Retaliation refers to the act of responding to an action or behavior with a similar or opposing action or behavior. In the context of biblical teachings, retaliation is often discussed in relation to the concept of revenge or retribution.
The Bible contains several passages that address the topic of retaliation. One of the most well-known is the passage from the Sermon on the Mount in the book of Matthew, where Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matthew 5:38-39). This passage is often interpreted as a call to nonviolence and forgiveness, rather than retaliation.
Another passage that addresses retaliation is found in the book of Romans, where Paul writes, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19). This passage emphasizes the idea that vengeance is ultimately the responsibility of God, and that individuals should not seek to take revenge themselves.
In the book of Leviticus, it is written “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). This passage teaches that retaliation is not acceptable, and that individuals are called to love and forgive their neighbors, rather than seeking revenge.
In the book of Proverbs, it is written “Do not say, ‘I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done'” (Proverbs 24:29). This passage advises against retaliation and encourages individuals to let go of their desire for revenge.
In summary, the Bible teaches that retaliation is not acceptable behavior and instead encourages individuals to forgive and show love to others, leaving room for God’s wrath and vengeance.