Jesus Mafa Temptation

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you”,
   and “On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’

Matthew 4:5-7

Τότε παραλαμβάνει αὐτὸν ὁ διάβολος εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν καὶ ἵστησιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ
καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ βάλε σεαυτὸν κάτω· γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ καὶ ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου
 ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς Πάλιν γέγραπται Οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου

Matthew calls it “the holy city”. Luke calls it “Jerusalem”. Luke puts this second temptation, third.

The “pinnacle of the temple” – πτερύγιον in the New Testament is only used here and in Luke’s version of this story. It is the diminutive of πτέρυξ – wing. So, it looks to mean a wing, a little wing, any pointed extremity. This may mean it is a prominent point of the Temple complex that juts out. It may connect with the Psalm being quoted, Psalm 91:4 has

he will cover you with his pinions,
   and under his WINGS (my emphasis) you will find refuge;
   his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
ἐν τοῗς μεταφρένοις αὐτοῦ ἐπισκιάσει σοι καὶ ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας (my emphasis) αὐτοῦ ἐλπιεῗς ὅπλῳ κυκλώσει σε ἡ ἀλήθεια αὐτοῦ
LXX (Septuagint – Greek version of the First Testament)

Many suggest πτερύγιον is probably the southeast corner of the temple – about 140m (450 feet) over the Kidron Valley.

The devil quotes Psalm 91:11-12

For he will command his angels concerning you
   to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
   so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.

The quoting conforms to the LXX (Septuagint – Greek version of the First Testament):

ὅτι τοῗς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῗται περὶ σοῦ τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε ἐν πάσαις ταῗς ὁδοῗς σου
ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου

The devil omits

to guard you in all your ways.
διαφυλάξαι σε ἐν πάσαις ταῗς ὁδοῗς σου

Jesus quotes from Deut 6:16 (Michael Wilkins Application Commentary gets the source wrong):

Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.

Again, this is quoted from the LXX:

οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου

The Deut 6:16 quote refers to the dissatisfaction with God’s provision and God’s way of doing things.

There is no mention of people watching this. If there are people watching, this would be a temptation to perform a demonstration of divine power which would remove freedom to freely choose to follow Jesus.

As this year the Sunday Gospel reading focus is on St Matthew’s Gospel, I thought I’d start some of my personal study and Lectio Divina with that Gospel. [NB. I am using ‘Matthew’ as a convenient term for the author of the first Gospel in the order of the Christian canon].

This is the twenty-eighth post in a series – you can begin here:
Matthew in Slow Motion 1
Matthew in Slow Motion 2
Matthew in Slow Motion 3
Matthew in Slow Motion 4
Matthew in Slow Motion 5
Matthew in Slow Motion 6
Matthew in Slow Motion 7
Matthew in Slow Motion 8
Matthew in Slow Motion 9
Matthew in Slow Motion 10
Matthew in Slow Motion 11
Matthew in Slow Motion 12
Matthew in Slow Motion 13
Matthew in Slow Motion 14
Matthew in Slow Motion 15
Matthew in Slow Motion 16
Matthew in Slow Motion 17
Matthew in Slow Motion 18
Matthew in Slow Motion 19
Matthew in Slow Motion 20
Matthew in Slow Motion 21
Matthew in Slow Motion 22
Matthew in Slow Motion 23
Matthew in Slow Motion 24
Matthew in Slow Motion 25
Matthew in Slow Motion 26
Matthew in Slow Motion 27

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