Eye for an Eye or Love Thy Neighbor? Are the Messages of the Old and New Testaments Different?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Vengeance or Love?

A common perception is that the Old Testament portrays a God of wrath and vengeance, whereas the God of the New Testament is more concerned about love and forgiveness. Does this perception accurately reflect the writings of these books?

Rich Deem

The Bible phrase "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" is a common perception of how the Old Testament deals with conflict between two parties. However, in speaking to the people of Israel, Jesus said that we should love even our enemies and do good to them:

"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also... You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matthew 5:38-39, 43-44)

Was Jesus changing the commands of the Old Testament or was He just restating what had already been commanded?

Love your neighbor

Many people who are unfamiliar with the Bible think that the command to love one's neighbor comes solely from the New Testament:

And He [Jesus] said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' " (Matthew 22:37-39)

However, when Jesus said this, He was quoting directly from Old Testament law:

'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18)

Not only did the Old Testament command the Hebrews to love their neighbor, but the same command also warned the them not to take vengeance on their own or even bear a grudge (thinking or acting badly against a neighbor). The command applied not only to one's Hebrew neighbors, but also to the foreigner or alien who resided among them:

So, what Jesus said was not something brand new, but was already a part of Old Testament law. So, why did Jesus have to say it?

Eye for an eye

So, where does this "eye for an eye" idea come from? It also comes from the Old Testament law. In fact, it was the prescribed punishment for crimes committed by one person against another. Previous to Old Testament law, punishment for a crime was usually much more severe than the crime itself (see Are the Old Testament Laws a Copy of the Code of Hammurabi?). However, unlike Jesus' examples of slapping one on the cheek or making one carry a heavy load, these were serious crimes, such as assault against a pregnant woman and murder.1 For these kinds of crimes, judges were given the authority to determine guilt and punishment - no different than we do in modern society. The authority to take an "eye for an eye" was never given to an individual,2 but always reserved for the legal system of the state. In Israel, not only were serious crimes punished, but false accusation of serious crime against an innocent party was to be punished "eye for an eye" so that "the rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you."3

Good vs. evil

Not only were the Hebrews commanded not to take vengeance on their own, and love their neighbors, but they were told to eschew hatred and evil and practice good.4 However, like most people, the Hebrews were susceptible to taking the easy way of "solving" their problems. What is easier than doing payback against your neighbor when he does something against you? And one could cite the "eye for an eye" scripture as justification for one's actions (even though it really only applied to judgments by the legal system). This is why Jesus emphasized not taking one's own vengeance but doing good even to those who slight you. The teaching seemed new only because the people had strayed from God's original instructions.

Love in the Old Testament

Although the New Testament tends to be thought as emphasizing love more than the Old Testament, this is not necessarily true. In fact, there are over 150 verses in the Old Testament that describe the love that God has for people.5 This love is not to be one-way, since the Old Testament tells the people to return this love by loving God.6 So, contrary to popular perception, love is emphasized in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament.

Conclusion Top of page

The common perception that the God of the Old Testament is vastly different than the God of the New Testament is shown to be untrue. In both the Old and New Testaments, God is described as being loving, and love is emphasized as being the most important of God's laws. Both Old and New Testaments command people to love their neighbors, and even those who are different or outsiders to our own group. Both Testaments command people to do only good and not seek vengeance when wronged, but to allow the law to punish those who commit crimes. The Old Testament concept of an "eye for an eye" applied only to punishment for serious crimes, like assault, and was not to be carried out by individuals, but only through the judicial system.



