Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
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(13) Lead us not into temptation.—The Greek word includes the two thoughts which are represented in English by “trials,” i.e., sufferings which test or try, and “temptations,” allurements on the side of pleasure which tend to lead us into evil. Of these the former is the dominant meaning in the language of the New Testament, and is that of which we must think here. (Comp. Matthew 26:41.) We are taught not to think of the temptation in which lust meets opportunity as that into which God leads us (James 1:13-14); there is therefore something that shocks us in the thought of asking Him not to lead us into it. But trials of another kind, persecution, spiritual conflicts, agony of body or of spirit, these may come to us as a test or as a discipline. Should we shrink from these? An ideal stoicism, a perfected faith, would say, “No, let us accept them, and leave the issue in our Father’s hands.” But those who are conscious of their weakness cannot shake off the thought that they might fail in the conflict, and the cry of that conscious weakness is therefore, “Lead us not into such trials,” even as our Lord prayed, “If it be possible, let this cup pass away from me” (Matthew 26:39). And the answer to the prayer may come either directly in actual exemption from the trial, or in “the way to escape” (1Corinthians 10:13), or in strength to bear it. It is hardly possible to read the prayer without thinking of the recent experience of “temptation” through which our Lord had passed. The memory of that trial in all its terrible aspects was still present with Him, and in His tender love for His disciples He bade them pray that they might not be led into anything so awful.

Deliver us from evil.—The Greek may grammatically be either neuter or masculine, “evil” in the abstract, or the “evil one” as equivalent to the “devil.” The whole weight of the usage of New Testament language is in favour of the latter meaning. In our Lord’s own teaching we have the “evil one” in Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:38; John 17:15 (probably); in St. Paul’s (Ephesians 6:16; 2Thessalonians 3:3), in St. John’s (1John 2:13-14; 1John 3:12; 1John 5:18-19) this is obviously the only possible interpretation. Romans 12:9, and possibly John 17:15, are the only instances of the other. Added to this, there is the thought just adverted to, which leads us to connect our Lord’s words with His own experience. The prayer against temptation would not have been complete without reference to the Tempter whose presence was felt in it. We may lawfully pray to be spared the trial. If it comes, there is yet room for the prayer, “Deliver us from the power of him who is our enemy and Thine.”

For thine is the kingdom. . . .—The whole clause is wanting in the best MSS. and in the earlier versions, and is left unnoticed by the early Fathers, who comment on the rest of the Prayer. Most recent editors have accordingly omitted it, as probably an addition made at first (after the pattern of most Jewish prayers) for the liturgical use of the Prayer, and then interpolated by transcribers to make the text of the discourse harmonise with the liturgies.

Matthew 6:13. And lead us not into temptation — Or, into trial, as the word πειρασμος, here used, signifies: see note on Matthew 4:1 : that is, into such trial or temptation, as will be too hard for our weakness to endure. But deliver us from evil Απο του πονερου, from the evil one, viz., the devil; enabling us to resist and overcome him in all his assaults, of whatever kind they may be. Or, perhaps, the clause may be translated, Lead us not into temptation, but so as to deliver us from the evil, viz., either by removing the temptation, when it is too strong for us to withstand; or by mitigating its force, or by increasing our strength to resist it, as God shall see most for his glory. This correction of the translation, suggested by Macknight, is proposed on this ground; that to pray for an absolute freedom from temptation is to seek deliverance from the common lot of humanity, which is absurd; because temptations are wisely appointed by God for the exercise and improvement of piety and virtue in good men, and that others may be encouraged by the constancy and patience which they show in trials. Hence, instead of praying to be absolutely delivered from them, we are taught to rejoice when, by the divine appointment, we fall into them. See James 1:2-3. This petition teaches us to preserve a sense of our own inability to repel and overcome temptation, and of the necessity of assistance from above, to enable us to stand in the evil day. For thine is the kingdom, &c., for ever — The government of the universe is thine for ever, and thou alone possessest the power of creating and upholding all things; also the glory of infinite perfections remains eternally with thee, therefore all men ought to hallow thy name, submit themselves to thy government, and perform thy will; also, in an humble sense of their dependance, should seek from thee the supply of their wants, the pardon of their sins, and the kind protection of thy providence.

After the preceding exposition of the different clauses of this divine prayer, the reader will not be displeased to see a summary of the whole, in the following concise, clear, and instructive paraphrase, taken from the short notes of Mr. Wesley.

I. Our Father — Who art good and gracious to all, our Creator, our Preserver: the Father of our Lord, and of us in him, thy children by adoption and grace: not my Father only, who now cry unto thee, but the Father of the universe, of angels and men: who art in heaven — Beholding all things, both in heaven and earth; knowing every creature, and all the works of every creature, and every possible event from everlasting to everlasting: the Almighty Lord and Ruler of all, superintending and disposing all things: In heaven — Eminently there, but not there alone, seeing thou fillest heaven and earth.

