Matthew 4:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 4:6, NIV: If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down. For it is written: ''He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.''

Matthew 4:6, ESV: and said 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, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Matthew 4:6, KJV: And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Matthew 4:6, NASB: and he *said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written: ‘HE WILL GIVE HIS ANGELS ORDERS CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON their hands they will lift YOU UP, SO THAT YOU DO NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’?'

Matthew 4:6, NLT: and said, 'If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, 'He will order his angels to protect you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.''

Matthew 4:6, CSB: and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written:He will give his angels orders concerning you,and they will support you with their handsso that you will not strikeyour foot against a stone."

What does Matthew 4:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Satan's second temptation of Jesus involved a dramatic change in location. The devil brought Jesus—presumably in rapid fashion—from the wilderness to the highest point of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. This may have put the pair about 30 stories, more than 90 meters, above the surrounding terrain. Even looking down "only" to the plaza below would have been perhaps 15 stories, or around 45 meters.

This time, Satan quotes Scripture to make his case to Jesus. He challenges Christ to throw Himself down from the pinnacle of the temple if He is the Son of God. Both Satan and Jesus know that Jesus is the Son of God. Satan is tempting Jesus to use His power and authority to act independently of God the Father, to do things His own way.

The devil isn't suggesting Jesus commit suicide. Rather, by jumping from such a great height, He would be using His authority over angels to dramatically save Himself. That would have happened in full view of everyone gathered at the temple. Satan quotes from Psalm 91:11–12, applying it to Jesus. Though he leaves out a line of the verse, Satan is not necessarily twisting the text of Scripture. Instead, he is misusing it. The Devil is tempting Jesus to prematurely reveal Himself as the Son of God by forcing God to send angels to save Him.

This would result in revealing Jesus' true identity to Israel immediately. The Father's plan, though, was for His Son to suffer and die for the sins of humanity. More work needs to be done before Jesus' role can be fully revealed (John 12:23; Acts 1:7). Jesus knew that. He will quote another passage from Deuteronomy in rejecting the devil's temptation.