Mean, sick, and poor is no way to go through life, son.

Eye for an eye

LeftWingPharisee... you mentioned the old testament does not say anything about this. I have heard people insist both ways.

So what's the reality?
Permalink Send private email JoC 
July 27th, 2007 12:00pm
The wiki article is a good summary. LeftWingPharisee, in claiming the phrase is not in the Torah, only shows his ignorance. Also see Numbers 35:31, requiring the death penalty for murder, and never a ransom instead. This has been suggested to imply that ransom, or a monetary fine in substitution of the prescribed penalty, is perhaps allowed in other circumstances, though of course this is never actually stated, but is one of those things that is reading between the lines.

Talmud explains various reasons why most of this Mosaic law stuff should not be taken literally in Rabbinic interpreted law, which is fine, but it's not the way things used to be done.

One interpretation of eye for eye is that it's a law of justice over revenge. It's thought that in the past, if someone put out your eye, you'd then kill them, or take out two of their eyes in retaliation. Mosaic law is against revenge and anger here, and limits things to taking in return only that which was taken, and no more.
Permalink Practical Economist 
July 27th, 2007 1:33pm

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