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  1. #21
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galendir
    Newsflash: It's Christians who rely on law to tell them what is moral and what is immoral. The Ten Commandments are laws, no?
    The 10 Commandments is ot a Christian Law guide. This is discussed here: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...94&postcount=7

    Wrongo. You seem to not understand a sentence so simple as "[That the law permits certain acts of killing] speaks nothing to whether such killing is morally justified or not." I'll rephrase for you. The law states what is legal. It does not state what is moral.
    Not in that specific verse of course not. But in others where it defines and provides examples of both justified and unjustified killing, it does. I provided examples and verses in the op.

    The original objection here was that there was a problem w/ the way Christians supported war or capital punishment yet the 10 Commandments said "Thou shalt not kill". It's a problem until we realize that this is not what was written...and instead, a word used to mean unjustified or immoral killing was instead used (see op).

    Like those who bomb abortion clinics?
    No.

    Of course, by definition. I have never heard of anyone claiming that murder isn't wrong. The problem is getting agreement on whether any given act constitutes murder or not. Christians can look at any act of killing, and as long as they can be persuaded that God sanctions it for some reason, they immediately convince themselves that such an act isn't really murder.
    Really? Any support for this? And what is the support that this group of Christians use for defending their position? Is it reasonable? Is it supportable? Is it valid? If no, then what's the problem exactly? It's a false position, chock full of what should be, obvious holes.

    And some, it would seem, can offer no rational justification for their morality other than "This ancient book says God is against this so it must be bad."
    I knew murder was wrong long before I knew the Bible claimed it to be so. I would suspect that most reasonable people would say the same. Where does this innate belief come from? Couldn't tell ya. Some say God. Some say it is a part of our human nature.

    But what does that have to do with the confusion that some have about a specific verse? A verse that some think says X, when actually saying Y?
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  2. #22
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galendir
    In practical fact, it IS arbitrary. A law stating "Thou shalt not murder." is merely a law that makes it illegal to illegally kill. Well, that's helpful.:?:
    The op addresses this. This law is saying that you should not kill premeditatedly, as an avenger, intentional slayer, or assassinate. There are various forms or types of killing Galendir. This verse is saying that these forms of killing are wrong. Plain and simple.

    What distinguishes whether a given act of killing is one of murder or not? Where is this spelled out in unambiguous, comprehensive detail? It isn't. It is up to whatever those who claim to speak for God say it is.
    Wrong. I provided examples and verses in the op. Here it is again:
    Furthermore, the Israelites did not have a term that precisely fits our present-day idea of murder, they differentiated among killing, manslaughter, and murder in their legal terminology. You have to remember, that when interpreting, one must follow certain guidelines. The one in particular here, is that of understanding the context and language of the writer...not of us today, as the reader.

    A derivative of the word ratsach can be found with the meaning of shatter [Psalm 42:11] or slaughter [Eze 21:27]). It refers to a killing that was inherently evil (Judges 20:4; Job 24:14; Psalm 94:6; Isa 1:21; Hosea 6:9). It was also listed in abuses of the covenant community (Jer 7:9; Hosea 4:2) and in lists of curses (Deut 27:24-25). Jezebel committed murder (rasah) against the prophets (1 Kings 18:13), as did Ahab against Naboth (1 Kings 21:19) and Simeon and Levi against the Shechemites (Gen 34:26). However, the same term could also have applied to unintentional manslaughter (Deut 4:41; 19:3-6; Joshua 20:3), blood vengeance (Num 35:27,30), attempted assassination (2 Kings 6:32), and on one occasion it was used for the figurative killing of humans by animals (Prov 22:13).

    "Thou shall not murder" is one of the laws of nature, and was strongly enforced by the precepts given to Noah and his sons, Gen. 9:5, 6. It does not forbid killing in lawful war, or in our own necessary defense, nor the magistrate’s putting offenders to death, for those things tend to the preserving of life. But it does however, forbid all malice and hatred to the person of any (for he that hateth his brother is a murderer ), and all personal revenge arising therefrom; also all rash anger upon sudden provocations, and hurt said or done, or aimed to be done, in passion (see Matthew 5:22).

    "God told me that we can have all that land over there, so it's ok for us to kill every inhabitant." "That person is an infidel or a heretic, so we can execute them with impunity." "God told me to offer my child as a sacrifice." As long as one can say "God told me this particular act of killing is ok." then it's not murder, and can be justified according to the law. There are no objective criteria to which one can appeal to judge these claims.
    If you are referring to events that are recorded in scripture, it is simply a misunderstanding of events. One that I think has been addressed in other threads, but may be buried. If you are referring to individuals who make such claims today, then your claim is false as it has no support by the claimant. Claiming something doesn't make it true.

