A-Z: Common sayings from the Bible: An eye for an eye


The idea that a person pays back a wrong done to them with a similar wrong.


This rule (known as the 'lex talionis') provided for a precise correspondence between the penalty and the injury caused: if one knocked out someone's tooth, then the law required that the one who knocked out the tooth should also have a tooth knocked out. Its rigid fairness was designed to limit retribution.

Bible References

Exodus 21:24; Deuteronomy 19:21
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