I was reading a non biblical text that said "there is curses in the shedding of blood." In my effort to determine if the curse ended at the start of the "New covenant," I came upon Deuteronomy 27:24 in which it is written, (NIV)

"Cursed is the man who kills his neighbor secretly."

Can this passage also read "cursed is the man who sheds his neighbors blood secretly?"

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    @Jas3.1,I was trying to find out if the scripture could also read "cursed is the man who sheds his neighbours blood secretly." I was reading a non biblical text that said "there is curses in the shedding of blood."this is what motivated the Question.I will delete if you think i should.
    – Bagpipes
    Jan 14, 2014 at 21:54
  • Bagpiipes, you might want to look also at the account in Genesis 9:5-7 after Noah came off the ark. God told Noah that any animal or person who shed blood of man would give account because man was made int he image of God. Thus anyone whose blood was shed; their blood would be shed. This pre-dates the Mosaic law and is inherent in Creation.
    – user2027
    Jan 14, 2014 at 22:04
  • You are welcome. When you look into the law of God on murder, you find much insight as to the judgement of God on the matter. This is speaking of intentional premeditated murder. Those who accidentally killed were provided a scapegoat.
    – user2027
    Jan 14, 2014 at 22:10

2 Answers 2



Consider that long before the Mosaic law, Cain was cursed because he killed Able.

Notice also the account in Genesis 9:4-7

4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind."

1) Verse 4 defines life as its blood.
2) The parallel phrasing of the rest of the passage demonstrates that the phrase "shedding of blood" is synonymous with taking a life/killing.

These pre-date the Mosaic law and the underlying principle is inherent in Creation.

Avrohom Yitzchok's points out that the passage you inquired about was not considered to address the taking of a life. However elsewhere in the Mosaic law we gain further insight into the judgement of God on the matter of taking a life:

Leviticus 24:21, NKJV:

And whoever kills an animal shall restore it; but whoever kills a man shall be put to death.

We also find some qualification on the issue in Numbers 35:11-30 which indicate that a scapegoat is to be provide for a manslayer who kills accidentally.

  • ,"shedding of blood" refers to taking a life./killing. is what i was trying to establish as well.I was not sure if one person strangled another person, that would be called "shedding of blood."
    – Bagpipes
    Jan 14, 2014 at 22:34
  • Actually, verse 4 demonstrates that fact even more concretely. I edited the answer to include this.
    – user2027
    Jan 15, 2014 at 1:55

The classic Jewish commentator Rashi says

[Scripture] is speaking of [someone who causes harm to his fellow Jew through] slander

quoting Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 53.

  • Can you elaborate the rationale?
    – user862
    Jan 15, 2014 at 5:34
  • @H3br3wHamm3r81 My personal view: Jewish tradition is that slander can destroy a person (similar to shedding his blood). The verse by using the word "secretly" gives the hint to this interpretation. Jan 15, 2014 at 22:37

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