Matthew 4:10
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
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(10) Get thee hence, Satan.—Once more the answer to the Tempter was found in the words of the Tephillim and the lessons of childhood. No evidence of power could change the eternal laws of duty. There came to the Son of Man the old command, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,” as an oracle from heaven, and this, rather than an attempt to refute the claim of sovereignty, was that on which He took His stand. Others, dealing with the same temptation, as the writers of the Book of Job and of Psalms 73, have discussed the question of the apparent triumph of evil in the world’s history, and have pointed to its ultimate downfall, to the sure though slow retribution which even that history records, to the redress of the anomalies of this life in a life beyond the grave. Here we have a truer and simpler answer. Even though they cannot solve the problem, the true wisdom of men who follow in the footsteps of Christ is to recognise that their allegiance is due to God and to Him only. Here, once more, the truth thus affirmed reappears later on. When the chief of the Apostles sought to turn his Master from the appointed path of suffering, he was met, as renewing the same form of temptation which had been thus resisted, with the self-same words. Even Peter had to hear himself rebuked with “Get thee behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:23). The use of the formula here, for the first time in the conflict, is significant as implying that in the previous temptations Evil had presented itself in disguise, making sins of distrust appear as acts of faith, while now it showed itself in its naked and absolute antagonism to the divine will.

Matthew 4:10. Then saith Jesus, Get thee hence, Satan — The expression, Υπαγε, Σατανα, plainly expresses Christ’s authority over Satan, as well as his detestation of so vile a suggestion: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, &c. — It would therefore be unlawful to worship thee, who art no other than a mere creature, even though thou wast indeed his deputy on earth; and how much more then must it be so, as thou art, in reality, the great avowed enemy of God and man! for such, under all thy disguise, I well know thee to be. It appears from these words, that religious worship, or service, is due to God alone, and cannot be lawfully given to a creature. From whence we must infer, that Christ is not a mere creature: for all men are to honour him, even as they honour the Father, John 5:23. And all the angels of God are commanded to worship him, Hebrews 1:6 : and it is given as the character of all Christians, 1 Corinthians 1:2, that they call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord: and Colossians 3:24, That they serve the Lord Christ. As to the answer made by some to this irrefragable argument in favour of our Lord’s divinity, it appears from this very passage to have no weight in it. God alone say they, is to be worshipped as the first and principal cause of all things, and the chief author of our salvation; but yet, religious worship and service may be paid to Christ, as the intermediate cause of that salvation which God, by him, hath revealed and brought to us. For as there are no footsteps of this distinction in the holy Scriptures, so it is plain that our Lord’s reply to Satan here entirely condemns it. The devil, it is manifest, did not require to be worshipped by Jesus as the original cause and supreme governor of the world. He frankly owns that all the power he had over the kingdoms of the earth was given to him. He claims, therefore, only a subordinate worship; and yet our Lord rejects his claim, not on the ground of his being a liar and usurper, who had no such power, and therefore had no right to any such worship; but on the ground of God only having a right to any kind of religious worship, saying, in the words of Moses, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him ONLY shalt thou serve. Christ, therefore, cannot be worshipped lawfully, if he be not God as well as man.

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.Get thee hence - These temptations, and this one especially, the Saviour met with a decided rebuke. This was a bolder attack than any which had been made before. The other temptations had been founded on an appeal to his necessities, and an offer of the protection of God in great danger; in both cases plausible, and in neither a direct violation of the law of God. Here was a higher attempt, a more decided and deadly thrust at the piety of the Saviour. It was a proposition that the Son of God should worship the devil, instead of honoring and adoring Him who made heaven and earth; that he should bow down before the Prince of wickedness and give him homage.

It is written - In Deuteronomy 6:13. Satan asked him to worship him. This was expressly forbidden, and Jesus therefore drove him from his presence.

10. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan—Since the tempter has now thrown off the mask, and stands forth in his true character, our Lord no longer deals with him as a pretended friend and pious counsellor, but calls him by his right name—His knowledge of which from the outset He had carefully concealed till now—and orders him off. This is the final and conclusive evidence, as we think, that Matthew's must be the right order of the temptations. For who can well conceive of the tempter's returning to the assault after this, in the pious character again, and hoping still to dislodge the consciousness of His Sonship, while our Lord must in that case be supposed to quote Scripture to one He had called the devil to his face—thus throwing His pearls before worse than swine?

for it is written—(De 6:13). Thus does our Lord part with Satan on the rock of Scripture.

