Sunday, June 17, 2012

The bible never says "Eye for an Eye" it says "Eye Under an Eye"

As someone who is Hebrew comprehension is at a moderate level but this phrase in hebrew is Ayin Tachat Ayin. Which literally means "Eye under and Eye".  It is terrible that this term is mistranslated and by Rabbis as well who know Hebrew as it makes God look barbaric. Everyone use this mistranslated expression to put down the God of Israel and not point out the literal meaning is eye under an eye and feel they need to create their own religion. Including Rabbis who after they have made a mistranslation now want to use that to claim well they had and oral tradition that claimed this didn't mean eye for eye literally and you see you have to follow them because otherwise you will end up doing barbaric things.

Agree somewhat with this article which is where I get all the passages to give credit here since this helped in drawing my own conclusions here.

This pharse is used in Leviticus 24:17-18 regarding the killing of an animal and Exodus 21:22-24 have this identical expression as it first discusses a pregnant woman. In both cases it is making a contrast. IN Exodus 21:22-24 if men cause a woman to give birth which most have translated to miscarry as to collide with her would not cause her to give birth to a live baby that the punishment is different then if you would cause bodily harm to someone. In Leviticus it compares killing an animal which it openly say money is to compensate for a life under a life. But if you kill a person he shall surely be put to death. In hebrew it is two words with the word repeated in a different form meaning he should surely be put to death. It is of action not some cryptic expression. Leviticus 24:17-18 if a man strikes mortally and human life he shall be put do death 18. And a man who strikes mortally an animal life shall make restitution a life under a life is the literal meaning and it uses this expression when clearly it means to replace the life by making restitution but not dong the same to him. The next passage 19 does say you should do the same as he did if you hurt someone eye under an eye so regardless you could say it still means you should injure the other person regardless of this strange wording of eye under an eye break under a break. It should just shot knock out his eye like it does when you murder someone but it uses this expression eye under an eye while saying you should do to him as he did. (Exodus 24:19) 

In Number 35:31 It does say you shall not accept ransom for the life or a murderer and worse goes to say the land is polluted by not putting a murderer to death. And sadly in Israel today there is no death penalty. But this clearly shows that in general you can sometimes pay money in place of certain punishments but not in this case. However, that really doesn't answer the question as let us say the man doesn't have money. So then do you take his eye out.

So again it goes back to the phrase eye under an eye break under a break What he tried to do was hurt the other person and make his life more difficult. Well if he succeeded he has to pay for the damage he did in lost wages and earnings and suffering which in the end will cause his life to be more difficult. But if God meant we should knock his eye out it should not use the phrase eye under an eye. Since the end result of his actions is that this guy loses certain earning potential or other damages we do the same to cause this person to pay for these losses which in the end means he is losing the money that the other person would have lost. But you don't have to knock his eye out to cause his to suffer in the way the other person is.

In addition it may be impossible on a physical level to cause him to have the exact same injury when you say this which is why it then says eye under an eye after it says you should do to him what he did to someone else as God recognizes while this is what we should do it is impossible to do and may not even have the desired effect. See below.

And this can be satisfied if what he did makes it that the man can only earn 70% of what he could beforehand then we makes sure this man has to pay for the lost wages which he now loses what this man did and it is being done to him what he did. And in fact this way does in the end the closest way of punishing measure for measure since his purpose of hurting was to effect certain skills he had. After all two people may have different physical strengths and weaknesses. And the intention of a certain part of the body may be due to a specific strength or weakness in that person that hurting the other person in the same place will not have the same effect. So in the end this isn't justice. Which is why after it says to do onto him as you would do it says eye under eye bruise under bruise. If one person has one eye much weaker then the other and hurting that strong eye will have a bigger effect on someone who has both eyes equally strong. So punishing him by knocking one eye out won't have the same effect. But causes him to pay lost wages will cause him to suffer the losses he intended the other person to have.

If the man doesn't have money to compensate (which should cause him a much lower standard of living) then what? He has to work to help pay the other persons bills and his family I guess. But causes the same injurty to him if he has limited skills again will not really be justice as God wants us to do unto him as he did but to really do that just causing the same injury will not have the same impact for someone with different or few skills. The intention is to punish him to suffer the way the other person will have to suffer and lose which is what his intention was.

Anyway, so please spread the word!!! The bible never said eye for eye. The literal meaning is eye under an eye and it could have said eye for an eye yet it did not.

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