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International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

1. Terms:

mur'-der (haragh, "to smite," "destroy," "kill," "slay" (Psalm 10:8 Hosea 9:13 AV), ratsach, "to dash to pieces," "kill," especially with premeditation (Numbers 35:16 and frequently; Job 24:14; Psalm 94:6; Jeremiah 7:9; Ho 6:9); phoneus, "criminal homicide," from phoneuo, "to kill," "slay"; phonos, from pheno, has the same meaning; anthropoktonos, "manslayer," "murderer," is used to designate Satan (John 8:44) and him that hates his brother (1 John 3:15); a matricide is designated as metraloas (1 Timothy 1:9); compare adelphokionos, "fratricidal" (The Wisdom of Solomon 10:3). The plural of phonos, "murders," occurs in Matthew 15:19 Mark 7:21 Galatians 5:21 the King James Version; Revelation 9:21; compare 2 Maccabees 4:3, 18; 12:6):

2. The Hebrew Law:

The Hebrew law recognized the distinction between willful murder and accidental or justifiable homicide (Numbers 25:16); but in legal language no verbal distinction is made. Murder was always subject to capital punishment (Leviticus 24:17; compare Genesis 9:6). Even if the criminal sought the protection of the sanctuary, he was to be arrested before the altar, and to be punished (Exodus 21:12, 14 Leviticus 24:17, 21 Numbers 35:16, 18, 21, 31). The Mishna says that a mortal blow intended for another than the victim is punishable with death; but such a provision is not found in the Law. No special mention is made of

(a) child murder;

(b) parricide; or

(c) taking life by poison;

but the intention of the law is clear with reference to all these eases (Exodus 21:15, 17 1 Timothy 1:9 Matthew 15:4). No punishment is mentioned for attempted suicide (compare 1 Samuel 31:4; 1 Kings 16:18 Matthew 27:5); yet Josephus says (BJ, III, viii, 5) that suicide was held criminal by the Jews (see also Exodus 21:23). An animal known to be vicious must be confined, and if it caused the death of anyone, the animal was destroyed and the owner held guilty of murder (Exodus 21:29, 31). The executioner, according to the terms of the Law, was the "revenger of blood"; but the guilt must be previously determined by the Levitical tribunal. Strong protection was given by the requirement that at least two witnesses must concur in any capital question (Numbers 35:19-30 Deuteronomy 17:6-12; Deuteronomy 19:12, 17). Under the monarchy the duty of executing justice on a murderer seems to have been assumed to some extent by the sovereign, who also had power to grant pardon (2 Samuel 13:39; 2 Samuel 14:7, 11 1 Kings 2:34).


Frank E. Hirsch

5407. phoneuo -- to kill, murder
... to kill, murder. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: phoneuo Phonetic Spelling:
(fon-yoo'-o) Short Definition: I murder Definition: I murder, kill. ...
// - 7k

5408. phonos -- a murder
... a murder. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: phonos Phonetic Spelling:
(fon'-os) Short Definition: murder, slaughter Definition: murder, slaughter ...
// - 6k

337. anaireo -- to take up, take away, make an end
... away, make an end. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: anaireo Phonetic Spelling:
(an-ahee-reh'-o) Short Definition: I take up, abolish, murder Definition: I ...
// - 7k

336. anairesis -- a taking up, a destroying, slaying
... Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: anairesis Phonetic Spelling:
(an-ah'-ee-res-is) Short Definition: killing, slaying, murder Definition: taking ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
7523. ratsach -- to murder, slay
... 7522, 7523. ratsach. 7524 . to murder, slay. Transliteration: ratsach Phonetic
Spelling: (raw-tsakh') Short Definition: manslayer. Word Origin a prim. ...
/hebrew/7523.htm - 6k

7524. retsach -- a shattering
... slaughter, sword. From ratsach; a crushing; specifically, a murder-cry -- slaughter,
sword. see HEBREW ratsach. 7523, 7524. retsach. 7525 . Strong's Numbers
/hebrew/7524.htm - 6k

2026. harag -- to kill, slay
... A primitive root; to smite with deadly intent -- destroy, out of hand, kill,
murder(-er), put to (death), make (slaughter), slay(-er), X surely. 2025, 2026. ...
/hebrew/2026.htm - 6k


Of Murder (Eight Articles)
... OF MURDER (EIGHT ARTICLES). In due sequence we must consider the vices
opposed to commutative justice. We must consider (1) those ...
// theologica/of murder eight articles .htm

