Is hate also murder?

Question: “Does God consider hate equal to the seriousness of murder? If yes, why?”

Bible Answers

The sixth commandment of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17) says You shall not murder (NIV), while the KJV says, Thou shall not kill. While murder and kill may appear to be very similar words, the difference is very important. Kill is to cause the death of any living thing (person, animal, insect, and even bacteria).  The Hebrew word “ratsach” actually means to murder.  Murder is making a decision as to who (person) should die instead of God deciding.  When we decide that someone should die, we are replacing God.  We are judging another person when the Bible clearly says only God is to judge.

There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor (James 4:12)?  Click for more on judging.

But God goes a step further.  He says that we can murder someone without actually killing them.

Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). When we hate someone, we are considered a murderer because the word hate means not loving.  Love is from God and hate is of the devil.  God considers hate so serious that He says that those who refuse to repent – forgive, have no eternal life in them.  When we judge and hate, we are acting on behalf of Satan.

Why did Jesus call Peter, one of His disciples, Satan? But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23). Without knowing it, Peter was speaking for Satan. Jesus had just revealed His plan to His disciples, that He was going to Jerusalem to suffer and die and Peter tried to stop Him because Satan didn’t want Him to save mankind.

We only have two choices.  We can hate or we can love. But you do not know how bad that political candidate is or you do not know my boss, or even my wife. Again, you either hate them or love them. Who will be in control? Remember that God is God, and you are not god.

Keep on forgiving and you will be forgiven.  Forgiving releases hatred and brings freedom.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:15).

Jesus also said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 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 (Matthew 5:21-22). He also said, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by thy words you shall be condemned" (Mt.12:36-37). We are expected to look like Jesus who is in us and when we fail, we need to remember to always repent and be cleansed.

How often are we to forgive our brother? Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22). In other words, keep on forgiving and you will be forgiven.

Hatred and unforgiveness equates to murder and is giving Satan control of your life. While giving the problem to God and forgiving is putting God in control of your life. Who do you want to control your life? Trust God sufficiently to turn your hatred and unforgiveness over to Him.  When you pray, thank Jesus for the freedom that comes when you Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Click for info on unforgiveness.

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