit εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλόν, which probably came through the Harmonies from Matthew 4:8. But ADc Hil. and Rec. Text support the words: so Lachm.; but Tischend. is for the omission.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 5. - And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. This temptation was something more than "offering to One who had lived as a village carpenter the throne of the world." It appealed to his ambition certainly, but in Jesus' case it was a high, pure, sinless ambition. This much he certainly knew already, that he was destined to rule over men from pole to pole. It was for him a righteous longing, this desire to have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth as his possession. No false ambition was this in Jesus, this desire to realize the glorious Messianic hope. Again, how typical a temptation! All ranks and orders are often soon tempted here. A noble end as they think, and in the beauty of the goal they forget that the road leading to it is paved with evil and wrong. Luke 4:5The world

See on Luke 2:1.

In a moment of time (ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου)

Peculiar to Luke. Στιγμή is literally a mark made by a pointed instrument, a dot: hence a point of time. Only here in New Testament. Compare στίγματα, brand-marks, Galatians 6:17. Tynd., in the twinkling of an eye.

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