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In the Hand of a Test

Yeshua replied to him, “But it also says, 
‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”

Matthew 4:7 – CJB

The Test

Practicing Hebrew with the Lord’s Prayer this morning, it dawned on me that selecting some words in different lines might be an excellent item to include in each HebrewEasy lesson. Even in the first lesson, students have enough basics to enjoy recognizing words made in initial letters and vowel points found in Lesson One. More importantly, it allows us to explore the insights we gain in learning how Jesus uses his Hebrew language to express the Gospel and links it to the Old Testament.

I found the word “hand” (Yad in Hebrew) in one of the lines, and I was surprised when I first saw it. In the last line of the prayer, instead of saying, “Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil” in Hebrew, Jesus said, “Do not bring us into the hands of a test, and protect us from all evil.”

The red Hebrew letters right to left are yod dalet and spell “yad” hand!

Tests can be harsh ordeals, and temptations tend to deal with right versus wrong actions. When I think of the Book of Job, I think of tests, and I wonder if Jesus’ experience in the wilderness, like Job’s experience, was considered a test by the Hebrews. I looked up the Hebrew translation for Matthew 4:1. Sure enough, the Hebrew word “testing” comes from the same root in the Lord’s prayer. Jesus was in “Satan’s hands of testing.”

In response to Satan in the wilderness, Jesus quotes from passages in Deuteronomy. The quote from Matthew 4:1 posted at the top of this page comes from Moses’ words in Deuteronomy 6:16: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.”

If we consider what Moses meant by “putting the Lord to the test,” we gain some food for thought about what Jesus is saying to us in the Lord’s Prayer. We need to look at Moses’s experience with the Israelites:

Then…the sons of Israel…camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, “Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” …And he named the place Massah [which means “test”] and Meribah [which means “quarrel”] because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?” (Exodus 17:1-7)

Jesus teaches us the love and character of Avinu – our Father. He knows his desire for us is good and not evil. Jesus knows our own weaknesses and that Satan will be trying to keep all souls from entering the Kingdom. Perhaps he is saying to ask God to keep us out of the hand of the cause of the hard test.

Looking online for examples of the difference between test and temptation, I found a good post. In closing, it read:

“Moses tells us–Jesus tells us–that we must not put God to the test. To test God means much more than trying to get Him to do a miracle; to test God is to insist that He prove that He is trustworthy. To test God is to look at today’s difficulties and say, “A loving God would never let me suffer in this way. Maybe if things get better, then I can trust Him.” To test God is to ask, as Israel did, “Is God with us or not?” God has shown us that He is with us; He has nothing to prove to us. If we refuse to see it, we are as blind as Israel was in the wilderness.

“Israel and Jesus were not in the wilderness by accident; God led them there.

“Israel and Jesus were not in the wilderness by accident; God led them there. Neither is it an accident when life pushes hard at believers today. We can, if we choose, interpret our troubles as evidence of God’s indifference. We would be wrong. Because God loves us, He uses our troubles to confront us with the spiritual issues we would rather ignore. Our eternal destiny is riding on the choices we are making today: will we trust God in the midst of our troubles, or will we put Him to the test?

(Excerpt from Can You Tell The Difference Between A Test And A Temptation?)

If you are new to, Discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls include a portion of the Gospel of Matthew written in Hebrew long before the texts used for most of our modern translations! Avinu – Hebrew Matthew, Our Father, comes to mind as a past post that might have some interesting links.

    Todah! Thank you for stopping by! Come again and bring your haverim – friends!

    God bless you always…

    Blessed be the Holy One of Israel,

    Nan Montgomery

    © 2022 Nancy Montgomery –
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