Commandments (6)

The next commandment is about murder. We read this law in Exodus 20:13. “You must not murder anyone.” This seems easy to understand. Murder means a killing that is against the law. Maybe I am very angry with someone. I am so angry, that I want them to die. So I kill them. That is murder.

Some people, however, wonder if murder means killing people in war or killing people because of crimes they have done. Reading the Bible can help us understand more about this. When the Israelites came into their new land, God told them that He did not want them to live with people who did not follow Him. So, when the Israelites went into Jericho, God told them to kill all the people except for Rahab and her family. Killing the people in Jericho was not murder.

God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments. He also gave them many other laws. Some of these laws said that the punishment for certain crimes is death. For example, if an Israelite worshiped a false god, he was to be stoned to death. This is also not murder.

God hates murder. That is why He gave the Israelites a commandment about it. Imagine what our world would be like today if all people obeyed this command!