Foreword: What About The Ten Commandments?


The Ten Commandments or the Decalogue, although intended for and given to Israel at Sinai, has become a symbol of God's Law to Americans.  We see this in the effort of infidels to remove God and His laws from the American culture.  If our unbelieving citizens are successful; America will no longer be America, because Christianity and the Bible are so embedded in the founding and history of the republic, that it will become unrelated and unrecognizable. 

 Jehovah, in giving the Ten Commandments, commanded "Thou shalt NOT kill" (Exodus 20:13).  Demonstrators, in opposing capital punishment under any circumstance, often carry signs bearing this commandment in their protest marches, etc.. This usage of "Thou shalt not kill" has led to confusion among many Bible believers.  Most modern speech translations render the command, "You shall not murder" (New King James Version, etc.).  Words have meaning and "murder" obviously expresses the intent God had when He commanded "Thou shalt not kill"!

Shall we apply a little "common sense" to our study of God's Word and capital punishment?  It seems that it was Ben Franklin's observation that common sense was the least common of all the senses.  If we apply "thou shalt not kill" out of context, how can we slaughter a beef for our hamburger at McDonald's?  This would make vegetarians of us all.  We know this is contrary to the Gospel.  Paul pointed out to Timothy, "every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer" (1 Timothy 4:4‑5).

God does make a distinction between accidentally killing a human being (manslaughter) and murder.  Under the Law of Moses, six cities of refuge were to be established as courts to try citizens for murder in Numbers 35:9-34.  If the death was an accident, the manslayer was restricted (imprisoned), in that city of refuge for the manslayer, until the death of the High Priest of Israel (verse 25).  If found guilty, the murderer was to be delivered to the kinsman or avenger of blood for execution.  Furthermore - and even more seriously - suffering a murderer to live, according to God, defiles and pollutes the land.  "So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel" (Numbers 35:33‑34).

Executing a murderer for murder is NOT murder!  It is obviously NOT so intended in the
Ten Commandments.  It is not only JUST but COMMANDED by the God of the Bible.

 Dale I. Royal, Elk City, OK