    The history of Christianity, and even those events recorded in the Bible, is full of examples of putative men of God, killing for all manner of reasons, and justifying it by claiming it is God's will. This command against murder has seemed to offer no impedance whatsoever. WE now look at many of these acts, and judge them as immoral. We judge them from our society's standards because this commandment is impotent to offer any real criteria by which to assess the morality or justifiability of any act of killing. Even according to the "guidelines" you offer in your opening post, the cold-blooded drowning of Andrea Yates five children by her own hands would not qualify as a violation of the 6th Commandment any more so than many other acts of killing sanctioned by God in the Bible.
    Of course it would. How could it not? What evidence is there that she was doing God's work? Also, you may want to refamiliarize yourself with the case. I recently made an indepth post about it in another thread (but cannot recall which one atm).

    Exactly. And as long as one can claim "THIS act of killing is acceptable to God", one can dismiss the commandment as inapplicable.
    Of course we can. Is it really God's wish or not? What evidence do we have for this? What evidence is against it?

    You seem to believe that as long as someone does something in {insert deity here} name, then said person is justified and who are we to question it...after all, they were doing {deity}'s work. You don't see the flaw in this line of reasoning?

    Actually, much of the objection is to the hypocrisy of Christians in how they selectively apply the commandment. Christians seem to think (and often claim) that if society would just follow this moral command of God, there would be less killing in society, and they conveniently ignore the far more copious killing recorded in the Bible, and historically perpetuated in the name of God, justified by appeals to these very same Biblical accounts of God-endorsed slaughter.
    Ancient events recorded in scripture are dealt with elsewhere. I don't see the relevancy of how they apply to us today and the moral code and application of "Do not murder" (vs "Do not kill").

    No, but Christians apparently do.
    Support please.

    Does the term "Divine Command Theory" sound familiar?I think so. I can't justify abhorrent acts merely because some putative God allegedly gave them the thumbs up and thus absolved them as being a violation of his law and therefore not immoral.
    Me either.

    IF I were arguing that it is the law that determines what is moral (such as the Divine Command Theory), THEN it would follow that if an act is not illegal, then it is not immoral. I, however, do not subscribe to such an arbitrary system. It is precisely such a system that critics are objecting to when they bemoan the hypocrisy of Christians lauding their commandments as some high moral standard, the source and context of which is a God so given to violence and gratuitous slaughter.
    Is this slaughter you refer to, the annihilation of tribes/civilizations in the OT? Or do you have any modern examples? If it is only ancient history, it's best for another thread because it isn't as black and white as you would have us believe. Context, historical perspective, military tradition, culture, etc... all have a play in it.

    I agree. Yet, this is exactly what Christians do when they defer their moral judgment to ancient words written by men, translated by men, and interpreted by men claiming that they are the words of God. Thus the quote:
    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” -- Steven Weinberg
    That's super, but irrelevant and not applicable here.

    They are NOT an absolute/universally applicable moral code any more than are any of the other laws that made up the covenant between an ancient Israelite nation and its god, so conveniently abandoned today.
    Let's take the specific "Thou shalt not murder." How is this not universally applicable? In what society, religion, culture is it moral to murder? And in that society, religion or culture...is it a flourishing, healthy, moral group?
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  3. #23
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    how did they do sacrafices?
    they kill the animal right?

  4. #24
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    The commandment applies to human beings, not to animals.
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  5. #25
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    I like that point. You did a great job.

  6. #26
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    I've always understood (admittedly a Christian perspective) that the old testament was God speaking to the culture or state and the new testament as God speaking to individuals. I think God is handing down a law more than a personal moral code. These are laws to live by in a society, not personal codes, which was more of Jesus's role. For a societal rule, there are times when killing is justified. Self defense, etc. The Jewish code reflects that.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    I find it clear that if God commanded killing in the Bible* that God meant murder. (*In war he commanded the Israelites to kill alot, for punishment there is alot of killing commanded, et cetera.)

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I am afraid that from the beginning of this thread, you have been mistaken about some of your facts.

    You see, the Hebrew word in question means both murder and kill, however, that exact same word is used frequently in biblical texts, most of the time in places in which the only logical translation of the word would be murder, and not kill.because the number of times this word is used as murder is more often than it's use as "kill", we must assume that the ten commandments mean murder.

