Matthew 5:22
New International Version
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

New Living Translation
But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.

English Standard Version
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Berean Study Bible
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell.

Berean Literal Bible
But I say to you that everyone being angry with his brother will be liable to the judgment, and whoever shall say to his brother 'Raca,' will be liable to the Sanhedrin. But whoever shall say, 'Fool!' will be liable to the Gehenna of fire.

New American Standard Bible
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

King James Bible
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Christian Standard Bible
But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, 'You fool!' will be subject to hellfire.

Contemporary English Version
But I promise you if you are angry with someone, you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell.

Good News Translation
But now I tell you: if you are angry with your brother you will be brought to trial, if you call your brother 'You good-for-nothing!' you will be brought before the Council, and if you call your brother a worthless fool you will be in danger of going to the fire of hell.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Fool!' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, You moron!' will be subject to hellfire.

International Standard Version
But I say to you, anyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be subject to punishment. And whoever says to his brother 'Raka!' will be subject to the Council. And whoever says, 'You fool!' will be subject to hell fire.

NET Bible
But I say to you that anyone who is angry with a brother will be subjected to judgment. And whoever insults a brother will be brought before the council, and whoever says 'Fool' will be sent to fiery hell.

New Heart English Bible
But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause will be liable to judgment; and whoever will say to his brother, 'Raqa,' will be in danger of the council; and whoever will say, 'You fool,' will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I am saying to you, that everyone who will be angry against his brother without cause is condemned before the judge, and everyone who will say to his brother, 'I spit on you', is condemned before the assembly, and whoever will say 'You fool.' is condemned to the Gehenna of fire.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But I can guarantee that whoever is angry with another believer will answer for it in court. Whoever calls another believer an insulting name will answer for it in the highest court. Whoever calls another believer a fool will answer for it in hellfire.

New American Standard 1977
“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

Jubilee Bible 2000
but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother out of control shall be in danger of the judgment, and whosoever shall insult his brother shall be in danger of the council, but whosoever shall say, Thou art impious, shall be in danger of hell.

King James 2000 Bible
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

American King James Version
But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

American Standard Version
but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Darby Bible Translation
But I say unto you, that every one that is lightly angry with his brother shall be subject to the judgment; but whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be subject to [be called before] the sanhedrim; but whosoever shall say, Fool, shall be subject to the penalty of the hell of fire.

English Revised Version
but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of the hell of fire.

Webster's Bible Translation
But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.

Weymouth New Testament
But I say to you that every one who becomes angry with his brother shall be answerable to the magistrate; that whoever says to his brother 'Raca,' shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and that whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the Gehenna of Fire.

World English Bible
But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

Young's Literal Translation
but I -- I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.
Study Bible
Anger and Reconciliation
21You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell. 23Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 16:18
You are to appoint judges and officials for your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you. They are to judge the people with righteous judgment.

2 Chronicles 19:5
He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah.

Matthew 18:9
And if your eye causes you to fall into sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Matthew 26:59
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were seeking false testimony against Jesus in order to put Him to death.

Mark 9:43
If your hand causes you to fall into sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two hands and go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.

Mark 9:47
And if your eye causes you to fall into sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,

Mark 14:55
Now the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were seeking testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but they did not find any.

Mark 15:1
Early in the morning, the chief priests, elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin devised a plan. They bound Jesus, led Him away, and handed Him over to Pilate.

Luke 12:5
But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear the One who, after you have been killed, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!

Luke 22:66
At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and scribes, met together. They led Jesus into their council and said,

John 11:47
Then the chief priests and Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, "What are we to do? This man is performing many signs.

Acts 4:15
So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin and then conferred together.

Acts 5:21
At daybreak, the apostles entered the temple courts as they had been told and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived in the Council, they called together the full assembly of the elders of Israel, and sent to the jail for the apostles.

Acts 5:27
They brought them in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, where the high priest interrogated them.

Acts 6:12
So they stirred up the people and elders and scribes. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

Acts 6:15
All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Acts 22:30
The next day the commander, wanting to learn the real reason Paul was accused by the Jews, released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

Acts 23:1
Paul looked directly at the Sanhedrin and said, "Brothers, I have conducted myself before God in all good conscience to this day."

Acts 24:20
Otherwise, let these men state for themselves any crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin,

James 3:6
The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Treasury of Scripture

But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

I say.

Matthew 5:28,34,44
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart…

Matthew 3:17
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 17:5
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

That.