II. 1st, Hallowed be thy name — Mayest thou, O Father, be truly known by all intelligent beings, and with affections suitable to that knowledge: mayest thou be duly honoured, loved, feared, by all in heaven and in earth, by all angels and all men. 2d, Thy kingdom come — May thy kingdom of grace come quickly, and swallow up all the kingdoms of the earth: may all mankind, receiving thee, O Christ, for their king, truly believing in thy name, be filled with righteousness, and peace, and joy; with holiness and happiness; till they are removed hence into thy kingdom of glory, to reign with thee for ever and ever. 3d, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven — May all the inhabitants of the earth do thy will as willingly as the holy angels: may these do it continually even as they, without any interruption of their willing service; yea, and perfectly as they; mayest thou, O Spirit of grace, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make them perfect in every good work to do thy will, and work in them all that is well pleasing in thy sight. 4th, Give us — O Father, (for we claim nothing of right, but only of thy free mercy,) this day — (for we take no thought for the morrow,) our daily bread — All things needful for our souls and bodies; not only the meat that perisheth, but the sacramental bread, and thy grace, the food which endureth to everlasting life. 5th, And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors — Give us, O Lord, redemption in thy blood, even the forgiveness of sins: as thou enablest us freely and fully to forgive every man, so do thou forgive all our trespasses. 6th, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil — Whenever we are tempted, O thou that helpest our infirmities, suffer us not to enter into temptation; to be overcome or suffer loss thereby; but make a way for us to escape, so that we may be more than conquerors through thy love, over sin and all the consequences of it. Now the principal desire of a Christian’s heart being the glory of God, (Matthew 6:9-10,) and all he wants for himself or his brethren, being the daily bread of soul and body, (or the support of life, animal and spiritual,) pardon of sin, and deliverance from the power of it and of the devil; (Matthew 6:11-13;) there is nothing besides that a Christian can wish for; therefore this prayer comprehends all his desires. Eternal life is the certain consequence, or rather completion, of holiness.

III. For thine is the kingdom — The sovereign right of all things that are or ever were created: the power — The executive power, whereby thou governest all things in thy everlasting kingdom: and the glory — The praise due from every creature for thy power, and all thy wondrous works, and the mightiness of thy kingdom, which endureth through all ages, even for ever and ever. It is observable, that, though the doxology, as well as the petitions of this prayer, is threefold, and is directed to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost distinctly, yet is the whole fully applicable both to every person, and to the ever-blessed and undivided Trinity.

6:9-15 Christ saw it needful to show his disciples what must commonly be the matter and method of their prayer. Not that we are tied up to the use of this only, or of this always; yet, without doubt, it is very good to use it. It has much in a little; and it is used acceptably no further than it is used with understanding, and without being needlessly repeated. The petitions are six; the first three relate more expressly to God and his honour, the last three to our own concerns, both temporal and spiritual. This prayer teaches us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and that all other things shall be added. After the things of God's glory, kingdom, and will, we pray for the needful supports and comforts of this present life. Every word here has a lesson in it. We ask for bread; that teaches us sobriety and temperance: and we ask only for bread; not for what we do not need. We ask for our bread; that teaches us honesty and industry: we do not ask for the bread of others, nor the bread of deceit, Pr 20:17; nor the bread of idleness, Pr 31:27, but the bread honestly gotten. We ask for our daily bread; which teaches us constantly to depend upon Divine Providence. We beg of God to give it us; not sell it us, nor lend it us, but give it. The greatest of men must be beholden to the mercy of God for their daily bread. We pray, Give it to us. This teaches us a compassion for the poor. Also that we ought to pray with our families. We pray that God would give it us this day; which teaches us to renew the desires of our souls toward God, as the wants of our bodies are renewed. As the day comes we must pray to our heavenly Father, and reckon we could as well go a day without food, as without prayer. We are taught to hate and dread sin while we hope for mercy, to distrust ourselves, to rely on the providence and grace of God to keep us from it, to be prepared to resist the tempter, and not to become tempters of others. Here is a promise, If you forgive, your heavenly Father will also forgive. We must forgive, as we hope to be forgiven. Those who desire to find mercy with God, must show mercy to their brethren. Christ came into the world as the great Peace-maker, not only to reconcile us to God, but one to another.And lead us not into temptation - A petition similar to this is offered by David, Psalm 141:4; "Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with the workers of iniquity." God tempts no man. See James 1:13. This phrase, then, must be used in the sense of "permitting." Do not "suffer" us, or "permit" us, to be tempted to sin. In this it is implied that God has such control over the tempter as to save us from his power if we call upon him. The word "temptation," however (see the note at Matthew 4:1), means sometimes "trial, affliction," anything that "tests" our virtue. If this be the meaning here, as it may be, then the import of the prayer is, "Do not afflict or try us." It is not wrong to pray that we may be saved from suffering if it be the will of God. See Luke 22:42.

Deliver us from evil - The original in this place has the article - deliver us from the evil - that is, as has been supposed, the Evil One, or Satan. He is elsewhere called, by way of eminence, the "Evil One," Matthew 13:19; 1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 3:12. The meaning here is, "deliver us from his power, his snares, his arts, his temptations." He is supposed to be the great parent of evil, and to be delivered from him is to be safe. Or it may mean, "deliver us from the various evils and trials which beset us, the heavy and oppressive calamities into which we are continually liable to fall."

Thine is the kingdom - That is, thine is the reign or dominion. Thou hast control over all these things, and canst so order them as to answer these petitions.

Thine is the power - Thou hast power to accomplish what we ask. We are weak, and cannot do it; but thou art Almighty, and all things are possible with thee.

Thine is the glory - That is, thine is the honor or praise. Not for "our honor," but that thy glory, thy goodness, may be displayed in providing for our wants; thy power exerted in defending us; thy praise be celebrated by causing thy kingdom to spread through the earth.

