My question for you today is, what is humanity’s highest calling? What is it that inspires us, that awakens everything good within us? What is it that brings tears to our eyes, breathes glory into the air we breathe, and makes all other pursuits look empty by comparison?
The answer? In Biblical terms it is called “crushing the head of the Serpent” (Gen 3:15; Rom 16:20). In layman’s terms it is when we risk everything to take a stand against evil in the world; when we leave our comfort zone and invade enemy occupied territory and liberate victims from sadistic cruelty, abuse, poverty, neglect and addiction.1 It is a high calling given to us by Jesus Christ by means of the victory he won over the devil. In our text today we will examine the first confrontation between these two implacable enemies. Luke’s account reveals the divine secret that gives us as human beings the edge over powerful demonic forces in heavenly places.
It may surprise you to know that God’s son was not exempt from any of the temptations or pains that we experience as human beings. Many today see Jesus as some kind of superhero who masks his true identity until he confronts the forces of evil lurking in the dark corners of the earth, and then in a flash he would unleash his divine powers, crushing his opponents and sealing their doom with those haunting words, “I’ll be back.” To the contrary, Luke tells us that Jesus was fully human, a true son of Adam, who shares our flesh and blood as a real human being. As a descendant of Adam, he will now face the test that Adam failed in the garden, and undo the effects of sin and rebellion that have plagued humanity ever since. To do that Jesus will have to confront the twisted and sinister spiritual forces that were unleashed as a result of human rebellion and have kept humankind in bondage. In the text we will hear echoes of the garden story with the serpent whispering lies and half-truths to the woman that were designed to create doubt about the goodness of God’s character and the wisdom of his ways. Even more prominent are echoes of Israel’s time of testing in the wilderness for forty years.
When you know the stories that precede and give shape to the gospel, you begin to comprehend the magnitude of these events. Just as in sports, when you’re playing for a team that has a legacy of greatness, the memory of that tradition brings an added dimension to the present. In baseball terms, today’s text is like the seventh game of the World Series. For a third time man must come to the plate to face the most feared pitcher in the game. Overpowering all his opponents has earned him the title, “the pitcher from hell.” He has perfected three pitches, a screaming fastball, a sinking splitter, and a wicked curve. When Adam faced him in Fenway Gardens, he struck out looking. Centuries later Israel came to the plate with high hopes after humiliating the perennial Egyptian powerhouse, with their starting pitcher completing a record 10 innings. But sadly, Israel had no heart for the rigorous demands of spring training in the desert and fouled out before the prince of pitchers. It’s now the bottom of the ninth with two outs and everything riding on the young catcher from Nazareth. He’ll get three pitches. Miss one and it’s game over! And with it, all hopes of humanity will be eternally doomed.
When Jesus steps up to the plate, he is not alone. Jesus has emerged from the waters of the Jordan “full of the Holy Spirit” and is led by the Spirit to the wilderness to prepare himself for this confrontation. By the time it is over, Jesus knocks all three pitches out of the park and returns to Galilee “in the power of the Spirit.” Luke’s emphasis on the Spirit reveals the secret that uniquely gives us the ability to crush evil.
I. The First Temptation: Lust of the Flesh (Luke 4:1-3)
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” (Luke 4:1-3 ESV)
A. The test: Are you hungry?
The first temptation is aimed at Jesus’ hunger and is a suspicious echo of the serpent’s approach with Eve in the garden. It’s important to know that the enemy’s strategy hasn’t changed for millennia. The reason? He hasn’t needed to change because it has been so effective. But if we walk in the light, we should not be taken by surprise.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:16-17 NASB)
Immediately after his baptism the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness, “separating him from normal communal life for the purpose of testing”2 and refining his affections and loyalty on God. If it was necessary for Jesus, the son of God, to be separated from his normal environment to hear the voice of God and to define and increase his loyalty to God, how do you think we can hear God’s voice in a culture where we don’t turn off any machines, we have email and phones constantly demanding our attention and we are never quiet? If you expect to hear God’s voice under these circumstances you will be perpetually disappointed; it will never happen. If you want to hear God’s voice you have to head to the wilderness, the place outside your comfort zone where you must depend on God for provision. One of the best gifts we give our children is allowing them to wander in the wilderness, to step aside so they can wrestle with difficulty, come face to face with injustice and rejection, and in so doing learn to hear the voice of God for themselves.
