In Proverbs 6, the writer lists 7 things that God hates.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. - Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV

I don't think there is a contradiction, but it seems that there is a tension when compared to Psalm 51:5 and 58:3

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. - Psalm 51:5 ESV

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies. - Psalm 58:3 ESV

Who are the innocent mentioned in the proverb if no one is innocent by the verses in the Psalms?

I also think Jesus' words could be considered here also when talking about little children.

but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. - Matthew 18:6

Are these little children an example of the innocent?

1 Answer 1


We should be careful to keep two things clearly separate. As pointed out in Ps 51:5 and 58:3 (we could also add Rom 3:10-18, 22-25) "all have sinned" and so all are guilty before God.

HOWEVER, the fact that all have sinned does not make any one person guilty of a crime they have not committed. Thus, there is a difference between general human depravity and sinfulness (as per Ps 51:5, 58:3;Rom 3:10-18, 22-25) and civil crimes.

FURTHER, God ONLY is the judge of spiritual sinfulness and arranging our salvation, while civil governments are responsible for keeping civil order as Paul is at pains to point out in Rom 13:1-7. See also Matt 22:15-22, Mark 12:13-17, Luke 20:20-26, Titus 3:1, 1 Peter 2:13-17.

Therefore, while we are all sinners and guilty before God, we are not guilty of civil crimes unless we have actually committed those crimes. Prov 6:16-19 is discussing civil affairs not general human sinfulness. "Shedding innocent blood" I take to mean executing someone for a crime they did not commit, or, simply murdering a person and thus breaking the 6th commandment.

  • Thank you for the response. I had come to a similar conclusion soon after posting this but I wanted to leave it open. Do you think the shedding of innocent blood in Proverbs could also refer to the unborn or is that a stretch?
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 22:26
  • I will betray my bias by answering "yes" but that does not mean that all abortion is wrong, although the vast number are definitely wrong! There are rare cases where abortion is unavoidable but these are very rare compared to the huge numbers of unborn babies killed for no good reason.
    – user25930
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 23:19
  • The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Say to the people of Israel, Any one of the people of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones. I myself will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people, because he has given one of his children to Molech, to make my sanctuary unclean and to profane my holy name.
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 23:27
  • And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech, and do not put him to death, then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech” (Leviticus 20:1–5).
    – WnGatRC456
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 23:28
  • 1
    I think you are correct but the law still defines an abort as an abortion. nevertheless, I believe we agree.
    – user25930
    Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 1:02

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