What does the Bible say about eye for an eye?
Many people use this Old Testament saying to justify getting revenge, but Jesus said we should not seek retaliation and we should not resort to fighting. As Christians we must love our enemies. This was used in the legal system for serious crimes. Just like now if you kill someone a judge will hand down a punishment for your crime. Never get revenge on anyone, but let God handle the situation.
Where in the Bible is an eye for an eye?
1. Exodus 21:22-25 “Suppose two men are fighting and hit a pregnant woman, causing the baby to come out. If there is no further injury, the man who caused the accident must pay money—whatever amount the woman’s husband says and the court allows. But if there is further injury, then the punishment that must be paid is life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.”
2. Leviticus 24:19-22 And whoever causes an injury to a neighbor must receive the same kind of injury in return: Broken bone for broken bone, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Anyone who injures another person must be injured in the same way in return. Whoever kills another person’s animal must give that person another animal to take its place. But whoever kills another person must be put to death. “The law will be the same for the foreigner as for those from your own country. I am the Lord your God.”
3. Leviticus 24:17 Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death.
4. Deuteronomy 19:19-21 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
The Lord will avenge you.
5. Matthew 5:38-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
6. Romans 12:17-19 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
7. Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.
We must obey the law:
The government has the power to punish those who disobey the law.
8. Romans 13:1-6 Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. For the policeman does not frighten people who are doing right; but those doing evil will always fear him. So if you don’t want to be afraid, keep the laws and you will get along well. The policeman is sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for he will have you punished. He is sent by God for that very purpose. Obey the laws, then, for two reasons: first, to keep from being punished, and second, just because you know you should. Pay your taxes too, for these same two reasons. For government workers need to be paid so that they can keep on doing God’s work, serving you.
9. 1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
10. 1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”