KILLED - All The Bible Teaches About

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It is hard to see how anyone could read and understand the above passage and maintain that God is against the death penalty. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and Exodus was written in the first year. These verses are very clear, and also settle another issue that has come up in these modern times. There are environmentalists who state that animals are just as important as mankind. That is clearly not what the Bible says.

Animals are not made in the image of God, and many of them are specifically stated to be a source of food Gen.


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Biblically, the life of an animal is not valued as highly as the life of a human being who was created in the image of God. After giving clear testimony that murderers were to be put to death, Numbers reinforces the statement made in Exodus that there was to be no refuge for a murderer. He must surely be put to death.

The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth and last book of Moses, and it also states that a murderer is to be put to death. You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood, so that it may go well with you. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down , in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.

Killing. Are there exceptions?

And behold, if it be true and certain that such an abomination has been done among you, you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever. It shall not be built again.

None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,.

And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and axes.

13 Bible Verses About Killing - Scriptures on Taking a Life

And thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous. And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord , with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. Some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.

But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you. Kill, and devote them to destruction, declares the Lord , and do all that I have commanded you. The noise of battle is in the land, and great destruction! And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord , the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord , the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.

Answer me, O Lord , answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord , are God, and that you have turned their hearts back. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. But you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone.

Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord , the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam.

And he brought out the people who were in it and set them to labor with saws and iron picks and iron axes and made them toil at the brick kilns. And thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites.

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And he struck some of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they looked upon the ark of the Lord. He struck seventy men of them, and the people mourned because the Lord had struck the people with a great blow. And to whom shall he go up away from us? And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me. And see, they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath. And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel.

And they laid them down before the Lord. So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.

Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword. More kings gather to fight the Israelites. The Israelites defeat and kill them all. Joshua 11 commands the hamstringing of horses. Joshua finishes most of the conquest of Canaan, with the exception of Gibeon and possibly some Canaanites and Amelakites: In Joshua 20, God tells Joshua to assign Cities of Refuge , so that "the manslayer that killeth any person through error and unawares may flee thither; and they shall be unto you for a refuge from the avenger of blood.

The Book of Judges contains a number of violent incidents. There is a graphic description of the assassination of the Moabite King Eglon , who defecates while rolls of his fat suck in the blade used to kill him Judges 3: The Levite dismembers her, and has parts of her body distributed across Israel to inform people about what happened Judges The Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant , but God makes his displeasure known, and they later return it [60].

The ark arrives at Beth-shemesh , where God slays fifty thousand men for gazing upon it 1 Samuel 6. The Philistines attack and are defeated at Mizpah. Saul is made king of Israel and wars with many enemies. Samuel kills the captured Agag , king of the Amalekites. David , anointed king in secret 1 Samuel 16 , comes into Saul's service and "loved him greatly". David becomes popular, witch makes Saul fear him and plot his death. David and Saul's daughter Michal wish to marry, and Saul asks for a dowry of one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.

David delivers two hundred, and becomes the king's son-in-law 1 Samuel Saul again wishes David dead, but they are reconciled by Saul's son Jonathan. War comes again, David is victorious. Saul again wants to kill David, and he flees with help from his wife. Saul searches for him and slays the inhabitants of the city Nob for aiding David 1 Samuel David defeats the Philistines at Keilah , then flees the city pursued by Saul 1 Samuel David and Saul reconcile.

David seeks refuge with Achish , king of Gath , and claims he is raiding Judah but is actually raiding and killing in other places 1 Samuel The Philistines begins a war against Saul. David's wives Ahinoam and Abigail are taken in a raid on Ziklag , but he rescue them 1 Samuel The men of Israel flee before the Philistines, and three of Saul's sons are slain. Saul asks his armour-bearer to kill him, but is refused, so he takes his own life. The armour-bearer also takes his own life. Saul's body is beheaded and fastened to a city-wall by the victorious Philistines, but it is retaken by inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead 1 Samuel A man tells David of Saul's death and that he himself killed Saul.

