The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 13:42
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire…
material, but a metaphorical one; denoting the wrath of God, which
shall fall upon wicked men, and abide upon them to all eternity:
which is sometimes called hell fire, sometimes a lake which burns
with fire and brimstone; and here a furnace of fire, expressing the
vehemency and intenseness of divine wrath, which will be
intolerable; in allusion either to Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace,
or as some think, to the custom of burning persons alive in some
countries; or rather, to the burning of chaff and stubble, and the
stalks of any unprofitable things that grew in the field F6, for
the heating of furnaces, and is the very language of the Jews, who
used to compare hell to a furnace; so (Genesis 15:17) is paraphrased by
``And behold the sun set, and there was darkness; and lo!
Abraham saw until the seats were set, and the thrones cast
down; and lo! "hell", which is prepared for the wicked in
the world to come, (arwntk) , "as a furnace", which sparks
and flames of fire surrounded; (hwgbd) , "in the midst of
which", the wicked fell, because they rebelled against the
law, in their lifetime.''
Which is expressed in much the same language, and conveys the same
ideas as here; and no wonder is it that it follows,
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth;
declaring the remorse
of conscience, the tortures of mind, the sense of inexpressible
pain, and punishment, the wicked shall feel; also their furious rage
and black despair.
F6 Misn. Sabbat. c. 3. sect. 1. & Maimon, & Bartenora in ib.
F7 Hieros. Targum in Gen. xv. 17.