Daily Bible Nugget #526, Matthew 6:13

The Nugget:

Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (KJV)

Mat 6:13 And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (ASV)

Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (ESV)

Mat 6:13 And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (RV)

Mat 6:13 And do not let us be subjected to temptation, but save us from the evil one. (Williams NT)

Mat 6:13 Keep us from being tempted and protect us from evil. (CEV)

Mat 6:13  Don’t allow us to be tempted. Instead, rescue us from the evil one. (GW)

Mat 6:13 And let us not be put to the test, but keep us safe from the Evil One. (BBE)

Mat 6:13 `And mayest Thou not lead us to temptation, but deliver us from the evil, because Thine is the reign, and the power, and the glory–to the ages. Amen. (YLT, Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible)

My Comment:

No single Bible translation fully captures the message of the original Greek New Testament, so I have given nine different translations above, each of which sheds additional light on this portion of the Lord’s Prayer.

This Bible verse was in the news earlier this year when the Pope allegedly approved a new wording for this part of the Lord’s prayer. The issue to be resolved is clear: we know God does not tempt or otherwise lead anyone into evil (see James 1:13). So, to soften the apparent contradiction, solve it by offering an improvement to the wording of the Lord’s Prayer as it was originally given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whole books have been written on “the hard sayings of Jesus.” I don’t know if they include this one, but it might be a very good candidate for inclusion. I think that Jesus sometimes said things in a way that would force the hearer or reader of His words to think more deeply about what He said.

So, where can you turn for a possible answer to the question that the wording of Matthew 6:13 raises?

I believe you would do well to turn to the information I provided in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or its most recent sequel, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

Here is a thorough lesson on how to use these resources to get answers to your Bible questions:

Matthew 6:13

lead. FS111, +Gen 18:27, FS121I2, +Gen 2:17, **FS108A4, +Gen 31:7, *Mat 26:41, *Gen 22:1, *Deut 8:2; *Deut 8:16, +*1Ch 4:10, Psa 79:9; *Psa 141:4, *Pro 30:8; *Pro 30:9, Mar 14:38, **Luk 11:4 note. Luk 22:31-46, Joh 14:13, **1Co 10:13, **2Co 12:7, 8, 9, Heb 11:36, 37, %Jas 1:2, 1Pe 5:8, *2Pe 2:9, Rev 2:10; +*Rev 3:10.

In the above set of cross references for the first key word “lead” from the clause “And lead us not,” I have bold faced the reference to Luke 11:4 because there is a note given at that text which is the parallel to Matthew 6:13.

The next step, therefore, is to turn to the note at Luke 11:4.

Luke 11:4  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11:4

lead us not. FS111, +Gen 18:27, Luk 8:13; Luk 22:40; Luk 22:46, +*Jer 29:11, Mat 6:13; *Mat 26:41, Mar 14:38, **1Co 10:13, 2Co 12:7, 8, **Jas 1:2; **Jas 1:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, Rev 2:10; +*Rev 3:10. There is no suggestion intended here that God might “lead us into temptation.” The balanced sentence employs a contrast, where the first member (“lead us not into temptation”) is employed solely to emphasize the last member (“but deliver us from evil”). For other instances of this construction, see Joh 20:27, Rom 12:21, 1Co 10:24, 2Co 3:6, Eph 5:17, 18, Php 2:4, Col 3:2, Compare +**Mat 24:35 note and 2Ti 1:8 note.

Notice the reference to “The balanced sentence.” When a “balanced sentence” is present in the verse or text you are reading, take note of that construction or you will likely misconstrue the intended message or meaning of the text! This could even lead you to get the message of the verse exactly backwards! I happen to know (since I wrote this book of cross references) that there is another note on the “balanced sentence” at Ephesians 5:18, so I will take you to that note next.

