2020-09-27 - The Penalty for Violating the Sixth Commandment
Exodus Study, Continued
- . Personal Injury Laws: a. The penalty for violating the Sixth Commandment: These verses lay down a major principle regarding the taking of a life. There is a distinction made here between what is murder and what we call manslaughter. Unlike our legal system, there are only these two types of killing. We talk about first degree, second degree, voluntary man- slaughter, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, civil rights violations, etc. If you kill someone, it may be claimed to be because your crazy, you ate Twinkies, you were temporarily insane, etc. I suspect if we followed the criteria laid out here, then the death penalty would probably be a deterrent.
I In the case of a planned killing, either premeditated or on the spur of the moment, killing is a capital offense. Conversely, if one kills accidentally, this is not a capital offense. There is no excuse or exception for the intentionally killing of another. The punishment for killing other then by accident is death.
Remember, as we previously noted, this doesn’t have anything to do with killing in a battle (war) situation or obviously in carrying out capital punishment.
Now where the killing is accidental or in self-defense, then the individual may flee to a city of refuge where he clings to the altar for protection. But if it is shown the killing was not an accident, then the alter was not a place of protection and the killer would still be executed.
This passage is looking towards the establishment of these cities. Let’s take a look at the passage that sets up these cities.
“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. And the cities that you give shall be your six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that any- one who kills any person without intent may flee there.”… “Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death” (Numbers 35:10–15, 31 ESV).
Exodus study to be continued.
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