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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew 5:22 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause - ὁ οργιζομενος - εικη, who is vainly incensed. "This translation is literal; and the very objectionable phrase, without a cause, is left out, εικη being more properly translated by that above." What our Lord seems here to prohibit, is not merely that miserable facility which some have of being angry at every trifle, continually taking offense against their best friends; but that anger which leads a man to commit outrages against another, thereby subjecting himself to that punishment which was to be inflicted on those who break the peace. Εικη, vainly, or, as in the common translation, without a cause, is wanting in the famous Vatican MS. and two others, the Ethiopic, latter Arabic, Saxon, Vulgate, two copies of the old Itala, J. Martyr, Ptolomeus, Origen, Tertullian, and by all the ancient copies quoted by St. Jerome. It was probably a marginal gloss originally, which in process of time crept into the text.
Shall be in danger of the judgment - ενοχος εϚται, shall be liable to the judgment. That is, to have the matter brought before a senate, composed of twenty-three magistrates, whose business it was to judge in cases of murder and other capital crimes. It punished criminals by strangling or beheading; but Dr. Lightfoot supposes the judgment of God to be intended. See at the end of this chapter.
Raca - ריקה from the Hebrew רק rak, to be empty. It signifies a vain, empty, worthless fellow, shallow brains, a term of great contempt. Such expressions were punished among the Gentoos by a heavy fine. See all the cases, Code of Gentoo Laws, chap. 15: sec. 2.
The council - Συνεδριον, the famous council, known among the Jews by the name of Sanhedrin. It was composed of seventy-two elders, six chosen out of each tribe. This grand Sanhedrin not only received appeals from the inferior Sanhedrins, or court of twenty-three mentioned above; but could alone take cognizance, in the first instance, of the highest crimes, and alone inflict the punishment of stoning.
Thou fool - Moreh, probably from מרה marah, to rebel, a rebel against God, apostate from all good. This term implied, among the Jews, the highest enormity, and most aggravated guilt. Among the Gentoos, such an expression was punished by cutting out the tongue, and thrusting a hot iron, of ten fingers breadth, into the mouth of the person who used it. Code of Gentoo Laws, chap. 15: sec. 2. p. 212.
Shall be in danger of hell fire - ενοχος εϚται εις την γεενναν του πυρος, shall be liable to the hell of fire. Our Lord here alludes to the valley of the son of Hinnom, גי הנם Ghi hinom. This place was near Jerusalem, and had been formerly used for those abominable sacrifices, in which the idolatrous Jews had caused their children to pass through the fire to Molech. A particular place in this valley was called Tophet, from תפת tophet, the fire stove, in which some supposed they burnt their children alive to the above idol. See 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chronicles 28:3; Jeremiah 7:31, Jeremiah 7:32. From the circumstances of this valley having been the scene of those infernal sacrifices, the Jews, in our Savior's time, used the word for hell, the place of the damned. See the word applied in this sense by the Targum, on Ruth 2:12; Psalm 140:12; Genesis 3:24; Genesis 15:17. It is very probable that our Lord means no more here than this: if a man charge another with apostasy from the Jewish religion, or rebellion against God, and cannot prove his charge, then he is exposed to that punishment (burning alive) which the other must have suffered, if the charge had been substantiated. There are three kinds of offenses here, which exceed each other in their degrees of guilt.
1st. Anger against a man, accompanied with some injurious act.
2dly. Contempt, expressed by the opprobrious epithet raka, or shallow brains.
3dly. Hatred and mortal enmity, expressed by the term moreh, or apostate, where such apostasy could not be proved.
Now, proportioned to these three offenses were three different degrees of punishment, each exceeding the other in its severity, as the offenses exceeded each other in their different degrees of guilt.
1st. The judgment, the council of twenty-three, which could inflict the punishment of strangling.
2dly. The Sanhedrin, or great council, which could inflict the punishment of stoning. And
3dly. The being burnt alive in the valley of the son of Hinnom. This appears to be the meaning of our Lord.
Now, if the above offenses were to be so severely punished, which did not immediately affect the life of another, how much sorer must the punishment of murder be! Matthew 5:21. And as there could not be a greater punishment inflicted than death, in the above terrific forms, and this was to be inflicted for minor crimes; then the punishment of murder must not only have death here, but a hell of fire in the eternal world, attached to it. It seems that these different degrees of guilt, and the punishment attached to each, had not been properly distinguished among the Jews. Our Lord here calls their attention back to them, and gives then to understand, that in the coming world there are different degrees of punishment prepared for different degrees of vice; and that not only the outward act of iniquity should be judged and punished by the Lord, but that injurious words, and evil passions, should all meet their just recompense and reward. Murder is the most punishable of all crimes, according to the written law, in respect both of our neighbors and civil society. But he who sees the heart, and judges it by the eternal law, punishes as much a word or a desire, if the hatred whence they proceed be complete and perfected. Dr. Lightfoot has some curious observations on this passage in the preface to his Harmony of the Evangelists. See his works, vol. ii., and the conclusion of this chapter.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
the judgment. An inferior court of judicature, in every city, consisting of
23 members, which punished criminals by strangling or beheading.
Raca. that is, vain fellow.
the council. The Sanhedrin, [sunedrion,] composed of
72 elders, who alone punished by stoning.
LibraryAgree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th …
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
Salt Without Savour
The Lamp and the Bushel
The New Form of the Old Law
Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.
2 Chronicles 19:5
He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah.
And if your eye causes you to stumble, 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.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
And if your eye causes you to stumble, 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,
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.
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