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50. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
 Helias said: “O Lord, as previously, I say now: Whoever does what You want, is verily not sinning! And as such I take the fifth commandment of Moses and say: It is written: ‘You shall not kill!’ I just take the simple law for my critical consideration and for the time being am not concerned about the explanation which Moses and also another prophet had given; since a truly divine commandment must in its simplest form contain what is useful for any reasonable person. But this commandment does not contain this at all, and therefore a thinking person cannot possibly say and state anything else, other than that this is either a human product or – only later for the sake of making war – that something has been left out by someone.
 You shall not kill! Firstly, who is actually “you”, who should not kill? Is this applicable for every person irrespective gender, age and social standing or only for the male gender and for a particular age and for a particular social standing? And secondly: Whom or what should actually not be killed? Only people or also animals? According to my judgment neither one or the other is meant by it.
 Not the killing of people, since Joshua already had destroyed the city of Jericho and killed all citizens on the instruction of Jehovah. The slaughter of the idol priests by the hand of the great prophet Elijah is well known. Then let’s look at King David, the man after the heart of God, not even thinking about all the others! How many thousands and hundreds of thousands have been killed by him and how many are still being killed each year! The mighty of the earth have still, despite the complete categorically proclaimed divine law, the fullest right from God, to kill their fellow man. And as such, this law only concerns the oppressed, poor human devils. To what extent this law also concerns women, cannot be estimated, although it can be shown in Chronicles, that women also have used the sword, and how!
 If we poor people should not kill animals, is, from my point of view, not even worth discussing; since nature teaches man, that he without difference of social standing, gender and age must protect himself against the many dangerous animals, if he does not want to be attacked, torn to pieces and be eaten by savage beasts which have proliferated everywhere.
 You shall not kill! But if I were attacked by a wild way robber, who wants to rob me and will surely kill me, but I, as the one being attacked, have the strength, courage and a weapon to kill him in the moment he delivers the final death blow, what should I do? Self-defense should have been expressed in the law where it says: ‘You should not kill, except in case of extreme self-defense!’ But no, the law does not mention one syllable about that! It very simply says: ‘You shall not kill!’ But if the simple law reads like this, where is the divine love and wisdom contained therein, who must have actually known, under which surely extremely sorry circumstances the people on this earth have to go through?
 Why did God give such a law and then He Himself instructed David, to completely annihilate the Philistines and Moabites? Why was Judith allowed to kill Holofernes, and why I am not allowed to take without sin someone’s life? Who gave the Egyptians, the Greek and the Romans the right to kill everyone who in an extreme manner sins against their law?”
 Here she turned around to see the reaction of her criticism in the faces of the others.
 Nearly all agreed with her and one of the Pharisees who also was a scribe, said: “Yes, yes, regarding this matter and viewed with our human concepts, one cannot completely disagree with
this beautiful child; since literally taken this is what this main commandment actually means, although later on in the book of Moses it has been explained how this commandment is to be taken and to be held. But a primitive main- and basic law should verily contain the essentials for which it stands, at least with the most necessary incidental circumstances already expressed ithin; since each subsequent and additional explanation and greater completion of a law once given, appears to say that the legislator during the proclamation of the basic law, did not think of everything, what he actually intended to achieve by the commandment.
 Now, if people make laws, this is understandable, since in their thinking and intentions there can be no clear divine perfection, and therefore it is completely natural that with human laws, all sorts of additions and explanations start to appear afterwards; but with a truly divine law verily no gaps are supposed to appear, requiring all kinds of additions and explanations! Yes, considering the matter in this way, regarding the law of Moses one can verily get the idea, that it is either no divine law at all, or that it has been badly disfigured by the selfish evil will of people. However, having said this, I do not want to judge the law, but only expresses my surely still very
 I said: “Yes, for sure; since when you judge My laws with human sense, then surely you must find gaps and shortcomings therein. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you will not hate
him, not treat him with hostility and not harm to him; but if you do this, even less so would you try to ever kill him, either physically or even to a lesser extent emotionally by all kinds of nuisances.
 You shall not kill! This is absolutely correct and true stated in the law. But why? Because since the very beginning, under ‘kill’ is understood: jealousy, enviousness, rage, hatred and revenge.
 ‘You shall not kill!’ therefore means: You should not envy anybody, you should not look at the more fortunate with askance eyes and you should not burn with anger against your fellow man; since anger breeds hate, and from hate arises the evil revenge destroying everything!
 It also is written: “Mine is the anger and Mine is the revenge, says the Lord.”
 But you people should respect each other in all love, and one should do good to the other; since you all have in Me one Father and are therefore equal before Me! You should not annoy and curse each other and the one should not through bad lies cut off the honor of the other; since who does that, kills the soul of his fellow man!
 And see, all that is in shortly expressed with ‘You shall not kill!’ And the first Jews, also during the times of Solomon, did not understand this law any other way, and the Samaritans as the old Jews, still understand it today in the same manner. If this law from its foundation is understood only like this, how can anyone assume that through this law man is forbidden to defend himself against evil people and even savage animals?”
 Helias said: “Yes, Lord, we all surely understand this now quite properly, since You have explained it to us in the most perfect and most true manner; but without this Your most merciful explanation, we would not be able to understand it so easily. Why did Moses not immediately give such an explanation together with the law? Since he as a prophet must have seen this coming that the later Jews would not understand this simple image of the law as the Jews of his own time understood it.”
