Matthew 4

The Temptation of Jesus

1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
Or “desert.”
to be tempted by the devil.
2After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished.
Grk “and having fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward he was hungry.”
3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.”
Grk “say that these stones should become bread.”
4But he answered,
Grk “answering, he said.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokriqeis) is redundant, but the syntax of the phrase has been changed for clarity.
“It is written, ‘ Man
Or “a person.” Greek ὁ ἄνθρωπος (ho anthrōpos) is used generically for humanity. The translation “man” is used because the emphasis in Jesus’ response seems to be on his dependence on God as a man.
does not live
Grk “will not live.” The verb in Greek is a future tense, but it is unclear whether it is meant to be taken as a command (also known as an imperatival future) or as a statement of reality (predictive future).
by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God .’”
A quotation from Deut 8:3.
5Then the devil took him to the holy city,
The order of the second and third temptations differs in Luke’s account (4:5–12) from the order given in Matthew.
had him stand
Grk “and he stood him.”
on the highest point
The highest point of the temple probably refers to the point on the temple’s southeast corner where it looms directly over a cliff some 450 ft (135 m) high. However, some have suggested the reference could be to the temple’s high gate.
of the temple,
6and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written, ‘ He will command his angels concerning you
A quotation from Ps 91:11. This was not so much an incorrect citation as a use in a wrong context (a misapplication of the passage).
and ‘ with their hands they will lift you up, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone .’”
A quotation from Ps 91:12.
7Jesus said to him, “Once again it is written: ‘ You are not to put the Lord your God to the test .’”
A quotation from Deut 6:16.
8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their grandeur.
Grk “glory.”
9And he said to him, “I will give you all these things if you throw yourself to the ground and worship
Grk “if, falling down, you will worship.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”
10Then Jesus said to him, “Go away,
The majority of later witnesses (C2 D L Z 33 Maj.) have “behind me” (ὀπίσω μου; opisō mou) after “Go away.” But since this is the wording in Matt 16:23, where the text is certain, scribes most likely added the words here to conform to the later passage. Further, the shorter reading has superior support (א B C*vid K P W Δ 0233 f1, 13 565 579* 700 al). Thus, both externally and internally, the shorter reading is strongly preferred.
Satan! For it is written: ‘ You are to worship the Lord your God and serve only him .’”
A quotation from Deut 6:13. The word “only” is an interpretive expansion not found in either the Hebrew or Greek (LXX) text of the OT.
11Then the devil left him, and angels
Grk “and behold, angels.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
came and began ministering to his needs.

Preaching in Galilee

12 Now when Jesus
Grk “he.”
heard that John had been imprisoned,
Or “arrested,” “taken into custody” (see L&N 37.12).
he went into Galilee.
13While in Galilee, he moved from Nazareth
For location see Map1-D3; Map2-C2; Map3-D5; Map4-C1; Map5-G3.
to make his home in Capernaum
Grk “and leaving Nazareth, he came and took up residence in Capernaum.”
Capernaum was a town located on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region, and it became the hub of operations for Jesus’ Galilean ministry.
For location see Map1-D2; Map2-C3; Map3-B2.
by the sea,
Or “by the lake.”
By the sea refers to the Sea of Galilee.
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
14so that what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled:
The redundant participle λέγοντος (legontos) has not been translated here.

15 Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way by the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles –
16 the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
and on those who sit in the region and shadow of death a light has dawned.
A quotation from Isa 9:1.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach this message:
Grk “and to say.”
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

The Call of the Disciples

18 As
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishermen).
The two phrases in this verse placed in parentheses are explanatory comments by the author, parenthetical in nature.
19He said to them, “Follow me, and I will turn you into fishers of people.”
The Greek term ἄνθρωπος (anqrōpos) is used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women, thus “people.”
The kind of fishing envisioned was net - not line - fishing (cf. v. 18; cf. also BDAG 55 s.v. ἀμφιβάλλω, ἀμφίβληστρον) which involved a circular net that had heavy weights around its perimeter. The occupation of fisherman was labor-intensive. The imagery of using a lure and a line (and waiting for the fish to strike) is thus foreign to this text. Rather, the imagery of a fisherman involved much strain, long hours, and often little results. Jesus’ point may have been one or more of the following: the strenuousness of evangelism, the work ethic that it required, persistence and dedication to the task (often in spite of minimal results), the infinite value of the new “catch” (viz., people), and perhaps an eschatological theme of snatching people from judgment (cf. W. L. Lane, Mark [NICNT], 67). If this last motif is in view, then catching people is the opposite of catching fish: The fish would be caught, killed, cooked, and eaten; people would be caught so as to remove them from eternal destruction and to give them new life.
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
left their nets immediately and followed him.
The expression followed him pictures discipleship, which means that to learn from Jesus is to follow him as the guiding priority of one’s life.
21Going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in a boat
Or “their boat.” The phrase ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ (en tō ploiō) can either refer to a generic boat, some boat (as it seems to do here); or it can refer to “their” boat, implying possession. Mark assumes a certain preunderstanding on the part of his readers about the first four disciples and hence the translation “their boat” is justified (cf. also v. 20 in which the “hired men” indicates that Zebedee’s family owned the boats), while Matthew does not.
with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. Then
Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
he called them.
Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
immediately left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus’ Healing Ministry

23 Jesus
Grk “And he.”
went throughout all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
Synagogues were places for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership (cf. Luke 8:41). Though the origin of the synagogue is not entirely clear, it seems to have arisen in the postexilic community during the intertestamental period. A town could establish a synagogue if there were at least ten men. In normative Judaism of the NT period, the OT scripture was read and discussed in the synagogue by the men who were present (see the Mishnah, m. Megillah 3–4; m. Berakhot 2).
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of disease and sickness among the people.
24So a report about him spread throughout Syria. People
Grk “And they”; “they” is probably an indefinite plural, referring to people in general rather than to the Syrians (cf. v. 25).
brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, those who had seizures,
Grk “those who were moonstruck,” possibly meaning “lunatic” (so NAB), although now the term is generally regarded as referring to some sort of seizure disorder such as epilepsy (L&N 23.169; BDAG 919 s.v. σεληνιάζομαι).
paralytics, and those possessed by demons,
The translation has adopted a different phrase order here than that in the Greek text. The Greek text reads, “People brought to him all who suffered with various illnesses and afflictions, those possessed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics.” Even though it is obvious that four separate groups of people are in view here, following the Greek word order could lead to the misconception that certain people were possessed by epileptics and paralytics. The word order adopted in the translation avoids this problem.
and he healed them.
25And large crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis,
Here καί (kai) has not been translated before each of the places in the list, since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
The Decapolis refers to a league of towns (originally consisting of ten; the Greek name literally means “ten towns”) whose region (except for Scythopolis) lay across the Jordan River.
Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan River.
“River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity. The region referred to here is sometimes known as Transjordan (i.e., “across the Jordan”).

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