To prepare for the battle, Jesus fasts for forty days, something that defies human wisdom. Why would you deliberately starve your body before a fight? The answer is – this is no ordinary fight, it is a spiritual battle and therefore must be fought on different terms. If you fight the devil with violence you will lose every time. Properly understood, fasting becomes a powerful tool to discipline us in the art of saying “no” to our appetites. God uses our most essential and strongest physical appetites to shape our spiritual appetites. The process of refusing to eat and allowing hunger to go unsatisfied actually heightens our spiritual senses with clarity and vision, increasing our capacity and awareness for God, not to mention our absolute dependence. Starve the flesh, feed the Spirit.
But fasting forty days – where is God after forty days? Dr. Luke gets our head out of the clouds and puts our feet on the earth. For Jesus the battle is intense; there are no rapturous visions as of yet. He’s just spent and hungry, very hungry. The devil is extremely sensitive to time and opportunity. He waits until Jesus is at the point of starvation and then comes to him with a whisper, “Granted [indeed] you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” On the surface the devil’s suggestion seems innocent, if not appropriate. The logic has force. If Jesus is Israel’s rightful king who will rescue his people in a new Exodus, he should demonstrate his calling by filling Moses’ shoes. When the people were thirsty in the wilderness God commanded Moses, “Take the rod…and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water” (Num 20:8). Given the Biblical precedent coupled with rapacious hunger, I would not have hesitated to give the command. Wouldn’t you?
But Jesus doesn’t even flinch.
B. The answer: Stay out of the kitchen!
And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” (v. 4)
Are you hungry? There is only one chef, so stay out of the kitchen! There is a subtle point here that must not be missed. Moses was not commanded to “speak to the rock” in order to satisfy his own thirst, but rather to “give drink to the congregation and the cattle.” The devil is tempting Jesus to use his office to feed himself. To counter the temptation, Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy where Moses reminds Israel how God provided manna for them in the wilderness:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deut 8:2-3)
The point is that bread “by itself” (i.e. separated from the life that God alone gives) cannot impart life to the soul. Only God’s word gives real life. This was the lesson Israel was forced to learn as they collected bread from heaven each and every morning. Jesus refuses to make that illicit reach; he is waiting for God to feed him by his word. Delay does not mean God is not faithful. Delays are designed to increase our appetites for what is truly good, thereby increasing our capacity for joy when the gift is given. Matthew tells us that after Jesus withstood the temptations, “the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering (diakone? – “to serve”) to him” (Matt 4:11). The term connotes loving service, especially with reference to “waiting on tables” (Luke 10:40; Acts 6:1). In all likelihood, the angels served Jesus heavenly food.
In John 4, Jesus plays this moment out again. His disciples have gone off to find food while Jesus ministers to the Samaritan woman. When the disciples return Jesus rebuffs their insistence to eat, telling them, “I have food you know not of.” In 1998, a group of us from PBCC were in Romania for a conference, and at the end of the week when we were finished, James Garcia and I went to Simeria, a small Romanian town where some friends lived. Their home was perched on a hilltop overlooking the village; and just outside their door was a cornfield. Early Sunday morning James headed off to the cornfield with his guitar. When I asked him where he was going, he said, “Let’s have church!” I invited our hostess, who was preparing breakfast, to join us. In typical Romanian fashion she politely refused, not wanting to abandon her kitchen responsibilities. But I told her that we wouldn’t be long and she agreed to join us. When we started singing time stood still as heaven came into the cornfield. Later I wrote:
Yes upon this furrowed ground
of sorrow’s crop sown in years of pain
descends our heavenly song
joyous tears, let it rain, let it rain.
And there we stand upon the sod
a small circle lost in time embraced
for there it was in a field of corn
Noah’s heaven floods our space.
When we came back down to breakfast, I looked at the clock and it was 11:30. We sat at the table in stunned silence and looked at each other, but none of us could eat. God had already fed us. When our leader, Ionatan, joined us later that afternoon, I shared with him our experience. He smiled and just said, “I know.” “How do you know?” I asked. He replied that the cornfield is a holy place. During Communist days they conducted illegal Bible studies at the home and when the Securitate came looking for them, angels came out of the cornfield and protected them. He said, “You just walked into the field of angels.”
Jesus continued to impress upon the disciples how a spirit-filled man or woman receives their true food. When 5000 people gathered to be taught by Jesus the hour grew late and the disciples told Jesus to send them away so they could eat. But Jesus said, “You feed them.” After they feed them, miraculously, there is food left over – 12 baskets full, one for each apostle. The lesson? The spirit-filled person does not feed his or her own appetites. Rather he or she feeds others first, and then God feeds them through the life they have given to others. When you are fed by means of the love you have given others, God is present in every bite.
