‘Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth’—the Nature of the Suffering of the Wicked in Matthew

Abstract

Matthew records six instances in which Jesus expressed the idiom ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:45; 25:30). The phrase refers to the eschatological fate of the wicked. This article investigates whether those who weep and gnash their teeth suffer physically, or merely spiritually and emotionally. A word study of the ‘weeping’ and ‘gnashing’ revealed that both these terms contain within their connotation the aspect of weeping and gnashing of teeth that is a direct result of physical pain. The use of the ‘furnace of fire’ and ‘cut him in pieces’ similarly seems to associate the idiom with suffering as a direct result of physical pain.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Erdey2013WeepingAG, title={‘Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth’—the Nature of the Suffering of the Wicked in Matthew}, author={Zoltan L Erdey and Kevin G. Smith}, year={2013} }