"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.
Paul, Yeshua’s apostle teaches us that the reward of sin is death (Romans 3:23). Furthermore John, another apostle teaches that sin is the breaking of the Commandment (1 John 3:4). Yeshua Himself was against even the relaxing of the commandments (Matthew 5:19), and challenged us to be even more righteous than His very conservative brothers (Matthew 5:20), but is it feasible?
Because the breaking of the Torah was so dangerous, the teachers of Israel decided to make fences around Its Commandments. The idea was to proclaim the interdict in a way that it was impossible to break it. It’s like having an important meeting at six thirty, but aware of people’s procrastinating nature, you declare it at six o’clock. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s called wisdom and knowing human nature; we do it all the time; we tell children, “Don’t go in the kitchen” when all we don’t want them to do is touch the knives.
After their return from Babylon, the sages of Israel understood that they had gone to exile because of their breaking of the commandments. They realized that it wasn’t very fun to go to exile, so they adopted the principle of ‘fences’ around the commandments in order to make it more difficult to break them. We must remember that the responsibility of the elders of the Hebrew nation was very great. People did not have Scripture scrolls around their homes in these days. The teachers were the only means by which people could even know what the commandment is. They were like the parents of the people.
God allowed Cain the first murderer to live. As a result, when Lamech (Cain’s great-grand-son) also committed murder he thought that he should get away with it (Genesis 4:23-24). Eventually, after the Great Flood, the Father made it a universal law that murder warranted the death penalty (Genesis 9:6). The idea was that to kill a man was to kill something made in the image of the almighty. It’s like killing your son: you will want revenge for his shed blood. Through Moses, the Father reiterated His position about murder (Numbers 35:30-31) and Yeshua taught us that the ‘fence’ for the sin of murder was anger in the heart (Matthew 5:21-22). When we kill unlawfully, we actually commit murder against ourselves. If the law doesn’t catch us, the true Avenger of blood does. God is a God of justice and mercy: justice for the offender and mercy for the offended.
I told my students one time: how would you feel if you lived in a world where you never had to worry about people lying, killing, stealing, hating and all the likes? They said, “It would be like Heaven!”, to which I responded, “we can have it, by just deciding to obey the Ten Statements written on stone by the finger of God Himself at Mt Sinai.
By the way; why don’t we?