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Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with "malice aforethought." [1] Cases involving multiple murders may be known as any of the following:

  • mass murder
  • serial murder (or, more informally, killing sprees)
  • genocide

In the most Western legal systems, unlawful killings not involving "malice" may be termed:

  • manslaughter
  • homicide

Lawful forms of killing may include:

  • justifiable homicide, including killing in self-defense
  • execution by the state
  • war
  • killing sanctioned by religious authority

Murder in the Bible

The supposed "first murder" occurs in Genesis 4 Bible-icon.png, in which Cain slays his brother Abel and is cursed by God for doing so.

Believers tend not to ascribe the term murder to the many killings committed by God in the Bible.

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