“Seek No Revenge” ( Leviticus 19:18, KNOX ) by Carley Evans


Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Kröller-Müller Museum....
Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Kröller-Müller Museum. The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix).

Do not seek revenge, or bear a grudge for wrong done to thee by thy fellow-citizens; thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; thy Lord is his.

God is clearly not interested in our grudges or in our desires for revenge against those who wrong us. Instead, God longs for us to love one another in the same way we love ourselves. He wants us to recognize that our fellow-citizens belong to Him, too. They are His just as we are. God is like the parent who says, “Don’t spank my kid for me, please. I’m perfectly capable of disciplining my own child –” except in our case, we are also a child of the same parent.

If you live in a glass house, you ought not to throw stones at your neighbor even if his house is also made of glass.

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“In Any Translation, God is GOD” ( Leviticus 19:18, Many Versions ) by Carley Evans


Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Kröller-Müller Museum....
Vincent van Gogh, 1890. Kröller-Müller Museum. The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In every translation, God reminds us that He is God — the LORD, the Lord, Jehovah, Yahweh. He states this at the end of the verse in every translation. Usually the most important point in a statement comes at its end. So, let’s agree that the key element in this command is that we remember and recognize that God is God! Next, in order of importance, is that we treat others — whether our friends or our neighbors — as we treat ourselves. Finally, we are not to hold grudges or seek revenge or remember and remind others of their wrongdoings. We are to forgive, in other words. Here is the same verse in a variety of translations; read each carefully.

“Thou shalt not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people; but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am Jehovah.” (ASV)

“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.” (ESV)

“Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.” (HCSB)

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (KJV)

“Forget about the wrong things people do to you, and do not try to get even. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. I am the Lord.” (NCV)

““‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” (NIV 1984)

“Thou shalt not seek vengeance, neither thou shalt be mindful of the wrong of thy citizens (nor shalt thou remember the wrong-doings of thy fellow citizens); thou shalt love thy friend as thyself; I am the Lord.”(WYC)

“Seek not revenge, nor be mindful of the injury of thy citizens. Thou shalt love thy friend as thyself. I am the Lord.” (DRA)

“Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people. “Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.” (MSG)