eye for an eye

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eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth).

Prov. If someone hurts you, you should punish the offender by hurting him or her in the same way. (An ancient principle of justice going back to biblical times.) When they were children, the two brothers operated on the principle of an eye for an eye, so that if the older one hit the younger one, the younger one was entitled to hit him back just as hard.
See also: eye, for
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

eye for an eye, an

Revenge or retribution, repayment in kind. This term comes from Mosaic law as expressed in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy (19:21): “Thine eye shall not pity, but life shall for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” The sentiment and wording were repeated in the Book of Leviticus (24:20) but countermanded in the Gospel of St. Matthew (5:38–39), which tells us instead to turn the other cheek.
See also: eye, for
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It's okay basta maputol ko lang kayo [as long as I will cut you off] or an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," Duterte said during an awarding ceremony in Malacanang last Wednesday.
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The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi called for an eye for an eye long before the Israelite law did.
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'An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind', as Mahatma Gandhi said.
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Back when he was a lonely voice opposing the bombing of Kosovo, Kucinich went on the pundit shows to suggest we "reexamine some foreign policy doctrines"--including "the doctrine of an eye for an eye." Over the summer, he held a press conference to announce his idea for forming a Department of Peace.
The Old Testament taught: 'An eye for an eye...' etc.
I am not writing about the death penalty, I am writing about the continuing practice of eye for an eye. It is not evil.