Matthew 8:12

12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 8:12 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 8:12

But the children of the kingdom
The Jews, who were subjects of the kingdom, and commonwealth of Israel, from which the Gentiles were aliens; and who were also in the church of God, which is his kingdom on earth; and besides, had the promise of the Gospel dispensation, sometimes called the kingdom of heaven, and by them, often the world to come; and were by their own profession, and in their apprehension and expectation, children, and heirs of the kingdom of glory. These phrases, (abh Mlweh Nb) , "a son of the world to come", and (ytad amle ynb) , "children of the world to come" F15, are frequent in their writings: these, Christ says,

shall be cast out;
out of the land of Israel, as they were in a few years after, and out of the church of God: these branches were broken off, and the Gentiles grafted in, in their room; and will be excluded from the kingdom of heaven, where they hoped to have a place,

and cast into outer darkness:
into the Gentile world, and into judicial blindness, and darkness of mind, and into the blackness of darkness in hell,

where shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
Phrases expressive of the miserable state and condition of persons out of the kingdom of heaven; who are weeping for what they have lost, and gnashing their teeth with the pain of what they endure. The Jews say F16,

``he that studies not in the law in this world, but is defiled with the pollutions of the world, he is taken (hrbh) (wtwa wkylvyw) , "and cast without": this is hell itself, to which such are condemned, who do not study the law.''

The allusion in the text is, to the customs of the ancients at their feasts and entertainments; which were commonly made in the evening, when the hall or dining room, in which they sat down, was very much illuminated with lamps and torches; but without in the streets, were entire darkness: and where were heard nothing but the cries of the poor, for something to be given them, and of the persons that were turned out as unworthy guests; and the gnashing of their teeth, either with cold in winter nights, or with indignation at their being kept out. Christ may also be thought to speak in the language, and according to the notions of the Jews, who ascribe gnashing of teeth to the devils in hell; for they say F17, that

``for the flattery with which they flattered Korah, in the business of rioting, "the prince of hell (wynv qrx) , gnashed his teeth at them".''

The whole of this may be what they call (Mnhg zgwr) , "the indignation", or "tumult of hell" F18.


F15 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 4. 2. Taanith, fol. 22. 1. Megilla, fol. 28. 2. Yoma, fol. 88. 1. & Sanhedrim, fol. 88. 2. Raziel, fol. 37. 1. & 38. 1. Caphtor, fol. 15. 1. & 18. 2. & 60. 1. & 84. 2. Raya Mehimna, in Zohar in Lev. fol. 34. 2.
F16 Zohar in Gen. fol. 104. 3.
F17 T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 52. 1.
F18 Targum in Job, iii 17.

Matthew 8:12 In-Context

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.
14 Now when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.