An Eye for an Eye and a Tooth for a Tooth Expression Meaning
The expression of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth expression meaning comes from the “Law of Talion”, which appears in 1730 BC in the code of Hammurabi, then king of Babylon. Hammurabi was the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty, having reigned between 1792 and 1750 BC. The latter exercised his power according to the precept teaching, a rule as follows: “If someone has put out the eye of a free man, his eye will be cut out, if someone has broken a tooth of a free man, we will break a tooth”.
“Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” means that we wish to inflict on a person a revenge equal to what he has done to us.
This law encouraged individual revenge, provided that the penalty was identical to the crime committed.
Thus, if a man had his hand cut off, the law of Talion allowed him to do the same on his enemy. Previously, there was no indication that revenge had to be equal to the harm suffered, it could be much greater.
The law of retaliation (Lex Talionis)
The law of retaliation, one of the oldest laws, consists of the reciprocity of crime and punishment. This law is often symbolized by the expression “Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”.
It characterizes an intermediate state of criminal justice between the vendetta system and the recourse to a judge as an impartial and disinterested third party.
The word talion originates from talis, which in Latin means “such”, “like”, but also “similar”.
The Principle of Lex Talionis
Lex talionis is Latin for Law of Retaliation. This concept is derived from the Mosaic law “an eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth,” which is a variation of the original concept promulgated under the Code of Hammurabi.
The secondary name, Sodalitas Ducum Futurorum is Latin for Solidarity of Future Leaders.
Law of Moses
The Law of Moses, also called the Mosaic Law, primarily refers to the Torah or the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Traditionally believed to have been written by Moses, most academics now believe they had many authors.
The Law of Moses is a biblical term first found in the Book of Joshua 8:31–32, where Joshua writes the Hebrew words of “Torat Moshe תֹּורַת מֹשֶׁה” on an altar of stones at Mount Ebal.
Where is lex talionis in the Bible?
To Kugelmass, Gen 9:6 is the core and the meaning of the lex talionis as it appears in the Hebrew Bible: “Anyone who sheds the blood of a human being, by a human being shall that one’s blood be shed; For in the image of God have human beings been made.”
Long considered barbaric, this rigid sentence nevertheless made it possible to prevent men from taking justice into their own hands, thus establishing a certain social order. We also find this principle in the Bible. While, in the Old Testament, this injunction is transmitted by Yahweh to Moses during the transmission of the tables of the law, it is called into question in the New Testament by Jesus. He defends an attitude of non-violence, professing the most recognizable pacifist saying: “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, give the other too”.
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