Matthew 13:42
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(42) Into a furnace of fire.—Better, the furnacei.e., that of Gehenna, in which there will be “the wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (See Notes on Matthew 8:12.)

13:31-35 The scope of the parable of the seed sown, is to show that the beginnings of the gospel would be small, but its latter end would greatly increase; in this way the work of grace in the heart, the kingdom of God within us, would be carried on. In the soul where grace truly is, it will grow really; though perhaps at first not to be discerned, it will at last come to great strength and usefulness. The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mr 4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the property even of the members of the body, Ro 6:13. From these parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits?Declare unto us - That is, explain the meaning of the parable. This was done in so plain a manner as to render comment unnecessary. The Son of man, the Lord Jesus, sows the good seed - that is, preaches the gospel. This he did personally, and does now by his ministers, his providence, and his Spirit, by all the means of conveying "truth" to the mind. This seed was, by various means, to be carried over all the world. It was to be confined to no particular nation or people. The good seed was the children of the kingdom; that is, of the kingdom of God, or Christians. For these the Saviour toiled and died. They are the fruit of his labors. Yet amid them were wicked people; and all hypocrites and unbelievers in the church are the work of Satan. Yet they must remain together until the end, when they shall be separated, and the righteous saved and the wicked lost. The one shall shine clear as the sun, the other be cast into a furnace of fire - a most expressive image of suffering.

We have no idea of more acute suffering than to be thrown into the fire, and to have our bodies made capable of bearing the burning heat, and living on m this burning heat forever and forever. It is not certain that our Saviour meant to teach here that hell is made up of "material" fire; but it is certain that he meant to teach that this would be a proper "representation" of the sufferings of the lost. We may be further assured that the Redeemer would not deceive us, or use words to torment and tantalize us. He would not talk of hell-fire which had no existence, nor would the Saviour of people hold out frightful images merely to terrify mankind. If he has spoken of hell, then there is a hell. If he meant to say that the wicked shall suffer, then they will suffer. If he did not mean to deceive mankind, then there is a hell, and then the wicked will be punished. The impenitent, therefore, should be alarmed. And the righteous, however much wickedness they may see, and however many hypocrites there may be in the church, should be cheered with the prospect that soon the just will be separated from the unjust, and that they shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire—rather, "the furnace of fire":

there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth—What terrific strength of language—the "casting" or "flinging" expressive of indignation, abhorrence, contempt (compare Ps 9:17; Da 12:2): "the furnace of fire" denoting the fierceness of the torment: the "wailing" signifying the anguish this causes; while the "gnashing of teeth" is a graphic way of expressing the despair in which its remedilessness issues (see Mt 8:12)!

See Poole on "Matthew 13:43". And shall cast them into a furnace of fire,.... Not a material, but a metaphorical one; denoting the wrath of God, which shall fall upon wicked men, and abide upon them to all eternity: which is sometimes called hell fire, sometimes a lake which burns with fire and brimstone; and here a furnace of fire, expressing the vehemency and intenseness of divine wrath, which will be intolerable; in allusion either to Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, or as some think, to the custom of burning persons alive in some countries; or rather, to the burning of chaff and stubble, and the stalks of any unprofitable things that grew in the field (f), for the heating of furnaces, and is the very language of the Jews, who used to compare hell to a furnace; so Genesis 15:17 is paraphrased by them (g),

"And behold the sun set, and there was darkness; and lo! Abraham saw until the seats were set, and the thrones cast down; and lo! "hell", which is prepared for the wicked in the world to come, "as a furnace", which sparks and flames of fire surrounded; "in the midst of which", the wicked fell, because they rebelled against the law, in their lifetime.

Which is expressed in much the same language, and conveys the same ideas as here; and no wonder is it that it follows,

there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth; declaring the remorse of conscience, the tortures of mind, the sense of inexpressible pain, and punishment, the wicked shall feel; also their furious rage and black despair,

(f) Misn. Sabbat. c. 3. sect. 1. & Maimon, & Bartenora in ib. (g) Hieros. Targum in Genesis 15.17.

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 13:42. The furnace (Daniel 3:6) represents Gehenna. Comp. Revelation 20:15.

ὁ κλαυθμός] see note on Matthew 8:12.Matthew 13:42. ἐκεῖ ἔσται. etc.: held to be inappropriate here, because the gnashing of teeth is caused by cold, not by fire (Holtz., H. C.); appropriate in Matthew 8:12, where the doom is rejection into the outer darkness.Matthew 13:42. Καὶ βαλοῦσιν, and they shall cast) This is repeated in the same words in Matthew 13:50.Verse 42. - And shall cast them into a (the, Revised Version) furnace of fire: there shall be (the, Revised Version) wailing and gnashing of teeth. Judging by the analogy of ver. 50, even the first clause is not necessarily due to the image of the tares. The furnace of fire was no unknown expression for the punishment of the wicked (cf. also Matthew 8:12, note).
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