And said unto him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.
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George Leo Haydock
Heretics, says St. Augustine, quote Scriptures, as the devil does here, in a wrong and forced sense; the Church cites them, like Jesus Christ, in their true sense, and to confute their falsehood. (Cont. lit. Petil. lib. ii. chap. 51.) It is on this account, that the Catholic Church wishes persons who come to the study of the most mysterious and difficult book ever published, should bring with them some preparation of mind and heart; convinced that the abuse of the strongest and best food may be converted into deadly poison. The promoters of Bible societies have published in Ireland a tract to encourage the universal perusal of the Scriptures, as the sole rule of faith. In this they give not only a mutilated and corrupt version of the letter of his late Holiness Pius VI. to the now archbishop of Florence, (to be seen at the head of this edition of the Bible) but certain letters from German Jansenists, who are described as being good Catholics. (Haydock) Ver. 8. Shewed him all the kingdo...
What can the reason be, that at each temptation He adds this, If Thou be Son of God? Much the same as he did in that former case, he does also at this time. That is, as he then slandered God, saying, In the day you eat, your eyes shall be opened; Genesis 3:5 thereby intending to signify, that they were beguiled and overreached, and had received no benefit; even so in this case also he insinuates this same thing, saying, in vain God has called You Son, and has beguiled You by His gift; for, if this be not so, afford us some clear proof that You are of that power. Then, because Christ had reasoned with him from Scripture, he also brings in a testimony of the prophet.
"If Thou be the Son of God." As if he were saying, "I do not believe the voice from heaven; but if Thou art the Son of God, show me." Yet, O foul one, though He is the Son of God, would He have thrown Himself over the precipice? That is the mark of your own savagery, to hurl over the precipice those who are demonized; but it is the mark of God to save. But the words "In their hands they shall bear thee up" were not written of Christ, but of the saints who are in need of angelic help (Ps. 90:11-12). Christ, being God, does not need such help.