But I say to you
After presenting the formalistic interpretation of “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment,” Jesus responds with,
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca, ' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell.
The word raca, in Aramaic, means “empty head;” to call a person raca was to contend that they were intellectually deficient. The word translated fool moros has a different connotation, to an inhabitant of Palestine it would call to mind the Hebrew concept of a fool painted graphically Psalm 14,
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men, To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. Do all the workers of wickedness not know, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call upon the LORD?
The word gehenna, is a Greek word that refers to “the Valley of Hinnom,” it is usually translated “hell” in modern English. The word “hell” has all sorts of connotations due to centuries of popular imagery and cultural myth; however in Jesus’ time, the imagery was drawn from a known geographical location, the Valley of Hinnom. This place is mentioned in 2 Chronicles as a site where Ahaz and later Manasseh, sacrificed their children to Molech by burning them. The prophet Jeremiah noted that the valley was, in his day, a tophet, a place of mass infant sacrifice where people killed and burnt their children in devotion to Molech, contrary to the commands of God. Jeremiah also predicted a kind of ironic prophetic judgment, after Israel’s military defeat, the valley would no longer be used for sacrifice but instead become a place where Israel would pile their dead until there was no more room. The book of Kings tells us the valley was “desecrated” during the reign of Josiah “so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech.” The imagery then, is of a place of great unspeakable shame, desecration, a dumping ground for dead bodies and a place where human beings are destroyed.
When these things are put together, Christ’s words in this passage are fairly evident. The Torah does more than demand that murderers be brought to justice, it requires that people refrain from slandering the character and intellectual integrity of others out of anger and hatred. Just as The Torah required that murderers be executed and conventional legal practice allows legal suits to be brought against those who defame, so too those who treat others with contempt will ultimately be treated with similar contempt by God.
Finally we turn to Christ’s two applications of this interpretation; he states,
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, …”
In Christ’s reference to “leaving a gift at the altar,” the point is made vividly that settling grudges and living in peace with others should be a higher priority than worship. Here Christ picks up a theme articulated vividly by Isaiah,
"The multitude of your sacrifices-- what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations-- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong,
 Jeremiah 7:30-34
 2 Kings 23:10
Sunday Study: Christ on The Prohibition on Homicide Part I