This "doxology," or ascription of praise, is connected with the prayer by the word "for," to signify that all these things - the reign, power, and glory of God - will be manifested by granting these petitions. It is not because we are to be benefited, but that God's name and perfections may be manifested. His glory is, then, the first and principal thing which we are to seek when we approach him. We are to suffer our concerns to be lost sight of in the superior glory and honor of his name and dominion. We are to seek temporal and eternal life chiefly because the honor of our Maker will be promoted, and his name be more illustriously displayed to his creatures. He is to be "first, last, supremest, best," in our view; and all selfish and worldly views are to be absorbed in that one great desire of the soul that God may be "all in all." Approaching him with these feelings, our prayers will be answered; our devotions will ascend like incense, and the lifting up our hands will be like the evening sacrifice.

Amen - This is a word of Hebrew origin, from a verb signifying "to be firm, secure, to be true and faithful." It is a word expressing consent or strong approbation; a word of strong asseveration. It means "verily, certainly, so be it." It is probable that this word was used by the people in the synagogue to signify their assent to the prayer that was uttered by the minister, and, to some extent, it was probably so used in the Christian Church. See 1 Corinthians 14:16.

It may be proper to remark that this doxology, "for thine is the kingdom," etc., is missing in many manuscripts, and that its authenticity is doubtful.

13. And lead us not into temptation—He who honestly seeks and has the assurance of, forgiveness for past sin, will strive to avoid committing it for the future. But conscious that "when we would do good evil is present with us," we are taught to offer this sixth petition, which comes naturally close upon the preceding, and flows, indeed, instinctively from it in the hearts of all earnest Christians. There is some difficulty in the form of the petition, as it is certain that God does bring His people—as He did Abraham, and Christ Himself—into circumstances both fitted and designed to try them, or test the strength of their faith. Some meet this by regarding the petition as simply an humble expression of self-distrust and instinctive shrinking from danger; but this seems too weak. Others take it as a prayer against yielding to temptation, and so equivalent to a prayer for support and deliverance when we are tempted; but this seems to go beyond the precise thing intended. We incline to take it as a prayer against being drawn or sucked, of our own will, into temptation, to which the word here used seems to lend some countenance—"Introduce us not." This view, while it does not put into our mouths a prayer against being tempted—which is more than the divine procedure would seem to warrant—does not, on the other hand, change the sense of the petition into one for support under temptation, which the words will hardly bear; but it gives us a subject for prayer, in regard to temptation, most definite, and of all others most needful. It was precisely this which Peter needed to ask, but did not ask, when—of his own accord, and in spite of difficulties—he pressed for entrance into the palace hall of the high priest, and where, once sucked into the scene and atmosphere of temptation, he fell so foully. And if so, does it not seem pretty clear that this was exactly what our Lord meant His disciples to pray against when He said in the garden—"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation"? (Mt 26:41).

Seventh Petition:

But deliver us from evil—We can see no good reason for regarding this as but the second half of the sixth petition. With far better ground might the second and third petitions be regarded as one. The "but" connecting the two petitions is an insufficient reason for regarding them as one, though enough to show that the one thought naturally follows close upon the other. As the expression "from evil" may be equally well rendered "from the evil one," a number or superior critics think the devil is intended, especially from its following close upon the subject of "temptation." But the comprehensive character of these brief petitions, and the place which this one occupies, as that on which all our desires die away, seems to us against so contracted a view of it. Nor can there be a reasonable doubt that the apostle, in some of the last sentences which he penned before he was brought forth to suffer for his Lord, alludes to this very petition in the language of calm assurance—"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work (compare the Greek of the two passages), and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom" (2Ti 4:18). The final petition, then, is only rightly grasped when regarded as a prayer for deliverance from all evil of whatever kind—not only from sin, but from all its consequences—fully and finally. Fitly, then, are our prayers ended with this. For what can we desire which this does not carry with it?

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen—If any reliance is to be placed on external evidence, this doxology, we think, can hardly be considered part of the original text. It is wanting in all the most ancient manuscripts; it is wanting in the Old Latin version and in the Vulgate: the former mounting up to about the middle of the second century, and the latter being a revision of it in the fourth century by Jerome, a most reverential and conservative as well as able and impartial critic. As might be expected from this, it is passed by in silence by the earliest Latin fathers; but even the Greek commentators, when expounding this prayer, pass by the doxology. On the other hand, it is found in a majority of manuscripts, though not the oldest; it is found in all the Syriac versions, even the Peschito—dating probably as early as the second century—although this version lacks the "Amen," which the doxology, if genuine, could hardly have wanted; it is found in the Sahidic or Thebaic version made for the Christians of Upper Egypt, possibly as early as the Old Latin; and it is found in perhaps most of the later versions. On a review of the evidence, the strong probability, we think, is that it was no part of the original text.

The term temptation in the general signifieth a trial, and is sometimes used to express God’s trials of his people’s faith and obedience, but most ordinarily to express Satan’s trials of us, by motions to sin; which may be from our own lusts, Jam 1:13,14; or from the devil, who is therefore called the tempter; or from the world. These are the temptations which we are commanded to pray against: not that God leads any persons into such temptations, unless by the permission of his providence.

