310. In the spiritual sense, murder means all modes of killing and destroying the souls of men, which modes are various and manifold, as for example, turning men away from God, religion, and Divine worship by insinuating scandalous thoughts against these, or by inducing such persuasions as cause aversion and even abhorrence. Such murderers are all the devils and satans in hell, with whom those in this world who violate and prostitute the sanctities of the church are in conjunction. Those who destroy souls by falsities are meant by the king of the abyss, who is called "Abaddon" or "Apollyon," that is, the Destroyer (Apoc. 9:11); and in the prophetic Word [those whom they destroy] are meant by "the slain," as in the following passages:
Thus said Jehovah God, Feed the flock of slaughter which their possessors have slain (Zech. 11:4-5, 7).
We are killed all the day long; we are counted as a flock for the slaughter (Ps. 44:22, 23).
Jacob shall cause them that come to take root. Is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? (Isa. 27:6, 7).
The thief cometh not but to steal and to kill the sheep; I am come that they may have life and abundance (John 10:10).
(Besides elsewhere, as in Isa. 14:21; 26:21; Ezek. 37:9; Jer. 4:31; 12:3; Rev. 9:4, 5; 11:7.)
And therefore the devil is called:
A murderer from the beginning (John 8:44).