teeth

teeth

A word used of both humans and animals, in both literal and figurative ways in the Bible. It is used as a symbol to denote predators or agents of devastation (Deut 32:24; Ps 58:3-6; Ps 124:1-7; Job 4:10; Job 41:14; Dan 7:5; Dan 7:7; Dan 7:19). In the book of Joel the devastation wrought by the teeth of locusts is taken as a judgment sent by God, calling the people to repentance (Joel 1:2-2:27; Rev 9:8). “To gnash the teeth at or against” expresses deep hostility and intention of harm (Job 16:9; Ps 35:16; Ps 37:12; Ps 112:10; Lam 2:16; Acts 7:52); however, in the NT, “weeping and gnashing of teeth” signifies horrified regret on the part of those excluded from the kingdom of God (Matt 8:12; Matt 13:42; Luke 13:28). To have white teeth (Gen 49:12) or “teeth like ewes” (Song 4:2, Song 6:6) is a sign, respectively, of blessing and beauty, but “cleanness of teeth” is synonymous with famine (Amos 4:6). The phrase “by the skin of my teeth” (Job 19:20) suggests that an escape was as narrow as the film on teeth. One can also “have one’s teeth set on edge” by vinegar (Prov 10:26) or sour grapes (Jer 31:30; Ezek 18:2).

Deut 32:24

24wasting hunger,
burning consumption,
bitter pestilence.
The teeth of beasts I will send against them,
with venom of things crawling in the dust.

Ps 58:3-6

3The wicked go astray from the womb;
they err from their birth, speaking lies.4They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its e ... View more

Ps 124:1-7

Thanksgiving for Israel's Deliverance
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1If it had not been the Lord who was on our side
—let Israel now say—2if it had not been the ... View more

Job 4:10

10The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
and the teeth of the young lions are broken.

Job 41:14

14Who can open the doors of its face?
There is terror all around its teeth.

Dan 7:5

5Another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, had three tusks in its mouth among its teeth and was told, “Arise, ... View more

Dan 7:7

7After this I saw in the visions by night a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth and was devouring, breaking in ... View more

Dan 7:19

19Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws ... View more

Joel 1:2-2:27

Lament over the Ruin of the Country
2Hear this, O elders,
give ear, all inhabitants of the land!
Has such a thing happened in your days,
or in the days of your ... View more

Rev 9:8

8their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth;

Job 16:9

9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me;
he has gnashed his teeth at me;
my adversary sharpens his eyes against me.

Ps 35:16

16they impiously mocked more and more,
gnashing at me with their teeth.

Ps 37:12

12The wicked plot against the righteous,
and gnash their teeth at them;

Ps 112:10

10The wicked see it and are angry;
they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Lam 2:16

16All your enemies
open their mouths against you;
they hiss, they gnash their teeth,
they cry: “We have devoured her!
Ah, this is the day we longed for;
at last ... View more

Acts 7:52

52Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers ... View more

Matt 8:12

12while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matt 13:42

42and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 13:28

28There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out ... View more

Gen 49:12

12his eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.

Song 4:2

2Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes
that have come up from the washing,
all of which bear twins,
and not one among them is bereaved.

Song 6:6

6Your teeth are like a flock of ewes,
that have come up from the washing;
all of them bear twins,
and not one among them is bereaved.

Amos 4:6

Israel Rejects Correction
6I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities,
and lack of bread in all your places,
yet you did not return to me,
says the Lord.

Job 19:20

20My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

Prov 10:26

26Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes,
so are the lazy to their employers.

Jer 31:30

30But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.

Ezek 18:2

2What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge”?

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