Whether Wife-Murder is an Impediment to Marriage?
... OF WIFE-MURDER (TWO ARTICLES) Whether wife-murder is an impediment to marriage?
Objection 1: It would seem that wife-murder is not an impediment to marriage. ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/whether wife-murder is an impediment.htm

Knox, Wishart, and the Murder of Beaton: 1545-1546
knowledge of Knox, apart from mention of him in notarial ...
/.../lang/john knox and the reformation/chapter ii knox wishart and.htm

Of Wife-Murder (Two Articles)
... OF WIFE-MURDER (TWO ARTICLES). We must now consider wife-murder, under
which head there are two points of inquiry: (1) Whether in ...
/.../aquinas/summa theologica/of wife-murder two articles .htm

The Emperor Indignant at the Murder of George, Rebukes the ...
... Book III. Chapter III."The Emperor Indignant at the Murder of George, rebukes
the Alexandrians by Letter. The emperor being highly ...
/.../chapter iii the emperor indignant at.htm

The Murder of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, the High Priests, as Also ...
... CHAPTER 22. The Murder Of Aristobulus And Hyrcanus, The High Priests, As
Also Of Mariamne The Queen. 1. However, fortune was avenged ...
/.../chapter 22 the murder of.htm

Reign of Sanadroug; Murder of Abgar's Children; the Princess ...
... Ancient Syriac Documents. Moses of Chorene. History of Armenia. X. Reign of
Sanadroug; murder of Abgar's children; the princess Helena. ...
// decretals/x reign of sanadroug murder.htm

But this Commandment Seems Only to Speak of Murder?
... Lord's Day 40 Question 106 But this commandment seems only to speak of murder?
But this commandment seems only to speak of murder? ...
/.../various/the heidelberg catechism /question 106 but this commandment.htm

Refutation of the Assertion that Constantine Became a Christian in ...
... Book I. Chapter V."Refutation of the Assertion that Constantine became a
Christian in consequence of the Murder of his son Crispus. ...
/.../chapter v refutation of the assertion.htm

Fulfilling of the Law in the Higher Sense. --Particular Examples ...
... Fulfilling of the Law in the Higher Sense."Particular Examples, viz., (1.) Murder;
(2.) Adultery; (3.) Divorce; (4.) Perjury; (5.) Revenge; (6.) National ...
/.../section 155 fulfilling of the.htm

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The law of Moses, while it protected the accidental homicide, defined with additional strictness the crime of murder. It prohibited compensation or reprieve of the murderer, or his protection if he took refuge in the refuge city, or even at the altar of Jehovah. (Exodus 21:12,14; Leviticus 24:17,21; 1 Kings 2:5,6,31) The duty of executing punishment on the murderer is in the law expressly laid on the "revenger of blood;" but the question of guilt was to be previously decided by the Levitical tribunal. In regal times the duty of execution of justice on a murderer seems to have been assumed to some extent by the sovereign, as was also the privilege of pardon. (2 Samuel 13:39; 14:7,11; 1 Kings 2:34) It was lawful to kill a burglar taken at night in the act, but unlawful to do so after sunrise. (Exodus 22:2,3)

ATS Bible Dictionary

The designed and malevolent taking of human life, was by the original appointment of God, a crime to be punished by death. Cain, the first murderer, recognized it as such, Genesis 4:14. The ground for the death penalty for murder is the eminent dignity and sacredness of man as a child of God, Genesis 9:5-6. Like the Sabbath and marriage, it is a primeval and universal institution for mankind, and all nations have so recognized it, Acts 28:4. The Mosaic code reenacted it, Le 24:17; and while providing for the unintentional homicide a safe retreat, declares that deliberate murder must be punished by death, from which neither the city of refuge nor the altar of God could shield the criminal, Exodus 21:12-14 Numbers 35:9-34 De 19:1-13 1 Kings 2:5-6,28-34. Death was usually inflicted by stoning, upon the testimony of at least two witnesses, Numbers 35:30. If a corpse were found in the open fields, and the murderer could not be discovered, the town nearest to the spot was obliged to purge itself by a solemn ceremony, lest it should become liable to the judgments of God, De 21:1-9.

In various ways God is represented as specially abhorring this crime, and securing its punishment, De 32:43 2 Samuel 21:1 Psalm 9:12 55:23 Hosea 1:4 Revelation 22:15. Our Savior instructs us that one may be guilty, in the sight of God, of murder in the heart, without any overt act, Matthew 5:21-22 1 John 3:15. Nothing is said especially in the law respecting selfmurder, and only the cases of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas are described in the Bible, 1 Samuel 31:4 2 Samuel 17:23 Acts 1:18. Of all murders, that of the soul is incomparably the most awful, John 8:44, and many plunge not only themselves but also others into the second death.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited with capital punishment (Numbers 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Leviticus 24:17). This law in its principle is founded on the fact of man's having been made in the likeness of God (Genesis 9:5, 6; John 8:44; 1 John 3:12, 15). The Mosiac law prohibited any compensation for murder or the reprieve of the murderer (Exodus 21:12, 14; Deuteronomy 19:11, 13; 2 Samuel 17:25; 20:10). Two witnesses were required in any capital case (Numbers 35:19-30; Deuteronomy 17:6-12). If the murderer could not be discovered, the city nearest the scene of the murder was required to make expiation for the crime committed (Deuteronomy 21:1-9). These offences also were to be punished with death, (1) striking a parent; (2) cursing a parent; (3) kidnapping (Exodus 21:15-17; Deuteronomy 27:16).
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The offense of killing a human being with malice pretense or aforethought, express or implied; intentional and unlawful homicide.

2. (n.) To kill with premeditated malice; to kill (a human being) willfully, deliberately, and unlawfully. See Murder.

3. (n.) To destroy; to put an end to.

4. (n.) To mutilate, spoil, or deform, as if with malice or cruelty; to mangle; as, to murder the king's English.

Murder (41 Occurrences)
... Wilful murder was distinguished from accidental homicide, and was invariably visited
with capital punishment (Numbers 35:16, 18, 21, 31; Leviticus 24:17). ...
/m/murder.htm - 24k

Commit (142 Occurrences)
... Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancients, 'Thou shalt not commit
murder', and whoever commits murder will be answerable to the magistrate. ...
/c/commit.htm - 39k

... A clear distinction was made between an accidental and a deliberate murder. ... See
also AVENGE; MURDER; REFUGE, CITIES OF. Arthur L. Breslich. ...
/g/goel.htm - 11k

Barabbas (10 Occurrences)
... Mark says that he was "bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the
insurrection had committed murder" (Matthew 15:7). Luke states that he was ...
/b/barabbas.htm - 13k

Steal (29 Occurrences)
... Matthew 19:18 He said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not
murder.''You shall not commit adultery.''You shall not steal.''You shall not offer ...
/s/steal.htm - 16k

Homicide (1 Occurrence)
... HOMICIDE. hom'-i-sid (rotseach): Hebrew has no word for killing or murder; rotseach
is the word for manslayer. The Greek for murder is phonos. ...
/h/homicide.htm - 10k

Ones (687 Occurrences)
... Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones,'You shall not
murder;' and'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.' (WEB). ...
/o/ones.htm - 35k

Insurrection (8 Occurrences)
... Mark 15:7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made
insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. ...
/i/insurrection.htm - 9k

Ish-bosheth (14 Occurrences)
... his couch at mid-day (2 Samuel 4:5-7); and having cut off his head, presented it
to David, who sternly rebuked them for this cold-blooded murder, and ordered ...
/i/ish-bosheth.htm - 15k

... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (n.) The murder of an infant born alive; the murder
or killing of a newly born or young child; child murder. ...
/i/infanticide.htm - 6k

Bible Concordance
Murder (41 Occurrences)

Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the ancient ones,'You shall not murder;' and'Whoever shall murder shall be in danger of the judgment.'

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies.

Matthew 19:18 He said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You shall not murder.''You shall not commit adultery.''You shall not steal.''You shall not offer false testimony.'

Matthew 23:30 and your boast is, "'If we had lived in the time of our forefathers, we should not have been implicated with them in the murder of the Prophets.'

Matthew 23:31 "So that you bear witness against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the Prophets.

Matthew 27:24 So when he saw that he could gain nothing, but that on the contrary there was a riot threatening, he called for water and washed his hands in sight of them all, saying, "I am not responsible for this murder: you must answer for it."

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts,

Mark 10:19 You know the commandments:'Do not murder,''Do not commit adultery,''Do not steal,''Do not give false testimony,''Do not defraud,''Honor your father and mother.'"

Mark 15:7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder.

Luke 18:20 You know the commandments:'Don't commit adultery,''Don't murder,''Don't steal,''Don't give false testimony,''Honor your father and your mother.'"

