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Bible Dictionaries

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Murder

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The designed and malevolent taking of human life, was by the original appointment of God, a crime to be punished by death. Cain, the first murderer, recognized it as such, Genesis 4:14 . The ground for the death penalty for murder is the eminent dignity and sacredness of man as a child of God, Genesis 9:5-6 . Like the Sabbath and marriage, it is a primeval and universal institution for mankind, and all nations have so recognized it, Acts 28:4 . The Mosaic code reenacted it, Leviticus 24:17; and while providing for the unintentional homicide a safe retreat, declares that deliberate murder must be punished by death, from which neither the city of refuge nor the altar of God could shield the criminal, Exodus 21:12-14 Numbers 35:9-34 Deuteronomy 19:1-13 1 Kings 2:5-6,28-34 . Death was usually inflicted by stoning, upon the testimony of at least two witnesses, Numbers 35:30 . If a corpse were found in the open fields, and the murderer could not be discovered, the town nearest to the spot was obliged to purge itself by a solemn ceremony, lest it should become liable to the judgments of God, Deuteronomy 21:1-9 .

In various ways God is represented as specially abhorring this crime, and securing its punishment, Deuteronomy 32:43 2 Samuel 21:1 Psalm 9:12 55:23 Hosea 1:4 Revelation 22:15 . Our Savior instructs us that one may be guilty, in the sight of God, of murder in the heart, without any overt act, Matthew 5:21-22 1 John 3:15 . Nothing is said especially in the law respecting selfmurder, and only the cases of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas are described in the Bible, 1 Samuel 31:4 2 Samuel 17:23 Acts 1:18 . Of all murders, that of the soul is incomparably the most awful, John 8:44 , and many plunge not only themselves but also others into the second death.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Murder'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/m/murder.html. 1859.

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