  9. #29
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruelhumor View Post
    I am afraid that from the beginning of this thread, you have been mistaken about some of your facts.

    You see, the Hebrew word in question means both murder and kill, however, that exact same word is used frequently in biblical texts, most of the time in places in which the only logical translation of the word would be murder, and not kill.because the number of times this word is used as murder is more often than it's use as "kill", we must assume that the ten commandments mean murder.
    I don't think you read the argument (opening post). I have shown that the word used (ratsach), refers to "murder". That is, the Commandment is "Thou shall not murder" (not "Thou shall not kill").

    In ancient Hebrew, there are over a dozen different words to express the idea of killing. However, depending upon the type of death from the kill, or act of the kill, a more specific word will be used (to properly define the act).

    In this instance, ratsach indeed means murder.

    You have made the same claim as I (that it is murder, a specific type of killing), while stating you disagree with me.
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  10. #30
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    For a societal rule, there are times when killing is justified. Self defense, etc. The Jewish code reflects that.
    Of course. And this was stated in the op.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralZap View Post
    I find it clear that if God commanded killing in the Bible* that God meant murder. (*In war he commanded the Israelites to kill alot, for punishment there is alot of killing commanded, et cetera.)
    That...just doesn't make much sense.
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  12. #32
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    The summarized examination

    The 6th Commandment (Exodus 20:13) is "Thou shall not murder". Only a couple versions out of many use the word "kill", because "kill" is not as accurate as "murder".

    The Hebrew word used in Exodus 20:13 is ratsach, which means: to murder, slay, kill premeditated (however, sometimes accidental), as an avenger, intentional slayer, assassinate. In some cases, it also references: to be killed or to be slain. It is used over 60 times in the OT, all of them in the context of above.
    Actually, the word used is tirtsach, from the same root (the full verse is "lo tirtsach" - do not murder

    Furthermore, the Israelites did not have a term that precisely fits our present-day idea of murder, they differentiated among killing, manslaughter, and murder in their legal terminology.
    "Retzicha" (hebrew grammar is based on root words; retsicha would be the form for "murder" the noun) pretty much covers it.


    A derivative of the word ratsach can be found with the meaning of shatter [Psalm 42:11] or slaughter [Eze 21:27]). It refers to a killing that was inherently evil (Judges 20:4; Job 24:14; Psalm 94:6; Isa 1:21; Hosea 6:9). It was also listed in abuses of the covenant community (Jer 7:9; Hosea 4:2) and in lists of curses (Deut 27:24-25).
    Not going to check all these sources, but for at least some of them you are referencing verses that use hebrew words unrelated to "ratsach". For instance, the hebrew word used used in Deut 27:24 is not a variant of "ratsach" at all; it is "lahacos" - from the root "hicah", or "smite"

    Simeon and Levi against the Shechemites (Gen 34:26).
    Again, the hebrew words used there - Va'yahrgu (34:25) and Hargu (34:26) - are not from the same root as "ratsach" at all. "harag" is "killed", without the connotation of "murder".

    However, the same term could also have applied to unintentional manslaughter (Deut 4:41; 19:3-6; Joshua 20:3),
    Not quite. Aside from the fact that it's more "negligent homicide" than "manslaughter" that's at issue (sorry, I'm a lawyer, I make those distinctions ) the term used in those verses is "Rotzeach" (murderer) or "haRotzeach" (the murderer), but the act itself is never described as "retzicha" (murder). The point being that the perpetrator has a certain moral culpability even if the act was unintentional, since his carelessness led to another's death.

    Indeed, proof of this distinction can be seen in the passage where the law of the cities of refuge is first discussed, where it states a person who strikes another with an instrument of iron (i.e. a weapon that will typically kill) is not allowed to seek refuge there because "Rotzeach hu" ("he is a murderer"). Obviously, if the negligent killer is also deemed a "murderer" in the same (full) sense of the word, saying the intentional killer is ineligible because he is a murderer would be nonsensical. It would be like saying "only boys can go in here, but Dave can't go, because he is a boy."

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Murder I see as killing someone out of other reasons than defense, but if they're about to kill you what choice do you have? Die? Wait for the torture? NO. it's self defense, Jesus didn't fight back only because he was the lamb of god. He died for us so we could have it justifiable to defend our lives.
    [yes this post is controversial]

  14. #34
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kivam View Post
    Actually, the word used is tirtsach, from the same root (the full verse is "lo tirtsach" - do not murder
    No it isn't. See Strong's.

