Matthew 4:4

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Man liveth not by bread only. The words were spoken of the manna. (Deuteronomy viii. 3.) The sense in this place is, that man's life may be supported by any thing, or in any manner, as it pleaseth God. (Witham) St. Gregory upon this passage says: if our divine Redeemer, when tempted by the devil, answered in so mild a manner, when he could have buried the wicked tempter in the bottom of hell, ought not man, when he suffers any thing from his fellow man, rather to improve it to his advantage, than to resent it to his own ruin. Man consists of soul and body; his body is supported by bread, his soul by the word of God; hence the saying, "Lex est cibus animæ. "(Mat. Polus.)

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
If we observe the successive steps of the temptation, we shall be able to estimate by how much we are freed from temptation. The old enemy tempted the first man through his belly, when he persuaded him to eat of the forbidden fruit; through ambition when he said, “Ye shall be as gods;” through covetousness when he said, “Knowing good and evil;” for there is a covetousness not only of money, but of greatness, when a high estate above our measure issought.By the same method in which he had overcome the first Adam, in that same was he overcome when he tempted the second Adam. He tempted through the belly when he said, “Command that these stones become loaves;” through ambition when he said, “If thou be the Son of God, castthyself down from hence;” through covetousness of lofty condition in the words, "All these things will I give thee.”. So the Lord when tempted by the Devil answered only with precepts of Holy Writ, and He who could have drowned His tempter in the abyss, displayed not the...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
And therefore in the temptation he makes a proposal of such a double kind by which His divinity would be made known by the miracle of the transformation, the weakness of the man deceived by the delight of food.


AD 420
But thou art caught, O Enemy, in a dilemma. If these stones can be made bread at His word, your temptation is vain against one so mighty. If He cannot make them bread, your suspicions that this is the Son of God must be vain. Christ’s purpose was to vanquish by humility;

John Chrysostom

AD 407
So that He begins with the necessity of the belly. But mark, I pray you, the craft of that wicked demon, and whence he begins his wrestlings, and how he does not forget his proper art. For by what means he cast out also the first man, and encompassed him with thousands of other evils, with the same means here likewise he weaves his deceit; I mean, with incontinence of the belly. So too even now one may hear many foolish ones say their bad words by thousands because of the belly. But Christ, to show that the virtuous man is not compelled even by this tyranny to do anything that is unseemly, first hungers, then submits not to what is enjoined Him; teaching us to obey the devil in nothing. Thus, because the first man did hereby both offend God, and transgress the law, as much and more does He teach you:— though it be no transgression which he commands, not even so to obey. And why say I, transgression? Why, even though something expedient be suggested by the devils, do not thou, says H...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The Devil who had begun to despair when he saw that Christ fasted forty days, now again began to hope when he saw that “he was an hungred;” and “then the tempter came to him.” If then you shall have fasted and after been tempted, say not, I have lost the fruit of my fast; for though it have not availed to hinder temptation, it will avail to hinder you from being overcome by temptation. But as the Devil blinds all men, so is he now invisibly made blind by Christ. He found Him “an hungred” at the end of forty days, and knew not that He had continued through those forty without being hungry. When he suspected Him notto be the Son of God, he considered not that the mighty Champion can descend tothings that be weak, but the weak cannot ascend to things that are high. We may more readily infer from His not being “an hungred” for so many days that He is God, than from His being “anhungred” after that time that He is man. But it may be said, Moses and Elias fasted forty days, and were men. But...

Leo of Rome

AD 461
Serm. 39, 3: hence he opposed the adversary rather by testimonies out of the Law, than by miraculous powers; thus at the same time giving more honour toman, and more disgrace to the adversary, when the enemy of the human race thus seemed to be overcome by man rather than by God.

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
This verse is quoted from Deuteronomy. Whoso then feeds not on the Word of God, he lives not; as the body of man cannot live without earthly food, so cannot his soul without God’s word. This word is said to proceed out of the mouth of God, where he reveals His will by Scripture testimonies.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
This testimony is from the Old Testament, from the words of Moses (Deut 8:3). The Hebrews, too, had been fed by manna, not by real bread; by the word of God the manna fulfilled every need of the Hebrews, and it became whatever food each one might desire to eat. For the manna provided to each Jew the taste he desired, whether of fish, eggs, or cheese (Wisdom of Solomon 16:20).

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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