Of all the Bible verses spoken by Jesus Christ Himself I have been aware of for many years, this and other verses in Matthew and Luke speaking of “the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” has stuck with me for many, many years. I figured the “outer darkness” referred to Hell and this “weeping” by those who were in Hell made sense. Who wanted to die and go to Hell? It was the “gnashing of teeth” part I had no idea about.
The word “gnashing” in the dictionary means this: to bite or chew by grinding the teeth together, striking the teeth together by grinding.
A similar word I used often in The Prodigal Band Trilogy, “gnaw,” has this meaning: to bite, chew on, or erode with the teeth. The word “gnaw” usually refers to rodents chewing or “gnawing” on wood, nuts, plants, or whatever rodents gnaw on for food or shelter, prominently with large and long upper front teeth. I use “gnaw” mostly referencing the devil character, Corion, as well as his Demons, warning his evil minions to do what he asks, “…or I will gnaw your bones forever.” In Hell, or the Abyss in which he resides (on God’s or The Creator’s orders), which is where Corion’s evil minions will find themselves after judgment.
Note: Since those who do the will of the devil character will find themselves in Hell anyway unless they repent of their evil, and Corion would gnaw on them anyway, why is Corion even threatening these folks if they do not do his will? Because these folks worship Corion and believe this evil devil is in fact god! So they force themselves to do these evil deeds not realizing he is only deceiving them. Corion, the Satan of this trilogy, is in fact the father of lies and deception within the trilogy.
This post is on the “gnashing of teeth” reference; the “gnawing” on bones forever reference will appear next week. But the themes and context are similar though the words are somewhat different. Gnaw and gnawing are used once each in the Bible, in the Old Testament Book of Zephaniah and the New Testament Book of Revelation.