Abstract: On six occurrences (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30), Matthew recorded Jesus pronouncing judgment, using the idiom “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Each occurrence played a central role in the development of Matthew’s theology, by communicating not only a fundamental component of the theme of judgment, but also an increasing force and potency of the event itself. It was discovered that the phrase may have four possible functions, namely (a) a system by which Matthew hoped to make the message of the particular passage unforgettable; (b) a prophetic anticipationof an aspect of the larger shape of history; (c) a linguistic device to increase the degree of emphasis or heighten the force given to the message of eschatological judgment; and (d) a literary connector holding together a number of specific passages of Scripture. In Matthew’s case, the phrase glues together the passages that communicate a holistic theology of end-of-time judgment.
Abstract: It is suggested that Jesus, who understood his Messianic calling in the light of the OT prophecies, utilized their symbolic apocalyptic language in his prophetic discourse. From this perspective Matthew 26:64 sheds important light on the meaning of Matthew 24:30b, i.e. that those who rejected him would realize, within a relatively short period, that He – the Suffering Servant – was indeed the Son of Man of Daniel 7. But Jesus also made some very definite statements in very sober language about the future, which provide an important key for our understanding of the prophetic discourse. While He enumerated a number of signs that would warn his disciples of the approach of God’s judgment on Jerusalem – together constituting “the budding fig tree” – He emphasized, on the other hand, that there will be no signs to warn them of the approach of his parousia.