Self-defense can become a very emotionally charged issue depending upon how one approaches it. This study will hopefully lay a firm foundation as to how it should be approached and exactly what our defense should be as children of Almighty Yahweh.

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines self-defense as;

"The act of defending one's own person, property, or reputation."


Defense of Reputation

Here is what the New Testament teaches concerning defending our reputation.

"Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." 1 Corinthians 4:11-13

"Being defamed" means our reputation is under attack through blasphemy or speaking evil of us. The believer does not fight back and try to defend his reputation and restore his good name. Instead, "we entreat". That is, we entreat Yahweh to deliver us from those who would defame us.

"For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward Elohim endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with Elohim. For even hereunto were you called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:" 1 Peter 2:19-23

Messiah Yeshua is our example. When he was reviled, spoken evil of, reproached, heaped upon with abuse, he did not revile back, but suffered unjustly. Although he did nothing to deserve such abuse and defamation, he took it patiently and committed himself to Yahweh.

"Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go to law one with another. Why do you not rather take wrong? Why do you not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? No, you do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren." 1 Corinthians 6:7, 8

We are at fault and do wrong to try and defend ourselves in a court of law when a brother defrauds us. Instead of defending ourselves or have lawyers defend us, we are to suffer unjustly at the hands of those who would defraud us or destroy our reputations.

The New Testament teachings concerning defending our reputations are not easy to do, especially when we walk in the flesh and not allow the Spirit of Yahweh to direct our hearts. The carnal mind will fight back, the spiritual mind will commit the situation to Yahweh and let Him defend us. In all things we are to have the mind of Messiah.

What about the rest of Webster's definition? Is it acceptable in Yahweh's sight to defend our person and property? Let's look at defense of property first.


Defense of Property

"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft." Ex 22:2-3

This passage is heavily relied upon by those who think it is acceptable to kill a thief in their home. It does not matter to such people whether the intruder is only a thief as opposed to a rapist or murderer. After all, who can discern the intent of an intruder's heart under such conditions?

If the intruder was indeed only a thief, here is what Proverbs 6:30-31 has to say about him:

"Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house."

If we find a thief in our home who is stealing to feed himself or possibly his family, we are not to kill him. Instead, the thief is to give to us seven times more than he tried to steal. However, how is one to know if the thief was stealing because of hunger? This brings us back to Ex 22:2-3.

"If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft." Ex 22:2-3

If a thief breaks into our house at night and we kill him, Yahweh will not hold us guilty of shedding the thief's blood. However, if the break-in occurs during the day and we kill the thief, then we are guilty of murder. Yahweh expects a daytime thief to make restitution upon being caught. He does not expect him to be killed.

It seems to me that Yahweh is making an exception for a thief killed at night. He forbids the thief to be killed during the day, but at night the situation is much more fearful. The homeowner would probably be awakened out of sleep, disoriented, not thinking clearly. The house is dark. Fear can overcome the homeowner quickly resulting in the death of the thief.

Had the thief been stealing to feed his family, he would have been killed needlessly. Ezekiel 33:15 would certainly never come to pass in his case:

"If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die."

Yeshua said he came to save men's lives, not destroy them (Luke 9:56). A thief cannot repent of his sins if he is dead.

In this day and age, with firearms being so readily available, it is much easier to kill a thief than it was in Moses' day and, with the possibility that the thief may be armed, a quick, rash decision may be made to "shoot first and ask questions later". One can easily mistakenly shoot one's own child who went down to the kitchen at night for a snack.

What if the thief was sent by Yahweh as a judgment upon the sinner?

"Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not Yahweh, He against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in His ways, neither were they obedient unto His law." Isaiah 42:24

If Israel were to fight against the thieves that Yahweh sent as a judgment against them, they would be found fighting against Yahweh Himself!

This brings us to the most difficult aspect of self-defense; defending one's own person or loved one's.


Defense of One's Own Self or Others

The common approaches in support of defending self or others is to present a highly emotional argument or to make those who disagree with self-defense seem like unloving infidels.

Here is an example of a highly emotional argument:

"You mean to tell me that if a rapist or a murderer came into your house you would just sit by idly and let him have his way with your wife or children????"

Here is another:

"The Bible says, "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8!!!"

In this latter example, Paul is taken out of context. The context of 1 Timothy 5:3-16 is not about providing protection from rapists or murderers, but about providing assistance for widows or the aged among us who cannot provide daily for themselves.

As for the first argument, as we shall see, it is putting the cart before the horse. Are we to be so concerned about what evildoers may do to us and allow that fear to move us to purchase firearms for protection?

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity." Psalms 37:1

"In Elohim have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me." Psalms 56:11

"So that we may boldly say, [Yahweh] is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:6

When we are so worried about possible scenarios that may arise in the future concerning what evildoers may do to us or to our families, we are "fretting" and "fearing". What we are actually saying is, "I don't trust Yahweh to protect me or my family, so I better get a gun."

"Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on Yahweh, and he shall save thee." Proverbs 20:22

"Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work." Proverbs 24:29

In both of these cases, we are admonished to not say those things after evil has been done to us. Yet, if we purpose in our hearts to buy a firearm for protection, what we are doing is saying "I will recompense evil" before it is even committed. When a person buys a firearm for protection, what they are really saying is, "I am going to kill an intruder before he kills me or my family".


Our Master's Teaching

"You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That you resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matthew 5:38-39

Under the Sinai Covenant, an "eye for an eye" was the way Yahweh dealt with carnal Israel. It was the form of justice that they received from Him. I personally believe Yahweh gave them that system for the same reason He allowed them to write a bill of divorcement; because of the hardness of their hearts. However, Yeshua came to show us a better, more perfect way; "But I say unto you . . ."

How does "resist not evil" harmonize with "kill the intruder" or "kill the thief" or "fight for your reputation" or "protect your stuff at all cost"? It doesn't. Self-defense teaches us that if someone smites you on the right cheek, give him a karate kick to the groin or pull out your Smith and Wesson.

"You have heard that it has been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matthew 5:43-44

"Love your enemies" is diametrically opposed to "kill your enemies". We can't bless our dead enemy or do good unto him. We can't lead him to salvation through Yeshua. It’s a good thing that those who saw Moses kill the Egyptian didn't come to the Egyptian's aid beforehand and kill Moses. Moses murdered a man, yet Yahweh turned his life around to become a great man of faith. David was guilty of murder, yet Yahweh used him mightily as well. Who is to say what the future of a modern day intruder would hold if he is not killed for his mistake?

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Matthew 10:29

The life of a sparrow is in Yahweh's hands. How much more ours?

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no mighty one with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." Deuteronomy 32:39

"Yahweh kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave, and brings up." 1 Samuel 2:6

Our lives are in Yahweh's hands. He gave us life and He takes it away. Therefore, no man can take our life from us except Yahweh allows him to. If Yahweh chooses to end our life at the hands of an intruder, so be it. We cannot and should not fight against His will.


The Apostle's Teaching

"Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men." Romans 12:17

"See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." 1Thessalonians 5:15

"Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing."        1 Peter 3:9

If someone commits evil against us or our family, we are not to repay him with death. How much more should we not pay him with death before he even commits the evil? Yahweh knows our situation.

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of Elohim: the powers that be are ordained of Elohim. Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of Elohim: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of Elohim to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of Elohim, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." Romans 13:1-4

It is the government that is to bear the sword against evildoers, not individuals.

The Apostle Paul wrote the following concerning swords and other weapons of warfare or protection:

"But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through Elohim to the pulling down of strong holds;)" 2 Corinthians 10:2-4

"Carnal" weapons would include swords, knives, spears, arrows, guns, grenades, etc. Yahweh is our weapon against evil. No better weapon can be found.

"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Master, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of Elohim, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of Elohim, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of Elohim: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" Ephesians 6:10-18

Since our warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of darkness, we can avail ourselves of the above armour and weapons.


Yahweh is Our Defense

"For the eyes of Yahweh run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chronicles 16:9a

"The Elohim of my rock; in Him will I trust: He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; you save me from violence." 2 Samuel 22:3

Yahweh knows exactly what goes on throughout the world. No matter where His people are, they are safe under His care.

"Yahweh, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, ‘There is no help for him in Elohim.’ Selah. But thou, O Yahweh, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto Yahweh with my voice, and He heard me out of His holy hill. Selah. I laid me down and slept; I awoke; for Yahweh sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Yahweh; save me, O my Elohim: for you have smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; you have broken the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs unto Yahweh: your blessing is upon your people. Selah." Psalm 3:1-8

We should not worry about who may harm us as we sleep. We need only to trust in Yahweh to sustain us.

"In Yahweh put I my trust: how say you to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Yahweh is in His holy temple, Yahweh's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men. Yahweh tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Yahweh loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright." Psalm 11:1-7

Nothing happens in this world that Yahweh does not know about or has no control over.

"Yahweh lives; and blessed be my rock; and let the Elohim of my salvation be exalted. It is Elohim that avenges me, and subdues the people under me. He delivers me from mine enemies: yea, you lift me up above those that rise up against me: you have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore will I give thanks unto you, O Yahweh, among the heathen, and sing praises unto your name. Great deliverance gives He to His king; and shews mercy to His anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore." Psalm 18:46-50

Yahweh delivered David from violent men and will deliver his seed as well. Since believers are of the seed of Abraham, we must also be of the seed of David and will receive mercy from Yahweh as He deals with violent men who may try to harm us.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." Psalm 23:4-5

We quote this Psalm more than any other, but how many truly live it? We have no need to fear evil men for Yahweh is with us; and if He is with us, who can be against us?