But deliver us from evil; from the evil one, as some read it, because of the article prefixed; but others think it not material whether we understand the devil, who is the evil one, or the evil of temptations, which harm us not if we be not overcome by them.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. These words are omitted by Luke, Luke 11:4; but many think that Luke speaks of another time, when he dictated this prayer. The words both show us that the honour and glory of God ought to be the end and scope of all our prayers, and that we can expect no audience but upon the account of God’s grace and mercy; and they likewise confirm our faith, that God is able to grant what we ask of him.

Amen: this in the close of a sentence is a particle of wishing, and signifieth our desire to be heard; and as it is a term that signifies truth and certainty, it likewise signifieth our faith in God that we shall be heard.

And lead us not into temptation,.... Such a petition as this is often to be observed in the prayers of the Jews (a),

, "do not lead me" neither into sin, nor into transgression and iniquity, , "nor into temptation", or "into the hands of temptation";''

that is, into the power of it, so as to be overcome by it, and sink under it; in which sense the phrase is to be understood here. We are not here taught to pray against temptations at all, or in any sense, for they are sometimes needful and useful; but that they may not have the power over us, and destroy us. There are various sorts of temptations. There are the temptations of God; who may be said to tempt, not by infusing anything that is sinful, or by soliciting to it; but by enjoining things hard and disagreeable to nature, as in the case of Abraham; by afflicting, either in body or estate, of which Job is an instance; by permitting and letting loose the reins to Satan, and a man's own corruptions; by withdrawing his presence, and withholding the communications of his grace; and sometimes by suffering false prophets to arise among his people: his ends in them are on his own account, the display of his power; grace, wisdom, and faithfulness; on account of his Son, that his saints might be like him, and he might have an opportunity of exercising his power and pity: and on his people's account, that they might be humbled; their faith and patience tried; might see their weakness, and need of Christ, and be excited to prayer and watchfulness. There are also the temptations of Satan; which lie in soliciting to evil, suggesting hard and blasphemous thoughts of God, and filling with doubts and fears; which are cunningly formed by him, and are very afflictive. There are moreover the temptations of the world, which arise from poverty and riches, from the men of the world, the lusts of it, and from both its frowns and flatteries: add to all this, that there are temptations arising from a man's own heart. Now, in this petition, the children of God pray, that they may be kept from every occasion and object of sinning; from those sins they are most inclined to; that God would not leave them to Satan, and their own corrupt hearts; nor suffer them to sink under the weight of temptations of any sort; but that, in the issue, they might have a way to escape, and be victorious over all.

But deliver us from evil. This petition, with the Jews, is in this (b) form:

"er egpm ynlyutw, "but deliver me from an evil accident", and diseases; and do not trouble me with evil dreams, and evil imaginations.''

R. Juda, after his prayer, or at the close of it, as is this petition, used (c) to say;

"let it be thy good pleasure, 0 Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, "that thou wouldst deliver us" from impudent men, and impudence; from an "evil" man, and from an "evil" accident; from the "evil" imagination, i.e. the corruption of nature; from an "evil" companion; from an "evil" neighbour; and from Satan the destroyer; and from hard judgment; and from an hard adversary, whether he is the son of the covenant, or is not the son of the covenant.''

And most, if not all of these things, may be very well thought to be comprised in the word "evil" here: particularly Satan may be meant, by "evil", or "the evil one", as the word may be rendered; who is eminently, originally, and immutably evil; his whole work and employment is nothing else but evil: and to be delivered from him, is to be rescued out of his hands, preserved from his snares, and delivered from his temptations. Evil men may also be intended: all men are naturally evil, and unalterably so, without the grace of God; and some are notoriously wicked; from whose company, sinful lusts, and pleasures, to which they are addicted, as well as from their rage and persecution, good men cannot but desire deliverance; as also from the evil of afflictions, and especially from the evil of sin; as that they may be kept from the commission of it; have the guilt of it removed; be preserved from its power and dominion; and, at last, be freed from the very being of it.

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen. This conclusion is left out in the Arabic and Vulgate Latin versions, as it is in Luke 11:4. It stands thus in the Jewish prayers (d),

, "for the kingdom is thine", and thou shalt reign in glory for ever and ever.''

The usual response at the close of prayers, and reading the Shema, instead of "Amen", was (e) this:

"Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom, for ever and ever.''

Which bears some resemblance to this concluding expression, which ascribes everlasting kingdom, power, and glory, to God: which may be considered either as a doxology, or an ascription of glory to God, which is his due; and ought be given him in all our prayers to him; or as so many reasons strengthening our faith in prayer; or as many arguments with God, with respect to the petitions made; since the kingdom of nature, providence, grace, and glory, is his: he is omnipotent, he has power to give us our daily bread; to forgive our sins; to preserve from, support under, and deliver out of temptation; to keep from all evil, and preserve from a total and final falling away: whose glory is concerned in all, to whom the glory of all is, and to whom it must, and shall be given; and all this for ever: and the whole is concluded with the word "Amen"; which is a note of asseveration, of the truth herein contained; is added by way of assent to every petition made; is expressive of an hearty wish, and desire to have all fulfilled; and also of faith and confidence, that they will be answered. And this word being retained, and kept the same in all languages, signifies the unity of the spirit, and faith in prayer, in all the saints, in all ages. I leave this prayer with one observation, and that is, whereas it has been so long, and so often said, that this is the Lord's prayer, it can never be proved that he ever made use of it; and it is certain that he did not make it, as appears from what has been cited out of the Jewish records: the several petitions in it were in being and use before he directed to them; and not only the petitions, but even the very preface and conclusion, are manifestly of Jewish original: what our Lord did was, he took the most proper and pertinent petitions, that had been used by good men among that people; which, with some alterations much for the better, he put together in this order, and gave his approbation of; and that with this view, to point out to his disciples some of the best and most suitable petitions to be made; and to give them a pattern of brevity and conciseness in prayer; and teach them to pray after such a manner, or in some such like words and expressions. This I observe, not to lessen the usefulness of this excellent pattern of sound words; the whole, and every part of it, being exceedingly instructive, and worthy of imitation; but to rectify a vulgar mistake, and to abate the formal and superstitious observance of it.

