From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

TEMPTATION. —The word πειράζω (noun πειρασμός,  Luke 4:13;  Luke 8:13;  Luke 22:28,  Matthew 6:13;  Matthew 26:41; intensive form ἐκπειράζω,  Luke 10:25,  Matthew 4:7) has a neutral, a good, and a bad sense. It may mean simply ‘to try,’ ‘make trial of,’ ‘test,’ for the purpose of ascertaining the quality of a man, what he thinks, or how he will behave himself; but usually there is either a good ( John 6:6, perhaps also  Matthew 22:35) or a bad intent. In the latter case it means to solicit to sin, to tempt . That the word may be used in the wider sense, even when rendered ‘tempt,’ must not be forgotten. In  James 1:12 ‘temptation’ is used of trial generally, the issue of which is intended to be the crown of life; but in  James 1:13 ‘tempted’ is used in the sense of solicited to sin  ; and the writer very emphatically asserts, ‘God cannot be tempted (ἀπείραστος) with evil, and he himself tempteth no man.’ This statement seems to be contradicted by Jesus’ quotation from  Deuteronomy 6:16 in His answer to the second temptation in  Matthew 4:7, as well as by the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer ( Matthew 6:13); but tempting God does not mean soliciting Him to sin, but trying His justice and patience, challenging Him to give proof of His perfection to such a degree as to incur His displeasure, and to expose oneself to His judgment; and the temptations into which God is asked not to lead us, are the circumstances or the states of mind which, though to the strong they might prove the opportunities of winning ‘the crown of life’ ( James 1:12), to weakness may be the occasions of failure and transgression. This weakness of His disciples, while admitting their good intentions, Jesus recognizes in His warning in Gethsemane ( Matthew 26:41), and commends their fidelity to Him in the trying experiences they had shared with Him ( Luke 22:28). To the enthusiastic but shallow hearers of His words He affirmed that trials (persecution, etc.) would prove morally fatal ( Luke 8:13). The cares and riches and pleasures of this life ( Luke 8:14) He regarded as hindrances to the higher life. Noteworthy is the emphasis He lays on the peril of wealth ( Matthew 19:23-24). That Jesus discovered the moral peril in which Judas was placed from the very first indications of distrust and disloyalty to Himself, is suggested by  John 6:70-71, which shows also the danger He feared for the other disciples. His repeated references to His coming betrayal ( Matthew 17:22;  Matthew 20:18;  Matthew 26:2), His plain allusion to the presence of the traitor at the Last Supper ( Luke 22:21), His giving the sop to Judas ( John 13:26), may all be regarded as loving endeavours to strengthen him against temptation; and even when all these efforts had proved vain, what good was still in him was appealed to in the pathetic reproach, ‘Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?’ ( Luke 22:48). Peter, too, was warned against the temptation that threatened him ( Luke 22:31-32); and Jesus, who feared his fall through his self-confident weakness, hoped for his recovery, and the help he could be to others after his recovery, because He believed in the power of His own intercessory prayer.

