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Bible - Pro & Con

Full List of Scriptures on Self-Defense

Listed alphabetically.
Citations from the Catholic Deuterocanonicals are included in this list.
Passages presented here are used to support and oppose self-defense.

1 Samuel 13:19-23 – Now there was no blacksmith to be found throughout all the land of Israel, for the Philistines said, “Lest the Hebrews make themselves swords or spears.”…So on the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand …

1 Samuel 25:13 – And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. …

1 Samuel 8:11 – He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots…

1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

2 Corinthians 6:7 – By truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left;

Acts 20:28 – Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God…

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 – For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; …a time to kill, and a time to heal; …

Ephesians 6:12 – For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers…

Esther 8:11-12 – By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives -- to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions...

Esther 9:1-5 – ... the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them. The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people ... Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, ...

Exodus 21:24-25 – Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Exodus 22:2-3 – If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him…

Ezekiel 33:6 – But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn…

Genesis 9:5-6 – … From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.”

Joel 3:10 - Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

John 18:36 – Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Judges 5:8 – When new gods were chosen, then war was in the gates. Was shield or spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel?

Luke 11:21-22 – When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe…

Luke 22:36 – He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

Luke 3:14 – Then some soldiers asked him [John the Baptist], "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay."

Luke 6:27-31 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you”

Matthew 10:16 - “Behold I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.”

Matthew 10:34-39 – “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 21:12–17, 21:23–27, Mark 11:15–19, 11:27–33, Luke 19:45–48, 20:1–8, John 2:13–16 Jesus drives out the moneychangers; cleansing of the temple; Jesus uses pre-meditated violence.

Matthew 26:52-54 – Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword…"

Matthew 5:1-48 – The Beatitudes.

Matthew 5:19 – Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom…

Matthew 5:38-39 – You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Luke 6:27–31)

Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10 – Jesus heals the centurion's servant

Nehemiah 4:8-13 – … And we prayed to our God and set a guard as a protection…

Nehemiah 4:17-18 – … Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way that each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other. And each of the builders had his sword strapped at his side while he built. …

Numbers 1:3 – From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company.

Numbers 31:3 – So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord's vengeance on Midian."

Proverbs 17:19 – He who loves to quarrel loves sin...

Proverbs 24:11 – Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.

Proverbs 25:26 – Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.

Proverbs 25:28 – A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

Psalm 144:1 – Of David. Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

Psalm 44:6-7 – I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.

Psalm 82:4 – Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Romans 12:19 – Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Romans 13:4 – For he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.

Sirach 4:9, 28 – Deliver the oppressed from their oppressors; right judgment should not be repugnant to you. Even to the death, fight for what is right, and the LORD will do battle for you.