What does Matthew 13:42 mean?
ESV: and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
NIV: They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
NASB: and they will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
CSB: They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
NLT: And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
KJV: And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
NKJV: and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Verse Commentary:
In the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:24–30), Jesus depicted two plants living side-by-side in a crop, due to an act of sabotage. Some are good wheat and others are inedible weeds. The two were so intertwined in a field that they could not be separated without damaging the valuable grain. So, the farmer waits until the harvest.

The good wheat represents the children of God's kingdom. The weeds represent the children of the Devil (Matthew 13:38). The harvest is the time of God's judgment, when Christ will set up His kingdom on the earth. At that time, the entire world—represented by the field—will be His kingdom. Christ will send the reapers, His angels, to gather out of His kingdom all the law breakers and the causes of sin.

Now He adds what will be done with them. They will be thrown into the fiery furnace, a place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Jesus often used this language to describe the eternal fate of those who do not repent of their sin in order to be included in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:22; 8:12). He is describing the experience of God's judgment on those who do not come to His kingdom through faith in the Messiah. We commonly refer to this as hell.
Verse Context:
Matthew 13:36–43 follows Jesus away from the crowds and back into a house with His disciples. They ask Him to explain the parable of the wheat and the weeds (Matthew 13:24–30). Jesus tells them He is the farmer, and the field is the world. The good wheat seeds represent the children of the kingdom, and the weeds—also known as "tares," likely an inedible plant that looks like wheat—are the children of the Devil who planted them. The harvest is the judgment at the end of the age. Then the reapers, God's angels, will gather all the wicked and all forms of sin and throw them into the fiery furnace. The righteous, though, will shine in the kingdom of their Father.
Chapter Summary:
Matthew 13 focuses mainly on a series of parables. Jesus first describes these to a large crowd along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Later, in a house, He explains to the disciples the meanings of the parables of the sower, the weeds, and the fish caught in the net. Jesus then travels to Nazareth, teaches in the synagogue, and is rejected by the people of His original hometown.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 13 follows Jesus from the overcrowded house at the end of the previous chapter to a crowded beach on the Sea of Galilee. He teaches a large crowd in a series of parables, which He doesn't fully explain. However, He reveals their meaning to His disciples inside a nearby house. Jesus pictures the kingdom of heaven as a sower, a sabotaged field of wheat, a mustard seed, and a pearl dealer, among other things. He then travels to His original hometown of Nazareth where He is rejected by the people He grew up with. This leads Matthew back to depictions of Jesus' miracles, after sadly recording John the Baptist's death.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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