Matthew 4:4: It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone...

Spoken to: 

the adversary

Context: 

Temptations in the Desert

Greek : 

Matthew 4:4 ΓέγραπταιΟὐκ ἐπ᾽ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ἄνθρωπος, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος θεοῦ.”

Deuteronomy 8:3 (LXX) οὐκ ἐπ᾽ ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ παντὶ ῥήματι τῷ ἐκπορευομένῳ διὰ στόματος θεοῦ

Literal Verse: 

It has been written, "Not upon a loaf alone is he going to thrive, the human, but though every saying being poured out from the mouth of God."

KJV : 

Matthew 4:4 It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is Jesus's response to the first temptation in the desert. The Biblical quote in it is an exact quote from the Septuagint, the Greek old Testament, (Deu 8:3), but the Hebrew is much simpler. Our OT English translation comes from the Greek not the Hebrew as does Jesus's quote. This is typical of evidence that Jesus taught in Greek. See this article.

It is interesting that this is the first use of the English word "word" in the NT. However, it is not the Greek word usually translated as "word" but another word that comes closer to "remark" or "saying" that our idea of a word. See this article for details. In the Hebrew, there is not word for "word" in the quote.

For most about the meaning of this verse to us today, see the separate article, Christ's First Words.

NIV : 

Matthew 4:4 It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

NLT : 

Matthew 4:4 No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Wordplay: 

 A direct Greek quote from the Septuagint, not a paraphrase from Hebrew or Aramaic, which is quite different. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Γέγραπται (3rd sg perf ind mp ) "It is written" is from grapho, which means "to write", "having marked or drawn", "to describe", "to brand", "to express by written characters", "to ordain", "to enroll oneself", "to be indicted," and "to write down."

Οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἐπ (prep) "By" is epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ἄρτῳ (noun sg masc dat) "Bread" is from artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

μόνῳ (adj sg neut dat) "Alone" is from monon, which means "alone", "solitary", "only", "one above all others", "made in one piece", "single," and "unique."

ζήσεται (3rd sg fut ind mid) "Shall live" is from zaô (zao), which means "to live", "the living," and "to be alive." It is a metaphor for "to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh."

  (article sg masc nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." --

ἄνθρωπος, (noun sg masc nom) "Man" is from anthrôpos (anthropos), which "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ἀλλ᾽ (adv) "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay." It denotes an exception or a simple opposition.

ἐπὶ (prep) "By" is epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

παντὶ (adj sg neut dat) "Every" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

ῥήματι (noun sg neut dat) "Word" is from rhema, which means "that which is spoken", "word", "saying", "word for word", "subject of speech," and "matter."

ἐκπορευομένῳ (part sg pres mp masc dat) "Proceedeth out" is from ekporeuomai, which means "to make to go out", "to fetch out," and "to march out."

διὰ (prep) Untranslated is from dia which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

στόματος (noun sg neut gen) "Of the mouth" is stoma, which means "mouth", "the organ of speech", "speech", "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon is a stoma.

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "Of God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

KJV Analysis: 

It  -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

is -- (WT) This helping verb indicates passive form and the present tense of the verb. Though "it is written," is translated in the present tense in the KJV, the Greek is in a tense that indicates an action completed in the past.

written, -- "Written" is the Greek verb that  means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Man -- The word translated as "man" more generally means "humanity" as well as "a man."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

live -- The verb means "live", "to be alive,” “to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh." So it is life in the sense of a vital life, strong and growing. Perhaps in English, “thrive” would be more precise. It is in the future tense, which we cannot tell by the “shall live” because the KJV and other Bibles translated both the future tense and the subjective mood in the same way, so “he going to thrive.” But again, the form is the middle voice, so “by himself.” So this verb, with the negatives means “he is not going to thrive by himself.” This is a pretty interesting statement even without the “bread” part. Christ also uses it in the sense of "making a living." There are several other words in the Gospels translated as "life" discussed in this article. The differences are important.- The term translated as "live" is in the future tense. The Greek term means not only to have  life and breath but to the enjoyment of living as well, specifically, to be "full of life."

