“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:”
King James Version (KJV)
5:38 Ye have heard - Our Lord proceeds to enforce such meekness and love on those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake (which he pursues to the end of the chapter) as were utterly unknown to the scribes and Pharisees. It hath been said - In the law, as a direction to judges, in ease of violent and barbarous assaults. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth - And this has been interpreted, as encouraging bitter and rigorous revenge. #Deut 19:21|.
Mt 5:38 An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. The law quoted is found in Ex 21:23-25 Le 24:18-20. Moses intended it to protect person and property by prescribing what punishment the law should inflict. He who took a life should lose his life; he who robbed another of an eye should be punished by the loss of an eye. The Jews perverted it to justify private retaliation.