28There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
Luke 13:28 (KJV)

Is the gnashing of teeth in this verse an expression of anger and venom or pain?

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    Revelation 16:10 may also be considered relevant : And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
    – Nigel J
    Aug 9, 2020 at 13:24
  • The verb to "gnaw" in Rev 16:10 is a quite different verb from "gnashed" in Luke 13:28.
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    Aug 9, 2020 at 22:30
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2 Answers 2


Luke 13:28 There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth

βρυγμὸς (brygmos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1030: A grinding or gnashing. From brucho; a grating.

This noun appears 7 times. All were spoken by Jesus. All were used together with the word "weeping".

Strong's Concordance
bruchó: to bite, to gnash
Original Word: βρύχω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: bruchó
Phonetic Spelling: (broo'-kho)
Definition: to bite, to gnash
Usage: I grind or gnash, as with the teeth for rage or pain.

As verb, it appears exactly once in the stoning of Stephen:

Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

54When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

They were angry at Stephen's insults at them.

So weeping and gnashing express sadness and anger because of pain.


The Greek noun βρυγμός (brugmos) occurs just seven times in the NT and always in the phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Matt 8:12, 13;42, 50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30, Luke 13:28. In all these instances we have Jesus discussing people being excluded from the Kingdom of Christ in the great final judgement.

The verb form βρύχω (bruchó) occurs just one in Acts 7:54 expresses "violent anger, rage" (BDAG).

If we accept that "weeping" expresses despair; and "gnashing of teeth" expresses violent anger, rage and frustration; then the force of Luke's expression (as well as all of Matthew's) is that people finally excluded from the Kingdom of Christ in the final judgement display a mixture of extreme despair mixed with violent anger and rage.

Meyer (in commenting on Matt 8:12) says about the weeping and gnashing of teeth:

indicating the wail of suffering, and the gnashing of teeth that accompanies despair.

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