Bible, Reflections

Reflections: Revenge

Often, when we think of Biblical revenge, Exodus 21:23-25 comes to mind:

“If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

According to the Lutheran Study Bible, this was a common civil law during Biblical time that can be found in the legal codes of many ancient civilizations, including the law code of Hammurabi. Later, when we read Jesus including “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” in Matthew 5:38-41, it is believed that Jesus is not attempting to dissuade people from following the law, but rather distinguishing the punishment meted by the courts versus the behavior individuals should display in their everyday, personal interactions.

Richard Bauman’s article mentions Luke 6:27-31 when discussing how Jesus’ teachings on the topic of revenge. ┬áThis got me wondering, what other verses discuss revenge? Below are four verses that offer God’s wisdom on the topic of revenge.

  1. Proverbs 20:22: Do not say, ” I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will help you.
  2. Matthew 5:38-41: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.”
  3. 1 Peter 2:23: When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.
  4. Romans 12:19: Beloved, never avenge yourself, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

What other verses come to mind? Share your thoughts and reflections by commenting below.

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