Originally Posted by ampaterry
I received an e-mail from a member regarding this thread, but they have their e-mail blocked so I cannot respond in kind. I will therefore put my response here in this forum.
I think that you are referring to my e-mail yesterday. I don't know why mine is blocked, but I will check into it.
Your response probably covers the subject, but just to clarify, if necessary, this was my original e-mail. It is actually a "canned response" that I have saved because of the frequency of running into this subject.
Some folks think that the Biblical command says, "Thou shalt not murder."
This is false, and its falsehood can be proved from the Bible itself. Exodus 20:13 says, "Lo tirtzach." Don't kill. The word "kill" (or, some contend, "murder") is spelled Resh Tsadhe Ches. Can we find this word elsewhere in the Bible where it will be perfectly clear whether it means "kill" or "murder?" In this particular case, yes! In Numbers 35:26-8, after extensive discussion of intentional vs. accidental killing and its relation to the cities of refuge, the Bible uses the word "rotzeach" (killer), spelled with the same root letters, to refer to an INNOCENT killer while describing the rules applying to him and those who would avenge his accidental victim's death. It also uses the same word, "ratzach," to describe the PERMISSIBLE killing of the accidental killer if the avenger of the blood finds him outside the city of refuge.
Without any doubt whatsoever, the proper translation of "Lo tirtzach" is "Don't kill." There are certainly exceptions to this commandment, as listed in the Bible itself, but that is what the words mean.
If you wish to study this further and do not read Hebrew, you should consult an orthodox rabbi with the references, or perhaps take a look at an interlinear translation [Zondervan?] of the Bible in a Christian bookstore. Obviously, if you read Hebrew, you need only look at those verses in any Chumash."
I don't doubt the usefulness of your looking into other occurrences of this word, and you have shown me that it is time for me to break out my concordance. Thanks!