Date:         Thu, 6 Apr 1995 10:49:17 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Catechism, 11
  Q: Which is the sixth commandment?
  A: The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill."
  This  commandment is short  but powerful: Thou  shalt not kill.  It is so
  short that we easily can keep it in mind. It is forbidden to kill, and it
  is commanded to preserve life.
  Q: What is required in the sixth commandment?
  A: The sixth commandment requireth  all lawful endeavours to preserve our
  own life, and the life of others.
  We must  endeavour to preserve life, both our own and that of the others.
  How can we best do that? Life  is preserved by the keeping off of all the
  injustice, and also by doing justice and showing friendship.
     The  first,  the  keeping off  of  all  injustice,  is  done by  being
  righteous, to punish  the doer of injustice,  when it lays in  our power.
  But  who lets all injustice go on, and not prevents it, sins against this
  commandment.  The  government has  to do  righteousness  in our  country,
  concerning the greater matters, and above all concerning the inhabitants.
  The fathers and mothers  have to do it  in their family, and every  other
  must do it  in the place where he stands. Also wilfully hurting ourselves
  is the  same as if we  wanted to kill ourselves. The same  applies to our
  neighbours. Also, when you see that one  walks on ways which surely leads
  to dangers, or even worse, you will  warn him. Likewise, when we see  the
  people living in sins, which lead to their death, we warn them.
     Secondly,  the  showing   of  friendship  contains  also   all  mercy,
  politeness,  friendliness and helpfulness. We have  to show these virtues
  towards  the other  people. The  father  en mother  treat  their children
  righteous and in love. Likewise does the boss. Equals treat each other in
  friendliness, and  with respect. In  the marriage, the  man and his  wife
  will love each  other, like is written "So ought  men to love their wives
  as their own bodies." (Eph.5:28) We are able will help the poor. Not with
  a  surly face, but in all friendliness.  "Defend the poor and fatherless:
  do justice to  the afflicted and needy.  Deliver the poor and  needy: rid
  them out of the hand of the wicked." (Ps.82:3,4)
  Q: What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
  A: The sixth commandment  forbiddeth the taking away of our  own life, or
  the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.
  It is forbidden to take  away our own life. This taking  away can be done
  in  several  ways.  Crudely,  when  one  commits  suicide.  But  also  in
  abstaining from the things  necessary for life. One  can eat too  little,
  for  several reasons. Girls sometimes like to  be slim, and therefore eat
  too  little;  in  other  words,  they  damage their  bodies.  Others  are
  reckless,  and  willfully   expose  themselves  to  dangers.   This  also
  transgresses the command "thou shalt not kill", for they take the risk to
  get an accident. When we are sick, and we do not use the right medicines.
  Driving in unsafe cars can lead to accidents, and is therefore forbidden.
     It is also forbidden to take away  the life of our neighbour unjustly.
  This also  is done in several ways. "When thou buildest a new house, then
  thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon
  thine house, if any man fall from thence." (Deut.22:8) We have, according
  to  Moses, to prevent the  people from dangers, and  to carry out all the
  necessary things  therefore. When  the boss  pays his worker  too little,
  whereof he scarcely can live, that transgresses this commandment. When we
  drive  in our car full of people, and we behave ourselves not safe in the
     But though it  is forbidden to kill,  it is not absolutely  forbidden.
  The  government, for example, has  the judiciary power to  kill the great
  transgressors. Like  is said: "Whoso  sheddeth man's blood,  by man shall
  his blood be  shed." (Gen.9:6) Who sheds  man's blood, his blood  will be
  shed by another man. So,  his blood will not be shed by God,  but by men.
  It is  the task of the government to do that. To prevent the inhabitants,
  the criminals  people must be  punished. Therefore is  written: "For he",
  that are the rulers, the power, "is the minister of God to thee for good.
  But if  thou do that  which is evil,  be afraid; for  he beareth not  the
  sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath
  upon him that doeth evil." (Rom.13:4)
  This sixth commandment is so short, but it contains so much. Not only the
  literal killing is  forbidden, but also all  the other things which  tend
  thereunto. And  the opposite is  commanded, namely to  preserve life. Who
  thoroughly looks into his life,  will discover that he daily transgresses
  this  command. Therefore,  better  your  life, in  the  strength of  God.
  Repent, and believe  in Jesus to the  forgiveness of all your  sins. For,
  even when you better your life today (when you were  able), what will you
  do with your past sins? And when you are righteous in the outward things,
  but unrighteous in your  heart, do you think that God  does not see that?
  "Repent therefore  of this thy wickedness,  and pray God,  if perhaps the
  thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee." (Acts 8:22)
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands
     End of Catechism, 11

file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-011.txt