Matthew 4:5

5 Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple,

Matthew 4:5 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 4:5

Then the devil taketh him up
This was done, not in a visionary way, but really and truly: Satan, by divine permission, and with the consent of Christ, which shows his great humiliation and condescension, had power over his body, to move it from place to place; in some such like manner as the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, ( Acts 8:39 ) he took him up, raised him above ground, and carried him through the air, "into, the holy city": this was Jerusalem; for Luke expressly says,

he brought him to Jerusalem,
( Luke 4:9 ) called so, because of the presence, worship, and service of God, which had been in it, though then in a great measure gone; and according to the common notions of the Jews, who say F2 Jerusalem was more holy than any other cities in the land, and that because of the Shekinah. The inscription on one side of their shekels was (vdqh rye Mlvwry) , "Jerusalem, the holy city" {c}. Satan frequents all sorts of places; men are no where free from his temptations; Christ himself was not in the holy city, no nor in the holy temple; hither also he had him,

and setteth him upon a pinnacle,
or "wing of the temple". In this place F4 the Jews set James, the brother of Christ, and from it cast him down headlong: this was the (akron) "the summit", or "top" of it; and intends either the roof encompassed with battlements, to keep persons from falling off; or the top of the porch before the temple, which was 120 cubits high; or the top of the royal gallery, built by Herod, which was of such an height, that if a man looked down from it, he soon became dizzy F5. The view Satan had in setting him here appears in the next verse.


F2 Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 183. 4. & Maimon. Hilch. Beth. Habechirah, c. 7. sect. 14. & 6. 16.
F3 Waserus de Antiq. Numm. Heb. l. 2. c. 5.
F4 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23.
F5 Joseph. Antiq. Jud. l. 15. c. 14.

Matthew 4:5 In-Context

3 Then the Devil came to him and said, "If you are God's Son, order these stones to turn into bread."
4 But Jesus answered, "The scripture says, "Human beings cannot live on bread alone, but need every word that God speaks.' "
5 Then the Devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, the Holy City, set him on the highest point of the Temple,
6 and said to him, "If you are God's Son, throw yourself down, for the scripture says, "God will give orders to his angels about you; they will hold you up with their hands, so that not even your feet will be hurt on the stones.' "
7 Jesus answered, "But the scripture also says, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.