Exodus 21:12-36 "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be
surely put to death. And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into
his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. But if a man
come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt
take him from mine altar, that he may die. And he that smiteth his father, or
his mother, shall be surely put to death. And he that stealeth a man, and
selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his
fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad
upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for
the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. And if a
man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he
shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he
shall not be punished: for he is his money. If men strive, and hurt a woman
with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he
shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him;
and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow,
then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for
hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it
perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his
manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for
his tooth's sake. If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox
shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the
ox shall be quit. But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past,
and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that
he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also
shall be put to death. If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall
give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. Whether he have
gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be
done unto him. If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall
give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it,
and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and
give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his. And if one
man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and
divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. Or if it be
known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept
him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own."
Leviticus 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. 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."
Deuteronomy 19:21 "And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go
for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."
Matthew 5:38-48 "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an
eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And
if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy
cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not
thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour,
and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully
use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is
in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and
sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you,
what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your
brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye
therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
Christ is not saying that the eye for an eye laws are not a legitimate
response, only that as Christians we should learn to be more compassionate and
forgiving when someone wrongs us.