Mount Sinai and the Sermon on the Mount

The Moral Law of Jehovah-Jesus condemns murder (Matt. 5:21-22)

You have all HEARD from the Pharisees61 that it was SAID62 previously to63 the so-called 'ancient ones'64 by their predecessors, that 'you shall not murder by illegally and intentionally terminating the life of another;65 for whosoever shall murder,65 shall be subject66 to the judgment67 of the magistrate!'68 This was indeed said to the 'ancient ones' by their PREDECESSORS — but this is NOT WHAT CHRIST had previously

                                                       61 Matt. 5:21 cf. 7:29 & 15:5 & 23:2-3,15. 62 Note Matt. 5:21a's errethee, "it was said (by men)!" — NOT "it was written (by God)!" 63 Matt. 5:21a, tois, dative, "to"; NOT (with the King James Version) hupo, "by" (which would have required something like hupo). 64 Matt. 5:21a, Archaiois = "to the 'Ancients'" alias the Elders (of earlier times). See too Matt. 15:2-3, which unfavourably contrasts the traditions of the Elders of old (or teen paradosin toon Presbuteroon) AGAINST the even older and alone-infallible "Commandment of God" (or teen Entoleen tou Theou) given in Ex. chapter 20 and even earlier (Heb. 11:2-8f). 65 Ex. 20:13, the Sixth Commandment. The Pharisees seem to have regarded some cases of intentional killing as constituting less than murder — e.g. intentional abortion, intentional killing of Gentiles, and intentional killing of the incurably diseased. Cf. the Judaistic Talmud! "For murder, whether of a Cuthean [the original Hebrew has ‘Goy’ or Gentile!] by a Cuthean, or of an Israelite by a Cuthean, punishment is incurred; but of a Cuthean by an Israelite, there is no death penalty” (Sanhedrin 57a). “If one bound his neighbour and he died of starvation, he is not liable to execution… If he bound him before a lion, he is not liable [because he could not have saved himself in any case]; (If he bound him) before mosquitoes [who stung him to death], he is [liable]. Yet, if a Pharisee tied up a man and deliberately left him near mosquitoes, intending for them to kill him — the Talmud wrongly regards that crime as being much less than murder. If one overturned a vat upon a man [who then died of suffocation], or broke open a ceiling above him, Rabbi Raba and Rabbi Zera [differ]: One ruled that he is liable, the other that he is not” (Sanhedrin 76b-77b). “If one led his neighbour into an alabaster chamber and lit a candle therein, so that he died [of the fumes], he is liable. Now, the reason is only that he lit a candle that he is liable; but had he not lit a candle [and had the prisoner died of the natural heat and lack of air], he would be exempt!” (Sanhedrin 77a-77b) “If one bound his neighbour and then caused a column of water to inundate him, it is as arrows and he is liable [for the man’s death]. But that is only if [he was drowned] by his direct agency… If ten men smote a man with ten staves whether simultaneously or successively, and he died, they are exempt… If he killed a terefaah [or one suffering from some fatal organic disease, recovery from which is impossible], he is exempt [from capital punishment]” (Sanhedrin 77b-78a). “If he intended killing an animal but slew a man, or [intended killing] a heathen and he killed an Israelite, or [intended killing] a prematurely born and he killed a viable child, he is not liable… If he aimed a blow at an adult whom it was insufficient to kill, but caught a child whom it was enough to kill, and he died, he is not liable. If he intended killing an animal, but slew a man, or a heathen and he slew an Israelite, or a prematurely born and he slew a viable child, he is not liable" (Sanhedrin 78b79a). In Matt. 5:21-24, however, Jesus makes it very clear that the Pharisees had quite wrongly limited the Sixth Commandment only to the murderous deed of directly killing another. For Jesus then (re-)asserted that the Sixth Commandment (Ex. 20:13 & 21:12-36) forbids even violent thoughts and words and deeds short of first-degree murder (Pss. 5:9 & 10:7f & 140:1-3 & Matt. 5:22-24 and see Westminster Larger Catechism's Biblical proof texts at its QQ. & AA. 134-136. Indeed, it was precisely Jehovah-Jesus Who had given the Sixth Commandment (and also the rest of the Decalogue) to Moses in the first place — and to this very extent. Cf. Ex. 3:14 & 20:2,13 with the Egoo in Matt. 5:22,28f. See too John 8:58f and cf. note 38. 66 Matt. 5:21, enochos, "subject to" (King James Version: "in danger of"). 67 Matt. 5:21, teei krisei, "to the judgment (of magistrates)," cf. vv. 25,40. 68 Cf. note 67 above with Ex. 21:22 & Deut. 19:12 & 21:2-8,18-21.

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