Friday, July 21, 2006
Scriptural guidance concerning vengeance and retribution
The scriptures do not imply that there is no retribution, but rather they say that the retribution is not our personal task. For indeed there will be retribution, carried out by Divine Law wherein each one reaps that which was sown.
Anger, hostility and personal retribution will only beget more violence. If we wish to have a better world, then we must rise above anger and conflict, and offer our heartfelt loving-kindness, compassion and generosity.
Old Testament scriptures:
35 To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
New Testament scriptures:
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Surah Al-Maida, Ayah 45
Yusuf Ali translation:
We ordained therein for them: "Life for life eye for eye nose for nose ear for ear tooth for tooth and wounds equal for equal." But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed they are (no better than) wrong-doers.
The Beautiful Names of Allah:
al-Muntaqim : The Avenger, The Disapprover, The Inflictor of Retribution
The One who disapproves of wrongdoers.
The One who reminds us when our behavior is not right.
The One who is the avenger (such that we need not seek any personal revenge).
The One and Only One who has the right to exact vengeance.
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