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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Why killing terrorists is a good thing

Killing and murder are not the same things.

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Pajama Hadin has a nice run-down of Biblical references relating to the ethical tension between the biological imperative for survival of the species and commandments to love thy neighbor as thyself and to turn the other cheek.

“A Religious (Judeo-Christian) Perspective” recaps applicable Old Testament and New Testament verses.

As C. S. Lewis noted in “Mere Christianity,” the Greek and Hebrew languages have different words for murder and kill.  If I understand it correctly (I don’t read Hebrew or Greek), what is generally translated as “Thou shall not kill,” is really “Thou shall not murder.”  Battlefield action, if this is a correct interpretation, therefore does not fall under this one of Moses’s Ten Commandments.

The following is abstracted from Christian Bible Study website:

Exodus 20:13 Thou shalt not kill .

Kill 7523 ratsach (raw-tsakh’); a primitive root; properly, to dash in pieces, i.e. kill (a human being), especially to murder.

This was a bad translation, the word should be murder and not kill. There is a huge difference between killing a person and murdering them. If a person premeditates or would murder in anger they are to be put to death.

Numbers 35:16-21
V16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
V17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
V18 Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death.
V19 The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.
V20 But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die;
V21 Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him.

If a person is killed by accident by some one that did not hate them in the past, they are not to be put to death.

Deuteronomy 19:4-6
V4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
V5 As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
V6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

Some may say that this is the Old Testament and that Jesus Christ has changed the law. Lets read what Jesus Christ has to say about that.

Matthew 5:17-18
V17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
V18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Jot 2503 iota (ee-o’-tah); of Hebrew origin [the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet]; “iota”, the name of the eighth letter of the Greek alphabet, put (figuratively) for a very small part of anything:

Tittle 2762 keraia (ker-ah’-yah); feminine of a presumed derivative of the base of 2768; something horn-like, i.e. (specially) the apex of a Hebrew letter (figuratively, the least particle)