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The Right to Bear Arms in the Scriptures

The Right to Bear Arms
in the Scriptures


James Scott Trimm



I believe our Founding Fathers DID see the Right to Bear Arms in the Bible. (Notice the Second Amendment says "arms" not just "guns"). Of course the firearm had not yet been invented in Bible times. However the right to Bear Arms especially in order to protect the right to worship the Creator according to our own conscience, is to be found in the Scriptures. Yeshua said "Sell your coat and buy a sword." (Luke 22:36)

The motto “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God” and the events of the American Revolution do in fact have a strong parallel to the Rebellion of the Maccabees and the Channukah Story. (The Channukah Story is recorded in the 1st, 2nd and 4th Books of the Maccabees.)

Channukah is a celebration of the victory of ancient Jewish rebels over the tyrant Antiochus Epiphanies. When Alexander conquered much of the known world, it was his dream to bring the Greek culture to the world. Upon his death his Empire was divided among his generals. In time the Syrian “Seleucid Empire” came to be ruled by Antiochus Epiphanies who also gained control of Jerusalem. This coincided with a campaign of tyranny in Judea. Unjust taxes were levied by the tyrant Antiochus. Circumcision and Torah observance became outlawed. Jews were forced, on pain of death, to sacrifice unkosher animals on the alter, to rededicate the Temple to the Greek god Zeus and to eat meat that had been offered up to idols. In reaction to this oppression a group of Jewish warriors known as the Maccabees fled into the wilderness and fought gorilla warfare against the Greco-Syrians. They ultimately prevailed and gained their independence. They won the right to practice their religion and rededicated the Temple to YHWH on the 25th of Kislev, establishing the eight day festival of Channukah to celebrate the rededication of the alter.

The parallels with the American Revolution are obvious and these parallels were not lost on our founding fathers. Benjamin Rush, in his editorials denouncing the Tea Act, wrote:

"What did not Moses forsake and suffer for his countrymen! What shining examples of patriotism do we behold in Joshua, Samuel, [the] Maccabees and all the illustrious princes, captains and prophets among the Jews."

Just as the Maccabees refused to accept Antiochus Epiphanies as a god, in the American Revolution John Adams and John Hancock declared:

We Recognize No Sovereign but God,
and no King but Jesus!
(April 18, 1775)

In December, 1778, General George Washington had supper at the home of Michael Hart, a Jewish merchant in Easton, Pennsylvania. It was during the Hanukkah celebration, and Hart began to explain the customs of the holiday to his guest. Washington replied that he was already familiar with Hanukkah. He told Hart and his family of meeting a Jewish soldier at Valley Forge the previous year. Hart's daughter Louisa wrote the story down in her diary.

The lights of the Hanukkah menorah had inspired General George Washington to forge on when everything looked bleak when his cold and hungry Continental Army camped at Valley Forge. Washington was walking among his troops when he saw one soldier sitting apart from the others, huddled over what looked like two tiny flames.

Washington approached the soldier and asked him what he was doing. The soldier explained that he was a Jew, a Polish immigrant who said he had fled his homeland because he could not practice his Jewish faith under the Prussian government there. He had lit the candles to celebrate Hanukkah, the festival commemorating the miraculous victory of his people so many centuries ago over the tyranny of a much better equipped and more powerful enemy who had sought to deny them their freedom. The soldier then expressed his confidence that just as, with the help of God, the Jews of ancient times were ultimately victorious, so too would they be victorious in their just cause for freedom. Washington thanked the soldier and walked back to where the rest of the troops camped, warmed by the inspiration of those little flames and the knowledge that miracles are possible.

I think our founding fathers did in fact see the Right to Bear Arms in the Scriptures.

BTW much of the above information was lifted from the Early American History class I am preparing for our Homeschooling Project

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Views: 540

Comment by Mikha El on January 19, 2013 at 10:29am

I can't help but wonder if this this right should apply to almost everyone of American citizenship?  Perhaps even to those that "cannot" legally purchase "arms" due to past trivial non-violent felony arrest(s) and "convictions" due to the hypocritical supposed "war on (some) drugs"? The constitution is void of anything stating past "conviction(s)" is relevant, however each state seems to have laws on their books that negate this.

...the Supreme Court has now definitively held that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that weapon for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. Moreover, this right applies not just to the federal government, but to states and municipalities as well.

In Heller, the Court held that (1) the District of Columbia's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounted to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly chose for the lawful purpose of self-defense, and thus violated the Second Amendment; and (2) the District's requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock also violated the Second Amendment, because the law made it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense.

Comment by Rhea Elisha deLascy-Wells on January 24, 2013 at 11:34pm

Yes, but does this give one the right to bear military style assault weapons? Why do ordinary citizens need such a weapon?

Comment by James Trimm on January 25, 2013 at 12:15am

There are two issues here:

What they call "military style assault weapons" is misleading. 