by -- The word translated as "by" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

bread -- The Greek word for "bread" or more precisely, "loaf," but is was used generically to mean "food." The original Hebrew (Deu 8:3) from which this quote is taken referred to mana in the desert. Moses describes the hunger and suffering of the Jews in the desert and how God sent them mana. The following verse of Deu 8:5 may also be considered a provocative prophecy of Christ's suffering and death.

alone, -- "Alone" is an adjective modifying "bread" that means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]", "unique", "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

but -- The Greek phrase starts with the conjunction meaning "but" and a preposition that means "by" or, more generally, "through." These do not appear in the Hebrew.

by - The word translated as "by" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

every -- The next word, "every" is the from the Greek word that is usually translated as "all" but here it is used as an adjective modifying the singular noun translated as "word" so "every" works well. Again, no such word appears in the Hebrew.

word -- (WW) It is interesting that this is the first use of the English word "word" in the NT. However, it is not the Greek word usually translated as "word" but another word that comes closer to "remark" or "saying" that our idea of a word. See this article for details. In Hebrew, there is no word for "word" in the quote.

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It is added because the form of the following word is changed.

proceedeth -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "proceedeth"  means "going out" or “departing out”. This is not a verb but a participle, "departing out" modifying the word translated as "word." The form is passive so "being poured out." In Hebrew, the word is mowtsa that means simultaneously the source of something going forth, the thing that goes forth, and the way of going forth. In English, we might say “outpouring” to capture it because the form isn’t an active verb, but an adjective. “Outpouring” works because we also use it describing speech, which is what this adjective modifies.

out  -- This is from the prefix of the verb that means "out of" and "from."

untranslated "through"-- (MW) The untranslated word "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." This is the word Jesus typically uses to mean "by" a cause.  This word more clearly means "by" than the preposition above.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

the -- (WW) There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

mouth  -- The Greek word translated as "mouth" means "mouth" but it also means "speech", "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon.The Greek term translated as "mouth" also means the foremost part, such as the point of a spear or the blade of a sword. While God doesn't have a mouth or even parts, he does have a foremost in Christ.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

God. -- Finally, the Greek word for "God" means simply "God" or "divine." The Greek is unusual here because there is no "the" before the Greek word, which is usually how Jesus uses this word to refer to the Divine. The missing article may be due to the fact that this is a quote for the Greek Old Testament. See this article.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is indicates the present tense, but the tense of the verb is the past perfect.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "word" means "remark."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "preceedeth" is not an active verb but a participle, "proceeding."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "through" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "the" should be "a."

NIV Analysis: 

It  -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

is -- (WT) This helping verb indicates passive form and the present tense of the verb. Though "it is written," is translated in the present tense in the KJV, the Greek is in a tense that indicates an action completed in the past.

written, -- "Written" is the Greek verb that  means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Man -- The word translated as "man" more generally means "humanity" as well as "a man."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

live -- The verb means "live", "to be alive,” “to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh." So it is life in the sense of a vital life, strong and growing. Perhaps in English, “thrive” would be more precise. It is in the future tense, which we cannot tell by the “shall live” because the KJV and other Bibles translated both the future tense and the subjective mood in the same way, so “he going to thrive.” But again, the form is the middle voice, so “by himself.” So this verb, with the negatives means “he is not going to thrive by himself.” This is a pretty interesting statement even without the “bread” part. Christ also uses it in the sense of "making a living." There are several other words in the Gospels translated as "life" discussed in this article. The differences are important.- The term translated as "live" is in the future tense. The Greek term means not only to have  life and breath but to the enjoyment of living as well, specifically, to be "full of life."

