[eye for an
eye and a tooth for a tooth] A blow or injury should begiven back as hard as
each one that is received; every crime or injuryshould be punished or paid back.
In ancient times if a man's eyewas put out by his enemy, he might get revenge
by putting his enemy'seye out. This was the rule of "an eye for an eye and a
tooth for atooth."
Sometimes used in a short form.
Churches today teach
thatwe should forgive people who hurt us, not follow the rule of "an eyefor an
(From the old command in the Bible meaning when you payback a person, you
should not hurt him more than he hurt you.)Compare: DOG EAT DOG, GIVE AS GOOD AS
ONE GETS, TIT FOR TAT.