Date: Tue, 01 Nov 1994 15:44:53 EST
From: "Dan G. McCartney, Westminster Semin" <email@example.com>
> On a related topic, I have heard it said that lex talionis (eye for
>eye, tooth for tooth) actually represented an advance in justice,
>since it meant 'no more thn eye for eye, no more than tooth for tooth,'
>rather than exacting retribution above and beyond the initial injury.
This is correct. The Code of Hammurabi makes distinctions of punishment based
on the social class of the perpetrator and victim. Eye for eye means the
punishment must fit the crime, and be independent of questions of social status
of the people involved.
Well, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is certainly a
compression of Hammurabi. One portion of Hammurabi's code reads
And if a physician puts out the eye of a freeman with a silver lancet,
let his eye be put out with a silver lancet.
But if a physician puts out the eye of a slave with a silver lancet,
let the eye of one of his slaves be put out with a silver lancet.
with the punishments being relatively parallel: so it's always an eye
for an eye, it's just a question of whose eye it is.
- Re: Matthew 5:39
- From: "Dan G. McCartney, Westminster Semin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>