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what does the Bible really say about suicide?

Updated on April 23, 2012

Let's start by looking at the seven cases of suicide in the Bible.

1. The first case is a man anmed Abimilech in the Old Testament. He decided to speed up his eventual demise at the hand of his assistant. He did this so no one could accuse him of being killed by a woman: the worst kind of shame. Abimelech called hastily unto the young man his armour-bearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died Judges 9:24

2. We all know the story of Samson. In a last ditch effort to fix what he'd done, Samson took the lives of his captors while also taking his own life. In his death, he killed more Philistines than he had in his entire life. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed with all his might; and the house fell...upon all the people that were therein Judges 16:30

3. Saul was the first king of Israel. He was known as a man of bravery, godliness, and strength. In his last years alive, however, he turned from God, lost the respect of his men, and died a coward. Saul took a sword and fell on it 1 Samuel 31:4

4. Saul's assistant also committed suicide, seeing his king was now dead. When [Saul's] armour-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died 1 Samuel 31:5

5. This is one of the most disastrous stories in the Bible. Ahithophel is Bathsheba's grand father. He watched king David steal Bathsheba from Uriah, murder Uriah, and ruin his grand-daighter's life. Later Ahithophel attempts to get revenge upon David, but is not able to see David killed. His hate ended his own life. When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, him home to his house, to his city, and put his house in order, and hanged himself, and died 2 Samuel 17:23

6. Zimri took his own life in a similar circumstance to the first few we read. These men attempt to avoid death, judgment, etc by taking their own lives. He did it in such a way that was even more painful: burning to death. It came to pass, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the palace of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died 1 Kings 16:18

7. The most well known suicide in the Bible is Judas'. He sold the Saviour. In realizing what he'd done he attempted to unsell Jesus, but was unable. He decided to take his own life by hanging over a cliff. [Judas] cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself Matthew 27:5

It is clear that the Bible doesn't stear clear of the subject. Every case is detailed clearly. God allowed us to have a look into the hearts of these men. We may not truly know theyr motives, intentions, or thoughts, but we do see people at the end of their ropes. God's Word doesn't condone suicide. The Bible clearly denounces the taking of human life, including your own. The Bible isn't just full of stories of suicide, but stories of triumph. Many men and women in the Bible were depressed, but found a way to regain their joy, lives, and families. The real question should be "how can I use God's Word to regain my joy, balance, purpose so as to avoid suicide? That question has a simple answer: read it.


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    • Knowledge>Power profile image

      Knowledge>Power 5 years ago from USA

      Samson's case is on the line for sure. I believe his is as close to a noble death as you'll find on the list. I only consider it suicide on a definition basis: ie his actions took his own life, albeit as a POW. I'd say it's only a suicide by definition not in the spirit of it

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 5 years ago

      Very interesting. You've done research that I hadn't about a very important issue.

      I take exception to judging Samson's actions as simply a suicide, however. I consider he died in battle actually.

      Much food for thought here.

      Rated interesting and voted UP.