Jesus Himself was both tried and tempted. He seems to confess His own liability to temptation when He refuses the epithet ‘good’ ( Luke 18:19), although He never confesses to have fallen before temptation; and the attitude He assumes to sinners implies His own sinlessness. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews ( Hebrews 4:15) states His moral position in the words, ‘in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin’; and St. Paul seems to indicate this liability to temptation without the actuality of sin in the phrase ‘in the likeness of sinful flesh’ ( Romans 8:3). St. Luke’s statement that the tempter ‘departed from him for a season’ ( Luke 4:13), and Jesus’ own reference to the temptations ( Luke 22:28) which His disciples had endured with Him, show that the experience in the wilderness was not solitary. It is not improbable even that the narratives of the Temptation ( Matthew 4:1-11,  Mark 1:12-13,  Luke 4:1-13) are a summary of a succession of moral trials through which Jesus in the course of His ministry passed, or at least that this record of an early experience has been coloured by reminiscences of later experiences. Be this as it may, we can find in the Gospels indications of similar trials of His fidelity to God. The desire of the people for healing ( John 4:48) and bread ( John 6:28), the demand of His enemies for a sign ( Matthew 16:1), the attempt to make Him a king ( John 6:15), may be regarded as illustrations of the three kinds of temptation recorded. A careful study of the record of the early ministry (in John 2-4) warrants the assumption that Jesus was tempted by His enthusiasm (which see) to force the issue between Him and His enemies prematurely, and that the reserve in language and restraint in action He displayed as soon as He had discovered this peril, are to be regarded as a conquest over temptation. His ‘escapes,’ as Bruce calls them ( With Open Face , ch. vii.), were intended, in the later part of His Galilaean ministry at least, not only to secure quiet for the training of the Twelve, but to withdraw Him from the danger threatened by His enemies. Had He run risks before His hour, He would have fallen before what seems to be indicated by the Second Temptation ( Matthew 4:5-6). His own family were a source of moral peril to Him. His words to His mother in Cana ( John 2:4) are explicable only if in her request He found a suggestion of evil, that He should use His miraculous power at the bidding of His natural affection instead of at God’s command alone. The completeness of His repudiation of the claims of His mother and brethren upon Him in relation to His public ministry indicates how intensely He felt this peril ( Matthew 12:48-49). The attempt to influence Him was nevertheless renewed by His brethren, when they advised Him to go up to the feast and so manifest Himself to the world ( John 7:3-4). Peter was rebuked as the Tempter ( Matthew 16:23) almost immediately after being commended as the Confessor, because he sought to turn Jesus from His sacrifice. May His refusal of the request of the Syrophœnician woman ( Matthew 15:24-27) not have been due to the fear lest a ministry of healing among the Gentiles might divert Him from the path of sacrifice to which He knew that His Father called Him? The request of the Greeks also ( John 12:21) stirred so deep emotion, because it seemed to suggest the possibility of an escape from the Cross, which had to be rejected as a temptation. The same temptation in its most acute form presents itself in the Agony (which see) in Gethsemane.

Tests or trials which were not felt by Jesus as temptations, but which were intended by His enemies either to discredit Him with the multitude or to obtain some ground of accusation against Him, were the questions addressed to Him about the tribute to Caesar, the resurrection, and the greatest commandment ( Matthew 22:15-40), and divorce ( Matthew 19:3). The man with the withered hand in the synogogue ( Luke 6:6-7) was a trap set for Him, to involve Him in the guilt of Sabbath-breaking; so also was the woman taken in adultery ( John 8:6), that He might either by His severity estrange the people, or by His laxity be shown to be in opposition to the Mosaic law. The sufferings and sorrows Jesus passed through were Divinely appointed trials that He might learn obedience, and so be made perfect ( Hebrews 5:8;  Hebrews 2:10); but it is not necessary here to illustrate this discipline in detail (see Struggles of Soul). To the data from the Gospels here presented, a few observations may be added regarding the possibility, the necessity, and the nature of temptation in Jesus’ life.

As God cannot be tempted, the liability of Jesus to temptation proves that there was a Divine Kenosis (which see) involved in the incarnation of the Son of God. Jesus could be tempted, because He was limited in knowledge, subject to emotion, and undergoing a moral development. Omniscience has an insight into the moral character of all conduct, and a foresight into the moral issues of all choice, which exclude even the possibility of temptation; omnipotence has such a command over all its moral resources that its moral efforts, can never involve any moral strain, such as is experienced in temptation; omniscience and omnipotence, therefore, cannot know the disturbance of feeling which is possible to limited knowledge and power. To ascribe these Divine attributes to the incarnate Son of God is to deny His liability to temptation, and to make His moral development a semblance and not a reality. Liability to temptation, necessary to moral development, does not, however, imply any necessity to sin. There may be growth unto perfection, with a constant choice of good. Temptation does not arise only in a sinful nature. Natural instincts and appetites, which are morally neutral, become sinful only when seen to be in conflict with the will of God as revealed in conscience. The opinions, sentiments, and desires of sinful men may become the occasions of temptation to a sinless nature. Temptation is not sin, involves no necessity of sin, although it brings the possibility of sin.

