Vitrail de synagogue-Musée alsacien de Strasbourg. The commandment against murder can be viewed as a legal issue governing human relationships, noting that the first four commandments relate strongly to man’s duty to God and that the latter healing scriptures kjv pdf commandments describe duties toward humans. The commandment against murder can also be viewed as based in respect for God himself.
Since man is made in God’s image, the shedding of innocent blood is viewed as a direct offense against God. The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. The Genesis narrative also portrays the prohibition of shedding innocent blood as an important aspect of God’s covenant with Noah. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. While Jerome had access to Jewish scholars, “even the Jewish translators were not unanimous in maintaining a consistent distinctions between the various Hebrew roots.
Moses was on the mountain receiving the law from God. When Moses came down, he commanded the Levites to take up the sword against their brothers and companions and neighbors. The Levites obeyed and killed about three thousand men who had sinned in worship of the golden calf. As a result, Moses said that the Levites had received a blessing that day at the cost of son and brother. The Hebrew Bible has many other examples of sinners being put to death as due consequence for crimes. Achan is put to death by Joshua because he caused defeat of Israel’s army by taking some of the plunder and hiding it in his tent.
David ordered that an Amalekite be put to death because he claimed to have killed King Saul. Strike him down and bury him, and so clear me and my father’s house of the guilt of the innocent blood that Joab shed. The Lord will repay him for the blood he shed, because without the knowledge of my father David he attacked two men and killed them with the sword. Both of them—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army—were better men and more upright than he.
May the guilt of their blood rest on the head of Joab and his descendants forever. But on David and his descendants, his house and his throne, may there be the Lord’s peace forever. The biblical refrain for those justly executed as due punishment for crimes is that “their blood will be on their own heads. The ancient Hebrew texts make a distinction between the moral and legal prohibition of shedding of innocent blood and killing in battle.
The Bible often praises the exploits of soldiers against enemies in legitimate battle. Abishai is credited with killing three hundred men. Promised Land, however, everybody was to be killed. As described in the Torah, the ancient understanding of the prohibition of murder made an exception for legitimate self-defense.
A home defender who struck and killed a thief caught in the act of breaking in at night was not guilty of bloodshed. One should let himself be killed rather than violate it. Life is considered very precious, even sacred by Jewish teaching. Azriel Rosenfeld offers a representative modern summary of Jewish teaching regarding the command not to murder. In the Talmud, Genesis 9:5 is interpreted as a prohibition against killing oneself, and Genesis 9:6 is “cited in support for the prohibition of abortion. Old Testament view of bloodguilt.