All weapons are "assault weapons"  that is what a weapon is by definition.  In fact they do not class shot guns as assault weapons, and that is a weapon you might want to use to assault someone,

Then they use this term "military style" which just means "scary looking".  In fact technology has changed and stocks are often no longer made of wood.  But apart from this, these weapons are classed in this manner because they automatically reload, and the reload mechanism is more efficient that that of a revolver.  But you still have to pull the trigger for each and every shot.... these are NOT "machine guns" or "fully automatic weapons.  These are, in effect, the modern version of your father's deer rifle. 

Now there is the second issue.  The whole intent of the "right to bear arms" was so that the people would hold the government in check, so that the government would forever live in fear of its citizens and its citizens could never be held hostage.  The people would always have the power to overthrow an repressive government (as the Declaration of Independence says that the people have a moral duty to do).  Thus the whole point is for the people to have the same kinds of arms that they government might use against them in a revolt.  The Second amendment was NOT about hunting and sport, it was about the people maintaining at all times the potential to overthrow the government should it become oppressive. 

Finally, if the first amendment were treated like some want to treat the second amendment:

Only some kinds of speech would be permitted, and it would be questioned why the people should need to have certain rights to speak, and they would only be allowed to speak a certain number of words.

Only a certain number of pages could be published in a magazine.

Only certain religions would be protected but not others, and you could be limited on how many days a year you could attend.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Comment by James Trimm on January 25, 2013 at 5:06am

I have found it interesting that many of our rights as laid out in the Bill of Rights have become implemented among other nations, our right to bear arms concept is unique.  Yes some nations have some right to bear arms, but in few is this an absolute right on the level of free speech.  Whereas our right to keep and bear arms is, in theory, virtually unlimited in its scope (as indicated by the phrase "shall not be infringed" (from the word "fringe" referring to the very outer edge of something).  And with a context and history that the real intent of including right was to maintain a potential of the people to overthrow their government, so that their government (in theory) could never become repressive, lest it be displaced.  No other nation that I know of has this "right" in their constitution.

Comment by T. J. (Mordecai) Mitchell on January 25, 2013 at 7:37pm

Ah, another "Hot Topic" eh, Bro, James! Bravo for your post! We hear the term "assault rifle." What exactly is an "assault rifle?"  In the mid to late 1700s and the early to mid-1800s "assault" rifles were muzzleloading muskets with flintlock ignition. It took roughly a minute to load each shot, and these muskets (not rifles) were quite inaccurate to boot. Nonetheless, they were assault weapons because the American colonists used them first, to assault our enemies during the French and Indian War, and second, to assault British soldiers and their Hessian allies during the Revolutionary War and again in the War of 1812. Great efforts were made by the British dring the Revolutionary War to disarm the American colonists and to destroy all of the impromptu, backwoods powder making mills. The Brits also attempted to cut off the importation of flints (mainly from France) that were necessary to the firing of these weapons.

In the late 1800s the assault rifles of the day were mostly lever-action Winchester rifles, and later the first bolt-action used by the military (and available to civilians) was the 1895 Krag chambered for the 30-40 Krag cartridge. Yes, these were "assault" rifles.

We cannot forget that the Second Amendment is NOT about deer hunting, target shooting or gun collecting -- it is about the RIGHT to "...keep and bear arms..." In the wording of this Amendment we have the phrase, "...the right of the people shall not be infringed." Notice, this is a right of the people, not just police or military or some ambigous government agency, or the rich and famous.

That "right" however, does have certain limitations. People who have been adjudicated mentally ill or convicted felons are prohibited (rightly so) from buying or possessing firearms. 

I might add, no, you don't "...need ten bullets" to kill a deer. However, you may well need ten or even more cartridges to fend off a home invasion or to defend your home or business during a full-scale riot such as the Watts (CA) riots in the 1960s.

Since most of us here have an abiding respect for (to one degree or another) the Talmud, I call to mind what the Talmud says about "self defense." I'm not sure of the section, but I think it is Bava Metzia where we read: "If an evil doer is coming to kill you, rise up, meet him in the way, and kill him first."

Oh my, does that sound a bit harsh? Let us remember Bereshith (Genesis) 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood is shed, for in the image of Elohim has He made man." Also, Shemoth (Exodus) 22:2 "If a theif is found breaking in, and is smitten so that he dies, there is no guilt for his bloodshed."

We cannot forget that the Messiah Himself commanded us to have a "sword" (read 'weapon') with which to defend ourselves: Luke 22:36b "...And let him who has no sword sell his garment and buy one."   

Trying to live at peace with all men - as much as possible - is indeed a fundamental Bible teaching, however, nowhere does the Bible teach "pacifism." Personally, I can assure any rioter, looter, or whatever kind of evil doer that may dare come to my house for some dark, nefarious purpose, I will not greet them with a "legal limit" of "7 bullets," but my wife and sons and I will unleash a firestorm of HELL!    



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