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Ephesians 5:18

but. FS111, Gen 18:27, “But” marks this sentence as another instance of the balanced sentence (Eph 5:17, +*Luk 11:4 note), where the command of the first clause is used to enhance the emphasis of the last clause. There is no suggestion here on the part of Paul that the Ephesians had a problem with drunkenness. A further careful study of the occurrences of this Figure (see **+Mat 24:35 note) will demonstrate conclusively that the first clause utilizes a statement contrary to fact to emphasize the statement in the clause which follows—here, the command to be filled with the Spirit. Eph 5:17, Psa 63:3, 4, 5, Song 1:4; *Song 7:9, Isa 25:6; Isa 55:1, Zec 9:15, 16, 17, **+Mat 24:35 note. *Luk 11:4 note, Luk 11:13, *Act 2:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; Act 11:24, *Gal 5:22, 23, 24, 25.

For more information on the “balanced sentence,” I will next take you to the note at Matthew 24:35.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Matthew 24:35

shall pass away, but. FS111, Gen 18:27, This is most assuredly the Figure Meiosis, also known as Litotes (Luk_11:4 note), involving a Balanced Sentence where the first statement is contrary to fact or reality, and is used in a contrast to most strongly emphasize what is affirmed in the last statement.

In this form of statement the last statement is frequently introduced by the word but, which helps to mark this figure (see Isa 51:6; Isa 54:10, +Luk 11:4).

Scholars can wrangle with my assertion all they please; their contrary opinion only demonstrates they have not studied the Scriptures carefully enough. I have.

Jesus does not, and absolutely could not, affirm that heaven and earth will pass away. The expressions used here are frequently reflected elsewhere in Scripture (see the preceding Parallel Passages).

Surely our Lord Jesus Christ and His Jewish hearers, intimately acquainted with the Hebrew Scriptures (T1122, +**Joh 6:14), were aware of the context, for example, of **Psa 102:26 note as seen in Psa 102:28, something apparently missed by some modern scholars.

God’s Covenant Promises are absolutely guaranteed as being more sure than the promise that the earth abides forever and shall never perish, so sure are the sure mercies of David, mercies above and greater than the heavens (Psa 108:4).

Note carefully in the context of Psa 102:26 the statement of Psa 102:28 that the generations of “thy servants shall continue” (+**Psa 72:5) and be “established before thee”—surely the Bible writers (who cite or allude to Psa 102:26)  were most aware of its context and the assurance of Psa 102:28, so when Jesus states “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,” His words are the guaranteed words of the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants, which are more sure than the heavens and will certainly come to pass.

God Himself appeals to the promised eternal constancy of the universe (Jer 31:35, 36, 37) to affirm the absolute certainty of the “Sure mercies of David” (+**Isa 55:3). To suggest the heavens or the earth shall literally pass away would violate the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant (+**Gen 12:2 note) and the Davidic Covenant (+**2Sa 7:10 note), which would contradict the very character of God Himself (+*Mal 3:6), which is utterly impossible (+**Gen 18:25 note. +*Titus 1:2).

If our Lord Jesus Christ is to rule eternally here upon this earth in Jerusalem on the Throne of David forever over the whole earth (+**Isa 24:23, Dan 7:13, 14, +*Zec 14:9, +*Mat 5:5, **Luk 1:32; **Luk 1:33, Rev 11:15), then the earth as we know it will stand forever (**1Ch 16:30, **Psa 148:5; **Psa 148:6). Psa 58:8; +**Psa 108:4, +**Luk 1:32; +**Luk 1:33.

Additional Bible proof that the earth will never be destroyed but will endure forever is furnished by the text and note at Psalm 102:26.

Psa 102:26  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:
Psa 102:27  But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Psa 102:28  The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.

Psalms 102:26

They shall perish. This affirmation, frequently echoed elsewhere in Scripture (see the Parallel Passages), as it is generally understood actually means exactly the opposite of what on the surface it appears to say, as the cross references given at Psa 108:4 and Ecc 1:4 absolutely prove. Psa 108:4 unequivocally states “For thy mercy is great above the heavens.” Thus God’s mercy is more sure than the heavens, and Scripture declares that the earth will abide forever and not pass away, as required by both the Abrahamic Covenant (+**Gen 12:2 note) and Davidic Covenant (+**2Sa 7:10 note) provisions. “Mercy” certainly is a reference to the “sure mercies of David,” which by God are guaranteed by the eternal stability of the universe itself (Jer 31:35, 36, 37). To suggest otherwise is to deny the Covenant and the Sign by which God affirms its guarantee of fulfillment. %**Psa 102:28, %+*Psa 89:37; %+**Psa 108:4; %Psa 148:6, Job 14:12; Job 14:18, %+**Ecc 1:4, *Isa 34:4; *Isa 51:6; *Isa 65:17; Isa 66:22, Mat 5:18; +**Mat 24:35 note. **Luk 21:33, *Rom 8:20, **2Pe 3:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 note. +*1Jn 2:17, Rev 6:14; Rev 20:11; Rev 21:1.

