For several centuries in the King James version of the bible the sixth commandment had been written:
(Exodus 20:13) Thou shalt not kill. (Deuteronomy 5:17) Thou shalt not kill.
The mistranslation of this particular commandment from the original Hebrew text by the English monarchy raises a question when reading the highlighted verse here in Matthew 5.
(Matthew 5:21 - 22) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
In the New King James version it is written as it was properly translated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts:
(Exodus 20:13) “You shall not murder. (Deuteronomy 5:17) ‘You shall not murder.
The true intent of the commandment becomes evident in the highlighted verse below which is true to the original text.
(Matthew 5:21-22) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Whether the mistranslation was intentional or not no one will ever know, but one must understand that having translated it as such renders the original intention of the verse using the word murder to kill as something less specific and more broadly ambiguous. When it is abundantly clear that the penchant for murder comes from a malevolent heart, whereas a need to kill most often arises out of a need for self preservation or the defense of others. When God gave Moses the Commandments on Sinai, it was for the uplifting guidance of each individual within the Hebrew society and for those to come. The sixth commandment was plainly referencing how Cain had become insanely jealous of his brother Able who had received God’s approval for his sacrifice while his own had been rejected. It is couched in the verse, “That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” His jealousy turned to anger, then malevolence whereupon he rose up in a rage and murdered his brother. All of God’s commandments deal with the condition of the heart and makes it clear whether or not one’s mind and heart is in sync with God’s will. We know that all have fallen short of perfection when we measure ourselves against those ten laws.
There are times and places where killing is justifiable and has actually been approved by God. David who was loved by God received His approval as he slew thousands to protect Israel from it’s enemies. Wars are waged to protect the weak from the overbearing forces of their enemies. If and when a man is called upon to protect his home and family or his neighbor with deadly force from another whose intention is to afflict harm or death, then it is clearly justifiable. Failure to act and to allow anyone to carry out evil intentions is every much an outright act of culpability and a sin against God.
I sought to clarify this as it doesn’t take much in terms of common sense to understand the true meaning in God’s word and how He would have us act in the dangerous times ahead. But then, there are those who continue to rail against God and fabricate their own rules and brand of righteousness which is an affront to God and we need not concern ourselves with them as they are woefully wrong and willfully lost.