How did wise King Solomon punish a convicted killer vs. USA Christian inspired punishments?
Most people who study history understand the vast differences of methods used in ancient times to punish a killer. Many methods far more cruel than King Solomon’s.
One thousand years after King Solomon preached Wisdom, Jesus Christ preached Love, forgiveness, and mercy. For condemned killers, many Christians do not believe the death penalty is warranted if the killer is arrested, and there no longer is any danger posed by the killer.
Killing someone in self-defense is not considered by Christians to be sinful or in violation of the commandment “do not kill.”
The subject and purpose of this post is to compare wisdom of ancient proverbs of King Solomon for an interested reader to consider if present USA punishment for a killer is wise or foolish.
The following are Excerpts of conversations I surmised, based on proverbs, what King Solomon may have explained his wisdom to the Queen of Sheba. The novel is a contemporary application to promote why ancient wisdom and proverbs are still relevant in our modern world.
I ordered the guards. “Take him to the city gate and allow his rightful accuser to avenge the murder of his son by placing the rope upon his neck and hang him. Allow his body to be hung until dusk so as not to defile our land. God’s curse rests on him who allows someone to hang from a tree overnight.”
Do not pity him as he hangs; purge him who sheds blood upon our land. He would have forever been a fugitive and burdened with another man’s blood. It is futile to stay the final event that will eventually occur and cannot be stopped, which will be his own death and final judgment of Yahweh. Anyone who commits premeditated murder sentences himself and orders his own steps to the Pit.” A man burdened with another’s life-blood is running away towards the Pit. He is not to be stopped. (Proverb 28:17)
“(Bilqis)Your suggestion of confinement as an alternative means of punishment is valid but not always practical. The issue a community must face when they confine a person is the burden of feeding and guarding them. They must find a way for the prisoner to produce something of value to pay for their keep. If they do not, they will in effect be punishing the righteous that must work to pay for the subsidence of the wicked. Often, the prisoners wind up suffering more as slave laborers with cruel overseers who whip them anyway to maintain order. Remember also that punishment teaches others by example. Weal markings upon backs serve to remind all the consequences of their actions.”
“However Bilqis, keep this in mind as you rule. We live in a non-perfect community of humankind and as leaders have a responsibility to maintain order in our communities. We try to emulate Yahweh with our justice. We first strive to be understanding, loving, and merciful in our dealings with each other. When that is not effective because we are dealing with fools, we punish the fools according to our laws to maintain order in our community. Our corporal punishments do not inflict lasting pain that will cause a permanent impairment to prevent the punished from continuing to earn an honest livelihood.”
What’s My Point?
The USA is basically a Christian influenced Federalist Nation that allows individual States to choose whether or not to instill Capital Punishment. The death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states (and DC). As of January 1, 2018, there were 2,816 death row inmates in the United States.
The legal costs of litigations and appeals process is very costly and takes years before an execution will be, if ever, carried out. Some States have decided it is less costly to jail a killer than pay all the legal expenses to execute convicted killers.
In a previous post titled, King Solomon, Made in USA by Prisoners, I explained it costs between 30,000 to 60,000 dollars a year to jail a prisoner, and my reasoning prisoners should be required to work in prison to pay for their upkeep. Using the 19 year-old Florida killer in today’s news as an example, to imprison him for life, I conservatively estimate it will cost taxpayers approximately three million dollars in today’s dollars.
In another post titled, King Solomon, Killer Fools, I explained why news media should describe killers as fools to prevent copy-cats be inspired by attention seeking killers to be motivated to kill.
My point being that 3000 years ago, punishment was swift and decisive to make killers examples to deter others to fear punishments.
Their reasoning was after someone was convicted and judged to serve in prison, the prisoners were required to work to pay for their upkeep. Our Christian reasoning is to imprison people in order to provide them “an incentive and help to change his or her behavior and be rehabilitated,” or “be allowed time to atone and seek forgiveness before their time comes to be judged by their Creator.”
In My Opinion
I believe it would be much wiser to have a convicted killer decide whether he wants to be executed or serve a life sentence which would require them to labor to pay for their keep as an example to others what to expect if they kill another human.
The only exception being if the killer is proven to have a mental illness. For them, once they recover their sanity, if ever, consider their circumstances individually than you would for a killer who kills for anger, material gain, etc. etc.
Would it be legal to give a killer a choice? Anything can be decided to be legal by choice in the USA if you consider abortion and euthanasia are both now considered legal in some States.
By making a killer an example, and allow them to make their own choice of death or being required to labor hard for the rest of their lives to support their keep, it may deter others from becoming killers, and at the same time allow them time to repent before they meet their maker.
If they refuse to labor, use incentives same as all USA workers are motivated to work in order to feed ourselves and families every day to obtain reasonable comfort and enjoyment of life.
While at the same time, we pay rightful taxes according to this explanation.
Rightful taxation is the price of social order. In other words, it is that portion of the citizen’s property which he yields up to the government in order to provide for the protection of all the rest. It is not to be wantonly levied on the citizen, nor levied at all except in return for benefits conferred. ~Journal of the Senate of the State of Ohio: Being the First Session of the Forty-Sixth General Assembly, held in the city of Columbus, commencing on December 6, 1847, Vol. XLVI, reported by Mr. Archbold.
Allow killers to choose execution or life Imprisonment with hard labor to be made an example to deter killers, Wise or Foolish?
Continue present policy of requiring working taxpayers pay for killers’ life imprisonment costs, Wise or Foolish?
Is it rightful taxation for you and me to work to pay prison costs to save the life of a killer, or should they work in prison for life to pay the costs? Wise or Foolish?
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Cost Estimate to Imprison 19 year old for life as follows
78 current average life expediency minus 19 years of age equals 58 years time $50,000 a year.