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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5493 retribution
5493 retribution

5493 retribution

Recompense for evil. In Scripture this is the prerogative of God and of the authorities ordained by God, and never of individuals.

The principle of retribution

Ex 20:5-6; Ro 12:19; Heb 10:30 See also Dt 32:35; Ex 32:33-34; Lev 26:23-25; Dt 7:9-10; Dt 32:41-43; Job 34:11; Pr 24:12; Isa 1:24; Na 1:2

Divine retribution is just

Ge 18:25 See also Dt 32:3-4; 2Ch 12:1-6; Ps 58:10-11; Jer 5:7-9,26-29; Hos 4:6

Retribution is often built into the nature of wrongdoing

Ps 7:15-16 See also Ps 37:14-15; Pr 1:18; Pr 26:27; Pr 28:10; Ecc 10:8; Mt 26:52; Gal 6:7-8

Retribution is placed in the hands of governments

Ge 9:6; Ex 21:23-25 This “lex talionis” (law of exacting like for like) was not for private retribution. It insisted that justice be fair and not out of proportion to the crime; Ro 13:4 See also Lev 24:17-22; Nu 35:16-25; 1Pe 2:14

Private retribution is forbidden

Pr 24:29 See also Mt 5:38-39; Ro 12:19

Prayer for retribution

Ps 28:4 Christians can agree with these prayers, hating all that opposes the Lord and goodness, and gladly anticipating the ultimate vindication of God’s glory. Christians leave judgment in God’s hands, but nonetheless grieve over the world’s pain and over the death of every unrepentant sinner; 2Th 1:6-10 See also Ps 79:10; Ps 94:1-2; Ps 137:8-9; La 3:64-66

The final retribution

Rev 20:13 See also Ps 62:11-12; Jn 5:28-29; Ro 2:5-11

Examples of direct divine retribution on people

In the fall Ge 3:14,17 See also Ge 3:15-16,18-19

In the flood Ge 6:5-7

At the Tower of Babel See also Ge 11:5-7

On Sodom and Gomorrah Ge 19:24

In the ten plagues on Egypt Ex 7:16-17; Ex 11:1; Ex 12:29

On the Israelites in the wilderness Ex 32:35 See also 1Co 10:6-10

On the heathen nations Lev 18:25; Dt 9:4

On the rebellious nation of Israel Lev 18:28; Dt 28:47-48

On idolatrous Judah Isa 65:6-7; Isa 66:6; Eze 5:11-13

On Babylon Jer 51:6,24,56

Upon all the nations Ob 15-16

On Jerusalem Mt 23:35-36 This judgment came on Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Upon persecutors and unbelievers 1Th 2:14-16

Examples of divine retribution on individuals

Ac 12:23 See also Nu 16:30; 2Sa 6:7; 2Sa 12:10; Jer 23:2; Ac 5:3-5,9; 1Co 11:29-30

Examples of divine retribution through human beings

Jdg 1:7; Jdg 9:56-57; 2Sa 18:17 Through Jehu upon the house of Ahab: 2Ki 9:7,24,30-33

Natural retribution

Ro 1:27; 2Ti 3:13

Examples of retribution by the state

See also Jos 7:25; 1Ki 2:31-32; Est 7:10; Lk 23:40-41

National retribution

Jos 10:13-14; Jdg 11:36; Est 9:5 The special case of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel and her enemies is not a basis on which to argue for a concept of a war, just or otherwise. A just war has to be in defence of the nation or of the defenceless, and involve a minimum of suffering.

Warnings of future retribution

Ac 17:31 See also Mt 25:31-32

See also

1075God, justice of
1310God as judge
9105last things
9210judgment, God’s

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