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Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

|| Luke 12:58, 59

MT5:21 “You heard it was said[1] to the Ancients: ‘Murder not’ [Exodus 20:13] but the murderer will be judged.[2] MT5:22 But, I tell you: Anyone angry[3] with his brother will be judged. But, anyone saying ‘Raca!’[4] to his brother will be liable to the Sanhedrin.[5] But, anyone saying ‘Moron!’[6] will be liable to the Gehenna[7] of the Fire. MT5:23 And so, when you bring your gift-offering to the Altar[8] and right then you remember your brother has something against you[9] MT5:24 leave your gift-offering at the Altar. First leave and be reconciled with your brother[10] and then return and offer up your gift. MT5:25 Think well of your adversary,[11] and quickly, while on the way, so your adversary never hand you over to the judge and the judge to the court-officer and he throw you into prison. MT5:26 I tell you the truth: You will not get out until you have repaid the last little coin![12]

Depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Ser...

Depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Photograph of stained glass window at Scots’ Church, Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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[1] It was said: Here begins the first of six rabbinical commentaries by the Nazarene on the spirit of the law, or its fulfillment. James does something similar at James 2:8, 11.

[2] The murderer will be judged: The first of two commentaries on the Ten Commandments. It is interesting the Nazarene makes no comment on the abuse of the Divine Name (YHWH) or the Sabbath (Exodus 20:13; James 1:19; 5:6; 1 John 3:15).

[3] Anyone angry: Various renderings are: WMS: harbors malice; NEB: nurses anger; MOF: maligns. It is anger which is the root of murder. Mere anger makes one liable to judgment though Jesus does not explain what this is. Benjamin Wilson suggests: “The Jews had a Common Court consisting of 23 men.” Later in Matthew 12:36 he warns against speaking the unprofitable, probably about someone else in anger, and how this will not escape the Judgment. Meekness and peaceableness both oppose anger. The Nazarene Saint is on guard against anger which rises out of an egocentric heart.

[4] Raca: NJB: “The Aramaic word raqa, transliterated in Matthew, translated here, means: ‘empty-headed’, ‘nitwit’.” Various renderings are: NJB: fool.

[5] Sanhedrin: Jesus has the Jewish audience in mind and thus Raca! is something worthy of the attention of these judges.

[6] Moron: This is more exact to the Greek word, MORE. Various renderings are: LAM: I spit on you; BER: simpleton; BECK: empty-head; PHI: looks down on his brother as a lost soul; BWD: Apostate; NJB: Traitor!; NJB ftn: “Jewish usage added the much more contemptuous one of ‘apostate’.” Job, Moses, David, Jesus and Paul were all objects of wrathful contempt, often by the very ones professing a relationship with God. It is one thing to be reproached by the Gentile pagans and wholly another to have ‘endured the contradictions of sinners’ among your own fellow worshippers (Hebrews 12:3).

In all the Scriptures the word-group “apostate” occurs most often in the Book of Job as an accusation against that godly man (Job 8:13; 13:16; 17:8; 20:5; 27:8; 34:30; 36:13). In the Christian Bible it occurs as a charge against Paul (Acts 21:21). “Apostate” is a most dangerous word to use as Jesus makes the consequences clear. Jesus never uses it against his foes.

[7] Gehenna: See various lexicons, dictionaries or commentaries on this word. It alludes to the city dump where the dead bodies of criminals were thrown who were judged unworthy of a resurrection. The dump was kept burning night and day and at the edges were to be found worms which seem to never die (See Isaiah 66:24).

The Jewish commentator David Kimhi (1160?-1235?), in his comment on Psalm 27:13, gives the following historical information concerning Gehinnom: “And it is a place in the land adjoining Jerusalem, and it is a loathsome place, and they throw there unclean things and carcasses. Also there was a continual fire there to burn the unclean things and the bones of the carcasses. Hence, the judgment of the wicked ones is called parabolically Gehinnom.”