II. Second Temptation: Lust of the Eyes (Luke 4:5-8)
And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” (vv. 5-7)
A. The temptation: Isn’t this glorious?
Like a modern telemarketer, the devil doesn’t hang up easily. After a seductive whisper in the ear failed to unhinge Jesus’ resolute trust in God, the devil ups the ante with a visionary excursion to a very high place. The “trip” is designed to create an adrenalin rush that suspends time and pressures him to act quickly. From that dizzying vantage point, Jesus is given a glimpse of all the kingdoms of the world “in a moment of time.” It’s a dazzling spectacle that would rival any Hollywood production for its cinematography and eye startling special effects. But before Jesus even has a chance to settle into his seat and taste the melted butter on his popcorn, it’s over and the director starts in on his sales pitch. “Everything you saw has been delivered (paradid?mi) to me and I give (di?mi) it to whomever I choose. And today, I’m offering it all to you, yes you. Just sign on the dotted line.”
For Luke’s observant readers a light goes on. Earlier “we were led to believe that ‘all the world’ (2:1) was under the charge of the Roman emperor. Now…we discover that the world of humanity is actually ruled by the devil,”3 and he gives it to whomever he wishes. This is why Paul calls the devil “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2) and John affirms in his letter, “We know that…the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). The only catch is if you want the glory, you have to do it his way (that’s what worship entails). This has far reaching political implications and suggests that Rome’s dominion over the world was given in exchange for their idolatrous worship and depraved morality.4
I often talk to people working in Silicon Valley companies and what amazes me is how some CEOs get to their lofty positions. More often than not they are abusive, demanding and immature, but they are nonetheless in charge of empires that practically have world dominion! As I read this passage I realized this is how these men have achieved their position – the devil gave it to them in exchange for their worship. I’m not suggesting they deliberately made a deal with the devil, but the truth is if you do things his way you can get ahead. You can have dominion, but it comes with a price.
Back in Jesus’ mind is God’s voice, “You are my son,” from Psalm 2:7, the coronation Psalm of Israel’s kings. Verse 8 and 9 read,
“Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
God has already promised the Son the ends of the earth as his inheritance. The Father says that all he has to do is ask (prayer), and it will be his. Now the devil places himself in the role of God as benefactor and offers it to Jesus without the shameful “stigma” of the cross (note the wordplay of “stigma” with a “moment” [stigm?] of time). When the devil claims that all political authority and the honor that goes with it has been “delivered over” (paradidoœmi) to him, he has chosen a verb that is a painful reminder to Jesus of what he will undergo, if he pursues his calling God’s way. It is most often used in the gospels, on Jesus’ own lips, for the announcement of his suffering and passion.
He is delivered over into the hands of men (Luke 9:44), to the high priest and scribes (Matt 20:18), to the Gentiles (Luke 18:32), to Pilate (Matt 27:2), to the death sentence (Luke 24:20) and to crucifixion (Matt 26:2). Judas, the person who delivers him up, is the betrayer.5
B. The answer: It’s a sham!
And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’” (v. 8)
Jesus sees the reality beneath the lies, for it is all a sham. Yes, the devil has the authority to give worldly success to whomever he chooses, but it’s only yours for a “moment in time.” You may remember the old TV series, “Queen for a Day.” The devil has its counterpart called “King for a Day.” As Andy Warhol reminds us, “Everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But what’s worse is that it costs you everything—your honor, your integrity, your life. In the end you end up the shell of a person without a soul.
The only use of stigm? in the Septuagent is revealing and strengthens our resolve to refuse anyone who offers us glory “in a moment” of time, for they will be visited by the Lord of hosts in an “an instant (stigm?) suddenly,” and their judgment will be eternal.
And in an instant (stigm?) suddenly,
you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire. (Isa 29:5c-6)
Jesus refuses to abandon his supreme loyalty to God, the only one worthy of our worship. Paul’s words are salient: “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1).
