Outer Darkness

WHY EXCLUSION FROM A FEAST WAS CONSIDERED TO BE SO TERRIBLE Ancient banquets were usually held at night in rooms which were brilliantly lighted, and anybody who was excluded from the feast was said to be cast out of the lighted room into the "outer darkness" of the night. In the teachings of JESUS, such exclusion is likened unto the day of judgment. "The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness" (Matthew 8:12). "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness" (Matthew 22:13). "And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:30). This expression "outer darkness" takes on new meaning, when it is realized what a dread the Oriental has for the darkness of the night. In the East a lamp is usually kept burning all night. To sleep in the dark as the Westerner usually does would be a terrible experience to the Oriental. Because of this fear of the darkness, the Saviour could have chosen no more appropriate words than "outer darkness" to represent the future punishment of the unrighteous. [Manners And Customs of Bible Lands]

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