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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 4

 

 

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Verse 1

Then. Immediately after His anointing as Messiah, "the second man" (1 Corinthians 15:47), "the last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45), must be tried like "the first man Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45, 1 Corinthians 15:47), and in the same three ways (1 John 2:16. Compare with Genesis 3:6).

Jesus. See App-98.

of = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

the Spirit. App-101.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

wilderness. The first man was in the garden; Messiah"s trial was in the wilderness, and His agony in a garden. Contrast Israel: fed with manna and disobedient, Christ hungered and obedient.

tempted = tried, or put to the test. Greek. peirazo; from peiro, to pierce through, so as to test.


Verse 2

forty. The number of probation (App-10).

nights. Joined thus with "days", are complete periods of twenty-four hours. See App-144.


Verse 3

when. . . came, &c.= having approached Him and said.

the tempter= he who was tempting Him. See App-116.

came to Him : as to our first parents, Adam and Eve, App-119.

he said. See App-116 for the two sets of three temptations, under different circumstances, with different words and expressions; and, in a different order in Matthew 4 from that in Luke 4. It is nowhere said that there were "three" or only three; as it is nowhere said that there were "three" wise men in Matthew 2.

If. Greek ei, with the indicative mood, assuming and taking it for granted as an actual fact.

" If Thou art ? " App-118. Same as in Matthew 4:6, but not the same as in Matthew 4:9.

the Son of God. Compare this with Matthew 3:17, on which the question is based. See App-98.

command that = speak, in order that.

these stones: in this the fourth temptation; but in the first temptation = "this stone" (Luke 4:3).

be made = become.

bread = loaves.


Verse 4

It is written = It standeth written. This is the Lord"s first ministerial utterance; three times. Compare the last three (John 17:8, John 17:14, John 17:17). The appeal is not to the spoken voice (Matthew 3:17) but to the written Word. Quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3. See App-107 and App-117.

Man. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

by = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

alone = only.

word = utterance. out of = by means of, or through. Greek. dia. App-104. Matthew 4:1. Note the connection of the "hunger" and the "forty" days here, and the same in Deuteronomy 8:3.

God. See App-98.


Verse 5

Then. The fifth temptation. See App-116.

taketh. Greek. paralambano. Compare ago, of Luke 4:9. See the usage of paralambano, Matthew 17:1, implying authority and constraint This is the third temptation in Luke (Luke 4:9), and the difference of the order is explained in App-116. Both Gospels are correct and true.

the holy city. So called in Matthew 27:53. Revelation 11:2. Nehemiah 11:1. Isaiah 48:2; Isaiah 52:1. Daniel 9:44. The Arabs still call it El Kuds = the holy place. It was so called on account of the Sanctuary.

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.

a pinnacle = the wing. Greek. to pterugion, used of that part of the Temple (or Holy Place) where "the abomination of desolation" is to stand, according to Theodotion (a fourth reviser of the Sept about the middle of cent. 2). See note on Daniel 9:27; and compare Luke 4:9 and Matthew 24:15.

temple = the temple buildings; not naoa, the house itself or Sanctuary. See note on Matthew 23:16.


Verse 6

cast Thyself down. An attempt upon His life. See App-23, and note on Matthew 23:16.

it is written. Satan can quote Scripture and garble it by omitting the essential words "to keep Thee in all Thy ways", and by adding "at any time". Quoted from Psalms 91:11, Psalms 91:12 (not Matthew 4:13; see note there).

in = upon. Greek. epi, as "on" in Matthew 4:5.

against. Greek. pros. App-104.


Verse 7

Thou, &c. Quoted from Deuteronomy 6:16 (App-107. c).

not. Greek. ou. See App-105.

tempt. Note the words which follow: "as ye tempted Him in Massah". A reference to Exodus 17:7 shows that there it was to doubt Jehovah"s presence and care. It was the same here.

the LORD = Jehovah.


Verse 8

Again, &c This should be "The devil taketh Him again", implying that he had taken Him there before, as "It is written again" in Matthew 4:7. See App-117. This is the second temptation in Luke (Luke 4:5).

taketh. As in Matthew 4:5; not anago, "leadeth up", as in Luke 4:5.

exceeding. Not so in Luke 4:5; because there it is only oikoumene, the inhabited world, or Roman empire (App-129.); here it is kosmos (App-129.)

kingdoms. See App-112.

world. Greek. kosmos, the whole world as created. See App-129.


Verse 9

All these. Compare Luke 4:6 and see App-116.

if. See App-118. Not the same as in Matthew 4:3 and Matthew 4:6.

wilt fall down. Not in Luke.

worship = do homage. App-137.


