Matthew 4:7 It is written again, You shall not test the Lord thy God.

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 4:7 It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.​

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Once more, it has been recorded, "Never will you test a master, that Divinity of yours.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the second temptation of Christ in the desert. While there are different potential sources in the OT for this quote, the exact same Greek is used in the Septuagint to translated Deut 6:16.

It begins with the Greek word translated as "again" whose meaning of this word is "back" as it refers us back to something said earlier. And, again, referring back to the previous verse, Matthew 4:4, though "it is written," is translated in the present tense in the KJV, the Greek is in a form where the action is completed in the past.

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 to captures the same idea. It appears at the beginning of the sentence as we might start a sentence with a "no". 

The Greek word that the KJV translates as "Thou shalt...test" (or "tempt" in other popular translations) is a little more complex than simply "to test." It adds a preposition that means "from" or "out of" to the more basic Greek word that means "to test" and "to seduce." The root word is only used by Christ one other place in the Gospels, Mark 12:15. The combination of this word with "out" creates a word closer to our idea of "trying out" and "testing out" something. That is the concept of checking it to make sure it works as advertised.

The term "Lord" indicates the person who, in a given situation, has the real power and authority. In English, we use the word "boss" to capture this idea. However, the term is more of an honorific than "boss." It is how Jesus is most often addressed by others. There is no "the" before the word in Greek.

The word "God" means "the Divinity."

We can get closer to Christ's meaning, assuming he read the Hebrew Bible, by looking at the meaning of the source material. In the original, "tempt" is the Hebrew, nacah. Its meaning is closer to "test" than to "seduce." It has a strong flavor of "try out" "test the limits." Some commentaries point to Isa 7:12 as the source, but interestingly the Septuagint does not use the same word to translate nacah, but the Greek root.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πάλιν (adv) "Again" is from palin, which means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

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.

ἐκπειράσεις ” [uncommon](2nd sg fut ind act) "You shall...test" is from ekpeirazo, which means "to make a trial", "to prove," "to tempt" "to inquire" and "to ask of another." The word is uncommon Greek, but it consists of two most common words. Ek, which means "out of", "from", "by" and "away from." Peirazô means "to attempt", "to try", "to test," and, in a bad sense, "to seek to seduce," and "to tempt."

Κύριον (noun sg masc acc) "The Lord" is from kyrios, which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τὸν θεόν (noun sg masc acc) "God" is from theos, which means "God," the Deity."

σου (pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is from sou which means "you" and "your."

The Spoken Version: 

He shook his head and smiled.

"Again," he said as a teacher addressing a student. "It has written itself!"

"You can't even attempt, " he said, smiling as he shook his finger. "To test a master!

Then gesturing again to the sky above, he added, "Your Divinity!"

Related Verses: 

Dec 18 2016