It was necessary for the fulfilment of Christ’s vocation as the Saviour of men that He should be tempted without sin. His moral teaching gains force from His moral example, and He can be a moral example to us only because He passed through a human moral development. His own moral struggles enable Him to feel with us in ours ( Hebrews 4:15). To condemn the sin of mankind ( Romans 8:3) it was needful for Him not only to suffer for sin, but also to overcome sin by withstanding its assaults.

The nature of His temptation was determined by His unique vocation. The lower passions and appetites seem never to have assailed Him. He was tempted to abuse His miraculous power, His privileged position, His supreme authority as Son of God, to fulfil the popular expectations instead of His own ideal of the Messiahship, to shrink from the agony and desolation of the Cross. His temptations transcended the common experience as much as He Himself did; but, though possible to Him alone, they were as real for Him as are the lower temptations for other men. See, further, the following article.

Literature.—Butler, Anal. ch. v.; Dods, The Prayer that Teaches to Pray , 143 ff.; Liddon, BL [Note: L Bampton Lecture.] 3 [Note: designates the particular edition of the work referred] 512; Ullmann, Sinlessness of Jesus , 123 ff., 264 ff.; W. C. E. Newbolt, Gospel of Experience , 98; J. D. Jones, Elims of Life , 92; D. Fairweather, Bound in the Spirit , 33; W. H. M. H. Aitken, Temptation and Toil , 1–205; G. A. Smith, Forgiveness of Sins , 51; J. Stalker, The Four Men , 29.

Alfred E. Garvie.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [2]

TEMPTATION . The English words ‘tempt’ and ‘temptation’ are in the OT with the exception of   Malachi 3:15 , where a synonym bâchan is used, the tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of various forms of the root nissâh , which is most frequently rendered ‘prove.’ In   Genesis 22:1 RV [Note: Revised Version.] tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘God did prove Abraham.’ But RV [Note: Revised Version.] retains ‘temptation’ for ( a ) God’s testing of Pharaoh’s character and disposition (  Deuteronomy 4:34 , RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ‘ trials ’ or ‘evidences’; cf.   Deuteronomy 7:19;   Deuteronomy 29:3 ); ( b ) Israel’s distrustful putting of God Himself to the proof (  Deuteronomy 6:16; cf.   Exodus 17:2;   Exodus 17:7 ,   Numbers 14:22 ,   Psalms 78:18;   Psalms 78:41;   Psalms 78:56 ). In   Psalms 95:8 RV [Note: Revised Version.] rightly keeps ‘ Massah ’ as a proper name, the reference being to the historic murmuring at Rephidim (  Exodus 17:1 ff.; cf.   Deuteronomy 33:8 ,   Psalms 81:7 ).

Driver ( ICC [Note: CC International Critical Commentary.] , on   Deuteronomy 6:15 ) points out, in a valuable note, that ‘nissâh is a neutral word, and means to test or prove a person, to see whether he will act in a particular way (  Exodus 16:4 ,   Judges 2:22;   Judges 3:4 ), or whether the character he bears is well established (  1 Kings 10:1 ). God thus proves a person, or puts him to the test , to see if his fidelity of affection is sincere (  Genesis 22:1 ,   Exodus 20:20 ,   Deuteronomy 8:2;   Deuteronomy 13:3; cf.   Psalms 26:2 ); and men test , or prove Jehovah when they act as if doubting whether His promise be true, or whether He is faithful to His revealed character (  Exodus 17:2;   Exodus 17:7 ,   Numbers 14:22 ,   Psalms 106:14; cf.   Isaiah 7:12 ).’

2. The Gr. word peirasmos is the usual LXX [Note: Septuagint.] rendering of massâh . It is also ‘a neutral word,’ though in the NT it sometimes means enticement to sin ( Mat 4:1 ,   1 Corinthians 7:5 ,   Revelation 2:10 etc.; cf. ‘the tempter,’   Matthew 4:3 ,   1 Thessalonians 3:5 ). In the RV [Note: Revised Version.] it is almost always tr. [Note: translate or translation.] ‘temptation,’ with the occasional marginal alternative ‘trial’ (  James 1:2 ),   1 Peter 1:6 ); the exceptions are   Acts 20:19 ,   Revelation 3:10 , where ‘trial’ is found in the text. The Amer. RV [Note: Revised Version.] substitutes ‘try’ or ‘make trial of’ (‘trial’) for ‘tempt’ (‘temptation’) ‘wherever enticement to what is wrong is not evidently spoken of’ (see Appendix to RV [Note: Revised Version.] , note vi.); but ‘temptation’ is retained in   Matthew 6:13 =   Luke 11:4 , where the range of the petition cannot be thus limited; cf.   James 1:2 .

