Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar
The Jews obliged such who had done any damage to their neighbours, by stealing from them, to make satisfaction before they brought their offering; concerning which they say F3,
``he that brings what he has stolen, before he brings his trespass offering, is right; he that brings his trespass offering, before he brings that which he has stolen, is not right.''Again F4,
``they do not bring the trespass offering before the sum of what is stolen is returned, either to the owners, or to the priests.''Some have thought Christ refers to this; only what they restrained to pecuniary damages, he extends to all sorts of offences. But not a trespass offering, but a freewill offering, seems to be designed by "the gift": which, when a man either intended to bring, or was going to bring, or had already brought, as a voluntary sacrifice to be offered unto God; and it came into his mind, that he had offended any man by showing any undue passion, or by any reproachful words, then he was to do what is advised in the following verse: "and there", whilst going, or when at the altar,
rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee:
hath anything to charge thee with; any just ground of complaint against thee; if thou hast done him any injury, or given him any offence: particularly, if he had at any time said Raca to him, or called him "fool" for those words have reference to what goes before, and are a corollary, or conclusion from them, as appears from the causal particle "therefore".
F3 Misn. Bava Kama, c. 9. sect. 12.
F4 Maimon. Hilch. Gezela, c. 8. sect. 13.