The Bible’s Sixth Commandment

The Bible’s Sixth Commandment states “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17). Our life is a precious gift from Yahweh from the very beginning, and yet from the early days of human history, murder has been a sad reality of human societies! Who legitimately possesses the authority to take human life? What makes human life so precious? How about instances where a woman’s life is at stake or in a case involving a woman’s rape? Who has the real and actual right to make the decision to take human life inside of her? Today, we’re going to share with you what the Bible tells us regarding the matter of not committing murder and the importance of the sanctity of life! Yes, all life is a precious gift that we need to love and respect. As always, we will let the Bible interpret itself as we ask the Holy Spirit of Yahweh to give us holy wisdom to discuss this very important subject matter to all of you. May you have the eyes to see and ears to hear for this true and faithful heavenly message.

In today’s world human life is so often treated with indifference. Peoples settle their differences with war, killing hundreds of thousands of other people in the process. Criminals steal not only possessions but their victims’ lives. So many people view an unwanted pregnancy as simply an inconvenience or an unexpected consequence of sex—to the point that millions of unborn babies are aborted every year! Yet, politics and religion aside, it should not be difficult for anyone to see that a society’s health is directly related to its regard or disregard for the sanctity of human life, and to exclude the unborn from the right of life is to exclude the most innocent of the innocent! Listen! Abortion is a violation of the Sixth Commandment! Yes, violence is so inextricably woven into the fabric of society that we even glamorize murderous carnages in our literature and entertainment. It’s ironic that, in spite of people’s fascination to watch murderous rampages on television sets and movie theaters, we follow the example of most societies throughout history in passing strict laws against it. Few people, indeed, have ever needed to be convinced that murder or killing within their own community and/or neighborhood was very wrong.

Additionally, there is pure evidence in the Bible in the mosaic legal code that killing a fetus was viewed as a very serious matter! The Bible so simply and very plainly states: “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out (prematurely), but there is no harm (to the mother or the child, or children), the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm (to mother or child), then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Exodus 21:22-25). The word translated “children” here is the word usually used for “child.” The penalty imposed is to be proportionate to the damages. If the woman or the prematurely born child is injured or dies, the penalty is to be administered in proportion to the loss. If the child emerges prematurely and dies (or emerges dead), the offender is then guilty of culpable negligence resulting in death and is to be punished accordingly. This shows that the penalty for killing an unborn baby and a born baby was the same in Israel and anywhere—as a fetus was viewed as a human being!

The emphasis in the Sixth Commandment is on the word “you.” You shall not murder! You are not to deliberately kill—premeditatedly or in the anger of the moment. We must control our tempers. Taking another person’s life is not our right to decide! The judgment is reserved for Yahweh alone!! That is the thrust of this commandment. The Father in heaven Yahweh does not allow us to choose to willfully, deliberately take another person’s life. The Sixth Commandment reminds us that Yahweh is the giver of life, and He alone has the authority to take it or to grant others permission to take it. However, there are certain rules that Elohim has allow man on earth to follow. An unintentional manslaughter resulting in death does not apply to the Sixth Commandment and does not fall into the same category as premeditated murder. Also, for certain major offenses, Elohim’s law permits constituted governing authorities only to impose capital punishment. When good earthly authority abides by Yahweh’s principles, this action does not violate the Sixth Commandment. Yes, by giving us His laws, Yahweh has revealed His judgment on some matters. He has revealed, in advance, which earthly offenses deserve the sentence of death, and He has established strict parameters for such decisions. Apostle Paul reaffirms the good government entities on earth to inflict capital punishment: “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid to the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is Elohim’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is Elohim’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Romans 13:3-4). Did you get that? Yahweh is the One who establishes good governments on earth and He uses these governments to discipline lawbreakers!