 I said: “Yes, you My dear critic, Moses surely new this, and therefore he wrote down a large number of explanations for the future; but that you haven’t read them yet, is not the fault of Moses nor Me.
 But your criticism was still very good, since you identified the shortcomings and gaps, which indeed do not exist in the law, but more so in your understanding, and in order to level them, I allow you to criticize the old law of Moses.
 And since we in this way have purified the fifth commandment, you can start with the sixth commandment and also show us certain shortcomings and gaps, if you have identified any. And so speak!” (GGJ Book 16, chap. 50)
CHAPTER 78 The fifth commandment in the fifth hall - spiritually explained
 You once again see a tablet installed in this fifth hall, and on it is written in an easy readable script: "Thou shalt not kill." If you consider this commandment only somewhat moderately and then consider the history of the Israelite people, your eyes would have to more than triple cross, if you would not see it at the first moment that there is a strange problem with this commandment "thou shalt not kill!" How, where, when, and what?
 What does "kill" mean anyway? Does killing kill the body or deprive the spirit of its heavenly life force? If killing is restricted to the human body, the killing of the spirit cannot possibly be meant by it; for it is said that every man should certainly kill his flesh in order to enliven the spirit, just as the Lord Himself speaks: "Whoever loves his life, that is the life of the flesh, he will lose it; but whoever loses it for My sake, will receive it. "
 Likewise, this is also evident in the nature of things. If the outer bark or pod of a fruit would not die, the fruit will not come to any living germination. But it is clear from all this that the killing of the flesh cannot at the same time be the killing of the spirit. But if this law is understood merely as the killing of the spirit, then who is sure of his physical life?
 It is in contrast, well known to all that the prevalent contemporary multifarious exaltation of the flesh, is nothing but the "killing of the spirit." If you would compare it to the history of the Israelite people to whom, as you would say, these laws were freshly baked, you will find the strange contrast that the lawgiver Moses himself, was the first to have many Israelites killed; and his successors had to do the same with transgressors of the law.
 "Thou shalt not kill "- this law was as good as all the others in the ark of the covenant. But what did the whole Israelite army do when it entered the Promised Land, with the former inhabitants of that land? What did even David do, the man after the heart of God? What about the greatest prophet Elijah? - See, they all killed, and very often, and often quite cruelly.
 Whoever is of a sober and unbiased spirit, does not have to pronounce the judgment in himself and say: What is this commandment, against which, as otherwise against none, even the first prophets appointed by God were obliged to act?
 Such a commandment is as good as none. Even in our times, the killing of brothers in war is even a matter of honor! Yes, the Lord Himself kills legions of human beings day after day; and yet it says: "Thou shalt not kill!" and David had even had a military commander killed, for he had spared a place which had to be destroyed, despite the swearing of an oath.
 Good, I say, so it is with the commandment on earth. But here we see it in the heavenly realm, where one being cannot kill the other anymore, and certainly no one will even remotely conceive the slightest thought of killing anyone. So why is it written here on the board? For example, from a purely historical point of view, so that the students should learn here, what commandments have been given on earth? Or should these very good-natured children's spirits, for some time be brought into a lust for murder by this commandment, to then fight against it in themselves? You could indeed accept that; but what conclusion or end result will you get from this? I say to you nothing else than: If the murder-lust must finally be removed from the children, if they have proven themselves as sufficiently resistant against murder lust according to the law, one must assume also that they would not have gained or lost anything thereby, as if they had never been filled with the lust for murder.
 But I see that in this thorough account of the matter you do not know what you are supposed to do with this commandment. Do not worry; just a few words will suffice to put everything that is doubtful in the clearest light before you, and the law will be just as worthy as on earth, even in heaven, as a sun shines in the sky!
 But for you to grasp the following explanation easily and thoroughly, I only point out to you that in God the eternal preservation of the created spirits is the unchangeable basic condition of all Divine order. Now if you know that, look for the opposite, that is, for the destruction; and you have the full spiritual and physical implication of the commandment before you.
 Instead of saying: Thou shalt not kill, one should say: thou shalt not destroy, neither thyself, nor all that which is thy brother's; for preservation is the eternal basic law in God Himself, according to which He is eternal and infinite in His power. But since on the earth also the human body is necessary for the everlasting education of the spirit until God's appointed time, without an explicit command of God, no one has the right to willfully destroy neither his own body nor that of his brother.
 So, when we speak of the required preservation, it goes without saying that everyone is just as little entitled to destroy the spirit of his brother as his own by whatever means and make one unfit for the attainment of eternal life. God, of course, kills human bodies every day; but at the right time, when the spirit has matured in some or the other way. Even the angels of heaven, as perpetual servants of God, kill the bodies of men on earth; but not unless they are commanded by the Lord, and then only in the way the Lord wants it.
 In this way do the children here learn in spiritually practical ways in which the preservation of created things consists, and how, united with the will of the Lord, it must always be handled with the utmost care. And if you have understood this only to some extent, it will certainly be plausible to see for yourself, firstly the great dignity of this law, and secondly why it also occurs here in the realm of the heavenly children's spirits. But since we know such things, we can immediately go to the sixth room. (Spiritual Sun, vol. 2)
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