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Suicide - A Christian Perspective continued....


The Bible reflects all human experience, and that includes some suicide cases. In the Old Testament there was Saul, the King of Israel who was seriously wounded in battle with the Philistines. He asked his armour-bearer to kill him, and when his request was refused he 'took a sword and fell on it'(1). His decision was in line with a time-honoured military tradition whereby the taking of one's life avoided the dishonour of being captured or killed by the enemy. It was an early form of the Japanese hara kiri which is a ceremonial form of suicide following shame or failure. A similar thing took place at the end of world-war 2 when Hitler and some of his top generals swallowed poison phials or shot themselves.

One of the most ignoble suicides in all history must have been that of Judas Iscariot after he had betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He had probably hoped that Jesus would miraculously escape from his captors, but when this did not happen he hurried back to his sponsors - the Pharisees - and with bitter remorse returned the money. They did not want to know, so he hanged himself(2).

There was also the Old Testament prophet Elijah, who went into a deep trough of depression when Queen Jezebel threatened to kill him. In his fear and panic he asked God to take his life(3); a request that savoured of a suicidal tendency.

There is a further case in the New Testament where a demon-possessed boy was brought to Jesus for healing. His father reported how the spirits would take his son to the fire and sometimes to the water(4), an obvious reference to the self-destructive urges prompted by occult powers. Then there was the maniac of Gadara, who, when under demon influence would harm himself, by cutting himself with stones(5). After Jesus had delivered him, the spirits went into some pigs and destroyed them.

It must be made clear that not all suicides are by any means the results of occult invasion. The following case histories show various states of mind when people contemplated suicide.

Index to the topic

Suicide - A Christian Perspective
Reasons for Suicide
Attempted Suicides
Is Suicide a Sin?
Preventative Measures

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