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Why did David kill the Philistines if God commands in the 10 commandments not to commit murder?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked 10 days ago Final avatar Nicola Calitz

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The Bible recognizes that killing in warfare causes death, which is why God did not permit David (as a man of war) to build the temple as David had wanted to do (1 Chronicles 22:8). However, killing in war (that is, in state-sponsored combat, especially with respect to biblical Israel) is/was also not the same as murder as forbidden by the Fifth Commandment.

In the Bible, particularly, the nation of Israel was continually confronted by adversarial tribes or nations (such as the Philistines) who, in opposing and seeking to destroy God's chosen people, were combatting against God Himself. That was why countermeasures up to and including the killing and destruction of those enemies were justified as carrying out God's will.

Murder, by contrast, is a private, personal action. In fact, as later elaborated on by Jesus, God regards unjustified anger against another person (even without the actual taking of a life) as the equivalent of murder (Matthew 5:22).

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