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Matthew 5:21

You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
What is the difference between being in danger of the judgment, and being in danger of the council, and being in danger of the gehenna of fire? For this last sounds most weighty, and reminds us that certain stages were passed over from lighter to more weighty, until the gehenna of fire was reached. And, therefore, if it is a lighter thing to be in danger of the judgment than to be in danger of the council, and if it is also a lighter thing to be in danger of the council than to be in danger of the gehenna of fire, we must understand it to be a lighter thing to be angry with a brother without a cause than to say Raca; and again, to be a lighter thing to say Raca than to say Thou fool. For the danger would not have gradations, unless the sins also were mentioned in gradation. ...

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
This is what the Lord said: “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” In other words, to accentuate what was considered least; that is to say, to reform for the better the precepts of the law. For this reason the holy apostle says, “Do we, then, overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” … The law commands us not to murder. The gospel commands us not to get angry without reason, that we may remove every root of sin from our hearts, because anger can even lead to homicide. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Shall be liable to the judgment. That is, shall deserve to be punished by that lesser tribunal among the Jews, called the judgment, which took cognizance of such crimes. (Challoner) Among the Jews at the time of Christ, there were three sorts of tribunals: the first composed of three judges to try smaller causes, as theft; there was one in each town: the second of twenty-three judges, who judged criminal causes, and had the power of condemning to death. This was called the Little Sanhedrim, and of this it is supposed Jesus Christ speaks: the third, or Great Sanhedrim of seventy-two judges, who decided on the most momentous affairs, relating to religion, the king, the high priest, and the state in general. It is this last that is designated under the name of council in the next verse. (Haydock) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And yet it was Himself who gave those laws also, but so far He states them impersonally. For if on the one hand He had said, You have heard that I said to them of old, the saying would have been hard to receive, and would have stood in the way of all the hearers. If again, on the other hand, after having said, You have heard that it was said to them of old by my Father, He had added, But I say, He would have seemed to be taking yet more on Himself. Wherefore He has simply stated it, making out thereby one point only; the proof that in fitting season He had come saying these things. For by the words, It was said to them of old, He pointed out the length of the time, since they received this commandment. And this He did to shame the hearer, shrinking from the advance to the higher class of His commandments; as though a teacher should say to a child that was indolent, Do you not know how long a time you have consumed in learning syllables? This then He also covertly intimates by the ex...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
It was he himself who also gave those laws, but in an indirect manner. If on the one hand he had said, “You have heard that I said to those of ancient times,” the saying would have been hard for his present hearers to believe and would have been a roadblock for their understanding. If on the other hand, after Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times by my Father,” he had added, “But I say,” he still would have seemed to be taking yet more on himself. So he simply states the commandment, attempting to make only one point: to demonstrate that at the right time he had come to clarify this requirement. For by the words “it was said to those of ancient times” he pointed out the length of time since they had received this commandment. He did this to shame those hearers who were still reluctant to advance to the higher levels of his teachings. Jesus spoke much like a teacher to a lazy student: “Don’t you know how much time you have spent learning syllables?” He a...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Christ does not mention by whom this was said. For if He had said, "My Father said to the men of old, but I say to you," it would have appeared that He was giving laws in opposition to the Father. Again, if He had said, "I said to the men of old," this would have been hard to accept. Therefore He speaks indefinitely, "It was said to the men of old" (Deut. 5:17). He shows that the law has become antiquated by saying, "It was said to the men of old." Therefore, since the law has become old and antiquated and near the point of obliteration, it is necessary to leave it and to run to the new commandments. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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