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For this biblical study my goal was to create a solid biblical foundation so that all peace officers could know just how God has them not only intended to be a policeman but also how He is proud of us!
We were told at the college that the first model of police had traveled back to the United Kingdom when the "bobbys" (black hats that the police in England wear) appeared. Otherwise we had to go back to the ancestral societies of the Middle East where the existing security model was the soldiers protecting the cities. But what does the Bible say?
You will be amazed to learn that the first model of police was created in the time of Moses when God prepares his people to enter the promised land. To help you understand it, I invite you to click on the Comparative Table to be able to follow this study. This table will allow you to see the comparison between our current justice system and that of the time of Moses and to know the verses that are related to it.
If a person commits a murder in Canada, we will have to start by charging and determining the intention of the person (whether it was voluntary or accidental). This item is called the Mens Rea.
The same principle existed in the time of Moses. Deuteronomy 19 gives us 2 simple and clear examples. In Deuteronomy 19; 4-5 it can be understood that one man killed another by accident while his axe broke and struck the victim whereas in Deuteronomy 19; 11-12, a man will have killed another person while he was acting out of hatred.
Then there will be a police investigation to determine the culprit. This investigation will be composed mainly of witnesses who will say what they have seen and identify the culprit. However, we need 2 or more witnesses (evidence, exhibits, etc.) to recognize a person guilty of a murder in a trial.
Then comes the detention. Since people are entitled to a trial in Canada, those accused of murder are held in jails during their trials. It was the same thing also in the time of the pentateuch, where we read in Numbers 35; 6 + 12 and Joshua 20; 1-2 that the murderers had to flee to the refuge cities so as not to be captured by the avenger of blood and to be put to death before being entitled to his trial.
The detention of these people necessitates building prisons and in that time they also had the obligation of God to create refuge cities (Joshua 20: 1-2). Moreover, God has forced them to create six safe cities and to place them equally (3 west of the Jordan and 3 in the east) so that the murderer has an equal chance of being able to take refuge there. God even obliges people to make paths so that it is easily accessible so that the one who does not deserve death can go there quickly (Deuteronomy 19: 3 + 6).
Then comes the time of the trial before the judge, and the manner of proceeding was also the same at the time when the accused were to present themselves before the judges and high priests (Deuteronomy 19: 17-18).
If a person was convicted of murder in Canada before 1976, the death penalty was possible as it was for the people of Moses. In Numbers 35; 20-21 we understand that he who is found guilty of murder was handed over to the avenger of blood and was killed on the spot.
If the person was convicted of an indirect homicide, section 236 of the Canadian Criminal Code provides for a life sentence of up to 25 years. Everything was in the Mens Rea. And as the Mens Rea also existed in those days, if a person was found guilty of an accidental death, she was condemned to live in the city of refuge until the death or the end of service of the high priest who had condemned him (Equivalent to a maximum penalty of 20 years - Numbers 35, 25 and Joshua 20: 6).
Why 20 years? Because we can read in Numbers 4; 3 + 30 that a high priest could not take office before 30 years of age and could not remain there after 50 years of age. Therefore, as a condemned man had to wait until the end of the high priest's term (or his death), he would face a maximum penalty of 20 years before he could return home.
If a murderer who is dangerous to society comes to escape from a Canadian penitentiary, section 25 (5) of the Criminal Code applies and empowers correctional officers to use force Being potentially fatal to prevent an escaping. The same principle also applied with the avenger of blood in Numbers 35; 26-28 where he had permission to kill the person who had fled from the city of refuge.
In conclusion, the blood avenger in the time of Moses (which dates back thousands of years before Christ) is the first peace officer who was not only a soldier mandated to protect a city and its inhabitants but was an integral part of the justice system that gave him authority and enforcement powers.
However, one question remains. If we are subject to the 10 commandments and our work makes us transgress some of these commandments, is the police a work that honors God ?? The answer is yes.
Of the 10 commandments, there are only 3 that our work can lead us to transgress: Kill, lie and non-respect of the sabbath.
As for the murder, the bible is clear on this point in Numbers 35; 27. The avenger of blood (or the policeman today) did not have a licence to kill but it had to be in the course of his work, for reasons of security and protection of the citizens.
As for the sabbath, again the bible is clear that peace officers were not subject to it at that time. In 2 Kings 11; 5-7 it reads the orders that God gives to kings that when the peace officers are on duty on the sabbath, that they will still be on duty to protect the kings, the city walls and the citizens.
Then, to finish with the last commandment (lie), as a peace officers we often have to lie (bluff) in interrogation to make a criminal confess, to invent a life as a double agent to end a drug network or create a fake Facebook account for the purpose of capturing child sexual predators.
Again the concept of the Mens Rea applies. Was the intention behind the lie to usurp someone to gain an undue advantage or was it part of our job for the primary purpose of protecting the citizens of our city?
Exodus 20; 16 says, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." The concept was that some people carried false testimony (testifying, falsely reporting against another person before someone in authority like a judge or magistrate) in order to eliminate some people from their environment (sending them to jail or Have them sentenced to death).
In addition, the word "Testimony" is translated into Hebrew by "ED" which refers to making evidence of things and to something soiled, corrupt. So, in other words, the verse meant not reporting to anyone in a corrupt way.
So when people were lying to kill someone, there was an element of corruption, which is far from being the case with police officers acting as double agents to dismantle a drug network in a school or when they try to capture pedophiles on the internet.
I also invite you to consult the list of all the verses in relation to the peace officers that I put on the website in the section "Verses for Peace Officers".
In conclusion, peacemaker work is a work that not only honors God but that is also blessed with a special blessing. Let us try to do it with integrity, without regret and to be proud to protect the city that God has entrusted to us!