But I say unto you
This form of speaking is used, the more strongly to asseverate the truth of what is after said; and the rather, because men are apt to indulge a liberty with their tongues; fancying no great crime is committed, when only words are spoken, and no facts done;
that every idle word that a man shall speak, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment.
By an "idle word" is meant, what the Jews call, (hlq hxyv) , "light conversation", and (ljb rbd) , "vain discourse", as the Hebrew Gospel of Munster reads it here; frothy language, unprofitable talk, which, though it does not directly hurt God or man, yet is of no use to speaker or hearer; and yet even this, in the last general and awful judgment, if not forgiven, and repented of, must be accounted for; and much more such horrid blasphemies the Pharisees had vented against Christ, and the Spirit of Christ. The Jews F4 have a saying pretty much like this,
``That even (hlq hxyv le) , "for any light conversation", which passes between a man and his wife, he shall "be brought to judgment".''
F4 R. Jonah apud L. Capell. in loc.