David has him killed 2 Samuel 1. A long war starts between David and Saul's son Ish-bosheth 2 Samuel 3. David demands and is granted the return of his first wife Michal, despite the public grief of her new husband Palti. Two men assassinate Ish-bosheth, and David has them killed 2 Samuel 4. David wars victoriously with the Philistines. While transporting the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, a man called Uzzah carelessly touches it and is killed by God 2 Samuel 6. David defeats and plunder several enemies, and "executed justice and righteousness unto all his people.

The children of Ammon mistreat David's emissaries, and is defeated by his army 2 Samuel In order to make Bathsheba his wife, David successfully plots the death of her husband. This displeases God, and David is told that "the sword shall never depart from thy house. She then gives birth to Solomon.

David conquers and plunders the city Rabbah 2 Samuel David's son Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar. Absalom , her full brother, in return has him killed 2 Samuel Absalom conspires and revolts against David. Absalom is finally defeated and dies in the Battle of the Wood of Ephraim , and David mourns him 2 Samuel Sheba son of Bichri revolts, but is ultimately beheaded 2 Samuel In 2 Samuel 21, David has seven of Sauls sons and grandsons killed, including "the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul", though he spares Sauls grandson Mephibosheth.

More wars take place. Characters like Phinehas Num. As a response to the violence of the wicked, numerous psalms call on God to bring vengeance on one's personal enemies, for example Ps. In the Gospel of Matthew , Herod the Great is described as ordering the execution of all young male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem. There are sayings of Jesus where he states that he comes to bring fire or a sword. The earliest detailed accounts of the death of Jesus are contained in the four canonical gospels. There are other, more implicit references in the New Testament epistles.

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus predicts his death in three separate episodes. His death is described as a sacrifice in the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. Scholars note that the reader receives an almost hour-by-hour account of what is happening. The Book of Revelation is full of imagery of war, genocide, and destruction. It describes the Apocalypse , the last judgment of all the nations and people by God, which includes plagues, war, and economic collapse.

Some other books of the Gospels also use apocalyptic language and forms. Scholars define this as language that "views the future as a time when divine saving and judging activity will deliver God's people out of the present evil order into a new order This transformation will be cataclysmic and cosmic. Whenever Jesus calls people to a new vision in light of God's impending kingdom, judgment, or a future resurrection, he is using apocalyptic speech.

Strozier, psychoanalyst historian says: Collins wrote a short book called "Does the Bible Justify Violence? The Bible has contributed to violence in the world precisely because it has been taken to confer a degree of certitude that transcends human discussion and argumentation. Such a selective reading, privileging the death of Jesus or the suffering servant, is certainly possible and even commendable, but it does not negate the force of the biblical endorsements of violence that we have been considering. The full canonical shape of the Christian Bible, for what it is worth, still concludes with the judgement scene in Revelation, in which the Lamb that was slain returns as the heavenly warrior with a sword for striking down the nations.

Regina Schwartz is among those who seek to reimagine Christianity and the Christian biblical canon in ways that reduce violence which she describes as arising from the ancient Israelite invention of monotheism and some of the ways that the ancient Israelites conceived of themselves in relation to that one god and to other peoples, which Christians inherited.

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The tying of identity to rejection runs counter to much of the drive that could be found elsewhere, both in the Bible and throughout religious myth and ritual, to forge identity through analogy, even identification Among all the rich variety, I would categorize two broad understandings of identity in the Bible: It would be a Bible embracing multiplicity instead of monotheism. Stephen Geller notes that both the Deuteronomist and the Priestly authors working in the Axial Age were re-evaluating and reformulating their traditions, like their neighbors were, using the literary means available to them.

The Deuteronomists expressed their new notions of the transcendence and power of God by means of ideas and associated laws around unity—the one-ness of God, worshipped at the one temple in Jerusalem, by one people, kept distinct from the rest of world just as God is; zealously and violently so.

