Do the words (or some of their grammatical features like tenses, verb aspects, etc.) in original Greek in Luke 13:28 contain any indication as to whether the mentioned persons (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all prophets) are already inside the kingdom at the time of speaking or that they will enter it at some later time in the future?

There 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)

BLB commentaries on this verse don't provide much info on this matter.

3 Answers 3


They cannot be yet, before Jesus' death and rising, because Jesus through but His crucifixion and resurrection healed the human nature and transferred it from death to life, and it is absurd to think that prophets had some other shortcut to eternal life than this. Jesus simply speaks here proleptically that since the prophets did what was due and in their powers with relation to God who has chosen them as vessels of His message, therefore they will definitely participate in the future glory. Thus, even the prophets dreamed and coveted to see what the apostles see, but could not (Luke 10:24), and even if Moses had maximum possible glory available before the Incarnation of Logos, still even this amount of glory did not amount to Moses' participation in eternal life and eternal, unfading glory, for Moses' glory was transient and fading (2 Cor. 3:13), not increasing from glory to glory as, say, Paul's, and any Christian's glory (2 Cor. 3:18). But, of course, even prophets who deceased, will participate in the glory that Christ has given to humanity through His crucifixion and resurrection. That is why He spoke exactly about His pending crucifixion to Moses and Elias in front of His three chosen disciples on Mount Thabor that was to happen very soon in Jerusalem ("They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem" /Luke 9:31) ), and this was a fulfillment of great expectation of gaining new unfading glory in the Kingdom of Heaven for not only Moses and Elias, but for all the other prophets as well.

To give an analogy: there is an illness, say, in Burkina Faso, that is transmitted from father to son with an escalated damaging power; a doctor knows that if a patient, say, Igor, who has inherited this illness from his father, will keep a certain strict diet, abstain from alcohol etc. he will be able to check this illness, so that the next generation will be born without escalation, but, the doctor knows also that in some 20 years a medicine will reach Burkina Faso that will defeat the illness altogether. Now, Igor did all he could, obeyed all instructions of the doctor, thus Igor's son, Constantine is born ill, but not irrecoverably ill, so that he lives when medicine comes to Burkina Faso and he is healed altogether. Then, grateful Constantine takes flowers and wine, makes a libation on the grave of his father Igor and says: "My dear father, unless your fortitude and self-abstaining I would not be able to live before the arrival of the medicine!" Such are the prophets: they did their best before arrival of Jesus - the ultimate Healer, thus Jesus will definitely reward them with the Heavenly Kingdom, but only through and after His crucifixion and resurrection.


Young's Literal Translation

There shall be there the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth, when ye may see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the reign of God, and yourselves being cast out without;

you see
ὄψησθε (opsēsthe)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Middle - 2nd Person Plural

The seeing is a verb in the subjunctive mood. It is not in the indicative mood or future tense. It indicates potentiality: if perhaps by chance, you may happen to see Abraham ... .

Moreover, the seeing is in the context of a parable. This seeing may or may not be a reality in the future. It may not even be possible for this person to see any part of the Kingdom of Heaven at all. This is a parable about entering through the narrow door. Everything else is secondary.

Do the words (or some of their grammatical features like tenses, verb aspects, etc.) in original Greek in Luke 13:28 contain any indication as to whether the mentioned persons (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all prophets) are already inside the kingdom at the time of speaking?

No, because of the subjunctive mood.


Are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob already in the Heavenly Kingdom? (Heb. 11:9 & 16 & 39 CEV)

"Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise."

"But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That’s why God wasn’t ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them."

"All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised."

Which home were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all looking forward to? Paul said, "a better home in heaven". However, did they reach the heavenly home that God promised them? Paul said, "they died without being given what had been promised". Is this to say that they were ungodly? Paul clarified, "God wasn't ashamed for them to call him their God".

When then will they, and all the other godly people, receive the promise kingdom in heaven? (Matt. 25:31 & 34 ERV)

"“The Son of Man will come again with divine greatness, and all his angels will come with him. He will sit as king on his great and glorious throne."

"“Then the king will say to the godly people on his right, ‘Come, my Father has great blessings for you. The kingdom he promised is now yours. It has been prepared for you since the world was made."

When will the godly receive the promised kingdom? Jesus said, "The Son of Man will come again". Hence, all the godly, including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will be admitted into the kingdom at Christ's Second Advent.

  • (1) Thank you very much for this selection of relevant verses and for putting them together into one logical line. But allow me to ask you a few questions here. First of all, in your reasoning you seem, just like many other researches do, to equate the heaven with the kingdom – you use the words “heaven” and “kingdom” interchangeably. Is this simply your belief or something that, as you think, can also be deduced from the Scriptures? Do you think it may be possible that the heaven and the heavenly kingdom are yet two different things? If they are different your logical construct may be false.
    – brilliant
    Mar 10, 2021 at 2:24
  • (2) Another question is what do you think in light of this about Moses? On one hand, we have some indications from the Scripture that Moses can be grouped together with Enoch and Elijah (both of which were taken to the heaven by God – Gen. 5:24, 2 Kings 2:11) – there is a remark that no one knows the place of Moses’s burial – Deut 34:6 and the fact that archangel Michael had a dispute with the devil about the body of Moses – Jude 1:9 (which makes me think about the possibility that Moses might have been resurrected shortly after his burial and then taken to the heaven);
    – brilliant
    Mar 10, 2021 at 2:25
  • (3) but on the other hand, there is no direct statement in the Bible that Moses was taken to the heaven. However, we see both Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration – Mark 9:4, of which Jesus earlier said: “some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God has come with power” – Mark 9:1. So do you think that at least Moses, along with Enoch and Elijah, could already be now in the kingdom?
    – brilliant
    Mar 10, 2021 at 2:25
  • @brilliant I equate "heaven" with "the kingdom" in the context of the verses mentioned, as the promised home in heaven is referred to as "a city," which in Rev. 21:1-5 is identified as the New Jerusalem. Moses is among those who died without being given what had been promised: "Then after Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called Pharaoh's grandson. [...] All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised". (Heb. 11:24 & 39 CEV)
    – carsonfel
    Mar 10, 2021 at 7:24
  • @brilliant Although Enoch and Elijah are in heaven (Heb. 11:5; II Kings 2:11), our final home intended for us, the Holy City, exists in the new heaven and earth (Isa. 65:17-18; Rev. 21:1-4). That home is being prepared by Jesus, and we will be admitted there when he comes back: "My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:2-3)
    – carsonfel
    Mar 10, 2021 at 9:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.