Bono sometimes introduced Exit as a songabout a religious man who became a very dangerous man - this is a story about the hands of love. I don't know whether to interpret this song as being about suicide or murder, but the lyrics bear a frightening resemblance to the Robert Michum movie "Night of the Hunter" which came out in 1955 (I think). If Bono had this movie, and specifically the Michum character, in mind when he wrote the song, then I would venture to say that it's about murder instead of suicide.
Richard R. Johnson rrj8qvirginia.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
To expand and agree with what Richard Johnson said. I've heard it introduce about a man who misunderstands the hands of love The hands of love are God that the man misunderstands. He is a religious zealot that is killing for what he believes is God's will.
Michael Aaron Smith mismit24vt.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
According to Three Chords and the Truth, the song had a working title of The Executioner's Song. A dark and intense piece, it was cited in the trial of John Robert Bardo who was accused of murdering a young TV actress named Rebecca Schaeffer in July 1989. He blamed the song (unsuccessfully) for driving him to commit the murder. Bono's reaction to this was to suggest that it sounded like a clever lawyer trying to create a novel defence.
This song is one of the suite of death as The Edge has called them. The other two are One Tree Hill and Mothers of Disappeared.
Thanks to Maria (fadingstar13 yahoo. com).
Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) ( 5:th of November 2004)