3 . In expounding the prayer ‘Bring us not into temptation,’ and other passages in which the word has a wider meaning than enticement to sin, the difficulty is partially, but only partially, to be ascribed to the narrowing of the significance of the English word since 1611. If, as Driver thinks, ‘to tempt has, in modern English, acquired the sense of provoking or enticing a person in order that he may act in a particular way (= Heb. hissîth ),’ there is no doubt that ‘tempt’ is often ‘a misleading rendering.’ Into such temptation the heavenly Father cannot bring His children; our knowledge of His character prevents us from tracing to Him any allurement to evil. The profound argument of St. James (  James 1:13 ) is that God is ‘Himself absolutely unsusceptible to evil,’ and therefore He is ‘incapable of tempting others to evil’ (Mayor, Com., in loc. ). But the difficulty is not removed when the petition is regarded as meaning ‘bring us not into trial.’ Can a Christian pray to he exempted from the testing without which sheltered innocence cannot become approved virtue? Can he ask that he may never be exposed to those trials upon the endurance of which his blessedness depends (  James 1:12 )? The sufficient answer is that He who was ‘in all points tempted like as we are’ (  Hebrews 4:15 ) has taught us to pray ‘after this manner.’ His own prayer in Gethsemane (  Matthew 26:42 ), and His exhortation to His disciples (  Matthew 26:41 ), prove, by example and by precept, that when offered in subjection to the central, all-dominating desire ‘Thy will be done,’ the petition ‘Bring us not into temptation’ is always fitting on the lips of those who know that ‘the flesh is weak.’ Having thus prayed, those who find themselves ringed round (  James 1:2 , peri ) by temptations will be strengthened to endure joyfully. Their experience is not joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, Divine wisdom enables them to ‘count it all joy’ as being a part of the discipline which is designed to make them ‘perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.’

On the Temptation of our Lord see Jesus Christ, P. 447 a .

J. G. Tasker.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

In the original languages of the Bible, the words commonly translated ‘temptation’ had a range of meanings. These words were concerned basically with testing. In some cases the purpose of the testing may have been to prove the genuineness or quality of a person or thing. In other cases the purpose may have been to persuade a person to do wrong. In today’s language, ‘temptation’ is usually used in the latter sense, and it is this sense that is the subject of the present article. (For other meanings of the word see Testing .)

To be expected

God may allow people to meet temptations and trials in order to test their faith, but he will never tempt them to do evil. Rather he wants to deliver them from evil ( Matthew 6:13;  1 Corinthians 10:13;  James 1:13;  2 Peter 2:9). Satan, not God, is the one who tempts people to do wrong ( Genesis 3:1-6;  1 Corinthians 7:5;  2 Corinthians 11:3;  Ephesians 4:27;  Ephesians 6:11;  1 Peter 5:8-9). Some people blame God when they give in to temptation. The Scriptures point out that the source of their problem lies not with God, but with the sinful desires within their own hearts ( James 1:13-14).

Sinful human nature creates within people a natural tendency towards sin. This increases the opportunities for temptation and makes them more likely to give in to it ( Romans 7:11;  Romans 7:14;  Romans 7:21;  Galatians 5:17;  Ephesians 4:22;  1 John 2:15-16; see Flesh ).

But the temptation itself is not necessarily a sin. Jesus’ nature was not corrupted by sin, and his behaviour was never spoiled by sin, yet he met temptation constantly ( Luke 4:1;  Luke 4:13; cf.  Matthew 16:23;  Matthew 22:15;  Mark 14:35;  Luke 22:28;  John 6:15;  John 12:27). In fact, the absence of sin in Jesus was the reason Satan attacked him all the more. Satan had tempted the sinless Adam, and now he tempted the sinless Jesus. But where Adam failed, Jesus triumphed ( Matthew 4:1-10; cf.  Genesis 3:1-6).