Genesis 4:5,6
But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell…

Genesis 37:4,8
And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him…

1 Samuel 17:27,28
And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him…

his brother.

Matthew 5:23,24
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; …

Matthew 18:21,35
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? …

Deuteronomy 15:11
For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

without.

Psalm 7:4
If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)

Psalm 25:3
Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Psalm 35:19
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

be.

Matthew 5:21
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

the judgment.

Whosoever.







Lexicon
But
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

I
ἐγὼ (egō)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

tell
λέγω (legō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

you
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

that
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

anyone
πᾶς (pas)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

who
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

is angry with
ὀργιζόμενος (orgizomenos)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3710: To irritate, provoke, be angry. From orge; to provoke or enrage, i.e. become exasperated.

his
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

brother
ἀδελφῷ (adelphō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

will be
ἔσται (estai)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

subject
ἔνοχος (enochos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1777: Involved in, held in, hence: liable, generally with dat. (or gen.) of the punishment. From enecho; liable to.

to
τῇ (tē)
Article - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

judgment.
κρίσει (krisei)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2920: Decision; by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice.

Again,
δ’ (d’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

anyone who
ὃς (hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

says
εἴπῃ (eipē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

to
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

his
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

brother,
ἀδελφῷ (adelphō)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

�Raca,�
Ῥακά (Rhaka)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4469: Empty, foolish. Of Chaldee origin; O empty one, i.e. Thou worthless.

will be
ἔσται (estai)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

subject
ἔνοχος (enochos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1777: Involved in, held in, hence: liable, generally with dat. (or gen.) of the punishment. From enecho; liable to.

to the
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Sanhedrin.
συνεδρίῳ (synedriō)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4892: A council, tribunal; the Sanhedrin, the meeting place of the Sanhedrin.

But
δ’ (d’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

anyone who
ὃς (hos)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

says,
εἴπῃ (eipē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

�You fool!�
Μωρέ (Mōre)
Adjective - Vocative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3474: Probably from the base of musterion; dull or stupid, i.e. Heedless, blockhead, absurd.

will be
ἔσται (estai)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

subject
ἔνοχος (enochos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1777: Involved in, held in, hence: liable, generally with dat. (or gen.) of the punishment. From enecho; liable to.

to
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

fire
πυρός (pyros)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4442: Fire; the heat of the sun, lightning; fig: strife, trials; the eternal fire. A primary word; 'fire'.

of hell.
γέενναν (geennan)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1067: Of Hebrew origin; valley of Hinnom; ge-henna, a valley of Jerusalem, used as a name for the place of everlasting punishment.
(22) I say unto you.--The I is emphasized in the Greek. It was this probably that, more than anything else, led to the feeling of wonder expressed in Matthew 7:28-29. The scribe in his teaching invariably referred to this Rabbi and that; the new Teacher spoke as one having a higher authority of His own.

Angry . . . without a cause.--The last three words are wanting in many of the best MSS. They may have been inserted to soften down the apparent harshness of the teaching; but if so, it must have been at an early date--before the fourth century. They may, on the other hand, have been in the text originally, and struck out, as giving too wide a margin to vain and vague excuses. Ethically, the teaching is not that the emotion of anger, with or without a cause, stands on the same level of guilt with murder, but that the former so soon expands and explodes into the latter, that it will be brought to trial and sentenced according to the merits of each case, the occasion of the anger, the degree in which it has been checked or cherished, and the like. As no earthly tribunal can take cognisance of emotions as such, the "judgment" here is clearly that of the Unseen Judge dealing with offences which in His eyes are of the same character as those which come before the human judges. "Hates any man the thing he would not kill?"

Raca.--As far as the dictionary sense of the word goes, it is the same as that of the "vain fellows" of Judges 9:4, Jdg_11:3; Proverbs 12:11; but all words of abuse depend for their full force on popular association, and raca, like words of kindred meaning among ourselves, was in common use as expressing not anger only but insolent contempt. The temper condemned is that in which anger has so far gained the mastery that we no longer recognise a "brother" in the man who has offended us, but look on him with malignant scorn.

