Matthew 4:7

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, You shall not test the Lord your God.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Contr. Faust., 22, 36: It is a part of sound doctrine, that when man has anyother means, he should not tempt the Lord his God.

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ord.: The Devil places us on high places by exalting with pride, that he may dash us to the ground again. ord.: Observe here that all these things were done with bodily sense, and by careful comparison of the context it seems probable that the Devil appeared inhuman form. ap. Anselm: He set Him on a pinnacle of the temple when he would tempt Him through ambition, because in this seat of the doctors he had before taken many through the same temptation, and therefore thought that when set in the same seat, He might in like manner be puffed up with vain pride. ap. Anselm: We must explain thus; Scripture says of any good man, that He has given it in charge to His Angels, that is to His ministering spirits, to bear him in their hands, i.e. by their aid to guard him that he dash not his foot against a stone, i.e. keep his heart that it stumble not at the old law written in tables of stone. Or by the stone may be understood every occasion of sin and error.

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Thus beating down the efforts of the Devil, He professes Himself both God and Lord.


AD 420
“Took him,” not because the Lord was weak, but the enemy proud; he imputed to anecessity what the Saviour did willingly. In the several temptations the single aim of the Devil is to find if He be the Son of God, but he is so answered as at last to depart in doubt; He says, “Castthyself,” because the voice of the Devil, which is always called men downwards, has power to persuade them, but may not compel them to fall. This verse we read in the ninetieth Psalm, but that is a prophecy not of Christ, but of some holy man, so the Devil interprets Scripture amiss. The false Scripture darts of the Devil He brands with the true shield of Scripture. It should be noted, that the required texts are taken from the book of Deuteronomy only, that He might show the sacraments of the second Law.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
How then does Christ? He is not indignant, nor provoked, but with that extreme gentleness He reasons with him again from the Scriptures, saying, You shall not tempt the Lord your God: Matthew 4:7 teaching us that we must overcome the devil, not by miracles, but by forbearance and long-suffering, and that we should do nothing at all for display and vainglory. But mark his folly, even by the very testimony which he produced. For while the testimonies cited by the Lord were both of them spoken with exceeding fitness: his, on the other hand, were chance and random sayings, neither did he bring forward on his part that which applied to the matter in hand. For that it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning You, this surely is not advice to dash and toss one's self down headlong; and moreover, this was not so much as spoken concerning the Lord. However, this for the time He did not expose, although there was both insult in his manner of speech, and great inconsistency. For ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
From this first answer of Christ, the Devil could learn nothing certain whether He were God or man; he therefore betook him to another temptation, saying within himself; This man who is not sensible of the appetite of hunger, if not the Sonof God, is yet a holy man; and such do attain strength not to be overcome by hunger; but when they have subdued every necessity of the flesh, they often fall by desire of empty glory. Therefore he began to tempt Him by this empty glory. Perhaps you may say, How could he in the sight of all place Him bodily upon the temple? Perhaps the Devil so took Him as though He were visible to all, while He, without the Devil being aware of it, made Himself invisible. How does he expect to discover by this proposition whether He be the Son of Godor not? For to fly through the air is not proper to the Divine nature, for itis not useful to any. If then any were to attempt to fly when challenged to it, he would be acting from ostentation, and would belong rather to ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
Jerusalem was called the Holy City, for in it was the Temple of God, the Holy of holies, and the worship of the one God according to the law of Moses. It should be noted, that though our Saviour suffered Himself to be placed bythe Devil on a pinnacle of the temple, yet refused to come down also at his command, giving us an example, that whosoever bids us ascend the strait way of truth we should obey. But if he would again cast us down from the height of truth and virtue to the depth of error we should not hearken to him. Otherwise, it was a suggestion to Him, as man, that He should seek by requiring some miracle to know the greatness of God’s power.

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
This shows that the Devil lies in wait for Christ’s faithful people even in the sacred places. The “pinnacle” is the seat of the doctors; for the temple had not a pointed roof like our houses, but was flat on the top after the manner of the country of Palestine, and in the temple were three stories. It should be known that "the pinnacle” was on the floor, and in each story was one pinnacle. Whether then he placed Him on the pinnacle in the first story, or that in the second, or the third, he placed Him whence a fall was possible.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Christ calmly repels the devil, teaching us to defeat the demons with meekness.

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

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