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Bible Gem 796 - What is the Highest Part of the Temple? (Luke 4:9-13)

May 26, 2019

Then the devil took Him to Jerusalem / holy city, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If You are the Son of God, jump off! (throw yourself down)

For the Scriptures say, 'He will order His angels to protect and guard you.

And they will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'"[Ps 91:11-12]

Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'You must not test the LORD your God.'"[Deut 6:16]

When the devil had finished [every temptation] tempting Jesus *, he left Him until the next opportunity came. (Luke 4:9-13)


[Luke misses out the Mark segment which Matt includes too : * and the angels came and ministered to Him.]



It is hard to work out exactly what the highest part of the temple is (GW). Or as other translations have termed it:  


a gable of the temple (AMP); 

a pinnacle of the temple (Murdock, Webster, KJV);  

the pinnacle of the temple (ASV, EMTV, ESV, NASB, RV, YLT);

the highest point of the temple (GNB, ISV, NLT, BBE); 

top of the temple (MSG, CEV);

the wing of the temple (LITV). 


So what is going on? Where are they standing and why?



The Greek term is [pterugion] is the diminutive form of [pterux] meaning "wing" or more correctly the tip, edge or extremity of something. Like the pinnacle or the summit of temple. The highest parapet or spire. The only place this word occurs in Scripture is here so we don't have other references to provide any further information. It was clearly pointing to some visible prominent part of the temple. But that exact part of the Jewish temple meant is hard to pin point.  After all there is no spire or pinnacle on the top of the Jewish temple. One tradition suggest what is meant is the South East corner of the temple when viewed from the Kidron Valley far below. This was probably a result of something Josephus said, when he wrote of the "dizzying heights of the Royal Portico over the ravine below". There was a balcony there which towered above the ravine below. The "pinnacle" was 450 feet above the ravine below. They say it was high enough to cause giddiness just looking down into the ravine. 


Other options have been put forward:

1)    The top of Solomon's Porch

2)    The roof of the temple (naos).


But none of these approximate a pinnacle or spire or extreme tip. Besides how would they stand on such a pinnacle. This fact has led many to believe this happening did not physically happen in the body but was something which happened in the mind of Christ. But unless this occurrence actually happened and Jesus was actually in a physical circumstances where He needed the protection of angels or a demonstration of divine power then whole thing is just a charade. The Royal Portico is the likely site of this temptation. But finding the site is not essential to determining the point of this temptation. We will look at the "why" of out all tomorrow. 



All our fears basically come down to these two questions: First: 'Lord, will you protect me?' Secondly: 'Lord, will you provide for me? Bob Gass


You don't have to go to anybody else for protection or provision; God's got you covered! Bob Gass


Researchers have found that about 40% of the things we worry about never happen. 30% are in the past and can't be helped. 

12% involve the affairs of others that are not even our business.

10% relate to sickness, real or imagined. 

That means only 8% of the things we worry about are even likely to happen!


There are 365 'fear nots' in the Bible-one for every day of the year.


When you worry, you doubt God


If Jesus can raise the dead, surely you don't have a problem He can't solve!


Lying awake, staring at the ceiling, thinking about all the things that could possibly happen? Can you imagine how that makes God feel?




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