What does Matthew 4:6 mean?
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.’”
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.''
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.’?'
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."
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.’ '
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.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Matthew 4:1–11 describes Jesus' temptation in the wilderness. After 40 days and nights of fasting, Jesus faces three temptations from Satan. Each one attempts to lure Christ into abusing His power; to take immediately what God the Father has promised to provide later. Jesus resists each temptation with a quote from Deuteronomy, refusing to rebel against the plans of God the Father. Finally, Jesus refuses to worship the devil in exchange for the kingdoms of the earth. He tells the devil to leave, and angels come minister to Him.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 3 ended with the Holy Spirit coming to rest on Jesus following His baptism. Now the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness to endure tempting by the devil after 40 days of fasting. Jesus demonstrates His sinlessness by resisting all temptations. He begins His ministry in the region of Galilee, settling in Capernaum and calling some disciples to follow Him. Jesus' work in Galilee includes traveling from place to place, proclaiming the good news that the kingdom of heaven is near and healing every kind of affliction. He soon becomes famous, drawing huge crowds from great distances.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 3 ends with a great affirmation from the voice of God the Father: Jesus is His Son. Immediately after that, God's Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness for a time of temptation by the devil. Jesus passes that test and then begins His ministry in the region of Galilee. Jesus begins to call His disciples and travel around the region. He teaches in the synagogues and heals people with every kind of affliction. Jesus' fame grows quickly. This provides Him a large audience for the Sermon on the Mount, which Matthew begins to record in chapter 5.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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