III. Third Temptation: Boastful Pride of Life (Luke 4:9-12)
And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (vv. 9-11)
A. The temptation: What is power for?
The third test takes place at the temple, no doubt to impress upon Jesus the dark fate that awaits him there. The devil strategically sets Jesus in a very precarious position “on the pinnacle of the temple,” to awaken his sense of impending danger. The exact spot is not given, but most scholars think it refers to “the South-East corner of the temple area where one could look straight down from the roof of Solomon’s Porch into the Kidron Valley,”6 some four hundred and fifty feet below. Directly behind Jesus is the temple, the locus of God’s presence and power to protect all who take refuge in him (Pss 2:12; 61:4; 91:4). A rabbinical tradition reads, “When the king, Messiah reveals himself, then he comes and stands on the roof of the holy palace.”7
With the stage strategically set, the devil whispers, “Since you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” Here is Jesus’ opportunity to prove to the nation who he is. Since Jesus has been resolute on defining his identity and calling from Scripture, the devil chooses a text that speaks to the heart of the issue, Psalm 91.8 The psalm gives voice to the protection God gives to the Davidic king, who has made the Lord his refuge and dwelling place. With that the devil plays the final card in his hand, purporting to speak with God’s own unadulterated voice.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge —
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone. (Ps 91:9-12)
B. The answer: To confront and destroy the forces of evil?
And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (v. 12)
How do you respond to God’s words in the devil’s mouth? It’s a common ploy. The devil offers Jesus a valid promise from Scripture (Ps 91:11-12). On the one hand, the promise was true – God would protect his Messiah – but on the other, Jesus is keenly aware that forcing God to prove his faithfulness is blasphemous (Exod 17:1-7).
If we continue reading, we discover the devil left out the next verse, which gives the reason for angelic protection. God’s protection is not to be harnessed for self-glorification, but to conquer evil: “You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot” (Ps 91:13). Had the devil quoted that verse, he would have signed his own death warrant. As Jesus was well versed in Israel’s wilderness tradition, he was able to subdue the satanic seduction with just one verse from Moses’ teaching on this subject: “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah” (Deut 6:16; Exod 17:1-7). This tells us that it is not enough to know a few verses to overcome our adversary; you must immerse yourself in whole texts of Scripture.
Yesterday Stanford University started a new quarterback in their lineup who was outstanding. When the coach was asked why they didn’t play him at the beginning of the season, he replied that he wasn’t ready. He had not yet memorized and mastered the 300-page play book. If we train our athletes to be that prepared before facing their opponents, what makes us think we can do battle in the real war without rigorous dedication and discipline? Make no mistake about it – our generation is fast becoming biblically illiterate. If you are serious about crushing the head of the Serpent then you must master your playbook.
Carroll notes that, “Jerusalem becomes the place for the climactic test of Jesus’ fidelity, both in this episode and in the larger narrative. Just as Jesus now refuses to presume upon God’s power to deliver from injury, he will at the end of life refuse to ”save himself” (23:35; 37, 39) or demand that God do so (22:42).”9 The devil responds to Jesus’ refusal with frustration and rage, as this is perhaps the place where, according to Eusebius, James, the Lord’s brother, was hurled down to his death.
Our culture thrives on the thrill of surviving danger. As if life isn’t dangerous enough, we manufacture death-defying stunts and offer fame and fortune to those who are brave enough to take the risk and come out on top. Indy cars race within inches of each other at speeds close to 200 mph, while nervous family members pray for God’s protection. We are forever creating new competitions, extreme-sports, which push athletes beyond human limitations, as close to death’s wall as possible. It’s all for the incredible rush. Most survive; the unfortunate few do not. Why spend your life flirting with death, testing God and tempting fate, when you can use all the resources of heaven to rescue precious souls from the grip of evil.
IV. Epilogue: Victory (Luke 4:13-14)
And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. (v. 13-14)
The devil, having failed to divert the Son from his true vocation and loyalty to his Father, departs “until an opportune time.” In the end the test proved beneficial to Jesus on many levels.
1. It intensified his appetite for God’s word;
2. It deepened his affections for his heavenly Father; and
3. It clarified his mission using God’s power to launch a direct assault on Satan’s dominion in this world. Jesus will cast out demons, liberate the oppressed, heal the sick, cure the lame and give sight to the blind, and he’ll die doing it.
I have met two people in my life who seemed to embody the full measure of the Spirit found in this text. The first is the Romanian poet Traian Dorz, who I met in the summer of 1988. For decades an entire population had been ravaged, raped and left to grope alone in the darkness. Speaking of his birth Dorz wrote, “When I was born with this body among you, there was cloud and night and winter and war.”10 Working in this wasteland, God gave him a voice that contained a rare light to break through the silent suffering and violent fires of the oppressor. So powerful were his poems the Securitate brutally confiscated every page of them, piled them in an oxcart and burned them before his eyes. Then, they imprisoned the poet. But they could not silence his voice.