Meanwhile, the apostle John says it plainly: “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). John is speaking of the spirit of murder. If there were no hatred, there would be no intentional homicide. The Sixth Commandment, then, pertains as much to the very intentions of the heart as to the acts resulting from those intentions. John’s equating hatred with murder accords with the teaching of Yahshua: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Yet Yahweh’s mercy—His forgiveness—remains available to sinners, including murderers. Our loving Elohim wants to extend forgiveness to us. But He also wants us all to repent—to wholeheartedly forsake breaking His commandments and turn to Him in sorrow and humility. We are then to ask for forgiveness and submit to the ordinance of genuine baptism. This baptism serves as an act of confirmation that we consider our old self dead—buried in a watery grave with Messiah (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4). The apostle Paul cautions, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). Paul also instructs us on the proper approach to thoughts of retaliation, he said: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). This should be the approach of every believer and follower of Yahshua the Messiah. It is the way of love that fulfills the intent of the law of Yahweh.

Moreover, in the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior of mankind Yahshua Himself says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5:21-22). Yahshua does not condemn all expressions of anger. His “But I Say To You” exposition in Matthew 5:22 pertains to anger motivated by hateful spite—the bad spirit of murder! Murder and the hatred that motivates this horrendous crime are condemned throughout the Bible. In the end, all murderers will have their part “in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Messiah Yahshua adds, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of Elohim” (Matthew 5:9). How can we put this principle into practice? All we have to do really is to follow Yahshua when He spoke “You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45). Yes, Savior Yahshua magnified the Sixth Commandment plain and very clear for us to follow! And yes, Almighty Yahweh commands all of us to love life and He also taught us the ways of how to love others!

Furthermore, Yahshua amplified the meaning of “murder” to include all bitter animosity, contempt or hateful hostility toward others. Merely harboring malicious attitudes toward others violates the intent of the Sixth Commandment. Why? Because this is mental and emotional abuse directed toward others and the desire to see a fellow human being suffer. Also, using words and speech to deliberately or maliciously harm the name of others is equally wrong. With tongue or pen we can attack them verbally. We can assault their respectability by undermining or destroying their reputations. We can be consumed with destructive intentions. Our motives can be the diametric opposite of love. The spirit of murder can live in our hearts. Notice! Yahshua tells us that the consequences for such thoughts and actions will be our own death in the lake of fire if we don’t repent of our sins! We are also instructed not to retaliate against those who resent or verbally attack us. The apostle Paul tells us: “Repay no one evil for evil…If it is possible , as much as depends on you, live peacefully with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says Yahweh” (Romans 12:17-19). Yes, a true Christian is always expected to live by a higher standard than this world. Yahweh gave us His Spiritual Law–The Ten Commandments–as His standards for us to obey for righteous living!

In closing, the intent of the Bible’s Sixth Commandment is so plain and very clear. Our Almighty Father in heaven Yahweh wants us to go far beyond avoiding murder. He requires that we not maliciously harm another human being in word or deed. Yes, no one has the right to take away a life from anyone! Nobody on this earth possesses any right to kill or murder another human being! And yes, it includes a woman’s abortion or aborting a baby from a mother’s womb! Doing these very awful and wicked things will not be left unpunished by Yahweh! People doing murderous rampages such as these is surely going to die in hell fire which is the second death as been warned in Revelation 21:8! Yahweh desires that we treat even those who choose to hate us as respectfully as possible and do all within our power to live in peace and harmony with them. Yahweh wants us to be builders, not destroyers of good relationships. To accomplish this, we must always love and fully respect our Father in heaven Yahweh’s wonderful offer to us, this very precious gift from Him that we call the human life! Yes, the Sixth Commandment—“You shall not murder”—was already enforced in the beginning of human history. And yes, it remains in full force today! May Yahweh bless you for reading and for obeying the Sixth Commandment of the Bible. And may Yahweh lighten your hearts and enlighten your minds to this true and faithful heavenly message. We so humbly pray all these to Almighty Yahweh through Messiah Yahshua our Master and our King, Amen. Halleluyah, Shalom!

3 thoughts on “The Bible’s Sixth Commandment

  1. The blog content makes a lot of sense irrespective of the faith one believes in. Or in many cases even if one does not follow any religion.

  2. This commandment should be followed by everyone, Christian or not. Great informative post you’ve written here.

  3. “Blessed are the peacemakers…” has always been one of my favorite teachings of the Bible. I feel it is one of the many things that has gone astray in our world. People thrive on discontent and stirring up anger and confusion. Thank you for continuing to share God’s word.

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