(a) Seder Tephillot, fol. 3. 1. Ed. Basil. fol. 4. 2. Ed. Amstelod. Shaare Zion, fol. 73. 1. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 2.((b) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 2.((c) Ib. fol. 16. 2.((d) Seder Tephillot, fol. 280. 1. Ed. Basil. (e) Misn. Yoma, c. 4. sect. 1. & 6. 2. T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 56. 1. & Taanith, fol. 16. 2. Seder Tephillot, fol. 70. 2. Ed. Basil.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from {e} evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(e) From the devil, or from all adversity.

Matthew 6:13. After the petition for forgiveness of sin, comes now the request to be preserved from new sin, negatively and positively, so that both elements constitute but one petition. Luke makes no mention whatever of the ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι, etc.

μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς, κ.τ.λ.] Neither the idea of mere permission (μὴ παραχωρήσῃς εἰσενεχθῆναι, Euth. Zigabenus, Tertullian, Melanchthon), nor the emphatic meanings which have been given, first to the εἰσενέγκῃς (μὴ καταποθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ πειρασμοῦ, Theophylact), then to the πειρασμός (Jerome, in Ezekiel 48 : “in tentationem, quam ferre non possumus”), and lastly, to the εἰς (Grotius: “penitus introducere, ut ei succumbas”), are in keeping with the simple terms employed; such interpretations are rationalistic in their character, as is also, once more, the case with Kamphausen’s limitation to temptations with an evil result. God leads into temptation in so far as, in the course of His administration, He brings about a state of things that may lead to temptation, i.e. the situations and circumstances that furnish an occasion for sinning; and therefore, if a man happens to encounter such dangers to his soul, it is caused by God—it is He who does it (1 Corinthians 10:13). In this way is solved, at the same time, the apparent contradiction with Jam 1:13, where it is a question of subjective inward temptation, the active principle of which is, not God, but the man’s own lusts.[424] In these latter are also to be found, in the case of the believer, and that in consequence of his σάρξ (Matthew 26:41; Galatians 5:17), the great moral danger which renders this prayer a matter of necessity.

ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ] Romans 15:31; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Thessalonians 3:2; 2 Timothy 4:18. But ΤΟῦ ΠΟΝΗΡΟῦ may be neuter (Augustine, Luther,—see, however, Catech. maj. p. 532 f.,

Tholuck, Ewald, Lange, Bleek, Kamphausen) as well as masculine (Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, Beza, Maldonatus, Kuinoel, Fritzsche, Olshausen, Ebrard, Keim, Hilgenfeld, Hanne). In the former case, it would not mean “evil” in general (“omne id, quod felicitati nostrae adversum est,” Olearius), but, according to the New Testament use of πονηρός, as well as the context, moral wickedness, Romans 12:9. However, it is more in keeping with the concrete graphic manner of view of the New Testament (Matthew 5:37, Matthew 13:19; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 3:8; 1 John 3:12; Romans 16:20; Ephesians 6:16; 2 Thessalonians 3:3), to prefer the masculine as meaning the devil (κατʼ ἐξοχὴν δὲ οὕτως ἐκεῖνος καλεῖται, Chrysostom), whose seductive influence, even over believers, is presupposed in the seventh petition, which also supplicates divine deliverance from this danger, by which they know themselves to be threatened (ἀπό: away, from; not ἐκ, as in Romans 7:24; 2 Corinthians 1:10; Colossians 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 4:17; 2 Peter 2:9). Hofmann, Schriftbeweis, I. p. 447; Krummacher in the Stud. u. Krit. 1860, p. 122 ff. For an opposite view of a by no means convincing kind, see Kamphausen, p. 136 ff.

[424] Comp. Köster, bibl. Lehre v. d. Versuch, p. 19 f.


The Lord’s Prayer, as it stands in Matthew, is an example of a prayer rich and true in respect of its contents, and expressed in language at once brief and comprehensive; see on Matthew 6:9. It is only in an indirect way that it presents itself in the light of a summary of the principal matters for which one is to pray (Nösselt, Exercitatt. sacr. p. 2 ff., Kuinoel, de Wette), inasmuch as Jesus, as matter of course, selected and connected with each other such leading requests as were appropriate to the solemn period when the establishment of His kingdom was at hand, that, by setting before us a prayer of so comprehensive a character, He might render the model thus supplied all the more instructive. Tertullian, indeed, correctly describes the contents of it as breviarium totius evangelii. According to Möller (neue Ansichten, p. 34 ff.) and Augusti (Denkwürdigk. IV. p. 132), the prayer before us is made up merely of the opening words of well-known Jewish prayers, which Jesus is supposed to have selected from the mass of Jewish forms of devotion as being eminently adapted for the use of His disciples. Wetstein already was of opinion that it was “ex formulis Hebraeorum concinnata.” But between the whole of the parallels (Light-foot, Schoettgen, Wetstein), not even excepting those taken from the synagogal prayer Kaddisch, there is only a partial correspondence, especially in the case of the first and second petitions; but lively echoes of familiar prayers would so naturally suggest themselves to our Lord, and any reason for rejecting them was so entirely wanting, that the absence of such popularly consecrated echoes, extending to the very words, would even have been matter for surprise.

