Raca
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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary
Raca

worthless; good-for-nothing

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matthew 5:22. The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning "to spit."
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
(n.) A term of reproach used by the Jews of our Savior's time, meaning worthless.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
RACA

ra'-ka, ra-ka'> (rhaka, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek with Codices Sinaiticus (corrected), Vaticanus, Codex E, etc.; rhacha, Tischendorf with Codices Sinaiticus (original hand) and Bezae; Aramaic reqa', from req, "empty"): Vain or worthless fellow; a term of contempt used by the Jews in the time of Christ. In the Bible, it occurs in Matthew 5:22 only, but John Lightfoot gives a number of instances of the use of the word by Jewish writers (Hot. Hebrew., edition by Gandell, Oxford, 1859, II, 108). Chrysostom (who was acquainted with Syriac as spoken in the neighborhood of Antioch) says it was equivalent to the Greek su, "thou," used contemptuously instead of a man's name. Jerome rendered it inanis aut vacuus absque cerebro. It is generally explained as expressing contempt for a man's intellectual capacity (= "you simpleton!"), while more (translated "thou fool"), in the same verse is taken to refer to a man's moral and religious character (= "you rascal!" "you impious fellow!"). Thus we have three stages of anger, with three corresponding grades of punishment:

(1) the inner feeling of anger (orgizomenos), to be punished by the local or provincial court (te krisei, "the judgment");

(2) anger breaking forth into an expression of scorn (Raca), to be punished by the Sanhedrin (to sunedrio, "the council");

(3) anger culminating in abusive and defamatory language (More), to be punished by the fire of Gehenna.

This view, of a double climax, which has been held by foremost English and Gor. commentators, seems to give the passage symmetry and gradation. But it is rejected among others by T. K. Cheyne, who, following J. P. Peters, rearranges the text by transferring the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council" to the end of the preceding verse (Encyclopaedia Biblica, IV, cols. 4001). There certainly does not seem to be trustworthy external evidence to prove that the terms "the judgment," "the council," "the Gehenna of fire" stand to each other in a relation of gradation, as lower and higher legal courts, or would be so understood by Christ's hearers. What is beyond dispute is that Christ condemns the use of disparaging and insulting epithets as a supreme offense against the law of humanity, which belongs to the same category as murder itself. It should be added, however, that it is the underlying feeling and not the verbal expression as such that constitutes the sin. Hence, our Lord can, without any real inconsistency, address two of His followers as "foolish men" (Luke 24:25, anoetoi, practically equivalent to Raca, as is also James's expression, "O vain man," James 2:20).

D. Miall Edwards

Greek
4469. rhaka -- empty (an expression of contempt)
... Raca. Of Chaldee origin (compare reyq); O empty one, ie Thou worthless (as a term
of utter vilification) -- Raca. see HEBREW reyq. (raka) -- 1 Occurrence. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/4469.htm - 6k
Library

Chapter ix.
... you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause [80] shall be in danger
of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be ...
//christianbookshelf.org/augustine/our lords sermon on the mount/chapter ix.htm

Upon Our Lord's SermonOn the Mount
... 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 ...
/.../wesley/sermons on several occasions/sermon 22 upon our lords.htm

Chapter x.
... but He says, "Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar." For if it is not
lawful to be angry with one's brother without a cause, or to say "Raca," or to ...
//christianbookshelf.org/augustine/our lords sermon on the mount/chapter x.htm

Whether the Philosopher Suitably Assigns the Species of Anger?
... when He says (Mat.5:22): "Whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger
of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether the philosopher suitably assigns.htm

The New Form of the Old Law
... 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 ...
/.../maclaren/expositions of holy scripture a/the new form of the.htm

Agree with Thine Adversary
... Whosoever shall say to him Raca, or worthless fellow, shall speak insolently, brutally,
cruelly, scornfully to him, is in danger of the council. ...
/.../kingsley/all saints day and other sermons/sermon xxvii agree with thine.htm

With the Rev. William Burns
... It happened at that time those of our town whose hearts were deceived by Satan,
not knowing the Son of David, went so far as to dare to 'raca' and 'moreh' and ...
//christianbookshelf.org/taylor/a retrospect/chapter xi with the rev.htm

Matt. v. 17
... For this cause the prophet also said, "Be ye angry, and sin not." [717]. 10. "And
whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council.". ...
/.../chrysostom/homilies on the gospel of saint matthew/homily xvi matt v 17.htm

Blessed be He that Blots Out in Water Misdeeds that are Without ...
... 17. Of Him Christ commanded, "Thou shalt not call him Raca," who is baptized and
has put Him on; for whoso despises the despised, despises with him the Mighty. ...
/.../ephraim/hymns and homilies of ephraim the syrian/hymn iv blessed be he.htm

Further Exposure of the Wicked and Blasphemous Doctrines of the ...
... not only not to swear falsely, but not even to swear at all; and not only not to
speak evil of their neighbours, but not even to style any one "Raca" and "fool ...
/.../irenaeus/against heresies/chapter xxxii further exposure of the.htm

Thesaurus
Raca (1 Occurrence)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary. (n.) A term of reproach used by the Jews of our Savior's
time, meaning worthless. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. RACA. ...
/r/raca.htm - 10k

Tomb (70 Occurrences)
... lacking sufficient proof.o, following JP Peters, rearranges the text by transferring
the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in ...
/t/tomb.htm - 31k

Rachel's (5 Occurrences)
... lacking sufficient proof.o, following JP Peters, rearranges the text by transferring
the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in ...
/r/rachel's.htm - 11k

Raddai (1 Occurrence)
... lacking sufficient proof.o, following JP Peters, rearranges the text by transferring
the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in ...
/r/raddai.htm - 10k

Rab-shakeh (14 Occurrences)
Rab-shakeh. Rab'shakeh, Rab-shakeh. Raca . Multi-Version Concordance ... (See JPS
BBE DBY). Rab'shakeh, Rab-shakeh. Raca . Reference Bible.
/r/rab-shakeh.htm - 10k

Judged (201 Occurrences)
... Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be
in danger of being judged; and he who says to his brother, Raca, will be in ...
/j/judged.htm - 35k

Liable (7 Occurrences)
... 22 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 ...
/l/liable.htm - 8k

Lightly (31 Occurrences)
... 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 ...
/l/lightly.htm - 16k

Gehenna (12 Occurrences)
... 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 ...
/g/gehenna.htm - 15k



Rab-shakeh
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