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The meaning and origin of the expression: Get thee behind me Satan

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Get thee behind me Satan

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Meaning

Jesus's response when tempted by the Devil.

Origin

Luke 4:5-8 (King James Version):

4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The expression is a near literal translation of versions that had appeared in earlier English bibles; Miles Coverdale's Version, 1535, for instance:

Iesus answered him, and sayde: Auoyde fro me thou Satan. It is wrytten: Thou shalt worshippe the LORDE thy God, and him onely shalt thou serue.

The KJV Bible also records, in the Matthew and Mark gospels, how Jesus rebuked Peter with the same words at his suggestion that Jesus would not be raised from the dead.

Matthew 16:23. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Mark 8:33. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.