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Why does the Bible say it was ok for Moses to kill many tribes, but the 10 commandments say "thou shall not kill"?

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Because that's not what the Ten Commandments say.
The correct translation is "Thou shall not murder".
There's a difference between killing and murder.

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Killing is the same as murder in my book.
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Good thing your book isn't what the law goes by.
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walts right, murder is like coldblood. killing is necesary sometimes, like if ur life is in jeopardy, or ur in the military fighting for ur country.
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^ So, all the soldiers for every country - not sure if you are from the US or not - are all to be considered cold-blooded murderers in your opinion.

Now, I'd like to see you show me where in the bible Moses killed many tribes. One thing I do know of, since currently in my fellowship we are on the book of Joshua, is that Joshua is the one leading the Israelites because Moses died prior to that.

Now, is it murder to kill someone who is stabbing you? Is it murder when you are stopped in traffic and are rear-ended so your vehicle plows into the traffic and you end up killing someone in the other vehicle? Is it murder to put an animal in distress to sleep because a quick death is better for them than the slow, agonizing painful death they'd experience?
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So u believe in the bible and zombies. Interesting
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There are as many that say 'thou shalt not kill' as 'thou shalt not murder'
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@vbstar ... one can learn about various religions, and read their texts, without believing everything in them.

@bikergirl ... The correct, literal translation is "murder". Unfortunately, not all translations used the original text, so you wind up with a translation of a translation.

Kinda like that experiment in elementary school, where you sat in a circle and whispered a phrase to the next person in line. By the time it went all the way around, the phrase was different from how it started.
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Pffftt .. don't I know it .. It's more like a translation of a translation and translated into another language and then translated again numerous times to more modern understanding .. and then translated again.

There's theological, linguistic and cultural understanding approaches .. Dynamic, literal, Idiomatic, Paraphrastic .. too many translations to even count. All taken from the same original writings .

A lot gets lost in translation .. we can see evidence of that when we try to translate what people here and now have to say from one language to another.
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Taking a life is taking a life .. whether it be by accident or on purpose, or premediated .. or justified .. It doesn't negate the word or it's meaning. You can justify killing or murdering an animal for humanitarian reasons .. That is justifyable .. I don't know if anyone would argue. It's still killing.

Somehow I don't think the comand we all know .. " Thou shalt not kill" or " Thou shalt not murder" doesn't apply to hunting or raising farm animals for food either.

The instruction can not be considered literal. That's not even logical. If God intended us to be vegetarians then I'm thinking he would have made that more clear. That's what I mean about interpretation of the "Word" given to us. There is more to a literal meaning.
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Even when it comes to interpretations of what the 10 commandments 'should' say .. there is confusion about the words "kill' and "murder" .. As far as I'm concerned .. the are the same by definition.

Murder: the killing of another human being under certain conditions covered by law
Killing: to deprive of live, to slay; to destroy; to extinguish (the only difference is .. this pertains to animals .. murder doesn't)

Pretty darn close if you ask me. Both mean to take a life.
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i think it was their punishment for worshiping a false idol? i could be wrong though

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The Hebrew nation was being used as an instrument of judgment. They were told which tribes to attack and which to leave alone. The ten commandments say thou shall not kill, but in this sense the Hebrews were not killing, god was.

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I've never seen that in the bible. Are you referring to the battles between the Israelites and the people occupying the Promised Land? That actually happened after Moses died...

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Because mosses was evil and the bible is false

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Im not even gonna say what I was gonna say.
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he can't spell...
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@vbstardreamer: give it a go .
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Kevin: I've read some of your answers. Neither can you.
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because the bible is nothing but lies and same with most religons..

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To be fair your statement is at least 50% true. If you are a member of almost any religion then truth is exclusive to you. But i believe this question is asked from a judeo-christian point if view. Therefore the starting point must be that we accept the truth of the Scriptures and try to reason an answer from that perspective.
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Your argument is simply a unsupported feeling..
It's like calling someone named in elementary school.. Srry :-/
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I think you're referring to Joshua and Judges, after Moses. The interpretation of the word "kill" varies, but most agree it has to do with intentionally killing someone out of anger, frequently vengeance. I can't speculate at this time why Joshua killed so many tribes, but the period in Judges is portrayed as a tragedy in Israel's history and is not encouraged. Recall that Joshua through Chronicles was written from the perspective of Israel's history. Just because Israel gloats over victory does not mean it is truly God's desire.