In Geller's reading the blood is not magical nor is the animal just a substitute for a human sacrifice; instead blood is at once an expression of the violence of the fallen world where people kill in order to eat unlike Eden and the blood itself becomes a means for redemption; it is forbidden to be eaten, as a sign of restraint and recognition, and is instead offered to God, and in that action the relationship between fallen humanity and God is restored. The Priestly authors underline the importance of all this by recalling the mortal danger faced by the High Priests, through the telling of the deaths of Nadab and Abihu when God refused their "strange offering" and consumed them with fire.

Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.

Evan Fales, Professor of Philosophy, calls the doctrine of substitutionary atonement that some Christians use to understand the crucifixion of Jesus, "psychologically pernicious" and "morally indefensible". Philosopher and Professor Alvin Plantinga says this rests upon seeing God as a kind of specially talented human being. Historian Philip Jenkins quoting Phyllis Trible says the Bible is filled with "texts of terror" but he also asserts these texts are not to be taken literally.

Jenkins says eighth century BCE historians added them to embellish their ancestral history and get readers' attention. Old Testament scholar Ellen Davis is concerned by what she calls a "shallow reading" of Scripture, particularly of 'Old Testament' texts concerning violence, which she defines as a "reading of what we think we already know instead of an attempt to dig deeper for new insights and revelations. Discussions of bible and violence often lead to discussions of the theodicy - the question of how evil can persist in the world if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and good. Philosopher Eleonore Stump says the larger context of God permitting suffering for good purposes in a world where evil is real allows for such events as the killing of those intending evil and God to still be seen as good.

Jon Levenson resolves the problem of evil by describing God's power not as static, but as unfolding in time: What the biblical theology of dramatic omnipotence shares with the theology of a limited God is a frank recognition of God's setbacks, in contrast to the classic theodicies with their exaggerated commitment to divine impassibility and their tendency to describe imperfection solely to human free will, the recalcitrance of matter, or the like.

In Hermann Gunkel observed that most Ancient Near Eastern ANE creation stories contain a theogony depicting a god doing combat with other gods thus including violence in the founding of their cultures.

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Hence, it seems that the account of God creating without violence in Gen. Canaanite creation stories like the Enuma Elish use very physical terms such as "tore open," "slit," "threw down," "smashed," and "severed" whereas in the Hebrew Bible, Leviathan is not so much defeated as domesticated. Most modern scholars agree that "Gen.

What is more, in Gen. God "calls the world into being" These stories in Genesis are not the only stories about creation in the Bible. In Proverbs 8, for example one reads of personified Wisdom being present and participant in creation. However, he also says the differences are more pronounced than the similarities. The intent of Genesis 1: Jon Levenson , writing Jewish biblical theology , asserts the creation stories in Genesis are not ex nihilo , but rather a generation of order out of chaos, similar to other ANE creation myths; the order allows life to flourish and holds back chaos which brings violence and destruction, which has never been obliterated and is always breaking back in.

He finds that the writers of the Hebrew Bible referred to God's actions at creation as a statement of faith in a God who could protect and maintain them, or who could also step back and allow chaos to rush back in, as God did with the Flood. He finds that the writers of the Hebrew Bible also held up God's actions at creation as a challenge for God to act, and a challenge for themselves to work in covenant with God in the ongoing work of generating and maintaining order.

Preface In this, the Bible story is dissimilar to the both the Memphite story and the Babylonian in that the Hebrew Bible says the divine gift of working with God in creation is limited to humankind, meaning, for the Hebrews, humans alone are part of God's being. This sense of honoring or empowering humankind is not in any of the Mesopotamian or Canaanite myths. Warfare represents a special category of biblical violence and is a topic the Bible addresses, directly and indirectly, in four ways: To understand attitudes toward war in the Hebrew Bible is thus to gain a handle on war in general In the Bible God commands the Israelites to conquer the Promised Land , placing city after city "under the ban" -which meant every man, woman and child was supposed to be slaughtered at the point of the sword.

Hans Van Wees says the conquest campaigns are largely fictional. Crouch compares the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah to Assyria, saying their similarities in cosmology and ideology gave them similar ethical outlooks on war. Violence against women appears throughout the Old Testament. Many have attributed this to a patriarchal society, while some scholars say the problem stems from the larger context of a male dominated culture.

