There is an Old Testament law that states:
Exodus 21:24 " Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. "
Leviticus 24:19 " And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. "
Perhaps there can be no other interpretation for this but revenge and retribution. What more, it is emphasized in the following:
Deuteronomy 19:21 " And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."
No wonder Islam, a religion that adopted some of the Holy Bible's Old Testament laws, follows this particular law literally-physically.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
Matthew 5:17 " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
In another instance, as if our Lord has changed His position, He said:
Mat. 5:38 " Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: "
Mat. 5:44 " But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
We heard preachers justify the position of our Lord by saying, "The Old Testament no longer applies in the New with the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We are now under the grace dispensation." But, could this not find contradiction with many practices still adopted from the Old Testament? Examples, The Ten Commandments, the law on Tithes and Offering, among others, that cannot be dispensed with by many denominations in the New Testament. It would therefore appear that man is incapable of reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable words of God. This goes to prove that God and our Lord "is" speaking in parables (Ezekiel 20:49 , Psalms 72:8) 1 and only He can and should explain (Mark 4:34 ) 2through His words (Isaiah 28:10). 3 Perhaps the Holy Bible may well refer to the "book" referred to in Revelation 5. 4
"Born again" and Two kinds of life
When a person is truly born again, it marks the recovery of the Spirit of God that was separated upon the fall of man. From hereon, SPIRITUAL LIFE is manifested aside from the "physical life" of a person. These are the two kinds of life of the "chosen:"
- PHYSICAL LIFE consists of the body made up of the senses and everything related to them. With it also is the soul whose attributes are the intellect and feeling or emotion. The soul is sometimes referred to as the " spirit of man."
Let God explain His words as it relates and applies to the two kinds of life. The scope of the PHYSICAL LIFE falls within the social, political, economic, and scientific activities of a person. God has this to say on the matter relating to this kind of life:
1 Peter 2:13 " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. "
Romans 13:1 " Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. "
God therefore provides the means with which His chosen may relate to their fellowmen. They are the civil authorities and their instrumentality that make up the political power. Discretion and prudence with the dictate of the soul (mind and feeling) determines man's condition of his PHYSICAL LIFE. The PHYSICAL LIFE is the temporary tabernacle, like a tent.
2 Corinthians 5:1 " For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. "
2. SPIRITUAL LIFE consists of the soul and the Spirit of God. Spiritual discernment, divine wisdom, and spiritual strength characterize the Spirit . This is that part in the real believer that is being nourished with the words of God as "living bread."
"Vengeance" and "love"
True to His words, our Lord did not nullify the Old Testament law if we are to believe what is written. The enforcement on revenge will be seen in the enemies of our Lord. They are Satan and his evil spirits.
Revelation 20:10 " And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night…"
Also, this will be enforced to those who refuse to believe the Truth. Our Lord is the Truth. These are His enemies:
Revelation 21:8 "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
During the time of our Lord, of all people, the Scribes and Pharisees who were looked up by the people were called "serpents and sons of vipers."
Matthew 23:33 " Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? "
It is written, "Open rebuke is better than secret love" (Proverbs 27:5) 5. This sharp rebuke of our Lord on the Scribes and Pharisees bore fruits. This is the "love component" of the law "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth..." Is not Nicodemus a Scribe (John 3:1-10)? Are there not several Scribes who went to our Lord and followed Him (Mark 12:28 , Matthew 8:19 ) 6? Is not Saul of Tarsus later known as Paul a Pharisee (Acts 23:6)? 7
This proves the truth that the "chosen" wherever they are will be separated from the "called ones." So also in our time, God knows those who would follow Him. They will receive the rebuke and be convicted of their transgression of the truth.
Deuteronomy 19:13 " Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel , that it may go well with thee. "
"AN EYE FOR AN EYE"
Our Lord showed no pity in "eye for an eye" when "eye" indicates spiritual vision. Are not "light and righteousness" radiating from the "eyes" of our Lord? What radiates from the "eyes" of the enemies of God? Is it not "darkness and deceptions!" True to what is written, " " And thine eye shall not pity."
The religious leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees, preached the word of God according to their own understanding. They followed the "letter" which, in the "eyes" of our Lord was "righteousness that only purifies the outside."
Matthew 23:25 " Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter… 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also "
Example: in the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery," following it to the "letter" by being faithful to their spouses only "cleansed the outside of the cup." That is all the kind of righteousness they claimed regarding this particular law. They were blind to this truth.
2 Corinthians 3:6 " Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. "
They "did not see" the "spirit of the law" pertaining to "cleanliness in the inside." In "spirit" the spiritual husband is God, while the people, both female and male, are the spiritual wife. The "seeds" of God being planted into His wife is the Truth in His words (Luke 8:11 ).
Isaiah 54:5 " For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel ; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. "
Jeremiah 3:14 " Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you… "
Simply following the "letter of the Law" did not make the Scribes and Pharisees acceptable to our Lord for that is only "cleanliness on the outside." On the contrary, this made them spiritually proud. How could they repent when they thought they had no sin? Because of this, of all people, only they did our Lord call, " Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:33)
"TOOTH FOR TOOTH"
"Tooth" or teeth imply eating. To Satan, when our Lord fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, he saw our Lord literally hungered for bread. That is why he told Him, " If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones turned into made bread. " (Matthew 4:3). Satan was talking "physically." But our Lord was speaking "spiritually." He replied, " It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. " (Matthew 4:4). The spiritual bread to God is the truth in His words:
Jeremiah 15:16 " Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. "
This is the Truth for the " tooth" that should be matched with the " tooth" for falsehood and deceptions. Only God can explain the Truth in His words through His words. Falsehood and deception are fruits of human wisdom and philosophy in the word of God.
