Quotes about Murder


To take the life of a fellow human being is to assault the sacredness of the image of God (see Gen. 6:9).


I am aware that some killing is endorsed in the Bible. The word for “murder” in Exodus 20:13 (“You shall not murder”) is the Hebrew rahaz. It is used 43 times in the Hebrew Old Testament. It always means violent, personal killing that is actually murder or is accused as murder. It is never used of killing in war or (with one possible exception, Numbers 35:27) of killing in judicial execution. Rather a clear distinction is preserved between legal “putting to death” and illegal “murder.” For example, Numbers 35:19 says, “The murderer shall certainly be put to death.” The word “murderer” comes from rahaz which is forbidden in the Ten Commandments. The word “put to death” is a general word that can describe legal executions.


God has commanded us in his word, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). And He told us why. He said in Genesis 9:6, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” In other words, when you murder a human, you attack God who makes every human in his image.


Although physical murder is obviously extreme, let’s not forget the words of our Savior when He said anger in our hearts toward another is murder in His eyes (Mt. 5:21-22). Think about this. If we have the attitude that we want someone out of our family or out of our church because of our own interpersonal conflict, are we not participating in the spirit of murder? Oh we may never pull the trigger, but are we seeking to eliminate people through more civilized means.


Murder is a most grievous sin. Once we get past the common evangelical error that all sins are equally wicked we recognize that murder will surely be one of the biggest sins. After all, we are told those who practice these things will not see the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:21). That said, however, we know of at least two men guilty of murder who are in heaven, David, and Paul. The list in Galatians 5 is not a list of unforgivable sins. Instead it is a list of those sins, which when they are practiced, evidence a lack of saving faith. Practicing these sins, however, is not the same thing as committing them. We practice these sins, or any sin, when we give up, when we no longer fight the temptation, when we embrace the sin as good. When, however, we fight, when we repent for falling into these sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9).