Israel failed temptation in the wilderness, but Jesus, the true fulfilment of Israel, triumphed over temptation in the wilderness ( Matthew 4:4;  Matthew 4:7;  Matthew 4:10; cf.  Deuteronomy 6:13;  Deuteronomy 6:16;  Deuteronomy 8:3). Jesus suffered the sorts of temptations that are common to human beings in general, but because he was victorious over them, he is able to help his people when they are tempted ( Hebrews 2:18;  Hebrews 4:15).

No excuses

Temptation comes in many forms. Satan has many cunning methods, and people can easily get caught in his trap ( 2 Corinthians 2:11;  1 Thessalonians 3:5;  1 Timothy 6:9). But there can be no excuse for giving in to temptation, as some way of escape is always available ( 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Christians should not be over-confident in their own ability to overcome temptation ( 1 Corinthians 10:12). Instead they should be aware of the weakness of sinful human nature, and give it no opportunity to satisfy its desires ( Romans 6:12;  Romans 13:14).

Although the sin lies in giving in to temptation rather than in the temptation itself, Christians must do all they can to avoid those situations likely to produce temptation ( 1 Corinthians 15:33;  2 Timothy 2:22). This will require self-discipline as they develop better habits in their behaviour ( Colossians 3:12-13;  Galatians 5:16), thinking ( Romans 8:5;  2 Corinthians 10:5;  Philippians 4:8), talking ( Ephesians 5:11-12;  Titus 2:8) and praying ( Matthew 6:13;  Mark 14:38). The guiding influence in helping God’s people develop these better habits is the Word of God ( Psalms 119:11;  2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The struggle against temptation is more than merely a struggle with the problems of everyday life. It is a battle against the evil powers of Satan ( Ephesians 6:10-12). God has given his Word to his people to equip them for this battle ( Matthew 4:3-7;  Ephesians 6:16-17), and he has given them the assurance of victory, provided they make the effort to resist the tempter. Each victory strengthens them and enables them to live more confidently and positively in a world still full of temptations ( James 4:7;  1 Peter 5:9-10).

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

nsh peirazo

God tests the loyalty or disloyalty of persons. “God did tempt ( nsh ) Araham” ( Genesis 22:1 ). God “tested” Abraham's loyalty to God when He told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.  Hebrews 11:17 says: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac.” In   Deuteronomy 8:2 Moses said: “God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove ( nsh ) thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” (Compare  Exodus 20:20;  Judges 2:22 .) Christ also tested the loyalty of persons. Jesus asked Philip a question “to prove ( peirazo ) him: for he himself knew what he would do ( John 6:6 ).”

Jesus' enemies tried Him to get something to use against him. “The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting ( peirazo ) desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven” ( Matthew 16:1 ). (Compare  Matthew 19:3;  Matthew 22:18 ,Matthew 22:18, 22:35;  Mark 8:11;  Mark 10:2;  Mark 12:15;  Luke 11:16;  Luke 20:23;  John 8:6 .)

Persons are tempted or enticed to sin.  James 1:13 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted ( peirazo ), I am tempted by God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” Both the Old Testament and New Testament make it clear that God does not entice persons to sin, but both indicate that God allows human beings to be tempted. (Compare  1 Chronicles 21:1;  Matthew 4:1 ,Matthew 4:1, 4:3;  Mark 1:13;  Luke 4:2 ,Luke 4:2, 4:13;  1 Corinthians 7:5;  1 Thessalonians 3:5;  Revelation 2:10 .) These passages refer to the temptation as coming from the “tempter,” “devil,” or “Satan.” In  1 Corinthians 10:13 Paul said: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”   James 1:14 says that “every man is tempted, when he drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” Persons are thus tempted from without by the tempter or from within themselves. Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (  Matthew 6:13 ). Since God does not entice to sin, this is a cry of the soul for help in the midst of temptation.