The council.--Offences of this kind are placed by our Lord on the same level as those which came before the great court of the Sanhedrim. That word, though it looks like Hebrew, is really only a transliterated form of the Greek word for council. The court consisted of seventy or seventy-two members, with a president and vice-president, and was made up of the heads of the twenty-four courses of the priests, with forty-six or forty-eight (how chosen it is not known) from the "elders" and "scribes." Like the Areopagus at Athens, it took cognisance--as in the case of our Lord (Matthew 26:65) and Stephen (Acts 6:13)--of blasphemy and other like offences, and its peculiar prerogative was that it could order death by stoning. The point of our Lord's teaching was, therefore, that to scorn God's image in man is to do dishonour to God Himself. We cannot truly "fear God" unless we also "honour all men" (1Peter 2:17). The reverence for humanity as such must extend even to the man who has most provoked us. In the unseen eternal world the want of that reverence has its own appropriate punishment.

Thou fool.--The Greek word so rendered agrees accidentally in its consonants with the Hebrew word translated "rebel" (m're) in Numbers 20:10, and hence it has been thought by some that we have here, as with raca, a common Hebrew term of opprobrium. There is no evidence, however, that the word was thus used, and it is more probable that the Greek is a translation of some word which, like the "fool" of the Old Testament, implied, as in Psalm 14:1, utter godlessness as well as lack of intellectual wisdom. With that meaning it embodied the temper, not, like that represented by raca, of petulant contempt, but of fixed and settled hatred. That it was the temper and not the utterance of the mere syllables which our Lord condemned is seen in that He Himself used the word of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23:17; Matthew 23:19), and St. Paul of the sceptical Greek materialist (1Corinthians 15:36). The self-same word might spring from a righteous indignation or from malignant hatred.

Of hell fire.--Literally, of the Gehenna of fire. Great confusion has arisen here and elsewhere from the use of the same English word for two Greek words of very different meanings: (1) Hades, answering to the Sheol (also for the most part translated "hell") of the Old Testament, the unseen world, the region or state of the dead, without any reference to their blessedness or misery; (2) Gehenna, which had come to represent among the later Jews (not in the time of any Old Testament writer) the place of future punishment. The history of the word is worth studying. Originally, it was the Greek form of Ge-hinnom (the Valley of Hinnom, sometimes of the "son" or the "children" of Hinnom), and was applied to a narrow gorge on the south of Jerusalem (Joshua 15:8). There Solomon erected a high place for Molech (1Kings 11:7). There the fires of that god had received their bloody offerings of infant sacrifice under Ahaz and Manasseh (2Kings 16:3; 2Chronicles 28:3; 2Chronicles 33:6). Josiah, in his great work of reformation, defiled it, probably by casting the bones of the dead and other filth upon it (2Kings 23:10-14); and the Jews on their return from captivity showed their abhorrence of the idolatry of their fathers by making it, as it were, the place where they cast out all the refuse of the city. Outwardly, it must have been foul to sight and smell, and thus it became, before our Lord's time, a parable of the final state of those in whom all has become vile and refuse. The thought first appears in the Targum or Paraphrase of Isaiah 33:14 ("Gehenna is the eternal fire"). It is often said that fires which were kept burning to consume the solid refuse added to the horror of the scene; but of this, though it is suggested by this passage and Mark 9:48. there is no adequate evidence. Here the analogy of the previous clauses suggests also the thought that the bodies of great criminals were sometimes deprived of burial rites, and cast out into the Valley of Hinnom; but of this, too, there is no evidence, though it is in itself probable enough. In any case, the meaning of the clause is obvious. Our passing words, expressing states of feeling, and not the overt act of murder only, are subject to the judgment of the Eternal Judge, and may bring us into a guilt and a penalty like that of the vilest criminals.

Verse 22. - But I say unto you. "I" emphatic (as also in vers. 28, 32, 34, 39, 44), in contrast to God, as God's utterance was then conditioned; i.e. in contrast to God's voice to and through Moses (cf. John 1:17; John 7:23; Hebrews 10:28, 29). Christ claims for his words the same authority, and more than the same authority, as for those spoken once by God. The circumstances had altered; the message for τοῖς ἀρχαίοις was insufficient now. Christ brings his own Personality forward, and claims to give a more perfect and far-reaching statement of the sixth commandment than the current form of its teaching, notwithstanding the fact that this current form represented truly the original thought underlying its promulgation. In the following words our Lord speaks of three grades of auger, and, as answering to them, of three grades of punishment. The former will be examined under the several terms employed. Upon the latter it is necessary to make a few remarks here. They have been very variously understood.

(1)

(a) "The judgment" means the judgment of God alone, for he alone can take cognizance of mere anger;

(b) "the council" means the judgment of the Sanhedrin, "a publick tryal;"

(c) "the Gehenna of fire" means the judgment of hell (Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.,' in loc.).

