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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth

By Maria Merola אריאל
© Copyright Double Portion Inheritance October 22, 2009
Back in 1974, (when I was 14 years old), I can remember reading the gospel of Matthew and thinking to myself that our Messiah was inventing new laws to those in the Mosaic Law. 

The reason why I came to this conclusion, and the reason why so many in the Christian Church come to this conclusion is because they do not study the Tanakh (Old Testament) in order to gain understanding of what Yahuwshuwa was talking about.

A dear Christian man wrote to me and had this very same misconception.

This is what he wrote:

“...did not Jesus change the commandments when he said the law says: ‘hate your enemies, BUT I NOW SAY, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES’.....where is that in the law an eye for an eye? BUT I NOW SAY....A LOT OF PEOPLE NEED TO LOOK AT WHAT JESUS WAS DOING HERE WHEN HE SAID: BUT I SAY.’”

My answer to this man was this:

When Yahuwshuwa said “IT IS WRITTEN,” he was speaking about the Towrah of our Heavenly Father (the five books of Moses). How do we know this? Because scripture tells us that the Law of Mosheh (Towrah) was “written with the finger of Elohiym,” and all five books were written down in scrolls by Mosheh under inspiration of the Ruwach ha'Qodesh (Holy Spirit). 

Whenever he said “YOU HAVE HEARD,” he is quoting the Oral Laws of the Pharisees (Talmud) which often times contradicted the Laws of our Creator (Towrah). How do we know this? Because the “Oral Towrah” was handed down orally and it was not written down until the 4th century under Hillel II. At the time when Yahuwshuwa walked the earth, the Oral Laws of the Pharisees (Talmud) were not “written” but they were orally passed down. Therefore, when Yahuwshuwa said “you have heard it said” he was referring to man-made laws, not the laws of our Heavenly Father.

In order to understand what Yahuwshuwa was talking about, we must go to the Towrah to find out:

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 24:

17 And he that kills any man shall surely be put to death. 

18 And he that kills a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. 

19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he has done, so shall it be done to him; 

20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he has caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. 

21 And he that kills a beast, he shall restore it: and he that kills a man, he shall be put to death. 

22 You shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am YHWH your Elohiym.

*Note: The laws for the Yisraelite were the same as for the Gentile.

You will notice in the above law that this is all about making restitution. Today it would be called “indemnity.” If someone crashes into your car, they have to pay for the damage that they did to your car, right? That is what Auto Insurance is for. The Towrah provided laws of fairness for those who destroyed the property of another. The person who destroyed, stole and damaged another’s property had to make “restitution.” Those who murdered had to pay with their own life. Today this is called “capital punishment.” Elohiym requires “blood for blood.”

Grace was always available, for those who were truly repentant even under the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law showed us what we deserved, but the mercy and grace of our Father often prevailed because YaHuWShuWA was always the lamb slain from the foundations of the world (Revelation 13:8). Any person could gain a revelation of grace by understanding that the ordinances in the Temple being done by the Lewites (Levites)were an exact replica of what was going on in Heaven by our High Priest Yahuwshuwa, who is a priest forever in eternity (Hebrews 7).

King Dawiyd (David)had Uriah, (the husband of Bethsheba) killed in battle and he made it look like an accident. But he was truly repentant, and YaHuWaH forgave Dawiyd (David). However, Yah did require blood for blood, and Dawiyd (David)’s baby born to him by Bethsheba died for his sin against Uriah.

Even under the Renewed Covenant, Ananias & Sapphira paid with their own blood for lying to the Holy Spirit. When they did this evil deed after receiving the knowledge of the truth and the gift of the Holy Spirit, they crucified the son of Elohiym afresh and put him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:6) and this means that they made Yahuwshuwas shed blood in vain. Therefore, they had to pay with their own life:

Acts 5:

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 

2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles feet. 

3 But Keefa (Peter) said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 

4 While it remained, was it not your own? and after it was sold, was it not in your own power? why have you conceived this thing in your heart? you have not lied unto men, but unto Elohiym. 

5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the spirit: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

But there were also laws in place for those who killed someone by accident. This is called “involuntary manslaughter.” If someone took the life of another unintentionally, there was provision for this:

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 19:

3 You shall prepare you a way, and divide the coasts of your land, which YHWH your Elohiym gives you to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee there. 

4 And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee there, that he may live: Whoso kills his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past

5 As when a man goes into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetches a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the helve, and lands upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live: 

6 Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past. 

Now getting back go what Yahuwshuwa said in Matthew 5:

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 5:

43 You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbour, and hate your enemy

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 

It is important to note, that there is not one commandment in the Towrah (5 books of Mosheh) commanding us to “hate our enemies.” And so who was Yahuwshuwa quoting?


But Yahuwshuwa said to obey the Law of our Creator:

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 19:34 But the stranger that dwells with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am YHWH your Elohiym.

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 10:19 Love you therefore the stranger: for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 

When reading the Besowrah (Gospels), many cannot see the difference between Talmud (Oral Law) and Towrah (Laws of our Creator). They are making the classic mistake of confusing the two things and they also confuse justification with sanctification. These are classic Dispensationalist errors. 

Whenever Yahuwshuwa said “you have heard it said” he was quoting the Talmud. Whenever he said “but I say” he was bringing them right back to Torah again, because it was Yahuwshuwa himself who gave the Towrah to Mosheh “written with the finger of Elohiym” (Exodus 31:18, Deuteronomy 9:10).

