an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

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an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

Compensation or retribution that is (or should be) of an equal amount or degree to the injury or offense that was originally dealt. The saying comes from various passages in the Old Testament, including in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. I cannot be placated by paltry excuses of reparation! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; this I demand from all who have wronged me.
See also: eye, tooth
References in classic literature ?
His pursuit of the murderers had not been characterized by excessive speed; but rather more in keeping with his mental attitude, which was marked by a dogged determination to require from the Germans more than an eye for an eye and more than a tooth for a tooth, the element of time entering but slightly into his calculations.
Oh, I would fight for such a cause; but in return for a slow, profound, eternal torture, I would give back the same, were it possible; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, as the Orientalists say, -- our masters in everything, -- those favored creatures who have formed for themselves a life of dreams and a paradise of realities.