References Top of page

  1. "If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Exodus 21:22-24)
    'If a man injures his neighbor, just as he has done, so it shall be done to him: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; just as he has injured a man, so it shall be inflicted on him." (Leviticus 24:19-20)
  2. 'Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.' "For the LORD will vindicate His people, And will have compassion on His servants, When He sees that their strength is gone, And there is none remaining, bond or free." (Deuteronomy 32:35-36)
    Do not say, "I will repay evil"; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you. (Proverbs 20:22)
  3. "The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you. Thus you shall not show pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Deuteronomy 19:18-21)
  4. Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love. (Psalm 109:5)
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions. (Proverbs 10:12)
    Better is a dish of vegetables where love is Than a fattened ox served with hatred. (Proverbs 15:17)
    Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:15)
    He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)
    'Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,' declares the LORD." (Zechariah 8:17)
  5. The Love of God:
    • "In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. (Exodus 15:13)
    • but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
    • Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; (Exodus 34:6)
    • "Pardon, I pray, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness, just as You also have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now." (Numbers 14:19)
    • but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Deuteronomy 5:10)
    • "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, (Deuteronomy 7:7)
    • "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; (Deuteronomy 7:9)
    • "Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers. He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you." (Deuteronomy 7:12-13)
    • "Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day. (Deuteronomy 10:15)
    • "He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. (Deuteronomy 10:18)
    • He said, "O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, (1 Kings 8:23)
    • O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (1 Chronicles 16:34)
    • With them were Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were designated by name, to give thanks to the LORD, because His lovingkindness is everlasting. (1 Chronicles 16:41)
    • in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying, "He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting," then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, (2 Chronicles 5:13)
    • He said, "O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no god like You in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart; (2 Chronicles 6:14)
    • All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the LORD, saying, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting." (2 Chronicles 7:3)
    • The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the LORD, which King David had made for giving praise to the LORD--"for His lovingkindness is everlasting"--whenever he gave praise by their means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing. (2 Chronicles 7:6)
    • When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, "Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting." (2 Chronicles 20:21)
    • They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. (Ezra 3:11)
    • I said, "I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (Nehemiah 1:5)
    • "They refused to listen, And did not remember Your wondrous deeds which You had performed among them; So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But You are a God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness; And You did not forsake them. (Nehemiah 9:17)
    • "Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness, Do not let all the hardship seem insignificant before You, Which has come upon us, our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers and on all Your people, From the days of the kings of Assyria to this day. (Nehemiah 9:32)
    • And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness. (Nehemiah 13:22)
    • 'You have granted me life and lovingkindness; And Your care has preserved my spirit. (Job 10:12)
    • Return, O LORD, rescue my soul; Save me because of Your lovingkindness. (Psalm 6:4)
    • But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. (Psalm 13:5)
    • Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand From those who rise up against them. (Psalm 17:7)
    • He gives great deliverance to His king, And shows lovingkindness to His anointed, To David and his descendants forever. (Psalm 18:50)
    • For the king trusts in the LORD, And through the lovingkindness of the Most High he will not be shaken. (Psalm 21:7)
    • Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD. (Psalm 25:7)
    • All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:10)
    • For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. (Psalm 26:3)
    • I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, (Psalm 31:7)
    • Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness. (Psalm 31:16)
    • Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. (Psalm 31:21)
    • Many are the sorrows of the wicked, But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him. (Psalm 32:10)
    • He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD. (Psalm 33:5)
    • Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness, (Psalm 33:18)
    • Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, According as we have hoped in You. (Psalm 33:22)
    • Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. (Psalm 36:5)
    • How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 36:7)
    • O continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You, And Your righteousness to the upright in heart. (Psalm 36:10)
    • I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation. (Psalm 40:10)
    • You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. (Psalm 40:11)
    • The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8)
    • Rise up, be our help, And redeem us for the sake of Your lovingkindness. (Psalm 44:26)
    • We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Your temple. (Psalm 48:9)
    • For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)
    • For the choir director. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul and said to him, "David has come to the house of Ahimelech." Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. (Psalm 52:1)
    • But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. (Psalm 52:8)
    • He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. (Psalm 57:3)
    • For Your lovingkindness is great to the heavens And Your truth to the clouds. (Psalm 57:10)
    • My God in His lovingkindness will meet me; God will let me look triumphantly upon my foes. (Psalm 59:10)
    • But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. (Psalm 59:16)
    • O my strength, I will sing praises to You; For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness. (Psalm 59:17)
    • And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work. (Psalm 62:12)
    • Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. (Psalm 63:3)
    • Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His lovingkindness from me. (Psalm 66:20)
    • But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth. (Psalm 69:13)
    • Answer me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; According to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me, (Psalm 69:16)
    • Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD, And grant us Your salvation. (Psalm 85:7)
    • For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You. (Psalm 86:5)
    • For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol. (Psalm 86:13)
    • But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. (Psalm 86:15)
    • A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever; To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. (Psalm 89:1)
    • For I have said, "Lovingkindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness." (Psalm 89:2)
    • Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You. (Psalm 89:14)
    • "My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted. (Psalm 89:24)
    • "My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall be confirmed to him. (Psalm 89:28)
    • O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)