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I disagree but not to your statement as a whole. Joshua is told to destroy the tribes utterly. No looting and no slaves. You must remember the rules put down for the conquest of the promised land. Some Hebrews are put to death for taking loot and all isreal is punished for transgressions of God's rules for the conquest of the region.
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I specifically said I cannot speculate on Joshua at this time. I have not studied the book, and I do not know the full context of the story.
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To answer the question whether God breaks His own commandments, we need to determine if God committed murder (i.e., killed people without cause). The Bible is quite clear that God has killed people directly (the most prominent example being the flood) and indirectly (ordered peoples to be killed). If God ordered or participated in the killing of innocent people, then He would be guilty of murder. Let's look at two of the most prominent examples.The flood
According to the Bible, God killed every human except Noah, his wife, his sons, and their wives in the flood. Were any of these people killed unjustly? The Bible says specifically that all people (except Noah and his family) had become corrupted.12 Not only had all people become corrupted, but they were continually plotting evil!13 Is it possible that an entire culture can become corrupted? You bet! Recent history proves the point rather well. When the Nazis took over Germany before WWII, opposition was crushed and removed. When they began their purging of the undesirables (e.g., the Jews), virtually the entire society went along with the plan. Further examples are given on another page. So, the Bible indicates that no innocent people were killed in the flood.God orders killing
What about when God ordered Joshua and his people to kill every man, woman and child in Canaan?14 What crime could be so great that entire populations of cities were designated for destruction? God told Moses that the nations that the Hebrew were replacing were wicked.15 How "wicked" were these people? The text tells us that they were burning their own sons and daughters in sacrifices to their gods.16 So we see that these people were not really innocent. For these reasons (and others17), God ordered the destruction of the peoples whom the Israelites dispossessed.
see comments for conclusion

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The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is really not as general as the King James version would indicate. The commandment actually refers to premeditated, unjustified killing - murder. Although God ordered the extermination of entire cities, He did so in righteous judgment on a people whose corruption had led to extreme wickedness, including child sacrifice. Did God destroy the righteous along with the wicked? In an exchange with Abraham, God indicated that He would spare the wicked to save the righteous. He demonstrated this principle by saving righteous people from Sodom and Jericho prior to their destruction. The charge that God indiscriminately murdered people does not hold to to critical evaluation of the biblical texts.
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Most dont get this.. Green
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The bible means you shall not kill without god giving a reason. Not u giving u one.

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The Old Testament records God killing multitudes of people, and some people want to believe this makes Him a murderer. The misconception that "killing" and "murder" are synonymous is partially based on the King James mistranslation of the sixth commandment, which reads, "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13). However, the word kill is a translation of the Hebrew word ratsach, which nearly always refers to intentional killing without cause. The correct rendering of this word is "murder," and all modern translations render the command as "You shall not murder." The Bible in Basic English best conveys its meaning: "Do not put anyone to death without cause." http://www.gotquestions.org/God-killing.html

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thespang gave you a very good answer; however, Moses did participate in some killing, see Exodus 17:12. Frank

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The original hebrew wird translated as 'kill' actually translates more directly as 'murder'. Thou shat not murder. In a justifiable war against ones enemies it is acceptible to a point ie killing opposing soldiers or wartiors, not slaughtering innocents and civilians.
Principles of the Just War
A just war can only be waged as a last resort. All non-violent options must be exhausted before the use of force can be justified.
A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.
A just war can only be fought to redress a wrong suffered. For example, self-defense against an armed attack is always considered to be a just cause (although the justice of the cause is not sufficient--see point #4). Further, a just war can only be fought with "right" intentions: the only permissible objective of a just war is to redress the injury.
A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success. Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.
The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought.
The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.
The weapons used in war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants. Civilians are never permissible targets of war, and every effort must be taken to avoid killing civilians. The deaths of civilians are justified only if they are unavoidable victims of a deliberate attack on a military target.
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In the case of Moses the enemies were enemies of God, worshipping pagan idols, making human sacrifices including their own children, engaging in religion based orgies, prostitution and homosexuality, etc. they were completely corrupted peoples and yes God led His people to slaughter them.

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Perfect example of why the bible is bull

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