Women are treated in differing ways in the Bible. For example, the Book of Judges includes the judge Deborah , who was honored, as well as two of the most egregious examples in the Bible of violence against women: Scholar author Phyllis Trible looks at these instances from the perspective of the victim making their pathos palpable, underlying their human reality, and the tragedy of their stories.

O'Connor says women in the Old Testament generally serve as points of reference for the larger story, yet Judges abounds with stories where women play the main role. O'Connor explains the significance of this, saying: Beginning with the larger context and tracing the decline of Israel by following the deteriorating status of women and the violence done to them, which progresses from the promise of life in the land to chaos and violence, the effects of the absence of authority such as a king Judges The ancient Israelites did not worship the dead, sacrifice to them, or hope to reunite with them in an afterlife; a concept of hell as a place of punishment in the afterlife arose in Second Temple Judaism and was further developed in the Christian tradition; Judaism subsequently moved away from this notion.

For example Isaiah The word Sheol appears 65 times in the Hebrew Bible and the term "Tartaros" appears frequently in Jewish apocalyptic literature where it refers to a place where the wicked are punished. All the references to gehenna except James 3: A literal interpretation involves violence. According to a statement by the publisher of "Four Views on Hell", Zondervan , "probably the most disturbing concept in Christian tradition is the prospect that one day vast numbers of people will be consigned to Hell. Lewis argued that people choose Hell rather than repent and submit to God.

Miroslav Wolf argues that the doctrine of final judgment provides a necessary restraint on human violence. Tim Keller says it is right to be angry when someone brings injustice or violence to those we love and therefore a loving God can be filled with wrath because of love, not in spite of it. Oliver O'Donovan argues that without the judgment of God we would never see the love in redemption. As the early Christian Church began to distinguish itself from Judaism , the "Old Testament" and a portrayal of God in it as violent and unforgiving were sometimes contrasted rhetorically with certain teachings of Jesus to portray an image of God as more loving and forgiving, which was framed as a new image.

Marcion of Sinope , in the early second century, developed an early Christian dualist belief system that understood the god of the Old Testament and creator of the material universe, who he called the Demiurge , as an altogether different being than the God about whom Jesus spoke.

Marcion considered Jesus' universal God of compassion and love, who looks upon humanity with benevolence and mercy, incompatible with Old Testament depictions of divinely ordained violence. Accordingly, he did not regard the Hebrew scriptures as part of his scriptural canon. Supersessionist Christians have continued to focus on violence in the Hebrew Bible while ignoring or giving little attention to violence in the New Testament.

From this foundation arose notions of flourishing of the nation as a whole, as well as collective punishment of the ancient Israelites and their enemies. Scholar Nur Masalha writes that the "genocide" of the extermination commandments has been "kept before subsequent generations" and served as inspirational examples of divine support for slaughtering enemies.

Arthur Grenke quotes historian, author and scholar David Stannard: He points to sections in Deuteronomy in which the Israelite God, Yahweh, commanded that the Israelites utterly destroy idolaters whose land they sought to reserve for the worship of their deity Deut 7: According to Stannard, this view of war contributed to the It was this view that also led to the destruction of European Jewry. Accordingly, it is important to look at this particular segment of the Old Testament: Sociologists Frank Robert Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn question "the applicability of the term [genocide] to earlier periods of history, and the judgmental and moral loadings that have become associated with it.

Historian and author William T. Cavanaugh says every society throughout history has contained both hawks and doves. Cavanaugh and John Gammie say laws like those in Deuteronomy probably reflect Israel's internal struggle over such differing views of how to wage war. Arie Versluis says, " This is shown by the example of Te Kooti Glick states that Jewish fundamentalists in Israel, such as Shlomo Aviner , consider the Palestinians to be like biblical Canaanites, and that some fundamentalist leaders suggest that they "must be prepared to destroy" the Palestinians if the Palestinians do not leave the land.

Philosopher, sociologist, theologian and author Jacques Ellul says: