“I was taught that ‘thou shalt not kill’ should be translated ‘thou shalt not commit murder.’ Any help on that issue?”
This is often taught to make Exodus 20:13 compatible with the capital punishment taught in Genesis 9:6. But the Hebrew word for “kill” in Exodus 20:13 is sometimes used in reference to committing manslaughter (Num. 35:6,12), which is not the same as murder.
The compatibility of Genesis 9:6 and Exodus 20:13 is always found in the context of verses that seem to suggest they are incompatible. God sees a difference between murder and manslaughter (Num. 35:15-23). He also sees a difference between the cold-blooded murder of an innocent victim and the orderly execution of a guilty murderer by the government.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.