on -- The word translated as "on" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

bread -- The Greek word for "bread" or more precisely, "loaf," but is was used generically to mean "food." The original Hebrew (Deu 8:3) from which this quote is taken referred to mana in the desert. Moses describes the hunger and suffering of the Jews in the desert and how God sent them mana. The following verse of Deu 8:5 may also be considered a provocative prophecy of Christ's suffering and death.

alone, -- "Alone" is an adjective modifying "bread" that means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]", "unique", "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

but -- The Greek phrase starts with the conjunction meaning "but" and a preposition that means "by" or, more generally, "through." These do not appear in the Hebrew.

on - The word translated as "on" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

every -- The next word, "every" is the from the Greek word that is usually translated as "all" but here it is used as an adjective modifying the singular noun translated as "word" so "every" works well. Again, no such word appears in the Hebrew.

word -- (WW) It is interesting that this is the first use of the English word "word" in the NT. However, it is not the Greek word usually translated as "word" but another word that comes closer to "remark" or "saying" that our idea of a word. See this article for details. In Hebrew, there is no word for "word" in the quote.

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It is added because the form of the following word is changed.

comes -- (CW, WF) The Greek word translated as "comes"  means "going out" or “departing out”.  This is not the word usually translated as "come" in the Gospels. It is also not a verb but a participle, "departing out" modifying the word translated as "word." The form is passive so "being poured out." In Hebrew, the word is mowtsa that means simultaneously the source of something going forth, the thing that goes forth, and the way of going forth. In English, we might say “outpouring” to capture it because the form isn’t an active verb, but an adjective. “Outpouring” works because we also use it describing speech, which is what this adjective modifies.

from -- This is from the prefix of the verb that means "out of" and "from."

untranslated "through"-- (MW) The untranslated word "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." This is the word Jesus typically uses to mean "by" a cause.  This word more clearly means "by" than the preposition above.

the -- (WW) There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

mouth  -- The Greek word translated as "mouth" means "mouth" but it also means "speech", "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon. IThe Greek term translated as "mouth" also means the foremost part, such as the point of a spear or the blade of a sword. While God doesn't have a mouth or even parts, he does have a foremost in Christ.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

God. -- Finally, the Greek word for "God" means simple "God" or "divine." The Greek is unusual here because there is not "the" before the Greek word, which is usually how Jesus uses this word to refer to the Divine. The missing article may be due to the fact that this is a quote for the Greek Old Testament. See this article. 

NIV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is indicates the present tense, but the tense of the verb is the past perfect.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "word" means "remark."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "comes" is not the normal word translated as "come" in the Gospels. The sense of the word is "going out."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "comes" is not an active verb but a participle, "proceeding."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "through" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "the" should be "a."

NLT Analysis: 

No! The Scriptures , -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as an initial "No! The scriptures" in the Greek source.

say, -- (WW, WF) "Say" is the Greek verb that  means "to write," "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more.

People -- (WN) The word translated as "people" more generally means "humanity" as well as "a man." It is singular, not plural.

do -- (WT) This helping verb "do" indicates that the verb is present tense, but the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

live -- It means "live", "to be alive,” “to be full of life", "to be strong," and "to be fresh." So it is life in the sense of a vital life, strong and growing. Perhaps in English, “thrive” would be more precise. It is in the future tense, which we cannot tell by the “shall live” because the KJV and other Bibles translated both the future tense and the subjective mood in the same way, so “he going to thrive.” But again, the form is the middle voice, so “by himself.” So this verb, with the negatives means “he is not going to thrive by himself.” This is a pretty interesting statement even without the “bread” part. Christ also uses it in the sense of "making a living." There are several other words in the Gospels translated as "life" discussed in this article. The differences are important.- The term translated as "live" is in the future tense. The Greek term means not only to have  life and breath but to the enjoyment of living as well, specifically, to be "full of life."

by -- The word translated as "by" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

bread -- The Greek word for "bread" or more precisely, "loaf," but is was used generically to mean "food." The original Hebrew (Deu 8:3) from which this quote is taken referred to mana in the desert. Moses describes the hunger and suffering of the Jews in the desert and how God sent them mana. The following verse of Deu 8:5 may also be considered a provocative prophecy of Christ's suffering and death.

alone, -- "Alone" is an adjective modifying "bread" that means "alone," "solitary," "only," "single," "unique," "made in one piece," "without [someone]," "only [something]", "unique", "one above all others," and "on one condition only."

but -- The Greek phrase starts with the conjunction meaning "but" and a preposition that means "by" or, more generally, "through." These do not appear in the Hebrew.

by - The word translated as "on" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on." The primary meaning of this word is "upon," which works well for the idea of "living on bread."

every -- The next word, "every" is the from the Greek word that is usually translated as "all" but here it is used as an adjective modifying the singular noun translated as "word" so "every" works well. Again, no such word appears in the Hebrew.

word -- (WW) It is interesting that this is the first use of the English word "word" in the NT. However, it is not the Greek word usually translated as "word" but another word that comes closer to "remark" or "saying" that our idea of a word. See this article for details. In Hebrew, there is no word for "word" in the quote.

that -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "that" in the Greek source. It is added because the form of the following word is changed.

comes -- (CW, WF) The Greek word translated as "comes"  means "going out" or “departing out”.  This is not the word usually translated as "come" in the Gospels. It is also not a verb but a participle, "departing out" modifying the word translated as "word." The form is passive so "being poured out." In Hebrew, the word is mowtsa that means simultaneously the source of something going forth, the thing that goes forth, and the way of going forth. In English, we might say “outpouring” to capture it because the form isn’t an active verb, but an adjective. “Outpouring” works because we also use it describing speech, which is what this adjective modifies.

from -- This is from the prefix of the verb that means "out of" and "from."

untranslated "through"-- (MW) The untranslated word "through" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." This is the word Jesus typically uses to mean "by" a cause.  This word more clearly means "by" than the preposition above.

the -- (WW) There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

mouth  -- The Greek word translated as "mouth" means "mouth" but it also means "speech", "utterance," "any outlet or entrance," and "the foremost part" of something. For example, the blade or point of a weapon. IThe Greek term translated as "mouth" also means the foremost part, such as the point of a spear or the blade of a sword. While God doesn't have a mouth or even parts, he does have a foremost in Christ.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

God. -- Finally, the Greek word for "God" means simple "God" or "divine." The Greek is unusual here because there is not "the" before the Greek word, which is usually how Jesus uses this word to refer to the Divine. The missing article may be due to the fact that this is a quote for the Greek Old Testament. See this article.

NLT Translation Issues: 

12
  1. IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "No! The Scriptures" doesn't exist in the source.
  2. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "says" means "written."
  3. WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "say" indicates the present tense, but the tense of the verb is the past perfect.
  4. WN  - Wrong Number- The word "people" is translated as plural but it is singular. "person."
  5. WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "do" indicates the present tense, but the tense of the verb is the future tense.
  6. MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  7. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "word" means "remark."
  8. IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  9. CW - Confusing Word -- The "comes" is not the normal word translated as "come" in the Gospels. The sense of the word is "going out."
  10. WF - Wrong Form -  The "comes" is not an active verb but a participle, "proceeding."
  11. MW - Missing Word -- The article "through" is not shown in the English translation.
  12. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "the" should be "a."

The Spoken Version: 

Answering this test, he said with a chuckle, "It has written itself."
Stooping to pick up a rock, he put it to his mouth, as if to take a bite.

"People aren't nourished only by food," he explained, pausing in his motion.

Then looking at the rock as if suddenly seeing what it was, he dropped it suddenly.

"But by every lesson..." he said gesturing to the sky around him and spinning around, "From the opening of the Divine."

evidence: 

-2.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 5 2020