ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
Temptation is common to all ( Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:9; Ps. 66:10; Luke 22:31, 40; Hebrews 11:17; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 1:7; 4:12). We read of the temptation of Joseph ( Gen. 39 ), of David ( 2 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 21), of Hezekiah ( 2 Chr. 32:31), of Daniel ( Dan. 6), etc. So long as we are in this world we are exposed to temptations, and need ever to be on our watch against them.
Adam’s sin (Gen. 3:1-6) consisted in his yielding to the assaults of temptation and eating the forbidden fruit. It involved in it:
the sin of unbelief, virtually making God a liar; and
the guilt of disobedience to a positive command.
By this sin he became an apostate from God, a rebel in arms against his Creator. He lost the favor of God and communion with him; his whole nature became depraved, and he incurred the penalty involved in the covenant of works.
There are two biblical meanings of the word “temptation”:
Trial; a being put to the test. Thus God “tempted [Gen. 22:1; Revised Version:” [“did prove”] Abraham;” and afflictions are said to tempt, i.e., to try, men (James 1:2, 12; compare Deut. 8:2), putting their faith and patience to the test.
Ordinarily, however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called “the tempter” (Matt. 4:3).
Our Lord was in this way tempted in the wilderness. That temptation was not internal, but by a real, active, subtle being. It was not self-sought. It was submitted to as an act of obedience on his part. “Christ was led, driven. An unseen personal force bore him a certain violence is implied in the words” (Matt. 4:1-11).
The scene of the temptation of our Lord is generally supposed to have been the mountain of Quarantania (q.v.), “a high and precipitous wall of rock, 1,200 or 1,500 feet above the plain west of Jordan, near Jericho.”