So far, I have about ten (although I will add two as possible cases later on).
- Judges 9.54, Abimelech
- Judges 16.29, Samson (this is a hugely special case and very helpful as a necessary precursor for my dissertation)
- 1 Samuel 31.4, Saul
- 1 Samuel 31.5, Saul’s attendant
- 2 Samuel 17.23, Ahithophel
- 1 Kings 16.18, Zimri
- 1 Maccabees 6.43, Elaezar
- 2 Maccabees 10.13, Ptolemy Macron
- 2 Maccabees 14.37, Razis, a loyal Jew who was soon to be arrested, killed himself because, “εὐγενῶς θέλων ἀποθανεῖν, ἤπερ τοῖς ἀλιτηρίοις ὑποχείριος γενέσθαι, καὶ τῆς ἰδίας εὐγενείας ἀναξίως ὑβρισθῆναι.”
- Matthew 27.4, Judas
Not even Judas is condemned for his suicide. At least 2 of those are lauded, with one of those roundly praised.
While I hate making definitive statements about “the bible,” there is no explicit condemnation of self-inflicted killing in Scripture. Rather, we have plenty of examples that seem to match instances found in other cultures. Honor. Remorse. Heroism.