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Matthew 8:10-12; Luke 13:28-30 – Israel’s Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth

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Matthew 8:10 – When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to those who followed, “Most assuredly I tell you, I haven’t found so great a faith, not even in Israel.
Matthew 8:11 – I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and will sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven,
Matthew 8:12 – but the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.”

Luke 13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and yourselves being thrown outside.
Luke 13:29 They will come from the east, west, north, and south, and will sit down in the kingdom of God.
Luke 13:30 Behold, there are some who are last who will be first, and there are some who are first who will be last.” — World English

The above scriptures are often referred to as proof that while dead, the wicked are alive and  suffering, weeping and gnashing their teeth. Matthew 8:12 is often listed as proof of suffering in hell.

In actuality, Jesus does not say anything in these verses about the weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Bible hell. (hades/sheol) Nor does he say anything about weeping and gnashing of teeth in Gehenna. Nor does he say that these are weeping and gnashing their teeth while in an alleged condition of being alive while dead. Nor did he say anything about these having “spirit bodies”. All of this has to imagined, assumed, added to, and read into what Jesus said.

Matthew 8:10-12 and Luke 13:28-30 depict the end results of the Jewish rejection of their Messiah in the resurrection. The Kingdom was taken from them and given to a “nation” producing its fruitage. (Matthew 21:43) Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are figured as sitting in this kingdom because it is this “nation” that becomes the seed of Abraham, not by blood and flesh, but by faith. (Galatians 3:26-29) Of course, the language of the parable is pictorial, not to be taken literally. The children of the kingdom, the Jews as a whole, were cast out into outer darkness. There they were weeping and gnashing their teeth. They were cast out when Jesus stated: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem you who killed the prophets, and stoned them that were sent to you how often I would have gathered your children together, as hen gathers her offspring under her wings, but you would not allow it! Look, your house is left to you in desolation. Truly I say to that you will not see until the time comes when you will say: Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yahweh!'” — Luke 13:34,35.

Additionally, in all this there is no reference to a living existence of Abraham going to heaven when he died, as some also assume.

It is only in a symbolic sense that the nation of Israel, bound and cursed by the Law, is spoken of as being in hades while in the condition described in Matthew 8:11,12.

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  1. Pingback: Luke 16:19-31 – Hope of Life After Death Part 9

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