[8] Altar: The image is one of a Jewish worshipper approaching the Temple and about to hand over his sin-offering or communion gift to the priest serving at the Temple. The worshipper’s purpose is to give a sacrifice for his sin. In the Christian Age there is another “altar,” a spiritual one associated with the New Covenant (Hebrews 13:10, 12, 15, 16). In these verses the inspired writer outlines two aspects to this “altar”: a) praise; and, b) charitable care of the Saints. Using Jesus’ teaching, the Nazarene Saint will keep this in mind before offering ‘a sacrifice of praise’ or ‘sharing’ with others in some charity, to pause and ponder whether there is a fellow Saint who holds a grudge. Better to go and make peace with him or her before approaching this spiritual “altar.”

[9] Against you: Apparently a legitimate charge or accusation of which you are aware. Here the Nazarene shows that peaceful relations come before ceremonial worship. Seeking peace with God through a communion sacrifice is meaningless if relationships with fellows are jeopardized. James writes in a similar vein at James 1:26, 27.

[10] Be reconciled with your brother: Here is the “peaceable” of Matthew 5:9. Various renderings: TCNT: be ready to make friends with; WEY: comes to terms without delay; NEB: if someone sues you come to terms with him promptly.

[11] Adversary: Compare a similar thought at Luke 12:58, 59. Compare Leviticus 19:17 with Colossians 3:13. Various renderings are: KNX: some ground of complaint. Note the singular “you” as if now Jesus’ attention is directed to one individual, singled out in the crowd or among his disciples (who often had personal difficulties), who is not at peace with his fellow. Would not the eye contact of the Nazarene send this worshipper speedily to the door of his brother begging forgiveness?

The context here seems of a material or financial nature for when the worshipper leaves the altar to reconcile with his brother it is over a matter involving a court appearance. It is a financial debt and the Nazarene demonstrates how such matters can take priority over worship. Financial matters are often one of the chief areas of complaint and the cause of disunity among fellow worshippers. Nothing divides persons more than materialism (the god Mammon) with its greed, covetousness, business deceit, or fraud (Compare 1 Corinthians chapter 6; Luke 12:58: disputes; 1 Corinthians 6:7: fraud).

[12] Coin: Compare Luke 12:59: debts. How would one ever get out of prison without borrowing from another or selling some property in order to cancel the debt. From the Altar to Prison in one day! Of course, the other person has much to learn from the Nazarene’s Mountain Teachings about canceling debts if one wants God’s forgiveness.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light shining bright

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

Next: Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:27-30 – 2. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:14

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Additional reading

  1. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  2. Lent, 40 days, meditation and repentance
  3. Growth in character
  4. Doest thou well to be Angry?
  5. A man who cannot forgive others
  6. He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass
  7. Forgiveness always possible
  8. Forgiveness is a blessing for the one who forgives
  9. Love is like playing the piano

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Further reading

  1. 2:2-5
  2. What’s in Your Heart?
  3. “The False and Confused Language of Our Hearts”
  4. A Study of the Sermon on the Mount
  5. The Beatitudes and being human
  6. The Beatitudes in the Law of Moses
  7. Denounced by his brothers, Pakistani Jew says he’s being thrown to an ‘apostate lynch mob’
  8. Egypt’s Al-Azhar university replaces head in apostasy row
  9. Reaching Muslims in Love
  10. Heretics
  11. “No In Between: The Sifting of Our Souls” (Matthew 3:12 sermon)
  12. “If an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him..” ~~Jesus
  13. Matthew 5:21-37 – First be reconciled to your brother or sister
  14. Word Study: Stumble, fall away, to be offended
  15. Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Part 1}
  16. Summing Up the Sermon: The Greatest Sermon Ever {Part 2}
  17. Thou Shalt Not Kill
  18. Video Games, Anger & Murder
  19. Anger and Insults
  20. Judgment, Rumors & War
  21. ‘Blessed are the Lawyers?’
  22. Jesus Longs for His People (Matthew 23:37-39)
  23. Hell and the Destruction of Souls
  24. Is Hell Real?
  25. Did Jesus ever actually say, “If you don’t believe in me you will go to hell”?
  26. Angry or Just Plain Mad
  27. What is Mercy…Really?
  28. Make me a channel of your Peace
  29. Editor’s Pick: The verdict is in! “Sorry” is the hardest word…
  30. What It Really Means To Behave Like A Christian
  31. Kindness
  32. Breathe In, Breathe Out, Forgive.
  33. Facing Forgiveness (Part I)What Happens When Mistakes Aren’t Forgiven? (1 min read)“Live generously.” ~~Jesus
    loved, forgiven, set free, and – yes – practitioners of holiness…