Over the next seventeen years of imprisonment, house arrest and brutal torture Traian Dorz worked with relentless energy. Equipped with only his memory, a glass shard for a palette, lime and spittle as his paint, and a matchstick for a brush, he resurrected his poems from the ash heap; some 15,000 poems! And, just as in the David story, this poet “would have the last word, not to mention the silence after.”11 Ceausescu, the dictator, and Traian Dorz both died in 1989. Ceausescu has no lasting legacy from his fleeting, vulgar shadow, but today, thousands of Romanians sing Dorz’s immortal songs as the sacred expression of their worship. Hearing them for the first time, I felt that I was transported to another place and time where one touches the face of the Holy.
And then I met the man. I had returned from a secret meeting, full of song and Spirit and entered my host’s home. As I opened the door to my room, I saw him standing there. He was a man of small stature but he possessed a powerful presence; he was a peasant yet a king. Here was a man who endured more suffering and swallowed more evil than I could comprehend. Seeing him, I felt conflicting emotions warring within me. Repelled by my own sense of unworthiness, I felt like dust on the scale, and at the same time, I was drawn by a holy love. He took me into his arms, looked deep into my eyes and said, “You teach about the cross … we live under the cross.” Then he gently pressed his cheek to mine and prayed for me. He prayed that I might know something of the unspeakable love of Christ he had experienced in his suffering. The words rolled off his tongue in dream-like cadences. The soft timbre of his voice and those pulsating rhythms seized me and tore my heart like water. In that moment and the days afterwards I prayed, “God, give me a tenth of the spirit of that man.”
More recently, I had the privilege of meeting Michael George. He is a cousin of Suma Mathen, who attends our church. Michael grew up in India and trained as an engineer, and was working in a lucrative job with an oil company in Damman, Saudi Arabia. He happened to meet an underground group of Christians, and risked his life to attend their secret meetings. The fellowship was very strong in prayer, worship and studying the word of God. Usually people prayed three hours daily and Friday fellowship meetings lasted for four hours. The holiness and love of those Christians in Saudi Arabia so impressed him that he gave his life to Christ in 1985. Their example taught Michael to fast and pray regularly and to take extended periods of time to seek the mind of the Lord for the course of his life. After his conversion he felt his company was corrupt and sought direction from the Lord as to what he should do with his life through prayer and fasting.
Twice during the year he fasted for 40 days, and said that during those long fasting days he experienced a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit, and discovered how the outer man could be brought under control by the strengthening of the inner man.
He had a vision from God to return to northern India, to villages where the gospel had not yet arrived, and plant churches there. So for 25 years he and his wife traveled to these small villages and would live among the people and figure out what they needed to survive – a water system, for example, or learning how to plant rubber trees. Michael would bring in engineering and economics and health care and hygiene, and he’d also plant a church and have revival meetings. God primarily used physical healings to lead people to Christ. Today he has 95 pastors working as a team to bring the gospel to Northern India, and who knows how many scores of villages have heard the gospel because of him. When you are around Michael, the love and joy of Jesus literally oozes out of his pores.
As a final testimony to God’s faithfulness, upon his return to India Michael reconnected with his strong Catholic family who opposed his new faith and thought he was crazy. Yet, 25 years later, more than 400 people from his family clan are now worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ on the foundations of the word of God.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them,
for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
I John 4:4 ESV
1 One of the best books that documents the heroic stories of those “crushing Satan’s head” in the horrific arena of sex trafficking is Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky, Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010).
2 Joel B. Green, The Gospel of Luke (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 193.
3 Green, The Gospel of Luke, 194.
4 John T. Carroll, Luke, A Commentary (NTL; Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), 103.
5 H. Beck, paradid?mi – “deliver up, give up, hand over,” NIDNTT 1:368.
6 D. H. Madvig, pterygion – “end, edge,” NIDNTT 3:796
7 Strack and Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud und Midrasch: Bd. Das Evangelium nach Matthäus, 1:151. Quoted by William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke (N.T.C.; Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978), 239.
8 “Though without a title in the Hebrew, the psalm is headed in LXX ‘Song, Psalm, of David.’…The New Testament seems to presuppose a messianic interpretation. Such royal and messianic interpretations match the context of the psalm, which consistently fits the office of the Davidic king – one who is seated or enthroned under the shelter of the Lord.” John Eaton, The Psalms, A Historical and Spiritual Commentary with an Introduction and New Translation (London: Continuum, 2005), 326.
9 Carroll, Luke, 104.
10 Traian Dorz was born December 25, 1914.
11 John Felstiner’s description of the figure Shulammite in Paul Celan’s poem “Deathfugue.” John Felstiner, Paul Celan, Poet, Survivor, Jew (New Haven: Yale Press, 1995), 41.
© 2012 Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino