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.
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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
References in periodicals archive ?
These prejudices may be as unacceptable as the biblical commands to slaughter enemy children and animals and to take an eye for an eye.
Here the Old Testament anticipated Jesus 'teaching: 'You have heard it said, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
The same Old Testament that ordered "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" also prohibited vengeance.
One demonstrator at a recent execution in Texas held up a sign that read An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Blind.
Surprisingly, since the man at the helm is acclaimed director John Schlesinger, An Eye For An Eye turns out to be a patchy affair which doesn't deliver enough tension or thrills.
I am not writing about the death penalty, I am writing about the continuing practice of eye for an eye.
It is not controversial in an eye for an eye situation if they were really guilty of plying the drug trade and must have been responsible for many deaths themselves plus many more lives destroyed.
But if the same country, despite having the laws, would be remiss in enforcing them or swiftly convicting those who violate them, people will understand the eye for an eye principle more.
My cousins--who now live in Canada--told me about their life in those early postwar years as I was struggling through An Eye for an Eye, by veteran journalist John Sack.
As I read An Eye for an Eye, my cousins and I had some of the frankest conversations we've ever had about Jews, anti-Semitism, Poland, and our family's history.