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18 whoever takes the life of an animal shall make restitution of another animal, life for a life.(A) 19 [a]Anyone who inflicts a permanent injury on his or her neighbor shall receive the same in return: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The same injury that one gives another shall be inflicted in return.(B) 21 Whoever takes the life of an animal shall make restitution, but whoever takes a human life shall be put to death.

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Footnotes

  1. 24:19–20 The phrase “life for a life” in v. 18 leads to introducing the law of talion in vv. 19–20. Some have interpreted the law here and the similar expressions in Ex 21:23–25 and Dt 19:21 to mean that monetary compensation equal to the injury is to be paid, though the wording of the law here and the context of Dt 19:21 indicate an injury is to be inflicted upon the injurer.

21 Do not show pity. Life for life,[a] eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot!(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 19:21 Life for life…: this phrasing of the lex talionis may seem exaggerated, but the law itself is meant to ensure equity and proportional punishment; cf. note on Ex 21:22–25.

Teaching About Retaliation. 38 [a]“You have heard that it was said,(A) ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

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Footnotes

  1. 5:38–42 See Lv 24:20. The Old Testament commandment was meant to moderate vengeance; the punishment should not exceed the injury done. Jesus forbids even this proportionate retaliation. Of the five examples that follow, only the first deals directly with retaliation for evil; the others speak of liberality.

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