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THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT & Capital Punishment


“Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13)


“Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Genesis 9:6)

Right at the dawn of human history, immediately after the Great Flood of Noah, God ordered human government to inflict the death penalty (capital punishment) on murderers.  But the death penalty is even older than Noah.




God introduced the death penalty (capital punishment) in the Garden of Eden.  It was the punishment for man's sin.  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.  (Genesis 2:17)


The nature of the death threatened by God included instant withdrawal of the divine favor and fellowship upon which man's life depended.  The alienation and curse of God, the sense of guilt, corruption of nature and consequent actual transgressions all follow.


But that's not all.  Death meant the miseries of life, the dissolution of the body and the pains of Hell forever.  DEATH ultimately means SEPARATION.  It means far more than just the separation of the soul from the body upon physical death.  It means separation from God.


The New Testament upholds the death penalty and gives our only hope of escape “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23)  Christ suffered the death penalty in the place of sinners and rose again.


“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6)   


“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)


Eternal life is a GIFT to be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8-10).  Christ Himself tells us to “Repent and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  (Romans 10:13) 




The Hebrew word for “kill” in Exodus 20:13 is “ratzach”.  It means “murder”.  Our Lord Jesus quoted it that way in Matthew 19:18 when he said, “...thou shalt do no murder....” What is the difference between “kill” and “murder”?


“Kill,” means any taking of life.  “Murder” means PREMEDITATED, UNLAWFUL taking of life.  ”Murder” is killing WITHOUT ANY COMMAND OR PERMISSION FROM GOD.  God creates life.  It can only be taken on God's terms.  Anything else is MURDER. 


To illustrate this difference between “kill” and “murder” further, let's take a look at some lawful killings in the Bible.  Israel killed the Passover lamb.  David killed Goliath in battle.  God commanded human government to apply capital punishment for crimes such as murder.


Those who oppose capital punishment argue that we should have a reverence for life.  But what is needed is reverence for God (the Giver of Life) and His Law.




“Capital Punishment” by human government is still Biblical (Romans 13:4).  Many who oppose Capital Punishment support a “woman's right” to choose an abortion (murder her unborn child).  God commanded Moses to apply the physical death penalty for many crimes:


1. Murder, but not accidental killings (Exodus 21:12-14)


2. Striking or cursing a parent (Exodus 21:15 and Leviticus 20:9)


3. Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)


4. Adultery (Leviticus 20:10-21)


5. Incest (Leviticus 20:11-12,14)


6. Sex with animals (Exodus 22:19 and Leviticus 20:15-16)


7. Homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13)


8. Unchastity (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)


9. Rape of a betrothed virgin (Deuteronomy 22:23-27)


10. Witchcraft (Exodus 22:18)


11. Offering human sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2)


12. Habitual Criminals (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)


13. Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:11-14,16,23)


14. Sabbath desecration (no longer binding) (Exodus 35:2 and Numbers 15:32-36)


15. Preaching false doctrines (Deuteronomy 13:1-10)


16. Sacrificing to false gods (Exodus 22:20)


17. Refusing to abide by court decisions (Deuteronomy 17:8-13)


Thus, to argue against capital punishment is to argue against God.  Some religious groups say that ALL killing is wrong. 


But when they say that, they claim to have a higher way than God's way.  It is MURDER, not all killing, which is forbidden by the Sixth Commandment.


The Sixth Commandment and War (Part 1)







Books and DVDs



Do you love the King James Bible?  Then you will love Scripture Songs sung from the KJV by Patti Vaillant.


Scripture Songs I - KJV Bible Songs  

Scripture Songs II - King James Bible Music

Scripture Songs III - God's Word in song

Scripture Songs IV: Easily Memorize Powerful Bible Passages

Scripture Songs V - The Servant of Servants   


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Tulip Gems is a Calvinistic Baptist web site that honors Jesus Christ and provides a free Hyperinflation Survival Guide.  We offer free Bible Articles on several subjects, including Bible Nutrition , Creation Science versus Evolution Passover , The Great Commission and Tulip Calvinism

Which Bible can we trust? Which Bible is the most accurate? Why KJV only? Read our Which Bible series of articles for answers from both Scripture and history (including a Rebuttal of James White's book, The King James Only Controversy).

We also offer a well-documented Vietnam Veteran Story that illustrates the mercy of God.  The Vietnam Veteran Story, found on our Combat Vet page, comes from published accounts of Vietnam Veterans experiences, as well as this Vietnam Veterans experiences, told first hand.  

Concerned about inflation leading to hyperinflation? Some say buy silver and gold coins. Others say it is evil to own silver and gold coins. What does the Bible teach us? Tulip Gems offers an Hyperinflation Survival Guide which provides a Biblical basis for ownership of silver and gold coins as an hedge against the horrors of hyperinflation.  Links to online vendors are also provided. 

Will out of control government spending lead to hyperinflation, and possibly to a new world currency? Will a new world currency lead to the Mark of the Beast (666)? Will the Rapture occur before the Tribulation (Pre-Tribulational Rapture) or will the Rapture occur after the Tribulation (Post-Tribulational Rapture)? For Biblical answers, visit our
Mark of the Beast Explained page.

Will America come under nuclear attack? What does the Bible say? For reliable information on what to do in a nuclear attack, read our
Survive Nuclear Attack page. While many Calvinists shy away from Bible prophecy, we don't. For those who want Biblical guidance about the future, check out our Hyperinflation Survival Guide, Mark of the Beast Explained and Survive Nuclear Attack pages. Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke often about the events leading up to His Second Coming. Where our Good Shepherd leads, we may safely follow.

Who is Jesus Christ? Why KJV only? Why Home School your children? Jesus Christ is Lord and the KJV Bible is the Preserved Word of God in English.  Finally, Scripture gives us compelling reasons to Home School our children. One very important reason is to lead them to Our Passover Lamb. We recommend Christ-centered Home Schooling Curriculum.

George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God.  He and his wife Christy have been married 39 years. They have 8 children.


Copyright 2002 through 2016 by George R. Theiss   


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