Matthew 5:21-24 and Yeshua on Harboring Anger against a Brother

2 years ago

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 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. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:21-24

The Law doesn't allow courts of men to punish someone for harboring animosity against another, but it doesn't prohibit God from judging him. Leviticus 19:17 says "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him." In other words, don't berate someone for an offense or a difference of opinion, but have a conversation. Learn the whys and wherefores before judging him and realize that you are often at fault too. Yeshua wasn't telling us never to be angry or to curse anyone. He was saying not to nurse our anger or to curse unjustly, but to repent and forgive quickly.

A sin offering for an outward crime is useless if you haven't repented of an offense in your heart. A peace offering to God is useless if you won't make peace with your neighbor. "Forgive us our trespasses even as we forgive those who trespass against us."

Although there is no punishment prescribed in Torah for nursing anger or casting unjust insults against a brother, God commands us not to hate or curse a brother. The judgment for such offenses comes not from man, but from God.

From Jay Carper at American Torah (

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