kingdom of heaven

Matthew 3:2

3:2 kingdom of heaven. This is the first of thirty-two occurrences of the phrase “the kingdom of heaven,” all found only in Matthew. The same statement is found in Mark 1:15, except that “the kingdom of heaven” is there called “the kingdom of God.” The two phrases often are used synonymously (e.g., Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21), so there seems no adequate reason to try to distinguish between them. Often it is called “the kingdom of the Father” or simply “the kingdom.” It has a spiritual aspect, a present physical aspect, and a future eternal aspect, depending on context, but always refers to God’s reign over His created and redeemed world and its believing inhabitants.

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