vengeance

vengeance

Punishment in retribution for injury. God appears as a God of vengeance, particularly in the OT, exacting punishment both upon Israel for infidelity to the covenant (Lev 26:25; Luke 21:22) and upon other nations for their treatment of Israel (Deut 32:35; Isa 61:2). In Israelite society, private vengeance was the rule in cases of injury and death (Num 35:9-28; Gen 4:23-24). A tendency to mitigate this practice appears in the institutions of sanctuary (Exod 21:12-14) and cities of refuge (Num 35:9-28), and in the lex talionis (“an eye for an eye,” Exod 21:23-25), which limited retribution to the extent of the original injury. (Lev 19:18 enjoins one to “love your neighbor as yourself” rather than to seek revenge (Prov 25:21). Both Jesus (Matt 5:38-42) and Paul (Rom 12:19) eliminate vengeance as a legitimate motive for human behavior.

Lev 26:25

25I will bring the sword against you, executing vengeance for the covenant; and if you withdraw within your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you sh ... View more

Luke 21:22

22for these are days of vengeance, as a fulfillment of all that is written.

Deut 32:35

35Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
for the time when their foot shall slip;
because the day of their calamity is at hand,
their doom comes swiftly.

Isa 61:2

2to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;

Num 35:9-28

Cities of Refuge
9The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:10Speak to the Israelites, and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,11then you shall ... View more

Gen 4:23-24

23Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for str ... View more

Exod 21:12-14

The Law concerning Violence
12Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death.13If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will ... View more

Num 35:9-28

Cities of Refuge
9The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:10Speak to the Israelites, and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,11then you shall ... View more

Exod 21:23-25

23If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,25burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe f ... View more

Lev 19:18

18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Prov 25:21

21If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat;
and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink;

Matt 5:38-42

Concerning Retaliation
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if any ... View more

Rom 12:19

19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.