Augustine divides the contents into seven petitions; and in this he is followed by the Lutheran practice, as also by Tholuck, Bleek, Hilgenfeld. On the other hand, Origen and Chrysostom correctly make six, in which they are followed by the practice of the Reformed church in the catechisms of Geneva and of the Palatinate, as also by Calvin, Keim. As to the division of the prayer in respect of form, it is sufficient to observe, with Bengel: “Petita sunt septem, quae universa dividuntur in duas partes. Prior continet tria priora, Patrem spectantia: tuum, tuum, tua; posterior quatuor reliqua, nos spectantia”. According to Calvin, the fourth petition is the beginning of “quasi secunda tabula” of the prayer. In regard to the matter, the twofold division into coelestia and terrena, which has been in vogue since Tertullian’s time, is substantially correct; and in the more detailed representation of which there follows—after the upward flight towards what is of highest and holiest interest for believers, and the specific nature of which, with the aim for which it longs, and its moral condition, floats before the praying spirit—a humble frame of spirit, produced by the consciousness of man’s need of God’s favour, first in the temporal and then in the moral sphere, in which the realization of that with which the prayer begins can be brought about only through forgiveness, divine guidance, and deliverance from the power of the devil. The division into vows and petitions (Hanne) is inaccurate; see on Matthew 6:9.

Matthew 6:13. Sixth petition: consists of two members, one qualifying or limiting the other.—μὴπειρασμόν, expose us not to moral trial. All trial is of doubtful issue, and may therefore naturally and innocently be shrunk from, even by those who know that the result may be good, confirmation in faith and virtue. The prayer is certainly in a different key from the Beatitude in Matthew 5:10. There Jesus sets before the disciple a heroic temper as the ideal. But here He does not assume the disciple to have attained. The Lord’s Prayer is not merely for heroes, but for the timid, the inexperienced. The teacher is considerate, and allows time for reaching the heights of heroism on which St. James stood when he wrote (Matthew 1:2) πᾶσαν χαρὰν ἡγήσασθε, ἀδελφοί μου, ὅταν πειρασμοῖς περιπέσητε ποικίλοις.—ἀλλὰ, not purely adversative, cancelling previous clause, but confirming it and going further (Schanz, in accordance with original meaning of ἀλλὰ, derived from ἄλλο or ἄλλα, and signifying that what is going to be said is another thing, aliud, in relation to what has been said, Klotz, Devar. ii., p. 2) = Lead us not into temptation, or so lead us that we may be safe from evil: may the issue ever be beneficent.—ῥῦσαι ἀπὸ, not ἐκ; the latter would imply actual implication in, the former implies danger merely. Both occur in N. T. (on the difference cf. Kamphausen, Das G. des H.).—τοῦ πονηροῦ, either masculine or neuter, which? Here again there is an elaborate debate on a comparatively unimportant question. The probability is in favour of the masculine, the evil one. The Eastern naturally thought of evil in the concrete. But we as naturally think of it in the abstract; therefore the change from A. V[39] in R. V[40] is unfortunate. It mars the reality of the Lord’s Prayer on Western lips to say, deliver us from the evil one. Observe it is moral evil, not physical, that is deprecated.—ὅτι σοῦ ἐστινΑμήν: a liturgical ending, no part of the original prayer, and tending to turn a religious reality into 2 devotional form.

[39] Authorised Version.

[40] Revised Version.

On Matthew 6:14-15 vide under Matthew 6:12.

13. lead us not into temptation] The statement of James, James 1:2, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations,” is not really contradictory. The Christian character is strengthened and purified by temptation, but no one can think of temptation without dread.

deliver] Lit. draw to thyself, “rescue,” as from an enemy. Cp. 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.”

from evil] Or, from the Evil One, Satan. The Greek bears either rendering, but the neuter is preferable and gives a deeper sense. We pray to be delivered not only from external evil, but from the evil within us.

For thine is the kingdom, &c.] This doxology is not supported by high MS. authority, it was doubtless an insertion from the liturgy. The Roman use omits the doxology. In the retention of it the English Church follows the Greek and Gallican uses.

Matthew 6:13. Μὴ εἰσενέγκης ἡμᾶς, Lead us not into) Temptation is always in the way: wherefore we pray, not that it may not exist, but that it may not touch or overpower us.—See ch. Matthew 26:41; 1 Corinthians 10:13.—ἀλλὰ, but) The sixth and seventh petitions are so closely connected that they are considered by many as forming only one.—ρῦσαι, deliver) See 2 Timothy 4:18.—ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ, from the evil one) i.e., from Satan.—See ch. Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:38.

Ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καί ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας· Ἀμήν, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen) This is the scope of the Lord’s Prayer, that we may be taught to pray in few words (Matthew 6:8), for the things which we require; and the prayer itself, even without the doxology, involves the praise of God in all its fulness (summam laudis Divinae imbibit). For our Heavenly Father is sanctified and glorified by us, when He is invoked as our Heavenly Father, when things of such magnitude are asked of Him alone, when to Him alone all things are referred. We celebrate Him, however, in such a manner as should content those who are fighting the fight of their salvation in a foreign land. When the whole number of the sons of God shall have reached their goal, a simple (mera) doxology will arise in Heaven, Hallowed be the name of our God. His kingdom has come: His will has been done. He has forgiven us our sins: He has brought temptation to an end: He has delivered us from the evil one. His is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. A prayer was more suitable than a hymn, especially at the time in which our Lord prescribed this form to His disciples. Jesus was not yet glorified: the disciples as yet scarcely comprehended the full extent of these petitions, much less the amount of thanksgiving corresponding thereto. In fine, no one denies that the spirit of the whole clause is pious and holy, and conformable to the doxologies which frequently occur in Scripture: but the question is whether the Lord prescribed it in this place in these words. Faithful criticism regards little, in doubtful passages, what may happen to be the reading of the majority of Greek MSS. now extant, which are more modern and less numerous than is generally supposed: the question under consideration is rather, what was the reading of the Greek MSS. of the first ages, and therefore of the spring itself, i.e. the first hand.[264] The Latin Vulgate, which is certainly without this clause, stands, and will continue to stand, nearest in antiquity to the spring: but the force of its testimony is not appreciated till after long experience. In this passage, however, Greek witnesses, few indeed, but those of high authority, support the reading of the Vulgate. I wish what I have said on this subject in my Apparatus[265] to be carefully considered.[266] Nothing has occurred since I published that work to weaken the arguments which I there brought together on this point, whereas something has occurred to confirm them very greatly: I allude to a passage in Enthymius, who flourished at the beginning of the twelfth century. For when inveighing the against the Bogomili[267] for not using this clause, he does so only on the ground that it was an addition of the Fathers, calling it τὸ παρὰ τῶν θείων φωστήρων καὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας καθηγητῶν προστεθὲν ἀκροτελεύτιον ἐπιφώνημα, The choral conclusion added by those who were the divine illuminators and guides of the Church. La Croze,[268] relying on this testimony, clearly prefers in this passage the Latin to the Syriac version; see his Histoire du Christianisme des Indes, p. 313. One thing ought to be considered again and again: the more that any one diminishes the authority of the Vulgate on this passage, so much the more does he injure his own cause if he maintains the genuineness of that most important passage in 1 John 5:7 : for it at present rests solely on the single testimony of the Latin Interpreter, and rests upon it firmly.

[264] BDZabc Vulg. Memph. Omen, Cypr. (who adds “Amen”) omit the doxology. Orig. Nyssen, Cyril, Maximus all omit it in giving expressly an explanation of the prayer. So all the Latin Fathers. It rather too widely separates Matthew 6:12; Matthew 6:14, which are connected together. Moreover Jesus was not yet glorified when He gave the prayer: it therefore was hardly then appropriate. It was probably added after the kingdom had been founded by the Holy Ghost on Pentecost. Ambrose de Sacram. Matthew 6:5 implies that the doxology was recited by the priest alone, as a response (ἐπιφώνημα) after the people had repeated the Lord’s prayer. Alford, from 2 Timothy 4:18 where similarly ῥύσεται ἀπὸ πονηροῦ is followed by the doxology, argues that some such way of ending the prayer existed at that time.—ED.

[265] He has devoted more than eight pages to the subject: See App. Crit. pp. 101–109.—(I. B.)

[266] E. B. and those who have adopted his text, add here “especially § x. on this passage.” It runs thus:—

[267] The BOGOMILES were a sect of heretics which arose about the year 1079. Their founder was Basilius, a monk, who was burnt at Constantinople in the reign of Alexius Conmenus. He maintained that the world and all animal bodies were formed, not by the Deity, but by an evil demon who had been cast down from heaven by the Supreme Being. Hence that the body was only the prison of the soul, and was to be enervated by fasting, contemplation, etc., that the soul might be gradually restored to its primitive liberty. Marriage therefore was to be avoided. Basilius also denied the reality of Christ’s body, which he considered to be only a phantom, rejected the law of Moses, and maintained that the body on its separation by death returned to the malignant mass of matter, without possibility of a future resurrection to life and felicity.—See Mosheim.—(I. B.)

[268] MATHURIN VEYSSIERE DE LA CROZE, a distinguished Oriental scholar, born at Nantes in 1661. In the course of his life he abjured Romanism, and died at Berlin in 1739.—(I. B.)

De tota re, lector judicet.