Verse 10

Get thee hence = Go! This is the end, and the Lord ends it. In Luke 4:13, after the third temptation, Satan "departed" of his own accord and only "for a season". Here, after the last, Satan is summarily dismissed, not to return. See App-116.

Satan = the Adversary. Septuagint for Hebrew. Satan.

Thou shalt, &c. Quoted from Deuteronomy 11:3, Deuteronomy 11:4. See App-107, and App-117.

only = alone, as in Matthew 4:4. Quoted from Deuteronomy 6:13; where the possession of the earth (Matthew 4:10) depends on loyalty to God (Matthew 4:12), Who gives it (Matthew 4:10); and on obedience to Him (verses: Matthew 4:17, Matthew 4:18).


Verse 11

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6), for emphasis.

angels came, &c. Thus closing the whole of the Temptations. No such ministration at the end of the third temptation in Luke 4:13.


Verse 12

cast into prison = delivered up. There is no Greek for "into" or "prison". No disciples had yet been called (verses: Matthew 4:18-22); therefore John could not yet have been in prison; for, after the calling of disciples (John 2:2, John 2:11) John was "not yet cast into prison"(John 3:24, eis ten phulaken). There is no "inaccuracy"or "confusion". Paradidomi is rendered "cast (or put) in prison" only here and Mark 1:14, out of 122 occurrences. It means "to deliver up", and is so rendered ten times, and "deliver" fifty-three times. Compare Matthew 5:25; Matthew 10:17, Matthew 10:19, Matthew 10:21; Matthew 24:9, &c. The "not yet" of John 3:24 (Greek. oupo. App-105.) implies that previous attempts and perhaps official inquiries had been made, following probably on the unofficial inquiry of John 1:19-27. John"s being "delivered up" may have led to this departure of Jesus from Judea. Christ"s ministry is commenced at Matthew 4:12. Mark 1:14. Luke 4:14 and John 1:35, before the call of any disciples.

departed = withdrew.


Verse 13

in = at. Greek. eis App-104.

Capernaum. Jewish authorities identify Kaphir Nakhum with Kaphir Temkhum, since corrupted into the modern Tell Hum. App-169. A Synagogue has been discovered in the present ruins. For events at Capernaum, see Matthew 8, Matthew 9, Matthew 17, Matthew 18. Mark 1.

upon the sea coast. Greek. parathalassios. Occurs only here.


Verse 14

That = In order that.

spoken. As well as written.

by = by means of. Greek. dia.

Esaias = Isaiah.


Verse 15

The land, &c. Quoted from Isaiah 9:1, Isaiah 9:2. See App-107. "Land" is nom., not vocative.

Galilee. See App-169.

Gentiles = nations.


Verse 16

sat = was sitting.

saw. App-133.:1.

light. App-130.

the region and shadow, &c. Figure of speech Hendiadys (App-6) = "darkness, [yea] the dark shadow of death", or death"s darkness.

sprung up = risen for them.


Verse 17

From. Gk. apo. App-104.

From that time. Each portion of the Lord"s fourfold ministry had a distinct beginning or ending. See the Structure (above).

preach = proclaim. See App-121.

Repent. Greek. metanoeo. App-111.

the kingdom of heaven. See App-114.

heaven = the heavens. See notes on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

is at hand = is drawn nigh.


Verse 18

by = beside. Greek. para. App-104.

a net = a large net. Greek. amphiblestron. Not the same word as in Matthew 4:20, or Matthew 13:47.


Verse 19

fishers of men. A Talmudic expression: "A fisher of the Law" (Maimonides, Torah, cap. I).


Verse 20

nets. Plural diktuon. Not the same word as in Matthew 4:18, or Matthew 13:47.


Verse 21

other. Greek. allos. App-124.

James . . . John. See App-141.

Zebedee. Aramaean. See App-94.

a = the. These calls were to discipleship, not apostleship.

with. Greek. meta. App-104.

mending = setting in order. See App-125.


Verse 23

all = the whole. Put by Pig. Synecdoche (of the Whole) for all parts. App-6.

synagogues. See App-120.

the gospel = the glad tidings.

of = relating to.

all manner of = every. Put by Pig. Synecdoche (of the Whole), for some of all kinds.

disease. Greek. malakia. Occurs only in Matthew: here; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 10:1.


Verse 24

fame = hearing. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Adjunct), App-6, for what was heard.

throughout = unto. Greek. eis.

diseases. Greek. nosos, translated sickness in Matthew 4:23.

devils = demons. Compare Matthew 12:26, Matthew 12:27. Mark 3:22, Mark 3:26.

were lunatick. Greek. seleniazomai. Occurs only here, and Matthew 17:15. From selene = the moon.


Verse 25

Galilee. App-169.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton. App-6.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 4:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/matthew-4.html. 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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