January 11 & 12/Is it Killing? Or Murder

So, let’s get right to it.

Is there a difference between killing and murder?

The philosophical debate on this topic has been going on for years. Even now, people tend to try to disclaim the Bible by offering the contradicion of the killing in the Old Testament versus the direction of Christ in the New Testament to love thy neighbor as thyself. Luke 10:29–But who is my neighbor?

Christ then tells the people the story of the Good Samaritan.

One of the telling problems in debating the question posed by murder and death is the definition.

Exodus 20:13-Thou shalt not kill.

Whenever one translates a document, it is wise to determine the meaning of the language. Hebrew has several words that mean ‘to kill’. The word here is defined as intentionally slaying..ie murder. So the Commandment should read: Thou shalt not murder.

Now this puts an entirely different spin on our understanding. Murder is intentional. A person driving a car who is NOT under the influence of any alcohol or drug but loses control through no fault of their own is not judged as intentionally causing an accident. In fact, the Old Testament law is quite specific in detailing a set of circumstances that surround sanctuary in cases where death may occur by accident rather than intention.

A soldier kills through the instruction of demand by a superior officer and under the banner of his/her country. Do they intentionally enjoy killing? Most of those I meant who have served still struggle with the very real anguish of having taken a life. Few would admit that even the idea of killing doesn’t instill fear.

There is a price to pay for killing…and an even deeper one for murder. It has been said that “the eyes are the mirror of the soul’. To murder is to deaden your heart, your soul, your conscience, your very being. To kill is to constantly war within as to your ability to forgive yourself even when doing your duty.

God, who created us, understood the very real aspect of what murder would do to our humanity…which is why His instruction was so very clear.


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