Parshas Mishpatim
{Exodus 21:1 - 24:18}

An Eye For An Eye ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of the weekly parsha is dedicated in the loving memory of Ms. Fredriqua Ann Brown, may she rest in peace.

Christians / Messianics have slammed the Jewish people with what they term "The Law Of Restitution." Our Torah states: {Compensation of} an eye for an eye, {of} a tooth for a tooth, {of} a hand for a hand, {of} a foot for a foot. {Compensation of} a burn for a burn, {of} a wound for a wound, {of} a bruise for a bruise." Exodus 21:24,25

There are several issues here.

Do you understand what this passage means? It provides just compensation. An individual who is a great doctor receives different compensation for the loss of an eye, G-d forbid, than a janitor. A doctor who loses sight in one eye may not be able to continue his practice whereas a janitor should be able to continue in his profession. That being the situation, the doctor is compensated for every year of his normal working life at the normal rate of pay for an individual of his profession. The janitor would be compensated but not to the same extent because he would probably be able with some difficulty to continue on with his profession. However if he were unable to continue on with his profession then he too would be compensated for every year of his working life at his normal rate of pay. However the rate of compensation for the doctor would be much greater than for the janitor.


One must understand that G-d as the Eternal Judge, judges fairly. G-d rights every wrong. NOTHING escapes his Divine Judgment!! G-d balances measure for measure. I cannot explain the extent to which G-d balances the scales, but in the end all scales are balanced. Everyone will receive their just reward or their just punishment. That is how the Creator of the universe established this world we live in.

Jesus, however, opposed this Torah teaching. He said, "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."

Christians / Messianics term this "The Law Of Love." They claim to follow this law of love. If they did the courts would be empty. I have yet to meet a
Christian / Messianic who does not resist evil. Consider abortion! What is their stand? Are they fanatical about this issue? Are they turning the other cheek? Are they giving the cloak with the tunic? Are they walking a second mile?

The fact is, in practice they do not observe this law of love until Sunday or Easter or Christmas or a visit from their pastor, etc. Christians / Messianics understand what happens in the real world. In the real world we oppose evil; we oppose the murder of innocent, unborn children; we fight back in person, through friends or through the legal system. In court we fight like hell. This is what happens in the real world.

After we have done all that we can to help ourselves, at that point if the jury makes a mistake or if the police can't find who did it or the opponent has a better attorney, G-d as the Eternal Judge balances the scales measure for measure. PERIOD! This is in accordance with the Torah and the Seven Noaich Commands.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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