Thou shalt not kill. -Exodus 20:13; KJV
Many have mistaken this to mean:
1. You cannot kill animals.
In Scripture, however, it is normal to hunt, fish, and raise livestock for food. You should not torture or mistreat animals, but they are provided for food and other resources.
2. You cannot take another human life under any circumstances.
There is, however, justifiable homicide, the justified taking of another human life. Examples: self defense; a just war; a capital offense and a legitimate trial and execution.
Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. -Genesis 9:6
He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death. -Exodus 21:12
If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. -Exodus 22:2
Actually, the above commandment is more accurately translated (from Hebrew) as, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, NKJV), and most modern English Bible translations do such.
But all human life is sacred. All are made in God’s image.
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. -Genesis 1:27
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. -Romans 12:18
And remember Jesus Christ died for all and rose again, loves all, and desires all to trust in Him as Lord and Savior (John 3:16-18; 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 5:8; 10:9-10; 1 Timothy 2:4,6).
One reason for the above study.
I recently heard a police officer speak of how he had to take a life in the line of duty. While he said it was ruled a justified shooting, he said he would still have to face God, who said without qualification, “Thou salt not kill.” Since it was in a large group setting, I did not get the chance to speak with him about this issue. He obviously had a misunderstanding of Exodus 20:13. Had I or my brother Mark, also present, the opportunity to speak with the police officer, I think we could have put his mind more at ease.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, October 1, AD 2014.
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