Persons are not to test God. Jesus quoted  Deuteronomy 6:16 when He said: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (  Matthew 4:7 ). People did put God to the test. (Compare  Exodus 17:2 ,Exodus 17:2, 17:7;  Deuteronomy 6:16;  Deuteronomy 9:22;  Numbers 14:22;  Acts 5:9;  Acts 15:10;  1 Corinthians 10:9;  Hebrews 3:8-9 .) When the apostles and elders from the Jerusalem church came to Antioch and questioned the admission of the Gentiles into the church, Peter said that the Holy Spirit had been given to the Gentiles: “Why tempt ye God?” ( Acts 15:6-11 ). See Devil, Satan, Eve, Demonic; Temptation Of Jesus .

H. Page Lee

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

This word is perfectly understood in relation to the act itself as exercised by the devil, or bad men, upon the hearts of the Lord's people. It invariably means exciting them to sin. But when the word is made use of in respect to the Lord's exercises of his people, it invariably means the reverse. I beg the reader to turn to the memorable instance of Abraham, and consider the result of that interesting transaction,  Genesis 22:1-24 throughout; and read also what the apostle James hath said concerning temptation; and I venture to hope, under the Holy Ghost's teaching, the truth will appear very plain and obvious. ( James 1:2-15)

In addition to these precious things from Scripture I would beg to subjoin an observation, and from the same authority, that the exercises of the Lord's people ought not to be considered in the light of probation, as some affect to call the present life, but as so many proofs of divine love. "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten, said Jesus to the church of Laodicea." ( Revelation 3:19) But this is not as if to see how those whom Jesus loves will improve the trials and temptations by which he is exercising their gifts and graces; for if this were the case it would be to make the event of his grace to depend upon their use or abuse of the mercies given them, and instead of a covenant of his grace, render their final hope dependent upon a covenant of their good works. Not so the grace of God which bringeth salvation. Jesus by his death hath purchased redemption for his people; and God the Father hath engaged to bestow all the blessings of it in his covenant. The Lord therefore may, and the Lord will, bring his people as he himself was led up before them into the wilderness of temptation to try their spirits, and to prove his faithfulness: but the issue is not doubtful. The covenant stands firm as the ark did in the waters of Jordan, amidst all the beating waves, until the people are all clean gone over. And that sweet promise which belongs to the covenant, and is a part of it, never hath failed, neither can fail to every one of the people—"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer yon to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." ( 1 Corinthians 10:10)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [6]

1: Πειρασμός (Strong'S #3986 — Noun Masculine — peirasmos — pi-ras-mos' )

akin to A, above, is used of (1) "trials" with a beneficial purpose and effect, (a) of "trials" or "temptations," Divinely permitted or sent,  Luke 22:28;  Acts 20:19;  James 1:2;  1—Peter 1:6;  4:12 , RV, "to prove," AV, "to try;"  2—Peter 2:9 (singular);   Revelation 3:10 , RV, "trial" (AV, "temptation"); in  James 1:12 , "temptation" apparently has meanings (1) and (2) combined (see below), and is used in the widest sense; (b) with a good or neutral significance,  Galatians 4:14 , of Paul's physical infirmity, "a temptation" to the Galatian converts, of such a kind as to arouse feelings of natural repugnance; (c) of "trials" of a varied character,  Matthew 6:13;  Luke 11:4 , where believers are commanded to pray not to be led into such by forces beyond their own control;  Matthew 26:41;  Mark 14:38;  Luke 22:40,46 , where they are commanded to watch and pray against entering into "temptations" by their own carelessness or disobedience; in all such cases God provides "the way of escape,"  1—Corinthians 10:13 (where peirasmos occurs twice). (2) Of "trial" definitely designed to lead to wrong doing, "temptation,"   Luke 4:13;  8:13;  1—Timothy 6:9; (3) of "trying" or challenging God, by men,  Hebrews 3:8 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

  • Ordinarily, however, the word means solicitation to that which is evil, and hence Satan is called "the tempter" ( Matthew 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" ( Matthew 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."

