To Kill or Not to Kill

followFollow Me: Law[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus  20:13, Chapters 21-23[2]

The NKJV says “You shall not murder”. The KJV says “Thou shalt not kill.” Both actions end in death, but there is a definite difference in murdering and killing. Some have used the KJV translation as proof the death penalty is wrong, which reveals the importance of understanding God’s statements in the context of the whole.

God expanded upon this command with a long list of people who are worthy of death and instructed the nation to kill them. The death penalty applied to premeditated murder, striking and or cursing a parent, kidnapping, causing the death of an innocent by stander, specifically a pregnant woman, negligence regarding a dangerous animal that causes a death, a sorceress, sex with an animal, and sacrificing to a foreign god.

The death penalty also applied to animals. If an animal, specifically and Ox gore a man or woman to death the animal shall be killed and the owner acquitted. Unless the owner knew the animal was dangerous and failed to keep it confined. In that case, the owner bore the guilt of the animal and suffered the death penalty. But he did have the option of redeeming his life with money. If the nation becomes so callous that they afflict widows and orphans God will administer the death penalty though war and their wives will be widows and their children orphans.

God does not have a problem with the death penalty. Grace does not remove the consequences of sin. Grace gives us a second chance after we have paid what we owe. The wages of sin is death, and God has decreed that everyone will die once.[3] The word “once” is grace. We can survive the first death, but not the second death.[4]

[1] In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul warns us that the things that happened in the wilderness were recorded as a warning to the church because Moses preached the same gospel about Jesus that was preached after Jesus resurrection. For this reason Israel/Jacob will be called the church in this series.

[2] All Scripture is from the NKJ Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Romans 6:23, Hebrews 9:27

[4] Revelation 2:11, 20:6,14, 21:8

About Teena Myers

Teena Myers is the Chairman of Southern Christian Writers, a freelance writer and author of three books.
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