Exodus Chapter 21 Verse 24 Eye for an Eye

Exodus Chapter 21 Verse 24 Eye for an Eye : The Eye for an Eye article is from the Mystic Bible section of the Esoteric Meanings website and is one of the most famous phrases of the Bible. This article takes a big lead from a YouTube talk by Bill Donahue and is part of a talk discussing the Book of Exodus Chapter 21 (V24 -28). Traditionally this has been applied to justify acts of violence in the name of God and religion.

Wikipedia states:

“An eye for an eye or the law of retaliation, is the principle that a person who has injured another person is penalized to a similar degree, or in softer interpretations, the victim receives the [estimated] value of the injury in compensation.”

We will argue here that this  was NOT meant to be anything to do with retaliation or retribution but must be looked at from a  SPIRITUAL viewpoint, and is related to the law of cause and effect called KARMA.

Buddha said “for every action there is a cause”

These books of the Bible such as Exodus and Leviticus talk very much about the topic of LAW. They also talk about the sacrifice of animals which was a really important thing in the Bible. How is this relevant for us in 2015 ? We are looking for the universal principles of spirit here to make this relevant to today.

In the 10 commandments it says honour your father and mother:


(ii) Eye for an Eye Our Spiritual Father and Mother

Exodus 20 : 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

We can look a bit deeper into this as Jesus says call no man on this earth your father:

Matthew 23 : 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Father = mind

Mother = spirit

Exodus 21 : 15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

smite = hit. The 10 commandments also state that thou shall not kill so this appears to be a contradiction.

Since we dont call anyone on earth our father it must be a MYSTICAL father and mother.

So what Exodus 21: 15 is saying is those that go against their higher mind (father) and their spirit (mother) shall be ‘dead’ spiritually. If we lead a life with no spirituality then we are effectively like the dead.

We have to honour our mind and spirit. This then becomes something that is much more meaningful now.

Exodus 21:16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Stealing a man ? We have established that man is representing the mind. So this refers to stealing a mind. Who steals a mind ? Religion, society, governments all do this in different ways.

So religion, cults, , spiritual cults = all sealeth a man (mind) and sells it all back to him for money when spirituality is all free. People can spiritually progress without handing over money to religious institutions or masters.


Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

This is also cursing yourself (mind and spirit). So we must cherish both of our mind and spirit and only then can we realise the tremendous potential within ourselves, otherwise we are ‘dead’ people walking.

The problem we face is that religion has distorted our true nature along with governments and indididuals which control social media such as news channels, news papers etc. They all distract us from our true purpose which is knowing who we are SPIRITUALLY.


(iii) Eye for an Eye & The Law of Karma

Exodus Chapter 21 Verse 24 Eye for an Eye

Exodus 21 : 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Everything that happens to us has a cause and an effect. This verse is outlining the laws of karma



Examples of an an eye for an eye would be :

  • Smoking and lung cancer
  • Alcohol abuse and liver cirrhosis
  • An oil spill = many deaths of wildlife
  • Sedentary lifestyle = Childhood obesity

In meditation we can access the purity of spirit within and get away from the karmic effect of our everyday world.

Exodus 21 : 28  If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

 Ox = Taurus = power of the flesh or lower mind. 

Flesh of ox must not be eaten = dont consume the power of the lower self, the only thing we should take in is from our higher self. Practically this also implies for a spiritual person it is better to be vegetarian, as consuming the flesh of an animal also involves taking in their emotional energy.

Stoned = Pineal Gland activated during meditation. So when the power of the lower self harms us and leads us away from spirit, we must meditate. When the pineal gland is INACTIVE it has a SANDY consistency. When active it is like a STONE. Jesus said it is better to build your house on stone not sand :

Matthew 7

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

(iv) Eye for an Eye Concluding Thoughts

Gandhi sums up the shallowness of the traditional interpretation of this law of Exodus in the picture below:

Exodus Chapter 21 Verse 24 Eye for an Eye


The Bible is a SPIRITUAL text and so we must apply these laws to us internally. Instead of looking at the process as an act of revenge we must look at our own actions and their consequences for our worldly and spiritual life.


Exodus Chapter 21 Verse 24 Eye for an Eye
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