    "Retzicha" (hebrew grammar is based on root words; retsicha would be the form for "murder" the noun) pretty much covers it.
    Again, incorrect. You'll have to provide support. And you'd be arguing against the recognized, established and scholarly accepted Strong's Concordance. I'm open to cutting edge ideas and change, but you can't just make a whopper like these without at least providing an ounce of foundation in which to make them.


    Not going to check all these sources, but for at least some of them you are referencing verses that use hebrew words unrelated to "ratsach". For instance, the hebrew word used used in Deut 27:24 is not a variant of "ratsach" at all; it is "lahacos" - from the root "hicah", or "smite"
    I highly recommend going back and verifying your claims against Strong's. The rest of your post is the same (counter to accepted scholarly consensus). And again, while I'm not against bucking the system, you can't just make claims for the sake of making claims and accept what is already established, proven and accepted, to be changed by your authority. Substance is required.
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  15. #35
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    No it isn't. See Strong's.


    Again, incorrect. You'll have to provide support. And you'd be arguing against the recognized, established and scholarly accepted Strong's Concordance. I'm open to cutting edge ideas and change, but you can't just make a whopper like these without at least providing an ounce of foundation in which to make them.


    I highly recommend going back and verifying your claims against Strong's. The rest of your post is the same (counter to accepted scholarly consensus). And again, while I'm not against bucking the system, you can't just make claims for the sake of making claims and accept what is already established, proven and accepted, to be changed by your authority. Substance is required.
    Apok, I don't need to go to Strong's. I'm a religious jew. I read hebrew, and the original texts. I went to the actual text and told you the words I saw there.

    In fact, as a 32 year old, I've heard and read through the actual hebrew text of the ten commandments more than 40 times (lets assume I started really paying attention in synagogue when I was 12, to be safe ). At this point, I can recite to you, from memory, the verses beginning with "don't murder" - they are short and to the point. Lo Tirtzach (don't murder). Lo Tinaaf (don't commit adultery). Lo Tignov (don't steal). Lo Taaneh B'rayacha Aid Shaker (don't bear false witness). Lo Tachmod . . . (don't covet . . .)(ok, that verse is long and "lo Tachmod" is about where my confidence in my mental accuracy starts to wain).

    Want to rethink your response?

    ---------- Post added at 10:44 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 AM ----------

    BTW, you should really double check strong's - there's no grammatically correct way to say "don't murder" (in the future tense) with the word "ratzach"; "ratzach" is a word meaning "murdered" - past tense. If Strong's is suggesting that the actual word (and not merely the root) used in the Ten Commandments was "Ratzach", then the commandment would be "don't have murdered in the past" (which is obviously nonsensical). Without ever having looked at Strong's once in my life, I highly doubt it says anything that ridiculous, and would urge you to go double check before you respond.

    ---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:44 AM ----------

    Just to drive the point home some more - here's the text itself:

    10 commandments:

    יב
    לֹא תִרְצָח,
    {ס} לֹא תִנְאָף; {ס} לֹא תִגְנֹב, {ס} לֹא-תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר. {ס}

    יג לֹא תַחְמֹד, בֵּית רֵעֶךָ; {ס} לֹא-תַחְמֹד אֵשֶׁת רֵעֶךָ, וְעַבְדּוֹ וַאֲמָתוֹ וְשׁוֹרוֹ וַחֲמֹרוֹ, וְכֹל, אֲשֶׁר לְרֵעֶךָ. {פ}
    Note - the word is Tuf-Raish-Tzadee-Chet: Tirzach, not Raish-Tzadee-Chet: Ratzach.

    Deut. 27:24-25, which you claim has the word "Ratzach":

    ה אָרוּר לֹקֵחַ שֹׁחַד,
    לְהַכּוֹת
    נֶפֶשׁ דָּם נָקִי; וְאָמַר כָּל-הָעָם, אָמֵן. {ס}

    כו אָרוּר, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָקִים אֶת-דִּבְרֵי הַתּוֹרָה-הַזֹּאת--לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם; וְאָמַר כָּל-הָעָם, אָמֵן. {פ}
    Notice, no "Raish-Tzadee-Chet" anywhere in the verse; the underlined word is "Lamed Hay Kuf Vav Tuf" - L'hacos, to smite.

