One who extracts satisfaction from or punishes a wrongdoer, usually the next of kin of the wronged person. In some biblical texts, blood vengeance, the execution of a murderer by the avenger, is recognized as a custom sanctioned by God (Gen 9:5-6; Num 35:16-21), although this custom is to be limited by a sense of compassion and mercy (Gen 4:10-16; Num 35:9-15; Num 22:1-28:9). Elsewhere, God is the avenger (Ps 94). God’s people may be used by God to exercise vengeance against God’s enemies (Judg 12:3-6; 2Kgs 9:7; Josh 10:13), but they are forbidden to take vengeance upon one another (Lev 19:18).

Gen 9:5-6

5For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will ... View more

Num 35:16-21

Concerning Murder and Blood Revenge
16But anyone who strikes another with an iron object, and death ensues, is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death.17 ... View more

Gen 4:10-16

10And the Lord said, “What have you done? Listen; your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground!11And now you are cursed from the ground, which has o ... View more

Num 35:9-15

Cities of Refuge
9The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:10Speak to the Israelites, and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,11then you shall ... View more

Num 22:1-28:9

Balak Summons Balaam to Curse Israel
1The Israelites set out, and camped in the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.2Now Balak son of Zippor saw all t ... View more

Ps 94

God the Avenger of the Righteous
1O Lord, you God of vengeance,
you God of vengeance, shine forth!2Rise up, O judge of the earth;
give to the proud what they de ... View more

Judg 12:3-6

3When I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hand, and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have ... View more

2Kgs 9:7

7You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants o ... View more

Josh 10:13

13And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in ... View more

Lev 19:18

18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

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