But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Raca, shall be liable to the judgment of the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, Moreh, shall be liable to the Gehenna of fire.
In verse 22 there are three kinds of judgment. The first is the judgment at the gate of the city, which is the district judgment. The second is the judgment by the Sanhedrin, which is the higher judgment. The Sanhedrin is a council composed of the chief priests, the elders, the lawyers, and the scribes. It is the highest court of the Jews (Luke 22:66; Acts 4:5-6, 15; 5:27, 34, 41). The third is the judgment by God through the Gehenna of fire, which is the highest judgment.
The word Gehenna is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Ge Hinnom, valley of Hinnom. It was a deep and narrow valley near Jerusalem, the refuse-place of the city, where the bodies of criminals and all kinds of filth were cast. It was also called Tophet, or Topheth (2 Kings 23:10; Isa. 30:33; Jer. 19:13). Because of its continual fire, it became the symbol of the place of eternal punishment, the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).