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What’s in a Commandment? #6 Murder

6. You shall not murder.

Murder, eh?  If you look at the original language using murder is a better word, arguably, than using kill.  You may see kill used in various renditions and translations.  Murder shows “intent to kill”, planning, or a desire to “do the deed”.  Kill can be accidental, which doesn’t fit the spirit of the commandment.

We also have the added declaration that hatred can be equated to murder.  Jesus said,”You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Matt 5:21-22 NLT)

This thinking is also supported by the Old Testament law presented in Deuteronomy 19:4-6 (NASB) where is reads:

4“Now this is the case of the manslayer who may flee there and live: when he kills his friend unintentionally, not hating him previously–

5as when a man goes into the forest with his friend to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down the tree, and the iron head slips off the handle and strikes his friend so that he dies–he may flee to one of these cities and live;

6otherwise the avenger of blood might pursue the manslayer in the heat of his anger, and overtake him, because the way is long, and take his life, though he was not deserving of death, since he had not hated him previously.

Hatred is linked to murder, and lack of hatred is linked to accidental killing or manslaughter.  The cities of refuge were there, more so, to protect the relatives of the one killed from committing murder (#6).  Often, we flip this around and think the cities of refuge were more for protecting the person who accidentally killed someone!  I John 3:15 (NIV) also speaks of hatred, proclaiming,15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.


6. You shall not murder.

Don’t be too quick to conclude that you aren’t guilty of this commandment…

I know I’m glad I have a Savior.


One Response

  1. […] Testament Elaborations on the Sixth Commandment | Desiring God Community Church1What’s in a Commandment? #6 Murder « The Deliberate Ruminator […]

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