Thou shalt worship—In the Hebrew and the Septuagint it is, "Thou shalt fear"; but as the sense is the same, so "worship" is here used to show emphatically that what the tempter claimed was precisely what God had forbidden.

the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve—The word "serve" in the second clause, is one never used by the Septuagint of any but religious service; and in this sense exclusively is it used in the New Testament, as we find it here. Once more the word "only," in the second clause—not expressed in the Hebrew and the Septuagint—is here added to bring out emphatically the negative and prohibitory feature of the command. (See Ga 3:10 for a similar supplement of the word "all" in a quotation from De 27:26).

As this was of all the three the most impudent temptation, so our Lord receiveth it with the highest detestation, saying,

Get thee hence, Satan by which words he doth not only show his detestation of this temptation, but also chides him off from any further tempting him. The sense is, Satan, I know better things, viz. that a religious adoration is not to be given unto any but unto God alone. Thou art a creature; no worship is due unto thee: to worship before thee (so Luke phrases it, Luke 4:7) is to worship thee. This is expressly contrary to the command of God, Deu 6:13 10:20. It is also observable, that our Saviour opposeth this to the devil’s words, ean pesuyn proskunhshv moi, if thou falling down wilt worship me; and that Christ answers, Ton Yeos sou proskunhseis kai autw latreuseiv; which shows the idleness of the papists’ distinction of doulia and latreia; the first of which they say may be given to the creature, the second only unto God; by which they justify their veneration of images. The using a posture of adoration before the creature in an act of worship, Christ here interprets a worshipping the creature, if the creature either exacts it of us, or we purposely set it before us, or choose it as an object exciting or moving us to such an act of adoration, which the papists do. Not that all prostration before the creature is an act of Divine adoration; there is a civil as well as a Divine worship; and in Divine worship the position of the creature before us may be merely for convenience, or accidental. But all prostration in an act of Divine worship is a posture of adoration, and where a creature is chosen and set before us in that act or posture, to excite or move us, it partakes of the homage. There is some little difference between the words, Deu 6:13 Deu 10:20, and those of St. Matthew; but that is said to be written, which is written as to the substance and sense, though not in those terms. Moses saith, Thou shalt fear; as Matthew quotes it it is,

Thou shalt worship. The term fear applied unto God, signifieth any act of religion, whether external or internal, and though the last words in Deuteronomy, thou shalt swear by his name, be not mentioned in Matthew, yet enough are quoted for our Saviour’s purpose. Falling down and worshipping belongeth only to God, (saith our Saviour), not to thee; let me therefore hear of thee no more.

Then saith Jesus to him, get thee hence, Satan..... In Luke 4:8 it is "get thee behind me": and so some copies read here, and is expressive of indignation and abhorrence; see Matthew 16:23 rebuking his impudence, and detesting his impiety: he had borne his insults and temptations with great patience; he had answered him with mildness and gentleness; but now his behaviour to him was intolerable, which obliged him to show his resentment, exert his power and authority, and rid himself at once of so vile a creature; giving this reason for it;

for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. The place referred to is in Deuteronomy 6:13

thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him: to fear the Lord, and to worship him, is the same thing. Worship includes both an internal and external reverence of God: the word "only" is not in the original text, but is added by our Lord; and that very justly; partly to express the emphasis which is on the word "him"; and in perfect agreement with the context, which requires it; since it follows,

ye shall not go after other Gods. Moreover, not to take notice of the Septuagint version, in which the word "only" is also added, Josephus (q), the Jewish historian, referring to this law, says, because God is one, , "therefore he only is to be worshipped". And Aben Ezra (r), a Jewish writer, explaining the last clause in the verse,

and thou shalt swear by his name, uses the word "only"; and which indeed, of right, belongs to every clause in it. The meaning of our Lord in citing it is; that since the Lord God is the alone object of worship, it was horrid blasphemy in Satan to desire it might be given to him, and which could not be done without the greatest impiety.

(q) Antiq. Jud. l. 3. c. 5. sect. 5. (r) In Deut. vi. 13.

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Matthew 4:10. Ὕπαγε] The spurious words ὀπίσω μου would have to be explained: go behind me—that is, go back that I may see thee no longer! ἀφανίσθητι, Euth. Zigabenus. ὀπίσω with the genitive belongs to the LXX. and the Apocrypha, after the Hebrew, אַחֲרֵי פ׳; in this way the Greeks construe ὄπισθεν.

σατανᾶ] to infer from this that Jesus now for the first time (too late) recognises Satan (de Wette), is arbitrary, and opposed to the representation of the matter in Matthew 4:1, according to which Jesus cannot have been unaware of the intention of the Holy Spirit, who impelled Him to go into the wilderness. That He now calls Satan by name, is in keeping with the growing intensity of the emotion in general, as well as with the personal address of the tempter in Matthew 4:9. “Tentatorem, quuni is maxime favere videri vult, Satanam appellat,” Bengel.