There was a distinction he was always making with certain distortions of the Talmud where they were taking out of context the purpose and intent of Towrah. If the Towrah, commands us to require “eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” as a means to making restitution or indemnity, the Talmud used these verses out of context and tried to make those commandments apply to seeking revenge when it was never intended for that. The original intent of this Towrah commandment was for making restitution. If someone killed a man’s donkey or ox he had to make restitution by giving one of his animals to replace the loss. 

This is what the term “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” meant. But Talmudic corruptions turned this into being spiteful and gaining vengeance. They used Torah’s words for the wrong intent. They were justifying the idea of “paying evil for evil” by using the Towrah out of context. Yahuwshuwa did not “change” the Towrah one little bit! He was bringing us back to Towrah and showing the Pharisees that their twisted way of interpreting the Towrah was evil. And today Christianity does the same thing with twisting Towrah to mean something else! 

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

1st Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1st Keefa (Peter) 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing.

A “New Commandment” or an Old One Renewed in Our Understanding?

The prophet Yirmeyahuw (Jeremiah) spoke of a “new” covenant that YaHuWaH would make in the last days between two groups of people: The House of Yisrael (Ephrayim) and the House of Yahuwdah (Judah). The Hebrew word that he used here for “new” is the word “chadash” which means: “to rebuild, renew and repair.”

YirmeYaHuW (Jeremiah) 31:31 Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’el, (Ephrayim) and with the house of YaHuWdah (Judah):

Our Messiah came to “renew, rebuild and repair” the Old Marriage Covenant that had been broken by Yisra’el, (because of paganism) and he came to “renew” the wedding vows and the terms and conditions of that Covenant (Towrah). In the same way, he came to “renew” the commandments and make them “fresh” in our understanding!

People often times try to make a distinction between “the Law of Elohiym” versus “the Law of Messiah” as if they are somehow different. They will cite “The Two Greatest Commandments” as if our Messiah was giving us “two new replacement laws” and doing away with the other 611 Commandments in the Towrah (5 books of Mosheh)There are several flaws with this. First of all, they forget to insert the word “hang” into this statement: 

Mattithyahuw (Matthew) 22: 

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the Towrah (law)?

37 Yahuwshuwa said unto him, You shall love YHWH your Elohiym with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Was this some brand new commandment that he was giving us as many Christians often believe? Or was he quoting from the Torah?

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 6:5 And you shall love YHWH your Elohiym with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

Debariym (Deuteronomy) 10:12 And now, Yisra’el, what does YHWH your Elohiym require of you, but to fear YHWH your Elohiym, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve YHWH your Elohiym with all your heart and with all your soul.

Wayyikra (Leviticus) 19:18 You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am YHWH.

In all of his teachings, our Messiah made it evident that he was not coming to abolish the Towrah (Laws of our Creator). What does it mean to “abolish”? In Deuteronomy 12:32 we are commanded not to “add nor diminish” from the Towrah! If our Messiah was coming up with brand new Commandments, he would be guilty of “adding” to the Towrah and thus he would be violating (abolishing) the Towrah! So what he did he mean when he said this?

YaHuWchanon (John) 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Was this really a brand new commandment?

#2537 kainos kahee-nos of uncertain affinity; new (especially in freshness; while 3501 is properly so with respect to age:--new; recently made fresh.

But it comes from this root word:

#3501 neos neh-os including the comparative neoteros neh-o-ter-os; a primary word; new, i.e. (of persons) youthful, or (of things) fresh; figuratively, regenerate:--new, young.

The Apostle Yahuwchanon (John) understood this well when he wrote the following:

1st Yahuwchanon (John) 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning. 
1st Yahuwchanon (John) 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines.
John called it a “new commandment” but he first pre-qualified what he meant by saying that this is not a new commandment but an old one! He was making it “new” again in our understanding and in our ability to now obey it. It was a fresh new commandment now because of the blood atonement which cleanses us and gives us a fresh new start whereby we now have the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the sinful nature (lawlessness). And since we have a fresh new start,  we are now able to obey the Towrah! 


  1. Great teaching - things new to the ears but old in origin

    Mat_13:52 ThenG1161 saidG2036 heG3588 unto them,G846 ThereforeG1223 G5124 everyG3956 scribeG1122 which is instructedG3100 untoG1519 theG3588 kingdomG932 of heavenG3772 isG2076 like untoG3664 a manG444 that is an householder,G3617 whichG3748 bringeth forthG1544 outG1537 of hisG848 treasureG2344 things newG2537 andG2532 old.G3820

  2. But sister, matt 5:38 says "You have heard...."

    Eye for eye n tooth for tooth is in 5books. Its not a part of oral law I guess.

    Please reply to

    Thank you :)

  3. Obed, the Towrah never commands us to hate our enemies, that is what the Talmud says. That is why Yahuwshuwa said "you have heard it said."

  4. But what about eye for eye and tooth for tooth? This is in OT.

    exodus 21:

    "If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[e] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."

    Here it says to be sure of taking life for life(in v23)!
    But in matt 5:38-39 its says contrary.

    I just want to know. I am not questioning sister but interested in knowing truth.

    And you said "You have heard" was used when it's in talmud but here in matt 5:38-39, we have "You have heard", and we find this in torah.

  5. Hi maria.. I am waiting for this reply. I am a learning kid. Please respond to my question. And dont take me wrong. I believe n follow Torah/Yahusha :)

  6. The flaw in this article is "Hate your Enemies" is not in the Talmud to my knowledge.

  7. If someone broke your arm then do to him what he did to you is not evil..

    That's the law of Moshe given by Elohiym...the law is righteous how can someone says you did evil if it is according to the law of Moshe.