English: Maccabees Shrine (Cologne). Deutsch: ...
English: Maccabees Shrine (Cologne). Deutsch: Makkabäerschrein (Köln, St. Andreas), Detail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.