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Teeth, Gnashing / Grinding of


The Bible uses the phrase “wailing and grinding of teeth” as a sign of eternal damnation (Mt 8:12). Wicked people will gnash their teeth at the righteous to show their hatred and fury the same way they did at Stephen’s trial (Acts 7:54). Psalm 37:12 states: “The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them.” Jesus uses this as a part of the Last Judgement. “That is how it will be at the end of time; the angels will go out to separate the wicked from the just and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 13:49-50). Matthew uses this also in 8:12; 13:42; 22:13; 24:51; and 25:30. Luke uses it at 13:28. Gnashing of teeth with loud wailing is a demonstration of extreme and prolonged suffering because of the absence of life in paradise. It will be their way of showing their dissent with others, such as the Gentiles and the sinners, whom God allowed to share in the same eternal reward as the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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