Eye for Eye

“You have heard it said ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you …”

‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ is one of the most quoted statements of the Bible. People usually quote it as justification to take personal revenge. But this was not the original purpose of the statement. It was originally a legal term know as the Law of Retaliation (Lex Talionis) which limited judges to passing sentences that did not exceed the crime. In other words the judge could only take an eye for an eye, he could not take a life for an eye.
Of course the law was metaphoric, not literal – no one actually had an eye or a tooth removed. More