What Does the Bible Teach About Self Defense?

In Psalm 149:6–7, David, a man after Elohim’s own heart, speaking of the saints wrote, “Let the high praises of El be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people.” Was David’s statement merely poetic hyperbole, or was this how he, as the king and a spiritual shepherd of Israel, literally defended the people YHVH had placed under his charge? We know from his life story that the latter was the case.


When Abraham, the father of the faithful and a man who was the model of righteousness had his nephew Lot kidnapped what was his response? Does Scripture record that he prayed, then sat down expecting YHVH to supernaturally intervene and cause the Babylonians to release Lot? No. His response was to muster the 318 soldiers of his own personal army and to pursue the five kings. What was the result? YHVH granted Abraham a miraculous victory over Lot’s captors and Abraham gave a tithe of the spoils of war to Melchizekek (Gen 14).

The Torah, YHVH’s divine instructions in righteousness, in Exodus 22:2, permits and even expects a man to defend himself against a thief breaking into his home. If the defense of one’s home results in the death of the thief, there is no retribution against the defender. There are no penalties or prohibitions in biblical law against a man acting in self defense.

The well-known Aaronic Blessings (Num 6:22–27) contains the following words, “May Continue reading