Prætermisit clausulam Lutherus, in Agendis Baptismi, eisque renovatis; in Tract. de Decalogo, symbolo Apost. et oratione Dominica; in Catechismo utroque, et Hymno: ubi etiam Amen cum Hieronymo ad rogationes refert non ad clausulam, quanquam in Homil. ad. capp. v. vi. vii. Matth. eam tractat. Appendicem eam esse persuadent nobis rationes § ix. collectae; quanquam margo noster in suspenso rem reliquit, dum rationes fuissent expositæ: et plane pro appendice babet Brentius; Hunnius vel pro appendice vel pro epilogo, cujus moderationem recte sequentur, qui nil certi secum hic possunt constituere. Liberum saltem est privatim vel Matthæi receptam, vel Lucæ lectionem in orando sequi: quin etiam publice, in choro cænobiorum Wirtembergieorum, et alibi hodienum prætermitti solita est clausula. Cavendum vero, ne idiotæ intempestivis de hâc clausulâ sermonibus perturbentur. Hâc quoque in re et veritati et paci inserviendum est. “Sincera crisis,” etc., as in the Gnomon Ed. MDCCLIX, which is followed in this translation.—(I. B.)

Verse 13. - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Luke omits the second half. And lead us not (καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς); and bring us not (Revised Version), for εἰσφέρω thinks rather of the issue (cf. Luke 5:18, 19: 12:11) than of the personal guidance. This first clause is a prayer against being brought into the fulness and awfulness of temptation (cf. Matthew 26:41; parallel passage's: Mark 14:38; Luke 22:46). As such it cannot, indeed, always be granted, since in exceptional cases this may be part of the permission given to the prince of this world. So it was in our Lord's case (cf. Matthew 26:41, and context). The words are a cry issuing from a deep sense of our personal weakness against the powers of evil. Into temptation; i.e. spiritual. External trials, e.g. persecution, may be included, but only in so far as they are the occasion of real temptation to the soul. But. Do not bring us into the full force of temptation, but, instead, rescue us now and at any other time from the attack of the evil one (vide infra). Thus this clause is more than a merely positive form of the preceding. It is a prayer against even the slightest attacks of the enemy when they are made. Deliver us (ῤῦσαι ἡμὰς). The thought is not merely preserve (σώζειν τηρεῖν) or even guard (φρουρεῖν, φυλάσσειν) from possible or impending danger, but "rescue" from it when it confronts us. From. If we may press the contrast to Colossians 1:13 (ἐρύσατο... ἐκ), ἀπὸ suggests that the child of God is no longer actually in the power (1 John 5:19) of the evil one. but has been already delivered thence. The peril is, as it were, something outside him (compare, however, Chase, loc. cit.). Evil. So also the Revised Version margin; but the evil one (Revised Version). In itself τοῦ πονηροῦ might, of course, be either neuter or masculine, but in view of

(a) Matthew 13:19,

(b) the many passages in the New Testament where the expression is either certainly or probably masculine; e.g. 1 John 2:13, 14; 1 John 5:18, 19; John 17:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:3;

(c) the many allusions to the masculine reference of this petition shown by Bishop Lightfoot ('Revision,' etc., edit. 1891) and Mr. Chase (lot. cit.) to exist in early Christian literature - there seems little doubt that the Revised Version is right. Chase (loc. cit.) shows that the primary notion of both πονηρός, and its Hebrew equivalent רע, is not malignity (Trench), but worthless ness, essential badness. For thine is the kingdom, etc. Omitted in the Revised Ver sion on overwhelming authority (e.g. א, B, D, Z, Old Latin, Memphitic, "all Greek commentators on the Lord's Prayer except Chrysostom and his followers," Westcott and Hort, 'App., q.v.). In the 'Didache,' §§ 8, 9, 10, however, we find our doxology with very little other variation than the omission of "the kingdom," this itself being explained in the two latter sections by the immediately preceding mention of the kingdom. Similar omissions of one or more of the three terms, "kingdom, power, glory," are found in the Old Syriac, an "African" text of the Old Latin, and the Thebaic. "It was probably derived ultimately from 1 Chronicles 29:11 (Hebrews), but, it may be, through the medium of some contemporary Jewish usage: the people's response to prayers in the temple is said to have been 'Blessed be the name of the glory of his kingdom for ever and ever'" (Westcott and Hort, loc. cit.). Indeed, it was so usual for doxologies of one kind or another to be added by the Jews to prayers, that, though we cannot for one moment accept the words here as genuine, we must consider it very doubtful in the Lord's Prayer was ever used in Jewish circles without a doxology, or that our Lord, as Man, ever intended it to be so used (cf. further, Taylor, 'Lectures,' p. 64). At all events, the feeling of the Christian Church in using the doxology is fully justified by its contents; for it places us more emphatically than ever in a right relation to God. By our praise to him it induces in us the remembrance that it is to God's kingdom that we belong, having him for King and Source of law; that it is by God's power that we live on earth and stand freed from Satan's grasp; that it is for the furtherance of God's glory that all has been done for us, all wrought in us, all these petitions are now made and all our hopes and aims are directed. Hereafter, as Bengel says. the whole prayer will be doxology: "Hallowed be the Name of our God. His kingdom has come; his will is done. He has forgiven us our sins. He has brought our temptation to an end; He has delivered us from the evil one. His is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen." Matthew 6:13Temptation (πειρασμόν)

It is a mistake to define this word as only solicitation to evil. It means trial of any kind, without reference to its moral quality. Thus, Genesis 22:1 (Sept.), "God did tempt Abraham;" "This he said to prove him" (John 6:6); Paul and Timothy assayed to go to Bithynia (Acts 16:7); "Examine yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5). Here, generally of all situations and circumstances which furnish an occasion for sin. We cannot pray God not to tempt us to sin, "for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man" (James 1:13).

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