Luke 4:4

4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’ ”

Luke 4:4 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 4:4

And Jesus answered him, saying, it is written
In ( Deuteronomy 8:3 )

that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God;
suggesting hereby, that when it is the will of God, human nature may be maintained by the influence of divine power, without the use of ordinary means; and that bread itself, without a divine blessing, would not support life; and so not this stone, or stones, if turned into it: wherefore, it became him, as man, to depend upon God, submit to his will, and wait the issue of providence, who had brought him thither, and not take any such steps to remove his hunger; and especially at his solicitations, who had no other end, but to have him, if he could, at his beck and will. By "every word of God", is not meant all Scripture, and every part of it, which is given by inspiration of God, and may be said to proceed out of his mouth; neither the law, and the precepts of it, as the Jews interpret it, by obedience to which the Israelites lived in the land Canaan; nor the Gospel, and the truths of it, which are the wholesome words of Christ, and the words of faith and good doctrine, with which believers are nourished, and are that to the soul, as bread, or any other wholesome food, is to the body; for of spiritual living, and the means of that, the text is not to be understood; but either of the word of God's power, by which he upholds and sustains all things in being, which he has created; and with which he could, if he would, support the bodies of men without the use of any sort of food; as the bodies of Moses and Elijah, and now the body of Christ, were for many days; and as the bodies of the saints will be after the resurrection, to all eternity: or else the blessing of God, which he commands on bread, and other food, and the virtue and strength which he puts into them, and conveys by them, are meant, without which not, any sort of food is nourishing; or rather every thing which God declares and orders to be eaten, even every creature of his which is good, and not to be refused, but received, with thanksgiving, being sanctified by the word of God, and prayer, as well as bread; so manna, which is mentioned in the text in Deuteronomy; and likewise any other food, as pulse: and water, he is pleased to direct to. Some little difference there is between Matthew and Luke, in citing this passage; in the latter it is, "by every word of God"; and in the former it is nearer the Hebrew text in ( Deuteronomy 8:3 ) "by, every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God"; and so some copies read here, as do also the Arabic and Ethiopic versions: but neither of them have the words exactly as in the original text, where it is added, "doth man live"; which, doubtless, were not produced by our Lord, as being unnecessary, and therefore not mentioned by any of the evangelists.

Luke 4:4 In-Context

2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry.
3 Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’ ”
5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please.

Footnotes 1

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.