(2)

(a) "The judgment" means the local court;

(b) "the council" means the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem;

(c) "the Gehenna of fire" means hell (apparently Nosgen, and many other, especially Romish, expositors). It will be noticed that both the above interpretations are inconsistent. They make our Lord pass from literal to figurative language in the same sentence. Besides, in the second it is inexplicable how mere anger could be brought under the cognizance of a human court. For these reasons it is probable that

(3) all three stages express metaphorically grades of Divine judgment under the form of the Jewish processes of law.

(a) "The judgment" primarily means the local court;

(b) "the council "primarily means the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem;

(c) "the Gehenna of fire" primarily means the Valley of Hinnom, where the last processes of judgment seem to have taken place (vide infra). Christ does not say that the sins spoken of render a man liable to any of these earthly processes of law; he says that they render him liable to processes of Divine law which are fittingly symbolized by these expressions. (So Alford, Mansel, and especially Trench, 'Sermon on the Mount,' p. 190). Whosoever is angry; Revised Version, more precisely, every one who (πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος). This form of expression is specially frequent in 1 John, e.g. 3:3, where Bishop Westcott says, "In each case where this characteristic form of language occurs there is apparently a reference to some who had questioned the application of a general principle in particular cases," (For the thought of this clause, cf. 1 John 3:15.) With his brother. The term "brother" was applied in both Greek and Hebrew, by way of metaphor, to things that possessed merely such fellowship as arises from juxtaposition or from similarity of purpose (cf. of the cherubim, Exodus 25:20, "with their faces one to another," literally, "each (man) to his brother"). It is thus possible that here the thought is of any person with whom one is brought into temporary relation, quite apart from any question of a common source. Yet as this could have been represented by "neighbour" (cf. Matthew 19:19), it seems reasonable to see something more in "brother," and to view it with reference to its implied meaning, "fellowship of life based on identity of origin" (Cremer). To Jews as such the term would doubtless only suggest identity of origin nationally, i.e. a fellow-Jew (cf. especially Leviticus 19:17a with 16, 17b, 18; so even Malachi 2:10); but to Christians of the time when the Gospel was written rather identity of spiritual origin, i.e. a fellow-Christian. Probably when the expression fell from Christ's lips not one of those who heard him imagined that it could have any wider meaning than fellow-Jew or fellow-believer on Jesus, and probably most of them limited it to the former. In fact, Christ seems to have used it as a means whereby to lead up his hearers from the idea of a national to that of a spiritual relation (cf. vers. 47, 48). We are therefore hardly warranted (far-reaching as the word on Christ's lips is) in seeing here any reference to the thought of the universal brotherhood of man, based on the fact of all being children of one common Father (cf. further Bishop Westcott, on 1 John 2:9). Without a cause. Omitted by the Revised Version; Revised Version margin, "many ancient authorities insert without cause." The εἰκῆ, though found in the Old Latin and Old Syriac, is certainly to be omitted, with R, B, and Vulgate, notwithstanding Dean Burgon ('Revision,' p. 358); cf. especially Westcott and Hurt, 'App.' It is redundant, because the two following expressions show that the anger itself is unloving and hostile (cf. further Meyer). There is a holy anger, but that is with a brother's sin, not with the brother himself (cf. Augustine, in Trench, 'Sermon on the Mount'). Shall be in danger of the judgment; i.e. of God's wrath as symbolized by the lowest degree of Jewish trial (vide supra). And whosoever (ὅς δ ἄν). For in this case there was no need for the emphasizing inclusiveness of πᾶς. Raca.

(1) Augustine's explanation (in los.; vide Trench; cf. also 'In Joann. Evang.,' § 51:2; 'De Doctr. Christ.,' 2:11), which he got "a quodam Hebraeo," that Raca is in itself meaningless, and is only an interjection expressing indignation, as "Heu!" sorrow, or "Hem!" anger, or "Hosanna" (!) joy, will hardly commend itself to us to-day.

(2) Nor will Chrysostom's (in loc.; vide Chase's admirable monograph on Chrysostom (1887), p. 133), "As we in giving orders to a servant or to some one of mean rank, say, Go you; take you this message (ἄπελθε σὺ εἰπὲ τῷ δεῖνι σύ), so those who use the Syrian language used Raca, an equivalent to our you (σύ);' seem much better, whether we take him as considering it as meaningless, or as in some way confusing its ending with the Shemitic suffix for "thee" (ka).

