Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

What does into mean in this verse?

This prayer seems to me like God by default leads us into temptation and Jesus is asking us to pray that God would repent of His default behavior.

But another verse says just the opposite.

James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

So inorder to reconcile these two verses I think the meaning of "into" is important.


1 Answer 1


The preposition in the original Greek is εἰς. The BAG lexical definition is:

εἰς prep. w. acc. (...), indicating motion into a thing or into its immediate vicinity.

Arndt, W., Gingrich, F. W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (1979). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature : ... (p. 228). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

So it means starting out away from the temptation and moving into the temptation.

Here is a diagram of Greek prepositions: enter image description here

from http://www.biblefood.com/prep.jpg

  • So it means more than "just being tempted" but also by being trapped by temptation? Jan 13, 2019 at 4:35
  • It doesn't mean you have given into temptation, but that the temptation is present when it wasn't before.
    – Perry Webb
    Jan 13, 2019 at 12:59
  • So this prayer if answered should keep us free from temptation? is that a correct inference? Jan 13, 2019 at 14:04
  • 1
    Pray often prepares our hearts more that it tells God anything. While we will never be completely free from temptation, this prayer leads us to have the heart to avoid temptation rather than go looking for it. Note this prayer doesn't ask for God to give us patience.
    – Perry Webb
    Jan 13, 2019 at 19:11

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