Luke 23:19 one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder.

Luke 23:25 He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.

Acts 8:1 And Saul fully approved of his murder. At this time a great persecution broke out against the Church in Jerusalem, and all except the Apostles were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria.

Acts 9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

Acts 9:24 but information of their intention was given to him. They even watched the gates, day and night, in order to murder him;

Romans 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers,

Romans 13:9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not give false testimony," "You shall not covet," and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

James 2:11 For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.

James 4:2 You covet things and yet cannot get them; you commit murder; you have passionate desires and yet cannot gain your end; you begin to fight and make war. You have not, because you do not pray;

James 5:6 You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. He doesn't resist you.

1 John 3:12 unlike Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. Why did he kill him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous.

Exodus 20:13 "You shall not murder.

Numbers 35:12 The cities shall be to you for refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer not die, until he stands before the congregation for judgment.
(See NIV)

Numbers 35:25 and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled: and he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.
(See NIV)

Numbers 35:27 and the avenger of blood find him outside of the border of his city of refuge, and the avenger of blood kill the manslayer; he shall not be guilty of blood,
(See NIV)

Deuteronomy 5:17 "You shall not murder.

Joshua 21:13 To the children of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Libnah with its suburbs,
(See NIV)

Joshua 21:21 They gave them Shechem with its suburbs in the hill country of Ephraim, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Gezer with its suburbs,
(See NIV)

Joshua 21:27 They gave to the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the half-tribe of Manasseh Golan in Bashan with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Be Eshterah with its suburbs; two cities.
(See NIV)

Joshua 21:32 Out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, Hammothdor with its suburbs, and Kartan with its suburbs; three cities.
(See NIV)

Joshua 21:38 Out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with its suburbs, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Mahanaim with its suburbs,
(See NIV)

Judges 9:24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.
(See NIV)

Psalms 10:8 He lies in wait near the villages. From ambushes, he murders the innocent. His eyes are secretly set against the helpless.

Psalms 62:3 How long will you assault a man, would all of you throw him down, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?
(See NAS)

Psalms 94:6 They kill the widow and the alien, and murder the fatherless.

Proverbs 28:17 One who has been the cause of a man's death will go in flight to the underworld: let no man give him help.
(See NIV)

Isaiah 33:15 He whose ways are true, and whose words are upright; he who gives no thought to the profits of false acts, whose hands have not taken rewards, who will have no part in putting men to death, and whose eyes are shut against evil;
(See NIV)

Jeremiah 7:9 Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods that you have not known,

Jeremiah 41:4 It happened the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, and no man knew it,
(See RSV)

Hosea 4:2 There is cursing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break boundaries, and bloodshed causes bloodshed.

Hosea 6:9 As gangs of robbers wait to ambush a man, so the company of priests murder in the way toward Shechem, committing shameful crimes.