    Temptation is common to all ( Daniel 12:10;  Zechariah 13:9;  Psalm 66:10;  Luke 22:31,40;  Hebrews 11:17;  James 1:12;  1 Peter 1:7;  4:12 ). We read of the temptation of Joseph ( Genesis 39 ), of David ( 2 Samuel 24;  1 Chronicles 21 ), of Hezekiah ( 2 Chronicles 32:31 ), of Daniel ( Daniel 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.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Temptation'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/t/temptation.html. 1897.

  • Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [8]

    The enticement of a person to commit sin by offering some seeming advantage. There are four things, says one, in temptation:

    1. Deception.

    2. Infection.

    3. Seduction.

    4. Perdition. The sources of temptation, are Satan, the world, and the flesh. We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time of life. They may be wisely permitted to show us our weakness, to try our faith, to promote our humility, and to learn us to place our dependence on a superior power: yet we must not run into them, but watch and pray; avoid sinful company: consider the love, sufferings, and constancy of Christ, and the awful consequences of falling a victim to them. The following rules have been laid down, by which we may in some measure know when a temptation comes from Satan.

    1. When the temptation is unnatural, or contrary to the general bias or temper of our minds.

    2. When it is opposite to the present frame of the mind.

    3. When the temptation itself is irrational; being contrary to whatever we could imagine our own minds would suggest to us.

    4. When a temptation is detested in its first rising and appearance.

    5. Lastly, when it is violent.

    See Satan Brooks, Owen, Gilpin, Capel and Gillespie on Temptation; South's Seven Sermons on Temptation, in the 6th vol. of his Sermons; Pike and Hayward's Cases of Conscience; and Bishop Porteus's Sermons, ser. 3 and 4, vol. 1:

    King James Dictionary [9]

    TEMPTA'TION, n. The act of tempting enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.

    When the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.  Luke 4 .

    1. Solicitation of the passions enticements to evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage. 2. The state of being tempted or enticed to evil. When by human weakness you are led into temptation, resort to prayer for relief. 3. Trial.

    Lead us not into temptation.

    4. That which is presented to the mind as an inducement to evil.

    Dare to be great without a guilty crown,

    View it, and lay the bright temptation down.

    5. In colloquial language, an allurement to any thing indifferent, or even good.

    Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [10]

    Many horses fall at the bottom of a hill because the driver thinks the danger past and the need to hold the reins with firm grip less pressing. So it is often with us when we are not specially tempted to overt sin, we are the more in danger through slothful ease. I think it was Ralph Erskine who said, 'There is no devil so bad as no devil.' The worst temptation that ever overtakes us, is, in some respects, preferable to our becoming carnally secure and neglecting to watch and pray.

    'More the treacherous calm I dread Than tempests rolling overhead.'

    Webster's Dictionary [11]

    (1): ( n.) The act of tempting, or enticing to evil; seduction.

    (2): ( n.) The state of being tempted, or enticed to evil.

    (3): ( n.) That which tempts; an inducement; an allurement, especially to something evil.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

    ( מִסָּה , Πειρασμός , both meaning Trial ) in the modern usage of the term, is the enticement of a person to commit sin by offering some seeming advantage. There are four things, says one, in temptation (1) deception, (2) infection, (3) seduction, (4) perdition. The sources of temptation are Satan, the world, and the flesh. We are exposed to them in every state, in every place, and in every time of life. They may be wisely permitted to show us our weakness, to try our faith, to promote our humility, and to teach us to place our dependence on a superior Power; yet we must not run into them, but watch and pray; avoid sinful company; consider the love, sufferings, and constancy of Christ, and the awful consequences of falling a victim to temptation. The following rules have been laid down, by which we may in some measure know when a temptation comes from Satan:

    1. When the temptation is unnatural, or contrary to the general bias or temper of our minds;

    2. When it is opposite to the present frame of the mind;

    3. When the temptation itself is irrational, being contrary to whatever we could imagine our own minds would suggest to us;

    4. When a temptation is detested in its first rising and appearance;

    5. Lastly, when it is violent. See Brooks, Owen, Gilpin, Capel, and Gillespie on Temptation; South, Seven Sermons on Temptation, in vol. 6 of his Sermons; Pike and Hayward, Cases of Conscience; and Bishop Porteus, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. 3 and 4.