In 2017 alone, an estimated 1.4 million suicide attempts were made out of which 47,173 American were successful, unfortunately. According to WHO, suicide leads to one death every 40 seconds. So, by the time you finish reading the previous statement, a life is lost to suicide. It is quite interesting to note that the act of taking one’s own life – suicide has a quite different connotation in today’s day and age than it used to be in the bygone era. Most will be interested to know what does the bible say about suicide
, given the polarizing nature of this controversial topic.
Suicides in the Bible
Minds that condemn the idea of suicide might find a new and interesting perspective towards the act on the holy pages of the Bible. Contrary to popular beliefs, the Bible not only expresses its opinion on suicide explicitly but also adopts an ambiguous and even positive attitude towards the act. There are six ambiguous instances that suggest successful attempts of suicide in the Bible.
Abimelech, the King of Schechem, was slain by a woman with a millstone. The King ordered his armor bearer to put him to dead with a sword, unable to bear the humiliation of being mortally wounded by a woman. (Judges 9)
Ahitophel, King David’s sagacious councilor, hanged himself to death after betraying King David during Absalom’s Revolt. (2 Samuel 17:23)
King Saul ordered his armor bearer to kill him before the “pagan Philistines” could capture him. Realizing his loyal armor bearer will not do the heinous deed; the king took his on sword and fell on it. The armor-bearer realized his king was he, he too plunged himself onto the King’s sword. (1 Samuel 31)
Zimri usurped the throne by murdering the King and then reigned for a short span of a week. Being surrounded by a military coup and a heat filled with guilt, he set himself ablaze along with his palace. (1 Kings 16:19)
Judas revealed the location of Jesus for a mere pay-off of 30 silver pieces which led to the Crucification of Christ. Filled with guilt and remorse, Judas hanged himself to death. (Matthew 27:3).
Samson, the legendary warrior and judge, possessed astounding physical strength. He demolished the Philistine temple of God Dagon by grasping two pillars, bringing them down, killing his Philistinian captors and himself.
Is Suicide a Sin in the Bible?
Before we go further into answering what the Bible says about suicide, let’s decode the term “sin” from the pages of the Holy Bible. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). The term “lawlessness” has been translated from the Greek term “anomia” meaning without law or against the law. Thus, this quote reveals that the definition of sin is the active violation or conscious rebellion against God’s Laws.
In Biblical context, the one “unpardonable sin” is: “‘Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’—for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit’” (Mark 3:28-30). Simply put, the recurring rejection of the Holy Spirit or attributing its wonders to Satan is the only sin that cannot be forgiven.
One common argument that often coerces people to believe suicide is a sin stems from 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, which states, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” This quote conveys the concept that our body is divine handwork and anyone who attempts to destroy the creation of God is a sinner. However, it is noteworthy that the Bible does not outline suicide as a sin explicitly. Thus, there is just not enough evidence to see suicide through the glasses of censure.
A Place in Hell or Heaven
When one asks what the Bible says about suicide, a complimentary question that pops up is whether a victim of suicide attains a place in hell for he has sinned? Let’s answer this question with a signification Biblical quote from (1 John 2:1-2): “...And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world”. This reveals that upon acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and truly repenting for one’s sins, all sins are forgiven. So, even if one considers suicide a sin, it might not mean that one who commits the crime will scorch in hellfire.
This is all what does the bible say about suicide
. We hope this truth offers some comfort to all who are grieving the deaths of their closed ones who had committed suicide, and also, those who are seeking answers for it in Bible.