Cannibalism: General Scriptures Concerning


Murder is a Work for the Flesh

Murder of Saints, Specially Avenged

Murder: Abimelech

Murder: Absalom

Murder: Adrammelech

Murder: Ahab

Murder: Amalekite

Murder: Baasha

Murder: Barabbas

Murder: Cain

Murder: Characteristic of the Devil

Murder: Chief Priests

Murder: Comes from the Heart

Murder: Connected With Idolatry

Murder: Cries for Vengeance

Murder: David

Murder: Defiles The: Hands

Murder: Defiles The: Land

Murder: Defiles The: Person and Garments

Murder: Described As Killing by a Hand Weapon of Wood

Murder: Described As Killing by an Instrument of Iron

Murder: Described As Killing by Lying in Wait

Murder: Described As Killing by the Blow of a Stone

Murder: Described As Killing with Premeditation

Murder: Described As Killing: from Hatred

Murder: Early Introduction of

Murder: Elders of Jezreel

Murder: Esau

Murder: Excludes from Heaven

Murder: Explained by Christ

Murder: Forbidden by Mosaic Law

Murder: God: Abominates

Murder: God: Curses Those Guilty of

Murder: God: Makes Inquisition For

Murder: God: Rejects the Prayers of Those Guilty of

Murder: God: Requires Blood For

Murder: God: Will Avenge

Murder: Hatred Is

Murder: Hazael

Murder: Herodias and Her Daughter

Murder: Imputed to the Nearest City when the Murderer Was Unknown

Murder: Ishmael

Murder: Jews

Murder: Jezebel

Murder: Joab

Murder: Joseph's Brethren

Murder: Judas

Murder: Killing a Thief in the Day, Counted As

Murder: Manasseh

Murder: Men of Shechem

Murder: Mode of Clearing Those Suspected of

Murder: Not Concealed from God

Murder: Often Committed by Night

Murder: People of Gilead

Murder: Persons Guilty of Fearful and Cowardly

Murder: Persons Guilty of Flee from God's Presence

Murder: Persons Guilty of had No Protection from Altars

Murder: Persons Guilty of not Protected in Refuge Cities

Murder: Persons Guilty of not to be Pitied or Spared

Murder: Persons Guilty of Wanderers and Vagabonds

Murder: Pharaoh

Murder: Princes of Israel

Murder: Punishment For: Death

Murder: Punishment For: Forbidden

Murder: Punishment For: Inflicted by the Nearest of Kin

Murder: Punishment For: Not to be Commuted

Murder: Punishment For: The Curse of God

Murder: Punishment of

Murder: Punishment of, not Commuted Under the Law

Murder: Rechab

Murder: Represented As a Sin Crying to Heaven

Murder: Saints: Deprecate the Guilt of

Murder: Saints: should Warn Others Against

Murder: Saints: Specially Warned Against

Murder: The Herods

Murder: The Jews often Guilty of

Murder: The Law Made to Restrain

Murder: The Wicked: Devise

Murder: The Wicked: Encourage Others to Commit

Murder: The Wicked: Filled With

Murder: The Wicked: Have Hands Full of

Murder: The Wicked: Intent On

Murder: The Wicked: Lie in Wait to Commit

Murder: The Wicked: Perpetrate

Murder: The Wicked: Swift to Commit

Murder: To be Proved by Two Witnesses at Least

Murder: Why Forbidden by God

Murder: Zimri

Patricide of Sennacherib

Related Terms

Commit (142 Occurrences)


Barabbas (10 Occurrences)

Steal (29 Occurrences)

Homicide (1 Occurrence)

Ones (687 Occurrences)

Insurrection (8 Occurrences)

Ish-bosheth (14 Occurrences)


Ishbosheth (13 Occurrences)

Elah (17 Occurrences)

Murderous (2 Occurrences)

Blood (435 Occurrences)

Massacre (1 Occurrence)

Innocents (2 Occurrences)

Adultery (49 Occurrences)

Ahab (85 Occurrences)

Cain (18 Occurrences)

Joab (128 Occurrences)

Lawbreaker (3 Occurrences)

Liable (7 Occurrences)

Geshur (11 Occurrences)

Transgressor (9 Occurrences)

Tumult (56 Occurrences)

Riot (14 Occurrences)

Deceit (160 Occurrences)

Danger (118 Occurrences)

Murders (7 Occurrences)

Murderer (17 Occurrences)

Magistrate (9 Occurrences)

Manslayer (20 Occurrences)

Covetousness (22 Occurrences)

Commands (216 Occurrences)

Commits (39 Occurrences)

Ammihud (10 Occurrences)

Athaliah (17 Occurrences)

Answerable (7 Occurrences)

And'whoever (1 Occurrence)

Assassination (1 Occurrence)

Anyone (514 Occurrences)

Ancients (17 Occurrences)

Assassinate (3 Occurrences)

Sedition (8 Occurrences)


Refuge (111 Occurrences)

Testimony (175 Occurrences)

Evidence (41 Occurrences)

Honor (240 Occurrences)

Ten (234 Occurrences)

Murdered (25 Occurrences)

Commandments (181 Occurrences)

Committing (30 Occurrences)

Mayest (240 Occurrences)

Thrown (126 Occurrences)

Bloodshed (43 Occurrences)

Court (172 Occurrences)

Prison (131 Occurrences)

Crimes (22 Occurrences)

Benhadad (24 Occurrences)

Lie (291 Occurrences)

Giving (611 Occurrences)

Atonement (112 Occurrences)

Lying (203 Occurrences)

Judgment (430 Occurrences)

Crime (45 Occurrences)

Asking (111 Occurrences)

Stephen (13 Occurrences)

Quarrelsome (9 Occurrences)

Zealous (40 Occurrences)

Zachariah (6 Occurrences)

Zechariah (55 Occurrences)

Kinsman (29 Occurrences)

Nod (2 Occurrences)

Namely (81 Occurrences)


Unrighteousness (57 Occurrences)

Uprising (4 Occurrences)

Offer (403 Occurrences)

Overflowed (14 Occurrences)

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