Suicides in The Bible

The Bible is known as the world’s greatest compilation of stories of wonder, hope, and unconditional love. However, the Bible also contains the shortcomings of life.  Once inside, stories of loneliness, desperation, and hopelessness are found. Suicide is considered one of the greatest sins in the Bible. This act is also currently plaguing the world without discriminating the class and race.

In the heat of the moment, emotional lapses begin to break a person’s better judgment. The person commits a decision that is both tragic and unfortunate. The Bible tells a few accounts of suicides that aren’t due to prolonged loneliness and suffering. Instead, it is an urge of sudden desperation in moments of guilt, helplessness, and even sacrifice. In this article, we’ll discuss stories of suicides from the Bible.

Judas Iscariot

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See you to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. – Matthew 27: 3-5

Probably the most prominent story of taking one’s life is of Judas Iscariot. He was one of Jesus’s disciples. Although Jesus’s twelve disciples were not perfect, all of them displayed loyalty to Jesus Christ. However, Judas sealed his own fate and will always be remembered for his act of betrayal. For 30 pieces of silver, Judas went to the priests of the Temple and offered to hand him over to the Roman soldiers. He led them to the Garden of Gethsemane and identified Jesus by kissing him and calling him, Rabbi. He immediately regretted his decision and returned the silver to the priests. In a decisive instance, he hanged himself as repentance.

Saul, The First King of Israel

Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me. But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. – 1 Samuel 31:4

Unlike other kings and royalty, Saul stopped trusting God during his reign. He disobeyed God by failing to complete an order of destroying the Amalekites and all of their earthly possessions. He also began to depend on the soothsayers. As Saul disobeyed God, his Kingship was withdrawn, and God sent Samuel the Prophet to choose David as the next King of Israel. However, during his reign, Saul celebrated David’s victory over the Philistine giant and other triumphs. As he became jealous, Saul plotted revenge towards David. While David was in hiding, Saul lost the battle with the Philistines. As he didn’t want to die in the hands of the enemy, he falls on his own swords to end his life.

Samson

Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. – Judges 16:30

Samson was known for his incredible feats of strength that came from his hair. He was also blindly in love with Delilah. Later, she discovered the source of his power and used it against him. His long hair was shaved. Samson was also tortured and had his eyes gouged out. They took him as a prisoner, grinding grain for the Philistines. One day he was brought to the Temple of Dagon to entertain the Philistines. Samson called out to God to give him the strength to defeat his nation’s enemy. With one thunderous blow, the temple came to rubble and dust. Some would say that this act of greatness is not one’s choice of taking his own life. Instead, it was a sacrifice so that others may live in peace.

Abimelech

Then he called quickly to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that it will not be said of me, ‘A woman slew him.’” So [a]the young man pierced him through, and he died. – Judges 9:54

King Abimelech’s death was God’s punishment for his evil deeds. During the battle, a woman dropped a grinding stone that landed on his head, crushing his skull. He called his armor-bearer and commanded him to draw his own sword and kill him. He didn’t want people to know that a woman was responsible for his death.

Ahitophel

When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and returned to his house in his hometown. After setting his household in order, he hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the grave of his father. – 2 Samuel 17:23

He was King David’s advisor who joins David’s son Absalom in revolt. Later, he realized that King David is going to win after, after listening to Hushai’s advise to Absalom. He felt disgraced and humiliated. Knowing that they will lose the revolt and hanged himself.

Zimri

When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the royal palace and set the palace on fire around him. So he died, 19 because of the sins he had committed – 1 Kings 16:18

He was the chariot commander that brought death to King Elah and all of his loved ones at Tirzah, Zimri was then put to the throne. However, he only ruled for seven days as the army chose Omri to be their king. Seeing that there is no way out, he set the palace on fire and killed himself in flames.

In some accounts, righteousness people are seen to express their desire of taking their own lives but none of them committed to the tragic incident. Some of them include Elijah, Jeremiah, Jonah, and Paul. Suffering from an overwhelming amount of physical and emotional difficulties, Paul articulated his desire to die. However, he went on and lived his life for the service of God, preaching the people.

Important: Suicide is a significant matter in society and is a crucial argument in the Bible. During ancient times, the connotation of suicide is a desperate means of salvaging one’s honor and dignity. As recommended by psychologists worldwide, individuals with suicidal tendencies need to seek help. Also, it is worth noting that the examples mentioned above are for educational and informational purposes only.

 

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