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Context

Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. Deuteronomy 19:21

Context matters. We have all heard this adage tossed about, “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” We love to have God give us an excuse to hurt someone who has hurt us. The problem here is context (see vv.18-20). God says this is what should happen to the witness who lies in a court of law trying to get someone else in trouble. If you try to pin a theft accusation on someone and send them to jail for five years—God says the lying witness is the one to get the five years – eye for eye. The statement is not about revenge; it is about protecting the innocent. Hmmmm. Context moves this from the revenge column to the ”I shouldn’t try to get others in trouble” column. Let’s not put words in God’s mouth.

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