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Related articles

Bring praise to the Creator

Often people moan about their life. It is as if they do not like to be here on this world. Many think the grass is greener somewhere else.

We have our good and our bad days on this earth. Some days we like it here very much, other days we hate it. Most of us do have questions why we are here and what life is all about. Many also wonder how they came about and what the reason of all the things that happen are. Lots of people only think of God when something goes wrong and than they question Him. It is not that God is silent when bad things happen here or when justice appears not to be meted out on our terms for the terrors of this world. It is also not God who created the terrors of this world. People do forget that most of the difficulties which come over them are a result of them leaving God, not listening to His ordinances. Most people have separated themselves  from the Creator, Jehovah God.

The Creator has always walked alongside His people and was always longsuffering, patient and waiting for any of us that would turn to Him. He provided the solution for mankind to come back to Him, but many still do not see the Restoration. God gave His only begotten son as The Way to come to Him. His door, through Christ, is always open.

One of the main problems of the human beings is that they put their trust in mere man. They look forward that other men can find a political solution to make this life better. Some look to their idols to inspire them, other put all their trust in so called powerful persons.  They all forget that no ordinary man shall be capable to find the most sublime best solution. They hope to find any kind of consistency and salvation in mankind.  They forget what happened in passed time. Many do not know the history of mankind.

English: Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a...

Plaque at coastal viewpoint Quoting a Psalm in the praise of the Creator God. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case more people would know the history of the world and religion they would know that the reasons why it is such a mess is that people have far gone off the Law of God. Many our blinded, even when they do think they are religious and belonging to a church. In those churches they eat dogmatic words and often have not much Words of God coming unto them. Words of pastors and men surround them. Some of them want to bring the flock to see through the mist, to look at God, who alone is our rock and source of eternal lifeGod alone is worthy of our praise.

And because humankind does not recognises the works of the Creator, they also do not praise enough. In case they would praise more they would also be more enlightened.

Praise is not some non-emotional reaction – it is a holistic pouring out of self to lift up our voice and spirit to the Lord.  It isn’t a suggestion – it is a command.  It is an action.  It requires us to be totally involved emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Praising the Most High, Creator of all things, should become a way of life.

For every God loving person it is a way of living. It is a lifestyle.

Praising God is something that comes in earnest from the heart. It is the fulfilment of the grace of love. To Praise God involves all of the individual ‘I’.

To praise the Almighty God isn’t some external only action. It involves our entire being.  It takes all of us, down to our very soul, to praise Jehovah, God of all gods, King of all kings and King of all gods.

Praising God, is showing our love to Him and giving Him notice that we do not put ​our​ trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs. It is recognising how small we are and that when we come to the end of our life our spirit goes out and we go back to the ground of this world, becoming dust. It is recognising that in the day of our death it shall be the day that our thoughts do perish.

Simeon's song of praise.

Simeon’s song of praise. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By praising Jehovah, using His Name, we show Him that we want to give ourselves to Him and that we want to show are thanks for the many blessed moments we get in this life, though it may also be filled with difficult moments and moments never to be remembered. But by praising God we show Him and the world around us that we are belonging to the happy ones who has the God of Jacob for their help, whose hope is in Jehovah their God,  the Maker of heaven and earth, of the sea, and of all that is in them, the One keeping trueness to time indefinite.

By praising Him alone we show the world and its Creator that we are willing to give ourselves in the hand of the Elohim, the One executing judgement for the defrauded ones, the One giving bread to the hungry ones, because we know that Jehovah is releasing those who are bound. We are sure that Jehovah is opening our eyes and even those of the blind ones.