    • To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, (Psalm 92:2)
    • If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up. (Psalm 94:18)
    • He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. (Psalm 98:3)
    • For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:5)
    • A Psalm of David. I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises. (Psalm 101:1)
    • Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; (Psalm 103:4)
    • The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. (Psalm 103:8)
    • For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:11)
    • But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, (Psalm 103:17)
    • Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 106:1)
    • And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented according to the greatness of His lovingkindness. (Psalm 106:45)
    • Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 107:1)
    • Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! (Psalm 107:8)
    • Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! (Psalm 107:15)
    • Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! (Psalm 107:21)
    • Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! (Psalm 107:31)
    • For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the skies. (Psalm 108:4)
    • But You, O GOD, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name's sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; (Psalm 109:21)
    • Help me, O LORD my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. (Psalm 109:26)
    • Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. (Psalm 115:1)
    • For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 117:2)
    • Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 118:1)
    • Oh let Israel say, "His lovingkindness is everlasting." (Psalm 118:2)
    • Oh let the house of Aaron say, "His lovingkindness is everlasting." (Psalm 118:3)
    • Oh let those who fear the LORD say, "His lovingkindness is everlasting." (Psalm 118:4)
    • Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 118:29)
    • The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:64)
    • O may Your lovingkindness comfort me, According to Your word to Your servant. (Psalm 119:76)
    • Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth. (Psalm 119:88)
    • Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness And teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:124)
    • Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances. (Psalm 119:149)
    • Consider how I love Your precepts; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. (Psalm 119:159)
    • O Israel, hope in the LORD; For with the LORD there is lovingkindness, And with Him is abundant redemption. (Psalm 130:7)
    • Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:1)
    • Give thanks to the God of gods, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:2)
    • Give thanks to the Lord of lords, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:3)
    • To Him who alone does great wonders, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:4)
    • To Him who made the heavens with skill, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:5)
    • To Him who spread out the earth above the waters, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:6)
    • To Him who made the great lights, For His lovingkindness is everlasting: (Psalm 136:7)
    • The sun to rule by day, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:8)
    • The moon and stars to rule by night, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:9)
    • To Him who smote the Egyptians in their firstborn, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:10)
    • And brought Israel out from their midst, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:11)
    • With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:12)
    • To Him who divided the Red Sea asunder, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:13)
    • And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:14)
    • But He overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:15)
    • To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:16)
    • To Him who smote great kings, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:17)
    • And slew mighty kings, For His lovingkindness is everlasting: (Psalm 136:18)
    • And gave their land as a heritage, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:21)
    • Even a heritage to Israel His servant, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:22)
    • Who remembered us in our low estate, For His lovingkindness is everlasting, (Psalm 136:23)
    • And has rescued us from our adversaries, For His lovingkindness is everlasting; (Psalm 136:24)
    • Who gives food to all flesh, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:25)
    • Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 136:26)
    • I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. (Psalm 138:2)
    • The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
    • Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8)
    • And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies And destroy all those who afflict my soul, For I am Your servant. (Psalm 143:12)
    • My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. (Psalm 144:2)
    • The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. (Psalm 145:8)
    • The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. (Psalm 147:11)
    • "For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life." (Isaiah 43:3-4)
    • By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil. (Proverbs 16:6)
    • "In an outburst of anger I hid My face from you for a moment, But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you," Says the LORD your Redeemer. (Isaiah 54:8)
    • "For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)
    • In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9)
    • but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:24)
    • The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
    • who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name; (Jeremiah 32:18)
    • the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, "Give thanks to the LORD of hosts, For the LORD is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting"; and of those who bring a thank offering into the house of the LORD. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were at first,' says the LORD. (Jeremiah 33:11)
    • For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant lovingkindness. (Lamentations 3:32)
    • I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, "Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, (Daniel 9:4)
    • "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, (Hosea 2:19)
    • Then the LORD said to me, "Go again, love a woman who is loved by her husband, yet an adulteress, even as the LORD loves the sons of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes." (Hosea 3:1)
    • And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. (Joel 2:13)
    • He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? Therefore in order to forestall this I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity. (Jonah 4:2)
    • Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. (Micah 7:18)
    • You will give truth to Jacob And unchanging love to Abraham, Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old. (Micah 7:20)
    • "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)
  6. Commands to love God:
    • "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
    • "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12)
    • "You shall therefore love the LORD your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. (Deuteronomy 11:1)
    • "It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, (Deuteronomy 11:13)
    • "For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, (Deuteronomy 11:22)
    • you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:3)
    • if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in His ways always--then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three. (Deuteronomy 19:9)
    • "Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. (Deuteronomy 30:6)
    • in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:16)
    • "Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Joshua 22:5)
    • "So take diligent heed to yourselves to love the LORD your God. (Joshua 23:11)
    • O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. (Psalm 31:23)
    • "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. (Zephaniah 3:17)

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/eye_for_an_eye.html
Last updated March 29, 2013

 

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