κύριον, κ.τ.λ.] Jehovah alone shalt thou worship, do homage to Him only as thy master. Deuteronomy 6:13, according to the LXX., freely applied to the proposal of Satan.” According to this arrangement, it is by the way of obedience to God that Jesus is aware that He will attain to the government of the world. John 18:36; Php 2:6 ff.; Matthew 28:18; Acts 10:36 ff.

Matthew 4:10. ὕπαγε σατανᾶ. Jesus passionately repels the Satanic suggestion. The ὕπαγε σ. is true to His character. The suggestions of worldly wisdom always roused in Him passionate aversion. The ὀπίσω μου of some MSS. does not suit this place; it is imported from Matthew 16:23, where it does suit, the agent of Satan in a temptation of the same sort being a disciple. Christ’s final word to the tempter is an absolute, peremptory Begone. Yet He condescends to support His authoritative negative by a Scripture text, again from Deut. (Matthew 6:13), slightly adapted, προσκυνήσεις being substituted for φοβηθήσῃ (the μόνῳ in second clause is omitted in Swete’s Sept[15]). It takes the accusative here instead of dative, as in Matthew 4:9, because it denotes worship proper (Weiss-Meyer). The quotation states a principle in theory acknowledged by all, but how hard to work it out faithfully in life!

[15] Septuagint.

10. Get thee hence, Satan] It is instructive to find these words addressed to Peter (ch. Matthew 16:23) when he put himself as it were in the place of the tempter. See note ad loc.

him only shalt thou serve] Deuteronomy 6:10-13. Idolatry, multiplicity of aims, and forgetfulness of God are the dangers of prosperity and ambition. See context of passage in Deut.

Matthew 4:10. Ὕπαγε, depart) “Get thee behind Me, Satan” said the Lord to Peter, when he took Him and endeavoured to dissuade Him from undergoing His passion; thus commanding Peter to retire into the proper place of a disciple, i.e., behind Him. But to Satan He said, Depart, Satan: go, not behind Me, but plainly from Me.—Σατανᾶ, Satan) q.d. “Thou hast tried to discover who I am, and I tell thee who thou art.” He calls the tempter, when he wished to appear specially gracious to Him, Satan.[143]—Κύριονπροσκυνήσεις, κ.τ.λ., Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve) In Deuteronomy 6:13, the LXX. have Κύριονφοβηθήσῃ, κ.τ.λ., Thou shalt fear the Lord, etc. Jesus substitutes worship aptly for fear.—Cf. Matthew 4:9.—μόνῳ, only, alone) Thus the LXX. have it, who have inserted μόνος also in Genesis 3:11; Genesis 3:17, without doing violence to the meaning.

[143] For he had plainly showed, by his pride, that he was Satan.—Vers. Germ.

Verse 10. - Get thee hence, Satan. "Avaunt, Satan" (Rheims). Christ does not address him directly till this climax. The two previous temptations were, comparatively speaking, ordinary and limited. This temptation calls out a passionate utterance of a personality stirred, because touched, in its depths. Only once again do we find our Lord so moved, in Matthew 16:23 (the "Western" and "Syrian" addition here of ὀπίσω μου from that passage emphasizes the feeling common to the two cases), when a similar representation is made to him that he ought to escape the troubles which his Messianic position, in fact, brought upon him. For it is written (Deuteronomy 6:13); from the LXX., which differs from the Hebrew by

(1) translating תירא, "fear," by προσκυνήσεις (but B has φοβηθήσῃ); and

(2) the paraphrastic insertion of "only." Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Worship; προσκυνέω) , as in ver. 9. Serve; λατρεύω, "in perfect subjection to a sovereign power" (Bishop Westcott on Hebrews 8:2, Add. Note). Our Lord's reply cuts up the devil's solicitation by the root. "I do not enter," he means, "into the question of thy authority over these things, and of thy power concerning them. I acknowledge thee not. The command which I willingly obey excludes all homage and service to any other over-lord than God alone. I accept not thy orders and thy methods. I take my commands direct from God." Observe that our Lord does not say how he is to gain the kingdoms for his own; this would be the care of him whose command he follows. But before ascending, the Lord proclaimed (Matthew 28:18) that he had received (i.e. gained through suffering, Hebrews 2:10: Philippians 2:9) more than (note "in heaven") what the devil would have given him as a reward of obedience to false principles. Matthew 4:10
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