(3) Ewald explains it by רקעא, "rascal" (vide Meyer); but

(4) it is more probably the Aramaic ריקא reka "empty;" cf. Hebrew plural rekim, "vain fellows," in Judges 9:4; Judges 11:3. St. James uses its equivalent (ω΅ ἄνρθωπε κενέ, 2:20) in solemn warning; but it was not infrequently used as a mere term of angry abuse (cf. Lightfoot, ' Hor. Hebr.,' in loc., and Levy, s.v.). Buxtorf, s.v., compares a favourite expression of Aben Ezra's, ריקי מוה, "empty-heads," for those who raise senseless objections, etc.; but the simple expression in our text refers rather to moral deficiency thorn to deficiency of brain. The council (vide supra). But; Revised Version, and. The Authorized Version interpolates an emphasis on the climax. Thou fool (Μωρέ).

(1) This is probably the Greek word for "fool," equivalent to the Hebrew nabal (נָבָל), which was often used in the Old Testament of the folly of wickedness (Psalm 14:1; cf. 1 Samuel 25:25). In this sense μωρός is used by our Lord himself (Matthew 23:17 [19]).

(2) It may be the transliteration (cf. שׁכן, σκηνοῦν) of the Hebrew moreh (מורה), "rebel" (cf. Numbers 20:10). (So Revised Version margin, Weiss. Nosgen.) In favour of this is the parallelism cf. language with Raca. The sense, too, is excellent, "Thou rebel against God!" It is almost equivalent to "Apostate!" But the absence of any evidence that the Jews used moreh as a term of abuse prevents our accepting this interpretation. Field ('Otium Norv.,' 3.) points out that if this interpretation were true, moreh would be "the only pure Hebrew word in the Greek Testament (ἀλληλουι'´α, ἀμήν, and σαβαώθ, as being taken from the LXX., belong to a different class), all other foreign words being indisputably Aramaic, as raca, talitha kumi, maranatha, etc., which, as might have been expected, are retained by the authors of the Syriac versions without alteration. Not so μωρε;, for which both the Peschito and Philoxenian versions have lelo ()... a plain proof that these learned Syrians look it for an exotic, and not like ῤακά, a native word." In either case. the term expresses the absolute godlessness of him who is so addressed. Of the two terms, Raca is more negative, implying the absence of all good, Μωρέ more positive, implying decided wickedness. Shall be in danger of; ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς. The change from the usual dative to the unique construction with εἰς, indicated by the Revised Version margin, "Greek, unto or into," is doubtless because our Lord no longer refers to the tribunal at which the punishment is ordered, but to the punishment itself into which the condemned man comes (cf. Wirier, § 31:5). Hell fire; Revised Version, the hell of fire; Revised Version margin, "Greek, Gehenna of fire" (τῆν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός). Gehenna is properly "the Valley of Hinnom" (Joshua 18:16b; Nehemiah 11:30), or "of the son of Hinnom" (Joshuaxv. 8; 16:18a; 2 Chronicles 28:3). It is probably the valley on the south-west of Jerusalem (see, however, W. F. Birch, in Palestine Exploration Fund Report, January, 1889, pp. 39, 42, who places it between the two parts of Jerusalem, identifying it with the Tyropoeon Valley of Josephus, neglecting, however, to explain how so central a position is consistent with the "fire." In it was the spot where human sacrifices were offered to Moloch (cf. 2 Chronicles 28:3; and Rawlinson, on 2 Kings 23:10), called the Topheth, "the place of horror" (vide especially Payne Smith, on Jeremiah 7:31); and in it, presumably on the same place, were burnt, according to Jewish tradition (vide especially Kimchi, on Psalm 27:13), the carcases of animals and other offal. There is no direct evidence that the bodies of criminals (as is often stated) were burnt there. But it seems probable that it was in this place that death by "burning," whether it was the later method of "burning" by a red-hot wire, or the earlier (Mishna, 'San-hedr.,' 7:2) of lighting faggots of wood round the condemned person, would be carried into effect. Thus both from the old associations of the valley, and from the then use made of it, the epithet "of fire" would be very naturally added. It seems probable that our Lord here referred primarily to "Gehenna" in this local sense (vide supra), but it is fair to notice that there is no other instance in the New Testament of this literal usage of the word. Elsewhere it is always in the metaphorical sense common in rabbinic writings of the place of final punishment which we usually call "hell." 5:21-26 The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning. Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now. All rash anger is heart murder. By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood. Raca, is a scornful word, and comes from pride: Thou fool, is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred. Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly. Christ told them that how light soever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them. We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances. And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination. What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late. When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay!
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