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Does "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" appear in the Bible?

Question #149050. Asked by chabenao1.
Last updated Nov 08 2022.
Originally posted Nov 08 2022 9:39 AM.

elburcher star
Answer has 5 votes
Currently Best Answer
elburcher star
22 year member
1380 replies avatar

Answer has 5 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
Yes, Matthew 5:38
Love Your Enemies
38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. If someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you to take away your shirt, give him your coat too. 41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.


Nov 08 2022, 12:39 PM
looney_tunes star
Answer has 5 votes
looney_tunes star
17 year member
3297 replies avatar

Answer has 5 votes.
To put it into context, the original quote comes from the Code of Hammurabi, a Babylonian law code from about 1800 BCE (so it was definitely old news by the time the Gospels were being written in the first century CE). It established the principle that punishment should be commensurate with the crime.


The sentiment is also clear in the Old Testament. Exodus 21, 23-25 (KJV) reads:
23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.


The message in Matthew is that one should be more forgiving and generous than that.

Response last updated by looney_tunes on Nov 08 2022.
Nov 08 2022, 5:59 PM
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