12:4 “I 1 tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, 2 and after that have nothing more they can do. 12:5 But I will warn 3 you whom you should fear: Fear the one who, after the killing, 4 has authority to throw you 5 into hell. 6 Yes, I tell you, fear him! 12:6 Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? 7 Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.
1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
2 sn Judaism had a similar exhortation in 4 Macc 13:14-15.
3 tn Grk “will show,” but in this reflective context such a demonstration is a warning or exhortation.
4 sn The actual performer of the killing is not here specified. It could be understood to be God (so NASB, NRSV) but it could simply emphasize that, after a killing has taken place, it is God who casts the person into hell.
5 tn The direct object (“you”) is understood.
6 sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36).
7 sn The pennies refer to the assarion, a small Roman copper coin. One of them was worth one sixteenth of a denarius or less than a half hour’s average wage. Sparrows were the cheapest thing sold in the market. God knows about even the most financially insignificant things; see Isa 49:15.