In case we do bow down in front of God He might raise us up.

Jehovah is loving the righteous ones and is guarding the alien residents. Wherever we may be on this earth or this universe God is willing to be with us. When we call unto Him He shall come unto us.

Giving praise to Jehovah the king to time indefinite, we let Him know that we do recognise those facts, as written in His Word, the Bible. We do recognise that His Word is infallible and let it inspire us every hour of the day. Reading in the Bible is also a form of praising God, often forgotten by many. It is like reading the love letter from your most beloved over and over again, thinking of Him all the time, wanting to be close by Him.

We should take as much time as we can in the Word of God, reading it and taking it at heart. By reading those Words of Hope we shall get to know better the rock on which our fortress shall stand strong. In the Words of God we shall be able to find who is our Deliverer; our God being our rock, in whom we take refuge.

He is my and your shield and the horn of my and your salvation, my and your stronghold, in case you are willing to recognise the Most High. His only begotten son made it possible for all people to be reconciled again with the Father of all. It is on Him that we should call. Jesus learned his followers to pray to his Father with the words ‘Our Father’. Yes we can say “Our Father” to the creator of all things and praise Him. We also can ask Him many things in the name of His son Jesus.

Let us be humble enough and give praise to the right one. Praise to the LORD of lords, who is worthy of praise.

We need to recognize God and His sovereignty continually. And we should praise Him with all our heart,with all our soul, but also we are told

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being”.

"Jehovah" at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King J...

“Jehovah” at Exodus 6:3 (1611 King James Version) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That reinforces the lifelong aspect of praise, but also that singing is one way we should be lifting up His name.  We should praise Him with our voice.  It isn’t something we should always do in a closet but verbally and often in front of others. His son also asked his pupils to go out in the world and proclaim the Name of the Father. This Name: Jehovah, should sound all over the world, through many generations.

We should let as many as possible know that we love Jehovah our God, for generation after generation.

It is a personal relationship with us the Creator God desires.  Not because He needs us, but because He loves us.  He desires that we enter into His presence and have a relationship.
Do you have that with God?
Are you praising Him with all your soul?
If not, today is the day to begin.  He is worthy.  He deserves and desires our praise!

“Praise Jah, ​YOU​ people!”

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Next: Praise Jehovah, ​You people

Preceding:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 1:67-80 – Zechariah’s Prophecy

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

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Please also do read:

  1. Jehovah God Almighty greater than all gods
  2. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  3. Fear and protection
  4. For Jehovah is greatly to be praised
  5. Praise be to God
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Song of Praise for the Elohim Set-Apart
  8. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  9. Worship and worshipping
  10. Dealing With the “Silence” of God
  11. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  12. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  13. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  14. Good and bad things in this world
  15. Longsuffering
  16. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  17. Looking at the Source of joy
  18. God our refuge
  19. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  20. sinking world….
  21. Best intimate relation to look for
  22. Look for your Refuge by God

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Please do find also of interest:

Previous articles on this subject:

  1. Contents of the Book of Revelation
  2. The Song of The Lamb #1 Visions, symbols and suggested meanings
  3. The Song of The Lamb #2 Sevens
  4. The Song of The Lamb #3 Daniel and Revelation
  5. The Song of The Lamb #4 Methods of Interpretation
  6. The song of the lamb #5 Revelation 5
  7. The Song of The Lamb #6 Revelation 14
  8. The Song of The Lamb #7 Revelation 15
  9. Kingdom Visions of a Man, Throne and Great crowd
  10. Kingdom Visions of Rainbowed angel, Lamb in Mount Zion
  11. Kingdom Visions of God’s judgements and Marriage of the Lamb
  12. 144 000 following the Lamb
  13. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  14. Seals, a flying scroll, a statue and blessings
  15. Songs of Moses and the servants of God
  16. Attributes to God, names and titles
  17. Believe in only One God
  18. God is one
  19. Suffering through the apparent silence of God

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