The Westminster Larger Catechism

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Question 136

Q136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves,1 or of others,2 except in case of public justice,3 lawful war,4 or necessary defence;5 the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life;6 sinful anger,7 hatred,8 envy,9 desire of revenge;10 all excessive passions,11 distracting cares;12 immoderate use of meat, drink,13 labor,14 and recreations;15 provoking words,16 oppression,17 quarreling,18 striking, wounding,19 and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.20

1 Acts 16:28: But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here."

2 Genesis 9:6: Whoever sheds the blood of man,by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.

3 Numbers 35:31, 33: Moreover, you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer, who is guilty of death, but he shall be put to death. ... You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.

4 Jeremiah 48:10: Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed. Deuteronomy 20:1: When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

5 Exodus 22:2-3: If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

6 Matthew 25:42-43: For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.James 2:15-16: If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? Ecclesiastes 6:1-2: There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.

7 Matthew 5:22: But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.

8 1 John 3:15: Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

9 Proverbs 14:30: A tranquil[a] heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

10 Romans 12:19: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

11 Ephesians 4:31: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

12 Matthew 6:31, 34: Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" ... Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

13 Luke 21:34: But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. Romans 13:13: Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.

14 Ecclesiastes 12:12: My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 2:22-23: What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

15 Isaiah 5:12: They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord, or see the work of his hands.

16 Proverbs 15:1: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

17 Ezekiel 18:18: As for his father, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother, and did what is not good among his people, behold, he shall die for his iniquity. Exodus 1:14: And made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.

18 Galatians 5:15: But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

19 Numbers 35:16-18, 21: But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. ... Or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.

20 Exodus 21:18-36: When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed. When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money. When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. If it gores a man's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

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