Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This Page Cite This Page
Share this page Follow the BLB
Printable Page
 
 
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
 [?]

Advanced Options

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV

Let's Connect
x
Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

Dictionaries :: Raca

Choose a new font size and typeface
Easton's Bible Dictionary

Raca:

vain, empty, worthless, only found in Mat 5:22. The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning "to spit."

Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

Raca:

worthless; good-for-nothing

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Raca:

ra'-ka, ra-ka'>( rhaka, Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek with Codices Sinaiticus (corrected), Vaticanus, Codex E, etc.; rhacha, Tischendorf with Codices Sinaiticus (original hand) and Bezae; Aramaic reqa', from req, "empty"): Vain or worthless fellow; a term of contempt used by the Jews in the time of Christ. In the Bible, it occurs in Mt 5:22 only, but John Lightfoot gives a number of instances of the use of the word by Jewish writers (Hot. Hebrew., edition by Gandell, Oxford, 1859, II, 108). Chrysostom (who was acquainted with Syriac as spoken in the neighborhood of Antioch) says it was equivalent to the Greek su, "thou," used contemptuously instead of a man's name. Jerome rendered it inanis aut vacuus absque cerebro. It is generally explained as expressing contempt for a man's intellectual capacity (=" you simpleton!"), while more (translated "thou fool"), in the same verse is taken to refer to a man's moral and religious character (=" you rascal!" "you impious fellow!"). Thus we have three stages of anger, with three corresponding grades of punishment:



(1) the inner feeling of anger (orgizomenos), to be punished by the local or provincial court (te krisei, "the judgment");

(2) anger breaking forth into an expression of scorn (Raca), to be punished by the Sanhedrin (to sunedrio, "the council");

(3) anger culminating in abusive and defamatory language (More), to be punished by the fire of Gehenna.

This view, of a double climax, which has been held by foremost English and Gor. commentators, seems to give the passage symmetry and gradation. But it is rejected among others by T. K. Cheyne, who, following J. P. Peters, rearranges the text by transferring the clause "and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council" to the end of the preceding verse (Encyclopaedia Biblica, IV, cols. 4001 f). There certainly does not seem to be trustworthy external evidence to prove that the terms "the judgment," "the council," "the Gehenna of fire" stand to each other in a relation of gradation, as lower and higher legal courts, or would be so understood by Christ's hearers. What is beyond dispute is that Christ condemns the use of disparaging and insulting epithets as a supreme offense against the law of humanity, which belongs to the same category as murder itself. It should be added, however, that it is the underlying feeling and not the verbal expression as such that constitutes the sin. Hence, our Lord can, without any real inconsistency, address two of His followers as "foolish men" (Lu 24:25, anoetoi, practically equivalent to Raca, as is also James's expression, "O vain man," Jas 2:20).

Written by D. Miall Edwards

King James Dictionary

Raca: Senseless; Vain; Empty-Headed.

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. (Matthew 5:22)

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g4469 Greek: raka

Raca:

is an Aramaic word akin to the Heb. req, "empty," the first "a" being due to a Galilean change. In the AV of 1611 it was spelled racha; in the edition of 1638, raca. It was a word of utter contempt, signifying "empty," intellectually rather than morally, "empty-headed," like Abimelech's hirelings, Jdg 9:4, and the "vain" man of Jam 2:20. As condemned by Christ, Mat 5:22, it was worse than being angry, inasmuch as an outrageous utterance is worse than a feeling unexpressed or somewhat controlled in expression; it does not indicate such a loss of self-control as the word rendered "fool," a godless, moral reprobate.

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Raca:

a term of reproach derived from the Chaldee reka, worthless ("Raca denotes a certain looseness of life and manners, while 'fool, ' in the same passage, means a downright wicked and reprobate person."). (Matthew 5:22).

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


Donate Contact

Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization