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October 11, 2011

Sixth Commandment – 10.11.2011

Filed under: Old & New Testament — Adam Osborne @ 4:05 pm

Commandment # 6
Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”

Notes on the text
Exodus 20:13
Murder – raw-tsakh’ – A primitive root; properly to dash in pieces, that is, kill (a human being), especially to murder: – put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er).

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Icebreaker

Is there a time when killing another person is right?
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OK, let’s start off like we always do. Let’s discuss how many ways this verse applies, and then let’s discuss what the commentators have to say along the way.
(Discuss at length)

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Adam Clarke’s commentary

Exo 20:13
Thou shalt not kill – This commandment, which is general, prohibits murder of every kind.
1. All actions by which the lives of our fellow creatures may be abridged (defined as “shortening” or “condensing”).
2. All wars for extending empire, commerce, etc.
• Think back to the books of Joshua, when the Israelites moved in to the promise land, and God told Joshua and the Israelites to KILL all of the Canaanites, how do we deal with that in our minds? Why does God say “Thou shalt not kill” in Exodus, but then orders war and killing later?
o God knows the hearts of men. The Canaanites were evil, foreign god worshippers. They had been given the chances to repent, but continued to do evil.
o We do not question the Creator, he is the Potter, we are just the clay.
3. All sanguinary laws (Involving or causing much bloodshed), by the operation of which the lives of men may be taken away for offenses of comparatively trifling demerit.
4. All bad dispositions which lead men to wish evil to, or meditate mischief against, one another; for, says the Scripture, He that hateth his brother in his heart is a murderer.
5. All want of charity to the helpless and distressed; for he who has it in his power to save the life of another by a timely application of succor (assistance and support in times of hardship and distress), food, raiment, etc., and does not do it, and the life of the person either falls or is abridged on this account, is in the sight of God a murderer. He who neglects to save life is, according to an incontrovertible maxim in law, the same as he who takes it away.
• Someone read Luke 12:48 from “any” or “several” translations
Luke 12:48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
6. All riot and excess, all drunkenness and gluttony, all inactivity and slothfulness, and all superstitious mortifications (Mortification of the flesh literally means “putting the flesh to death”. The term is primarily used in religious and spiritual contexts.) and self-denials, by which life may be destroyed or shortened; all these are point-blank sins against the sixth commandment. (Adam, suicide discussion here, hunger strikes, etc…..)

What did the Old Testament bible say about people who murdered someone?

Lev 24:17 And he who kills any man shall surely be put to death.

Num 35:16 And if he strikes him with an instrument of iron, so that he dies, he is a murderer. The murderer shall surely be put to death.

So, let’s read now what the New Testament says about murder….

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Matthew 5:21-26
Murder
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca, is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Footnotes:
Notes on the text

Matthew 5:21-26
• V21. Judgment – kree’-sis – justice (specifically divine law): – accusation, condemnation, damnation.
• V22. Raca – rhak-ah’ – empty, i.e. a senseless, empty headed man; a term of reproach
• V22. “Fool” is the Greek word “moros”, which I would only assume we get our word moron. Strong’s Greek Number 3474 Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
So, how do we handle that? Verses 21 & 22 (reread verses 21 & 22)? How do we cope with that? I mean really, think about that, we all “laugh” at road rage, but man, what are we to think about this?
Jer 31:33 but this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, says Jehovah, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Why did I put this scripture down, what has this to do with anything?
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Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on Matthew 5:21-26
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT. Matthew 5:21-26
• The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning.
o Don’t we sometimes explain or “joke” away something’s spiritual meaning. We wouldn’t do it now, but if I started to talk about “road-rage”, everyone in here can remember a time when you, or someone you know, laughed about “losing-it”. Thoughts, comments?
• Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now.
• All rash anger is heart murder.
• By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood.
• “Raca,” is a scornful word, and comes from pride:
• “Thou fool,” is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred.
• Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly.
o Has anyone ever seen this? Can someone give us an example of how slanders can slowly poison?
 The kids at school who commit suicide because of hateful words, bullying, etc.
• Christ told them that how light whatsoever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them.
• We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances.
o Discuss asking for forgiveness even when it wasn’t your fault. How does that work?
Luke 6:27-31 (NIV) “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Luke 6:35-36 (NIV) But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

1 Thess 5:15 (NIV) Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

• And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination.
o When do we hear this OFTEN?
 Lord’s Supper
• What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late.
• When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay!

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Message
Sunday’s sermon will include the following main points:
1. Etymology of the Hebrew word for murder.
2. Ethical considerations for different examples of killing
a. Suicide
b. Euthanasia
c. Abortion
d. Capital Punishment
e. War
Spiritual Preparation – Bible Reading for Families
Pray daily that God would give you a contrite spirit, full of compassion, mercy, and love.

Consider fasting from at least one meal this week.

For Teachers
Context and Commentary
In the sixth commandment God instructs His people that they are not to murder. Many are familiar with the King James translation which says “kill.” However, the proper usage of the Hebrew râtsach is of killing in malice or premeditation. If it meant merely to kill in a general sense, the Holy Scriptures would be chock full of contradictions!
Jesus, in his Sermons on the Mount (Matthew) and the Plain (Luke), brought forth a much more demanding adherence to the Law. Throughout the sermons he emphasized an internalizing of God’s law. What God demanded was not merely on the outside, but a reformation on the inside. A person must be changed, re-born, with the Law written on their heart and a love for obedience (Jer. 31:33). This standard, preached Jesus, extended even to calling unjust anger the equivalent of murder or lust the equivalent of adultery.

From John Calvin’s Commentary on Matthew (1563):
Christ assigns three degrees of condemnation besides the violence of the hands; which implies, that this precept of the law restrains not only the hands, but all affections that are opposed to brotherly love. “Those who shall be angry with their brethren, or treat them with haughty disdain, or injure them by any reproach, are murderers.” Christ assures them that God will judge and punish even concealed anger.

Bible Fellowship Time
Discussion questions:
Going Deeper – Matthew 5:21-26
1. If we know somebody has ill feelings towards us, what are we to do?
2. According to Jesus, how are we to handle lawsuits and matters involving the courts?
3. What does this teaching show us about Christians who are enraged easily or are insulting or hold others contempt? Are they even Christians (Matt. 7:17-19)?

Mat 7:17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned.
Application:

The sixth commandment prohibits any kind of selfish or unnecessary killing of another human: murder. But Jesus took things further. He taught that to be enraged at someone or to hold them in contempt was an evil thing and just as much a sin. Is this the behavior of the sons and daughters of God? By no means! Jesus taught blessed are the peacemakers and Paul wrote that “as far as it is possible with you, live at peace with all.”

Are you nurturing a grudge or unjust anger against another person?

It is a sin.

Are you holding another brother or sister in Christ in contempt or reproach or looking down on them?

It is a sin.

Are you consistently stirring up contention or anger amongst the brethren by your attitudes or speech?

It is a sin.

Jesus taught that Christians are to bear fruit in keeping with repentance (Eph. 5, Gal. 5, Rom. 7). Repentance means turning away from the old sinful ways of the heart and to the Spirit of peace which dwells in us and leads us to paths filled with mercy, compassion, and love. This is impossible for a person to do on their own. We need the grace that comes from abiding in Jesus and of Him living in us (John 15). Pray to the Lord that He would bring the fruit of repentance and reformation into the innermost parts of your heart. Let your days be filled with His grace and the love only He can supply.

Joh 15:1 Jesus said to his disciples: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
Joh 15:2 He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit.
Joh 15:3 You are already clean because of what I have said to you.
Joh 15:4 Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I stay joined to you, then you will produce lots of fruit. But you cannot do anything without me.
Joh 15:6 If you don’t stay joined to me, you will be thrown away. You will be like dry branches that are gathered up and burned in a fire.
Joh 15:7 Stay joined to me and let my teachings become part of you. Then you can pray for whatever you want, and your prayer will be answered.
Joh 15:8 When you become fruitful disciples of mine, my Father will be honored.
Joh 15:9 I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you.
Joh 15:10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.
Joh 15:11 I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am.
Joh 15:12 Now I tell you to love each other, as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 The greatest way to show love for friends is to die for them.
Joh 15:14 And you are my friends, if you obey me.
Joh 15:15 Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
Joh 15:16 You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.
Joh 15:17 So I command you to love each other.
Joh 15:18 If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first.
Joh 15:19 If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don’t belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why its people hate you.
Joh 15:20 Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say.
Joh 15:21 People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don’t know the one who sent me.
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.
Joh 15:23 Everyone who hates me also hates my Father.
Joh 15:24 I have done things that no one else has ever done. If they had not seen me do these things, they would not be guilty. But they did see me do these things, and they still hate me and my Father too.
Joh 15:25 That is why the Scriptures are true when they say, “People hated me for no reason.”
Joh 15:26 I will send you the Spirit who comes from the Father and shows what is true. The Spirit will help you and will tell you about me.
Joh 15:27 Then you will also tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Closing Devotion

From Thomas Watson

If God be our Father, we will have a peaceful spirits. ‘Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.’ (Matt 5: 9). Grace infuses a sweet, pleasant disposition; it files off the ruggedness of men’s spirits; it turns the lion-like fierceness into a lamb-like gentleness (Isa 11: 7). They who have God to be their Father follow peace as well as holiness. God the Father is called the ‘God of peace,’ (Heb 13: 20): God the Son, the ‘Prince of Peace,’ (Isa 9: 6): God the Holy Ghost, a Spirit of peace; ‘the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’ (Eph 4: 3). The more a person is peaceable, the more they are like God. God is not the Father of those who are fierce and cruel. Those who are born of God, are makers of peace. Surely, God will never father them who are not sons of peace.

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