eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for ..
DEU 25:3 says, "Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee." The Lord is saying that He does not want excess punishment. He does not want us to lose our life for having done a minor crime. Neither does He want us to have a minor punishment for a major crime. The "eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" as set forth in the Old Testament was to show that there must be proper administration of justice. This is an important point to understand. If we look around in today's society, we can see that where there is no deterrent, crime runs rampant; it is unrestrained because punishments do not match the crimes.
is familiar with the saying “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a ..
Continuing on with V:4 we read, "For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." This is the judicial process; this is the law enforcement. They are the ordained ministers of God, and they are the revengers for the transgression of the law. Scripture does not teach the principle of revenge, "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," on a personal basis. It teaches the administration of justice through the judicial process.
ROM 13:2 says, "Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." This is telling us that we must not take the law in our own hands. We must not go out as an individual and take "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: ..
As we read the following Scripture, I want you to take notice that every time the Old Testament speaks of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," it is always in the matter of a judicial proceeding. DEU 19:18-19 says, "And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother [this is talking about a frame-up using perjury]; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you."
An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth might seem medieval ..
Verse 20-21 continues, "And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you." [The purpose and intent of this is for it to be a deterrent against crime.] And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." The Lord teaches in this text that He wants the administration of justice in the courts of justice to be fair, to be equal. He wants the crime and the punishment in proper proportion. This Old Testament principle was a guideline for justice in the courts so that the punishment fits the crime.
"An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth"
The Old Testament principle of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was to be used by the courts to avoid perjury. We must see that the Lord does not want perjury; He does not want us bringing lies before the court.
Lesson Plan: An eye for an eye, A Tooth for a Tooth
The Old Testament references to "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" referred to how the judges were not to have one manner of law for the stranger and another for the citizen when they gave sentence. There may not be diverse weights. The judges must use one manner of law. We see this in LEV 24:20-22, "Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death. [i.e., you don't put a man to death for killing a beast, but he has to make his damage good; if he kills a man, he shall be put to death.] Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God." The Lord does not want diverse weights in judgment.