“You most probably taught your congregation 'thou shall not kill' the correct translation is 'thou shall not murder' murder being the unlawful act of taking a life, killing allowed in the act of self-defense if no other option is available and self-defense not to exceed the threat posed by the attacker.”
Kill: A. Cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
B. Cause the death of, without intention.
Murder: A. Unlawful premeditate killing of a human being by a human being.
B. Kill intentionally and with premeditation.
In case you are wondering why I am defining the terms murder and kill take notice of that little quotation above the definitions themselves. An anonymous poster actually wrote that and somehow to me his definitions did not seem quite right. So I decided to consult my trusty Sage dictionary and thesaurus in search of the actual meaning of those words.
As you can see the act of killing or murdering both involve the same thing; the act of taking a life. The bible actually has two places where the Ten Commandments could be found. The first is in the book of Exodus chapter 20 and the second in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 5. But for this post I want to focus on the sixth commandment; the prohibition against killing.
In its simplest definition killing is the act of taking the life of another individual or creature, and this is not exclusive to individuals since there is also such a thing as mass murder or killing in great numbers. The two terms are in fact interchangeable the one with the other. The only difference I see in the definitions provided above is under the term murder. In the definition, the words premeditate and premeditation is implied, which basically means that you previously planned to kill someone or something. Whenever you plot to kill someone with plans and the intent of causing their death you are basically committing a murder.
People like Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, were all murderers because they all planned the killing of large numbers of people. Given this definition it leads me to believe that the biblical God himself falls squarely in this category. Anyone who has taken the time to read the Old Testament can’t help but be appalled at the wanton and senseless killing that takes place both by God himself and by his followers under his orders. He promised the Hebrews a land that flowed with milk and honey, but if we are to accept the O.T. narratives as true those lands were already occupied. What was God’s solution to this problem? Kill them all!
Numbers 31 is one of the most appalling chapters in the entire Old Testament. It narrates the tale of the Israelites war with the Midianites under the direct command of God. What do you think was the reason for this war? Well if you read verse 3 you will come to realize that it was God/Yahweh’s campaign to exact vengeance on the Midianites. Vengeance for what you might ask? What did the Midianites do that was so bad that God had to destroy them all? Referring to the women verse 16 says: 16 ‘They were the very ones who, on Balaam's advice, caused the Israelites to be unfaithful to Yahweh in the affair at Peor: hence the plague which struck Yahweh's community.’ That’s right, they led the Hebrews into breaking the cardinal rule of not worshiping other gods.
God then goes on to instruct the Israelites to carry out a couple of murders in his wonderful name. Let’s look at those in list form for simplicities sake.
8 What is more, they killed the kings of Midian, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur and Reba, the five Midianite kings; they also put Balaam son of Beor to the sword.
10 They set fire to the towns where they lived and to all their encampments.
17 So kill all the male children and kill all the women who have ever slept with a man;
18 but spare the lives of the young girls who have never slept with a man, and keep them for yourselves.
As demonstrated in the previous verses God was using the Hebrews as his executioners of all those that did not obey his will or worship him. In this same way the so called “Promised Land” was obtained, through conquest and mass murder. I guess the sixth commandment does not apply when it is God directing you to kill. In other words in some cases God’s rules are flexible and their transgression is up to his discretion.
Now for the greatest mass murderer of all time I introduce to you Jehova/Yahweh/ aka God. Although the bible is replete with examples of good old God committing a slew of murders, although none is greater than the one he performed in Genesis chapter 6: 5-7. The famous worldwide flood: with the intent to eradicate all living things on the face of the Earth. 5 ‘Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.6 Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.7 And Yahweh said, 'I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created -- human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven -- for I regret having made them.'
It’s incredible that I have come across believers who rationalize this nonsense by stating that since God created us he can do with us as he pleases! They talk about what filthy vile creatures we all are without Christ and his magical redemption. We sicken God! He can’t even deal with us directly as he did in the Old Testament because we are so corrupt in his eyes. But he fails to see how corrupt he is and his so called just and holy ways! Could it be that God is blinded by his own ideas of self-righteousness? There is nothing neither admirable nor respectable about this fictional deity. When his “ways” are looked at objectively without the spectacles of faith and fear, he is revealed for what he truly is: a tyrant!