Thursday, January 16, 2014

An Eye or a Cheek

O. T. #209  "An Eye or a Cheek"
Jan. 16, 2014
Exodus 21-Part 2
He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.  Exodus 21:12


I have never murdered someone. However, I have talked bad about them, killing their witness. Chances are, I turned my cheek and did this when they upset me. How about you? Do we want to find out what the Word says about revenge, (an eye taken and an eye rightfully sought as payment) or not taking revenge (turn the other cheek when hit on one cheek, not returning evil)?

God makes a distinction between deliberate murder and accidental death or manslaughter (verses 12-13). During Israel's time, the cities of refuge were provided for the protection of the person who accidentally killed someone (Num. 35:6). They were established since there were no police in that day, and a slain person's family could feel obligated to avenge the death of their loved one. The cities of refuge provided protection of the innocent until the case was investigated. (Wiersbe)


To take the life of a murderer is not a violation of "Thou shalt not kill" but is clearly commanded of God. Any nation that refuses to carry out the death penalty is inviting trouble from the Almighty.  (Falwell)

Compensation for personal injuries is covered in verses 12-36.
What is included?
  • murder (verses 12-15)
  • kidnapping (verse 16)
  • cursing one's parents (verse 17)
  • causing the death of a pregnant woman and/or her fetus (verses 22-23)
  • trafficking in demonism (22:18)
  • practicing bestiality (22:19).
The basis for capital punishment is God's covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:1-6) and the fact that man is created in the image of God. It is God who gives life and only He has the right to take it away or authorize it to be taken (Rom. 13).  (Wiersbe)

Did you notice that God held the owner of an animal responsible for what it did to others (verses 28-36), if the owner already knew that the animal was dangerous?

Verses 22-23 are the basic to the pro-life position on abortion, for they indicate that the aborting of a fetus was equivalent to the murdering of the child. The guilty party was punished as a murderer if the mother or the unborn child, or both, died. (Also see Ps. 139:13-16).

Verses 24-25 are used often, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
This lex talionis, or law of retaliation, actually limited the amount of retribution that could be sought for any offense. (Falwell)

what did Jesus say about this verse? In Matthew 5:39 He said, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
He talks further about loving your neighbor, blessing them, doing good to them, and praying for them.

Do we turn the other cheek? Or do we punch them with words?


Let go of the mean act and don't stoop to their level.

Forgive and love in spite of  another's ways toward me.

Love them to Jesus. (easier said than done)

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