Here are the cross references for Psalm 108:4,

Psa 108:4  For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

Psalms 108:4

thy mercy. Psa 36:5; Psa 57:10; *Psa 85:10; *Psa 85:11; Psa 86:13; Psa 89:2; Psa 89:5; Psa 103:11, +**Isa 55:3; Isa 55:9, *Mic 7:18, 19, 20, Eph 2:4, 5, 6, 7.

above the heavens. *Psa 8:1; Psa 57:10; Psa 71:19; **Psa 102:26 note. Psa 113:4; +*Psa 119:89; Psa 148:13, +Ecc 1:4, **Isa 51:6, **Jer 31:35, 36, 37, Dan 4:22.

thy truth. +*Psa 89:2; +*Psa 119:89, +*Exo 34:6.

clouds. or, skies. Psa 36:5; Psa 68:34 mg. Psa 89:6; Psa 89:37.

Here are the cross references for Ecclesiastes 1:4,

Ecc 1:4  One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

One generation. Ecc 6:12, Gen 5:3-31; Gen 10:1-32; Gen 11:10-32; Gen 36:9, etc. *Gen 47:9, Exo 1:6, 7; Exo 6:16, etc. 2Ch 6:10, Job 21:33, *Psa 89:1; *Psa 89:2; *Psa 89:47; *Psa 89:48; *Psa 90:9; *Psa 90:10, Zec 1:5, Luk 20:32.

passeth away. Job 14:20; Job 21:33, 1Co 7:31.

but. +Gen 8:22, Psa 78:69; Psa 89:36, 37; **+Psa 102:24, 25, 26, 27, 28; *Psa 104:5; +*Psa 119:90; Psa 119:91, +**Mat 24:35 note. Luk 21:33, Heb 1:11, *2Pe 3:10, 11, 12, 13.

the earth. Gen 1:10; Gen 8:22, *Psa 37:9; +*Psa 102:26 note. Isa 11:9.

abideth. **1Ch 16:30, %+Psa 102:25; Psa 102:26; +*Psa 119:90, Isa 66:22, +*Mar 2:22 note.

for ever. Heb. olam, +Gen 9:12; +Gen 8:22; +*Exo 12:24. Ecc 1:10, Ecc 2:16; Ecc 3:11; Ecc 3:14; Ecc 9:6; Ecc 12:5, **+Psa 72:5; Psa 72:7; Psa 72:17; Psa 78:69; *Psa 89:36; *Psa 89:37; +*Psa 104:5; **Psa 148:6, +*Isa 9:6; +*Isa 9:7; Isa 49:8, +*Eze 37:25.

This post has grown long, but I hope I have furnished you enough tools for Real Bible Study to help you discover some things in the Bible you likely have not understood accurately before.

One last note referred to above at Luke 11:4 is to 2 Timothy 1:8,

2Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

2 Timothy 1:8

Be not. FS111, Gen 18:27; Luk 11:4 note. This is an example of the Figure Litotes: strong affirmation by means of negation, affirmation by negation of the opposite, a kind of understatement or miosis (FS111, Gen 18:27) (see William Hendricksen, pp. 14, 218). Use of this Figure is characteristic of Paul (2Ti 1:12; 2Ti 1:16, 2Ti 2:9, Act 21:39; Act 26:19, Rom 1:16, 1Th 2:1; 1Th 2:3; 1Th 4:13, 2Th 3:13, Tit 1:2; Tit 2:5).

Now you know about several figures of speech used in the Bible and how they clarify the meaning of several very important verses in the Bible, including Matthew 6:13 and the concluding part of the Lord’s prayer.

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