Proverbs 4:17 " For they eat the bread of wickedness… "
Colossians 2:8 " Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy…after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
The true Christ is the "living bread" represented by the Truth in His words (Revelation 19:13 ).
John 6:51 " I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. "
Beware of false prophets who preach the false Christ or deceptions in the word of God. Show "no pity -- tooth for a tooth." This is a rebuke. But what appears to be revenge is actually a spiritual manifestation of love. Read: JESUS OF THE ORIGINAL APOSTLES (http://www.purechrist ianit y.org/jesusof.htm)
CONFESSION OF A LOST SHEEP (http://www.purechristianity.org/confession_of_a_lost_sheep.htm )
"HAND FOR HAND"
Deuteronomy 19:21 " And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. "
"Hand" indicates power (Exodus 15:6). 8 Power from the " hand" of God should be pitted out against the power from the " hand" of human rationality and capability. This was seen when, from the "hand" of Moses, his rod was turned into serpent. From the "hands" of Pharaoh's magicians, likewise, rods were turned into serpents. But the serpent from the rod of Aaron devoured the serpents from the rods of the magicians.
Exodus 7:8 " And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 10And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. "
The power from the " hand" of pseudo-believers is no match for the superior power of the " hand" from the chosen that comes from God. This is seen in the "power of the message" in the word of God. Human wisdom in the word only satisfies the emotion and the mind. Spiritual power from the same word is " is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrew 4:12 ). By showing "no pity -- hand for hand," actually a rebuke; what appears to be retaliation is really a spiritual manifestation of love. This is the "love component" of the law.
"FOOT FOR FOOT"
"Foot" indicates walking. Jesus said, "I am the Way." He told His disciples, " Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. " (Matthew 7:13-14)
A walk on the "narrow way," although it is very lonely, should not be compromised with walk on the "broad way" with all the ease and convenience attendant thereto. Toughness of conviction, while appearing belligerency is actually love in the eyes of God. This is the example shown by our Lord to the Scribes and Pharisees. It bore fruits in some of them by following our Lord.
"BURNING FOR BURNING, WOUND FOR WOUND, STRIPE FOR STRIPE"
Indeed a line is drawn between "truth and deception, and light and darkness." It is not a physical but a spiritual fight.
Ephesians 6:12 " For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
This is "armory" in the fight against the spiritual enemies:
Ephesians 6:13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God… 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: "
As our Lord demonstrated when confronted by Satan in the desert, He simply quoted the word of God saying, " It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone," … It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,"…for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Then the devil leaveth him…
In spiritual warfare, TRUTH composes the total armory that will ensure total victory over the enemy. Truly, as it is written, " And thine eye shall not pity…"
"LIFE FOR LIFE"
In the Sacred Scriptures, words are expressed in two languages:
- The spiritual language of God
- The literal-physical language of man
Examples: Did not our Lord speak of destroying the temple and in three days He would raise it up again? His listeners thought of the physical edifice. He was referring to His body. Did not our Lord fast for 40 days and 40 nights? Satan saw this literally-physically. No wonder Satan told our Lord to tell the stones to turn into bread. Jesus referred to spiritual hunger.
Unknown to many people, they have not seen that God is speaking in parables (Ezekiel 20:49 , Romans 7:14 ) 9 and our Lord is speaking spiritual things (John 6:63). 10 Thus, "eye," "tooth," "hand," "foot," and "life" each has distinct meaning in the light of the two languages. Read DECIPHERING GOD'S SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE (http://www.purechristianity.org/decipher.htm).
"Life" in the language of man refers to physical life where it finds its inevitability in the morgue and the cemetery. Therefore, "life for life" means life taken away should have its retribution with life also. This is vengeance in the real sense of the word, humanly speaking.
"Life" in the language of God has several references. Spiritual life finds its end either in eternity or lake of fire. Or, it may refer to the present physical life in relation to human rationality. Our Lord emphasized the desirability of spiritual infancy.
Matthew 18:3 " … Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. "
Spiritual infancy is spiritual humility in the eyes of our Lord. This is the opposite of spiritual pride, which is the cause of the downfall of both Lucifer and Eve (http://www.purechristianity.org/sinofeve.htm). Paul hoped for "life" and expressed it as "death" in:
1 Corinthians 15:31 " …I die daily. "
In essence, "dying daily" is actually a process leading to spiritual infancy where humility is given a premium. This is where "life for spiritual infancy" should be pitted out against "life for human rationality" which, in the eyes of God, is spiritual pride. This is proven in the following:
Isaiah 28:9 KJV " Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. "
Matthew 11:25 " …Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. "
2 Timothy 3:15 " And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. "
As in, "eye for an eye," "tooth for a tooth," "hand for hand," and "foot for foot;" "burning for burning;" "life for life" is a confrontation between spiritual "light and truth" versus "darkness and deceptions." It is a sharp rebuked, which in the perception of man is revenge; when in fact, it is "secret love" as proven by our Lord and His apostles. If in the eyes of man it brings forth enmity and hatred, in the eyes of God it bears fruit of love, resulting in the harvest of souls destined to eternity.
Matthew 6:22 " The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! "
1 Corinthians 2:19 "… I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God…"
1 Ezekiel 20:49 " Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Doth he not speak parables?"
Psalms 78:2 " I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:"
2 Mark 4:34 " But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."
3 Isaih 28:10 " For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, andthere a little:"
4 Revelation 5:1 " And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
5 Proverbs 27:5 " Open rebuke is better than secret love."
6 Mark 12:28 " And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?"
Matthew 8:19 " And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest."
7 Acts 23:6 " But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee…"
8 Exodus 15:6 " Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy."
9 Romans 7:14 " 4 For we know that the law is spiritual…"
10 John 6:63 " It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life"