on Matthew 4 :5
Pinnacle of the temple - It is very likely that this was what was called the στοα βασιλικη, the king's gallery; which, as Josephus says, "deserves to be mentioned among the most magnificent things under the sun: for upon a stupendous depth of a valley, scarcely to be fathomed by the eye of him that stands above, Herod erected a gallery of a vast height, from the top of which if any looked down, he would grow dizzy, his eyes not being able to reach so vast a depth." - Ant. l. xv. c. 14. See Dr. Lightfoot on this place.
on Matthew 4 :5
Then the devil taketh him up - This does not mean that he bore him through the air; or that he compelled him to go against his will, or that he performed a miracle in any way to place him there. There is no evidence that Satan had power to do any of these things, and the word translated taketh him Up does not imply any such thing. It means to conduct one; to lead one; to attend or accompany one; or to induce one to go. It is used in the following places in the same sense: Numbers 23:14; "And he (Balak) brought him (Balaam) into the field of Zophim," etc. That is, he led him, or induced him to go there. Matthew 17:1; "and after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James," etc.; that is, led or conducted them - not by any means implying that he bore them by force. Matthew 20:17; "Jesus, going to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples apart," etc. See also Matthew 26:37; Matthew 27:27; Mark 5:40. From these passages, and many more, it appears that all that is meant here is, that Satan conducted Jesus, or accompanied him; but not that this was done against the will of Jesus.
The holy city - Jerusalem, called holy because the temple was there, and because it was the place of religious solemnities.
Setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple - It is not perfectly certain to what part of the temple the sacred writer here refers. It has been supposed by some that he means the roof. But Josephus says that the roof was covered by spikes of gold, to prevent its being polluted by birds; and such a place would have been very inconvenient to stand upon. Others suppose that it was the top of the porch or entrance to the temple. But it is more than probable that the porch leading to the temple was not as high as the main building. It is more probable that he refers to that part of the sacred edifice which was called Solomon's Porch. The temple was built on the top of Mount Moriah. The temple itself, together with the courts and porches, occupied a large space of ground. See the notes at Matthew 21:12. To secure a level spot sufficiently large, it was necessary to put up a high wall on the east. The temple was surrounded with porches or piazzas 50 feet broad and 75 feet high. The porch on the south side was, however, 67 feet broad and 150 high. From the top of this to the bottom of the valley below was more than 700 feet, and Josephus says that one could scarcely look down without dizziness. The word "pinnacle" does not quite express the force of the original. It is a word given usually to birds, and denotes wings, or anything in the form of wings, and was given to the roof of this porch because it resembled a bird dropping its wings. It was on this place, doubtless, that Christ was placed.
on Matthew 4 :5