"Yahweh looks from heaven; He beholds all the sons of men. From the place of His habitation He looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashions their hearts alike; He considers all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of Yahweh is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in His mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for Yahweh: He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let thy mercy, O Yahweh, be upon us, according as we hope in thee." Psalm 33:13-22

This is a beautiful Psalm, but more importantly, it is powerful in teaching us how feeble our attempts at self-defense really are. If a mighty army, much strength, and horses cannot save us from our enemies, neither can swords or guns if that is where our trust lies. Pay close attention to verse 22. The mercy that Yahweh extends to us is directly proportional to the hope we have in Him. If we are trusting totally in Yahweh to protect us and our families, He will do so. If, however, we put our trust in horses or guns, He will not grant us as much mercy. In other words, if we rely on guns to protect us, then Yahweh may allow intruders into our homes. He may lift His divine protection from us since our trust is in something else for protection.

My wife and I used to live in an old mobile home in St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands. Hurricane Hugo was bearing down on us as a category 5 storm, yet I had great faith that Yahweh would rap His hand around our home and protect it. Shortly before the storm hit, I decided to wrap a rope around the mobile home to strengthen it against the storm. Halfway through the storm our home collapsed flat to the ground. For a long time I could not understand why Yahweh did not protect our home. He eventually showed me that I lost faith in Him when I put my faith in the rope. The same would hold true if I put my faith in firearms.

"The angel of Yahweh encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that Yahweh is good: blessed is the man that trusts in Him." Psalm 34:7-8

Trusting in firearms for protection prevents us from tasting the goodness of Yahweh.

"The righteous cry, and Yahweh hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. Yahweh is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but Yahweh delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate. Yahweh redeems the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate." Psalm 34:17-22

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” Psalm 37:1

“The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to slay him. Yahweh will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.” Psalm 37:32-33

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of Yahweh: He is their strength in the time of trouble. And Yahweh shall help them, and deliver them: He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him." Psalm 37: 37-40

Trust not in firearms or other carnal weapons, but trust in Yahweh for protection and deliverance.

"Through your will we push down our enemies: through your name will we tread them under that rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But you have saved us from our enemies, and have put them to shame that hated us." Psalm 44:5-7

While firearms may be a powerful force for an intruder to reckon with, they are only as effective as the aim of the user. If we miss the first time, we may not get a second shot. With Yahweh, there is no missing. He will either keep intruders from entering our homes altogether or He will prevent intruders from being successful against us.

"Deliver me from my enemies, O my Elohim: defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men. For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Yahweh. They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold. Thou therefore, O Yahweh Elohim of hosts, the Elohim of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah. They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city. Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? But you, O Yahweh, shall laugh at them; you shalt have all the heathen in derision. Because of his strength will I wait upon you: for Elohim is my defense. The Elohim of my mercy shall prevent me: Elohim shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies." Psalm 59:1-10

"But Yahweh is my defense; and my Elohim is the rock of my refuge." Psalm 94:22

"I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence comes my help. My help comes from Yahweh, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Yahweh is thy keeper: Yahweh is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Yahweh shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. Yahweh shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore." Psalm 121:1-8

"They that trust in Yahweh shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abides forever. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so Yahweh is round about his people from henceforth even forever. For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity. Do good, O Yahweh, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts. As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, Yahweh shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel." Psalm 125:1-5

This theme of Yahweh as our shield and defense is so numerous throughout Scripture. I have only selected a few key passages. There is no doubt that Yahweh expects us to trust in Him for our protection. In return, He will keep His promise to deliver us from our enemies. He also expects us to pray for our enemies and love them, not kill them.

This is a difficult teaching to accept, especially for those of little faith or those who are yet carnal. It is even more difficult to accept when promoters of firearms such as the National Rifle Association submit their own skewed studies on this subject. May Yahweh guide our hearts and minds concerning this issue.


Other Objections

1) We are not to stand by idly while someone tries to kill our neighbor.

"You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbour: I am Yahweh." Leviticus 19:16

I prefer John Gill's 1760 commentary which reads:

"neither shall thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; either by bearing a false testimony, whereby his blood is in danger of being shed when innocent; or by being silent, and not hearing a testimony for him, whereby the shedding of his innocent blood might have been prevented; either way may be interpreted standing against it: the Jewish writers think, that a man by this law, is bound to do all he can to preserve the life of his neighbour, when it is by any means in danger, by drowning, or by thieves and wild beasts, so Jarchi:"

To "stand against", if that is the correct translation, was the practice found in courts of law whereby the accuser would stand in testimony against someone while the judge would sit and listen. To "stand against" and to "stand idly by" are not synonymous. Actually, the Hebrew words translated "against the blood" are found in only one other place in the Hebrew text, Leviticus 14:17.

