The Law and killing

In consideration of war and violence, we must examine the Law. Some examples:

13 Do not murder (Gen 20:13, HCSB). Hebrew: תִּרְצָֽ֖ח לֹ֥֖א

12 Whoever strikes a person so that he dies must be put to death.

13 But if he didn’t intend any harm, and yet God caused it to happen by his hand, I will appoint a place for you where he may flee.

14 If a person willfully acts against his neighbor to murder him by scheming, you must take him from My altar to be put to death. (Ex 21:12-14 HCSB)

23 If there is an injury, then you must give life for life,  24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, bruise for bruise, wound for wound. (Ex 21:23-25 HCSB).

7 Stay far away from a false accusation. Do not kill the innocent and the just, because I will not justify the guilty. (Ex 23:7)

While killing is generically banned, judicial violence and killing is laid down as appropriate punishment. There is also a clear care for accidental manslaughter and the protection of the innocent (C.f. Deut 19). This judicial role for “the sword” will become a major aspect of the argument against Christian non-violence, which we will consider later.


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