What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?


The Bible does not directly address the point of one taking his own life; however we do have a number of guidelines as well as examples.

The Bible writers credited all life to “the breath of the Almighty” (Job 33:4; 12:10), accordingly it was rightfully His prerogative to take it away. “The Lord kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave, and brings up” spoke Hannah, divinely inspired.(1 Sam. 2:6).

Although not all life is precious to God, for entire nations before Him are as nothing (Isa. 40:17) it is not our right to end any life, (our own included), for we have no way of knowing God’s plan or will for any individual.

Take Elijah, who at one point was so discouraged that he prayed God might take his life. However, he did not know God had both plans for him and comfort (1 Kings 19:4-15, 18). Suicide would have been a rash, Godless, decision indeed.

The Bible also has several examples of suicide, and none of the people mentioned were righteous or God-fearing. King Saul was among these, and we know that he was rejected by God very early in his career because he would not obey the command of God. “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king” (see 1 Sam. 15:23, 26; 31:4).

Ahithophel and Zimri are two who chose suicide rather than face the results of rejection—a decision which no God-fearing person would make.

Probably the most well-known suicide in Scripture is Judas, who after betraying Jesus and facing condemnation, went and hanged himself (Matt. 27:3-5). He, by his own hand, made his sin unpardonable,destroyed the opportunity for true repentance and denied himself God’s grace and mercy.

Those who truly serve God in a healthy state of mind will not take their own life. Why? Because they regard life as their greatest blessing and realize that its proper use is the only way to merit God’s eternal favor and blessing. They are thankful for the present, whatever its condition and would not breech their trust in God by ending it. For however heavy certain burdens or troubles might be for the God-less, with the help of God and eternal glory on the horizon, such cares are lightened. God has promised that there will be no temptation or trial above the believer’s power to endure (1 Cor. 10:13).

The Bible strongly suggests that suicide is out of the question. Though our days are numbered by age, disease and infirmity; though the immediate future is dark and full of suffering; it can be faced bravely with the strength of God that comes with placing our life in His care and in the knowledge that God will deliver when the time is right.

Any sacrifice is a small price to pay for an eternity of bliss, the supreme honor of God, and a life on the level of the angels.