"And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering:"

If "upon the blood" is correct, then Leviticus 19:16 can read, "neither shall you stand upon the blood of your neighbor." We can take that literally by not standing on his actual spilled blood out of either respect (somewhat like not standing on someone's grave) or because we would be standing in death since the life is no longer in that blood or we can take it figuratively to mean having a hand in his death.


2) Nehemiah and his men defended themselves and so can we.

"They which build on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon." Nehemiah 4:17

Did Nehemiah's men carry weapons in obedience to Yahweh or out of fear and possibly a lack of faith in Yahweh's divine protection? It is true that they prayed to Yahweh and were seemingly trusting Him for protection, but then they chose to protect themselves as well by arming themselves. This is where their faith wavered. Had Moses been there helping them to build, he would have said something like, "Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh." Had Nehemiah's builders had their backs to the Red Sea, would they have trusted Yahweh as Moses did or would they have armed themselves to fight the Egyptians? Yahweh would have His people to fully trust in Him.


3) Yahweh taught David how to fight and He can surely teach me as well.

"Blessed be Yahweh my strength, which teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:" Psalm 144:1

Those words were spoken by David. Yahweh may indeed have taught David such so he could fight wars that Yahweh commanded him to fight. However, what did Yahweh later say to David?

"But the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars: you shall not build an house unto my name, because you have shed much blood upon the earth in my sight." 1Chronicles 22:8-9

Could Yahweh justifiably say that if it was He Himself that commanded David to shed that blood? Is it possible that David shed blood and made wars that Yahweh never commanded? David shed blood in Yahweh's sight, but not at Yahweh's command. Shedding blood in obedience to a command of Yahweh is justifiable such as when Yahweh wants to bring judgment upon another nation. Shedding blood as most nations do today, without a command from Yahweh, is not justifiable.

David inquired of Yahweh several times concerning whether or not he should go to war (1 Sam 23:2; 30:8; 2 Sam 5:19; etc.). Yet, there were other times that David went to war or shed blood without any mention of inquiring of Yahweh first (2 Sam 2:31; 3:1; 4:9-12; 5:6-7). This shedding of blood took place prior to David receiving word from Yahweh that he would not build His house.

4) Yeshua commanded his disciples to buy swords to defend themselves out in the world. Surely we can buy guns to defend ourselves.

"And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked you any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that has a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that has no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Master, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough." Luke 22:35-38

Are we to believe that Yeshua thought two swords was all that was necessary to defend against this world's wicked or against the Roman soldiers who he knew would arrest him that night? The reason Yeshua told them to buy swords was to partially fulfill Isaiah 53:12 as he said in Luke 22:37. That verse's ultimate fulfillment was found in Mark 15:28 with the two thieves hanging on either side of Yeshua. However, the word "for" in Luke 22:37 ties that verse in with verse 36. The reason why Yeshua said to buy swords was so he could be numbered with the transgressors. His disciples would certainly be viewed as transgressors in the eyes of all who came to arrest him that night, especially after using their swords to attack people.

After they laid hands on Yeshua to arrest him, Peter tried to defend him with his sword.

"And Yeshua said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Yeshua, and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Yeshua stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. Then said Yeshua unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?" Matthew 26:50-51

Did Yeshua encourage Peter to continue defending him by shedding blood? Did he tell his other disciples to help Peter in his defense? No. He told Peter NOT to defend him because his defense was his Father, Yahweh. Yeshua did not trust in swords, but in the Almighty Creator of the universe. He then taught them that ALL who use the sword for either protection or offensively would die by the sword. The same would hold true for firearms today. This principle is reiterated in Revelation 3:10 as well.

"He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."

The saints are those who do not live by the sword, but who wait patiently upon Yahweh and who have faith in Him for their deliverance from evil.

5) Yeshua said, "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13. It is great love to die defending one's family from evil men, particularly intruders in our homes.

The context of verses 12-15 is Yeshua's great love for his followers. He commands us to love one another "as I have loved you" (vs.12). Then he mentions the greatest kind of love, followed by verse 14 in which he tells them they are his friends. He was, in a veiled way, prophesying that he would lay down his life for his followers. To say verse 13 teaches self-defense is taking Yeshua's words out of context.

However, we are to have a sacrificial love for one another. Does that sacrificial love allow us to kill others in the process of defending friends? To do so goes against all we have seen in Scripture and in this study.

Blessed be the Name of Yahweh whose eyes are vigilant in watching over His people and who stands ready to defend them from evil. Blessed is the man whose Elohim is Yahweh; whose trust is in the Mighty One of Jacob.

"Blessed is the man that trusts in Yahweh, and whose hope Yahweh is." Jeremiah 17:7