We all have times when we feel a sense of hurt or injustice and desire to seek revenge. But Scripture reminds us that vengeance should be left in the hands of God and urges people to rely on His justice instead.
Today, we’ll explore some Bible verses about revenge, highlighting words of warning as well as messages of comfort.
Bible Verses About Revenge
“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.”
“Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the Lord, and he will avenge you.”
“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 anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
1 Peter 3:9
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
“Do not say, “I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.”
Do Not Take Revenge on Someone Who Wrongs You
According to the Bible, we should not seek revenge against those who harm us. Instead, we are encouraged to respond with love, forgiveness, and trust in God’s justice. The reason for this is that people make mistakes since nobody is perfect, and retaliation usually leads to more violence and suffering.
It can be tough to resist the temptation of seeking retribution when we feel hurt or betrayed. However, the Bible advises us to abandon our anger and bitterness as these feelings can overwhelm us and lead to negative behavior. Through forgiveness and faith in God’s judgment, we can heal and maintain positive relationships with those in our lives.
“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.”
1 Peter 3:9
“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.”
“But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
Also Read: 27 Must-Read Slow to Anger Bible Verses
Consequences of Revenge in the Bible
The Bible has many stories that show why seeking revenge can have terrible results. These examples teach us that trying to get even can cause problems to get much worse, harm our relationships, and create more suffering for everyone involved.
The Bible teaches us that taking revenge can lead to a never-ending cycle of retaliation. This can cause great harm to people, families and communities. It can cause bitterness and resentment to grow, making things even worse. Seeking revenge can even make us become like the people who hurt us in the first place, causing more violence and pain.
The Bible instructs us to prioritize forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation rather than seeking revenge. By following this principle, we can stop the cycle of retaliation and cultivate an atmosphere where healing and restoration can take place.
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,”
“Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.”
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.””
“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 the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
“Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you.”
Examples of Revenge in the Bible
Throughout the Bible, there are several examples of individuals who sought revenge and experienced its destructive consequences. Some of these stories include:
- The tale of Cain and Abel, where Cain’s jealousy led him to kill his brother Abel, resulting in a curse and a life of wandering for Cain.
- The story of Absalom, who avenged his sister’s rape by murdering his half-brother, ultimately leading to his own death and further division within King David’s family.
- The narrative of Samson, whose quest for vengeance against the Philistines led to his imprisonment, blindness, and eventual death.
These examples serve as cautionary tales, illustrating the harm that can result from pursuing revenge.
“Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech’s is seventy-sevenfold.”
“And Samson said to them, “If this is what you do, I swear I will be avenged on you, and after that I will quit.” And he struck them hip and thigh with a great blow, and he went down and stayed in the cleft of the rock of Etam.”
2 Samuel 3:27
“And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the stomach, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.”
“But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,”
2 Samuel 13:28-29
“Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.”
Also Read: 21 Interesting Bible Verses About Samson
God’s Justice and Vengeance
The Bible teaches people not to seek revenge but to understand that only God has the authority to administer justice and vengeance. God is believed to be fair and all-knowing, making him the ultimate judge to bring justice to those who have been wronged.
When we put our trust in God for justice, it shows that we accept we cannot fully grasp the intricacies of every situation or give a righteous verdict. Instead, we are urged to direct our attention to our own conduct and outlook, endeavoring to live based on God’s teachings and expressing affection and mercy towards others.
“Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.”
“The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord is avenging and wrathful; the Lord takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies.”
“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
“O Lord, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!”
“For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Forgiveness and Mercy
The Bible teaches us to prioritize forgiveness and mercy in our relationships. When we show compassion to those who have hurt us, we imitate God’s love and mercy towards all people. Forgiveness helps us move past the hurt and anger that can consume us, giving us a chance to heal and start anew.
Forgiveness can be difficult and might take some time and work to let go of our pain and frustration. Nevertheless, according to the Bible, it’s a fundamental part of our spiritual development and overall health.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.”
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
“To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Jesus’ Teachings on Revenge
The New Testament’s lessons from Jesus reiterate the significance of forgiveness and the avoidance of vengeance. He taught us that one should respond with love and kindness rather than retaliation when mistreated. By exhibiting kindness to our enemies and turning the other cheek, we can halt the progression of violence and establish a more empathetic society.
Jesus emphasized the significance of humility and being aware of our own flaws in his teachings. Instead of criticizing others, we should reflect on our own conduct and ask for forgiveness for our mistakes. By doing so, we can cultivate compassion for others and gain a better understanding of the difficulties they encounter.
Jesus taught that we should strive to develop love, compassion, and understanding when dealing with others, instead of seeking revenge. If we follow these teachings, we can contribute towards creating a just and peaceful society where people place more value on forgiveness and mercy instead of seeking vengeance and retaliation.
“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 the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
“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,”
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”
“And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
What Does the Bible Say About Revenge?
The Bible teaches us to avoid seeking revenge and instead prioritizes forgiveness, love, and having faith in God’s justice. It offers various fundamental guidelines regarding revenge that we should follow.
Love your enemies: The Bible teaches that we should love our enemies and respond with kindness and compassion even when we are wronged (Matthew 5:43-48).
Do not repay evil for evil: The Bible instructs us not to retaliate when we are wronged, but instead to respond with good (Romans 12:17-21).
Vengeance belongs to God: The Bible acknowledges that justice and vengeance are the domain of God, not human beings. We are encouraged to trust in God’s ability to judge and deliver justice (Romans 12:19).
Forgive others: The Bible places great importance on forgiveness, urging us to forgive others as God has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32).
Break the cycle of violence: The Bible teaches that we should strive to break the cycle of violence by demonstrating love and forgiveness, which can lead to healing and reconciliation (Matthew 5:38-42).
These principles advocate releasing anger and resentment and highlighting love, compassion, and trust in God’s justice. By practicing these teachings, we can cultivate better relationships with people and contribute to a world that is more just and peaceful.
Which Psalm Is About Revenge?
Psalm 94 is a psalm that addresses the theme of revenge, particularly in the context of God’s vengeance and justice. The psalmist urges God to condemn those who do evil and to provide justice for those who have been oppressed. Additionally, there is a belief in the writer that God is in charge of everything and will make the final judgement.
The psalmist turns to God’s righteousness and justice for safety in this psalm. They recognize that God is the ultimate protector and dispenser of justice for those who suffer at the hands of the wicked. It stresses the importance of seeking God’s judgment instead of seeking revenge ourselves.
While it does not expressly discourage personal revenge, the psalm underscores the significance of relying on God for justice and having faith in His intervention.
Where in the Bible Does God Say Revenge Is Mine?
The phrase “Revenge is mine” can be found in the New Testament, specifically in the book of Romans. In Romans 12:19, the Apostle 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.”
This verse references Deuteronomy 32:35 in the Old Testament, in which God declares that revenge is His responsibility and He will make sure it is done. This verse serves as a reminder not to seek personal revenge and instead have faith in God’s justice.
The verse in Romans highlights the importance of resisting the urge to take revenge and allowing God to handle the situation. This is because God is the ultimate judge, and he understands every circumstance. Justice and vengeance are His domains. Trusting in God’s judgment allows us to concentrate on following His teachings of kindness, forgiveness, and living a compassionate life.