    Shimon and Levi:

    כו וְאֶת-חֲמוֹר וְאֶת-שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ,
    הָרְגוּ
    לְפִי-חָרֶב; וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת-דִּינָה מִבֵּית שְׁכֶם, וַיֵּצֵאוּ.
    Again, no Ratzach anywhere, and the key word is (as I mentioned) "Hay-Raish-Gimmel-Vav" = Haragu, killed.

    (all hebrew text copied from http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0134.htm) (click the various links to get to the other citations, that's the Shimon/Levi one)

    Sorry, but you're simply wrong. To the extent Strong's or any other source contends that the hebrew word in those verses is Ratzach, then it is wrong.

    I hope that's enough substance for you

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    BTW, Apok - some quick Wikipedia research shows I was right that Strong's does not claim that the *actual word* used in the Ten Commandments is "Ratzach":

    Strong's Concordance includes:

    * The 8674 Hebrew root words used in the Old Testament. (Example: Hebrew word #582 in Strong's) . . .

    Not every distinct word is assigned a number, but only the root words. For example, αγαπησεις is assigned the same number as αγαπατε – both are listed as Greek word #25 in Strong's "αγαπαω".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strong%27s_Concordance

    "Ratzach" is the root word for "Retzicha" (murder, as a noun), "Tirtzach" (murder, as an imperative verb) "Yirtzach" (will murder in the future)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_...rb_conjugation

    When Strong's says that the root word in the Ten Commandments is "Ratzach" and I tell you that the actual word in the Ten Commandments is "Tirtzach", we are not actually disagreeing - Ratzach is the root of the actual word (Tirtzach) used there.

    That said, I have no idea why (if you are correctly reading Strong's) it would use the word "Ratzach" as the root for words like "Hargu" or "L'Hacot"

    ---------- Post added at 11:58 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:52 AM ----------

    Hmm - actually, I do know why. Because you were misciting Strong's - at least according to this online version of the King James with links to Strong's.

    The linked page takes you to Deut. 27. Go down to verses 24-25 and you'll see that the words "smiteth" and "slay" are linked; click on either, and it will take you to the root word identified by Strong's as in that verse. Not "ratzach," as you claimed, but "Nakah" - the root of the word "L'hakot", which (as I showed) is the actual word in the Hebrew text.

    Bottom line: I am right, and to the extent that you believe Strong's supported your position, you were wrong.
    Ah, well - apparently my kids were too distracting to stay as a sig. I take that as a compliment

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    I did not misread Strong's, I misused it. There's a difference.

    At the time of that op (which is very old), I used a simple guide:
    http://studylight.org/desk/?l=en&que...n=nsn&oq=&sr=1

    Clicking on "kill" bring's up Strong's reference.

    However, since then, and I should have updated the post and thus, the argument, I've been using Logos.

    That being said, I concur (and concede) the actual word used there is "tirtzach".

    Attachment 3080

    The point of the op however, isn't to give a Hebrew lesson, but rather to illustrate the meaning of the commandment. The command is not accurately rendered "do not kill", but rather "do not murder".

    Yes, I agree that I cited the incorrect word for this commandment. However, it is not correct to render the commandment as a general "kill" vs a more more specific "murder" (to whomever would attempt to make that argument).
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; July 6th, 2011 at 12:23 PM.
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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    I did not misread Strong's, I misused it. There's a difference.



    The point of the op however, isn't to give a Hebrew lesson, but rather to illustrate the meaning of the commandment. The command is accurately rendered "do not kill", but rather "do not murder".

    Yes, I agree that I cited the incorrect word for this commandment. However, it is not correct to render the commandment as a general "kill" vs a more more specific "murder" (to whomever would attempt to make that argument).
    Agreed - the primary reason I chimed in was to make the minor factual correction on the word used there, and the more major factual correction on the words used elsewhere (it does quite change the meaning of the verse with respect to Shimon and Levi, for example)
    Ah, well - apparently my kids were too distracting to stay as a sig. I take that as a compliment

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    So, just for clarification - the text actually says thou shalt not murder, right?

    And - what again does this mean is not included in the hebrew sense of murder,t hat would be in the modern english word kill?

    I am totally unqualified to debate these things, but I find them fascinating.
    He who has an ear, let them hear.

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    Re: Thou Shalt not: Murder or Kill?

    Well, some people erroneously use this commandment to argue that all war is immoral, or that self-defense is immoral (if it means having to take another's life).

    The op was made 7 years ago (looong time) and if I recall, was because there were quite a few misunderstandings about this commandment in the more popular threads at the time.
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