What God Thinks About Human Life – Proverbs 28:17

"A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him." Proverbs 28:17

Blood (H1818) – bloodshed, slaughter, the guilt of murder. This Hebrew word is used 360 times in Scripture and can be divided into the two following categories:

a. The violence of shedding blood usually resulting in death such as in war or murder

b. Shedding blood while making a sacrifice to God which always resulted in death and was a picture in the OT of Jesus’ death on the cross as the spotless Lamb of God for the everyone’s sin.

Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Violence (H6231) – to press upon, oppress, defraud, violate, deceive, do wrong.

Pit (H953) – The Hebrew word for pit is used figuratively here for the grave or death. The Hebrews thought of death as a giant pit (Psalm 28:1, 30:3, 88:4; Isaiah 38:18). – Lexical Aids to the Old Testament, The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible

Stay (H8551) – to sustain, maintain, to help, support.

Thus a murder, should not be put in jail for twenty years, he needs capital punishment.

This verse is a great support for capital punishment. To clarify, this verse does not mean that anyone in the armed forces that kills someone in war should be put to death. There is a difference, one is fighting in defense of his country and against oppression. The murder kills for his own selfish end.

I find it interesting that putting someone in jail is not a Biblical punishment. Nowhere in Scripture did God command His people to use prison as a tool of punishment, He only planned on using it on Satan and his angels (Mat. 25:41, Rev. 20:7) . In God’s law for Israel, certain crimes required the death penalty such as for murder, kidnapping, witchcraft, adultery, and rape (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:16, 22:18; Lev. 20:10, Deut. 22:25). For other crimes, the offender made restitution, received a beating, or sometimes loss a limb or eye (Exodus 22:1-5; Lev. 6:1-5; Deut. 19:16-21; 25:1-3, 11-12). A nation implementing these laws would be much better off. It would certainly solve the problem of overcrowded jails.

So why is capital punishment good? It upholds the value and sanctity of life. Mankind was created in God’s image. Someone violently taking away an innocent person’s life deserves to die (Gen. 9:6). That includes people murdering babies in the womb. God gave the death penalty to anyone who hurt a pregnant woman and caused her baby to die in the womb (Exodus 21:22-23). Human life is extremely valuable. If we do not have God’s perspective on the value of human life, we need to take some time to read and meditate on His Word. The references already mentioned in this ProWisdom Text would be a great place to start. Based upon God’s Word, do you value human life as God values it? We have His image stamped upon us. Consider how much God valued your life.

Just thinking about this verse, makes me realize the awfulness of our sin. I am so grateful that though God gives an idea of what His justice demands, He was showed us His marvelous grace and love. He sent Jesus to die on the cross, though it was our sin that nailed Him there. We were His murderous executioners through our sin. COME TO GRIPS WITH THIS FACT! PERSONALIZE IT. “I was Christ’s murderous executioner; it was my sin that nailed Him to that cruel cross. I did not kill someone just made in the image of God, but God Himself! Yet Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! As Jesus was dying that most horrible death invented in my place, He cried out to His Father, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34) Praise God He did not stay dead and rose bodily from the dead three days later, and one day because I have accepted by faith alone the forgiveness Christ offered on the cross and continues to offer today, I will thank and praise Him in heaven for all eternity. Praise God for His grace and mercy! Christ took the capital punishment I deserved and justice demanded on the cross!”

O Lord, help us each individually to value human life as You do, by sharing Your Gospel with everyone we can!


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