What Does The Bible Say About Vengeance

The word “vengeance” conjures powerful images, both good and bad. Strong emotions of hate and anger often help to fuel this emotion. However, the Bible has a lot to say about vengeance and how it should be used. For centuries, people have looked to the Bible for guidance on this difficult and important topic.

The most basic principle of vengeance in the Bible is expressed in the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not take revenge or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people” (Leviticus 19:18). This commandment is repeated throughout the Bible and serves as a reminder that vengeance is not the solution to someone’s misdeeds. In Deuteronomy 32:35 it states, “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord; I will repay.” In other words, we are to leave vengeance in God’s hands and trust that He will take care of it.

This commandment is repeated throughout the Bible in passages such as Romans 12:19, which states, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” This passage makes it clear that revenge is an emotion that should be left to God and not taken into one’s own hands. It also serves as a reminder that God will protect those who do not take revenge upon others, just as He will punish those who do.

The Bible also has much to say about how revenge should be used. In Proverbs 20:22 it states, “Do not say, ‘I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay him back for what he did.’” This passage serves to remind us that even if someone has wronged us, we should not seek revenge. Instead, we should leave it to God, trusting that He will take care of it. Taking revenge on someone may seem attractive in the moment, but it can often lead to a spiral of hate, distrust, and animosity.

The Bible also expresses that vengeance should be tempered with mercy and forgiveness. In Matthew 5:44 it states, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” This passage serves to remind us that while we must take into account the wrongs that someone has committed, we should also show mercy and forgiveness. Forgiveness may be difficult, but it is what God commands us to do, and it helps us to stay humble and centered on our relationship with God.

Finally, the Bible speaks of the need for justice and retribution. In Proverbs 25:21-22 it states, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for you shall heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” This passage speaks of the need for justice and retribution, but it also expresses the importance of taking the higher ground and treating our enemies with kindness and mercy. This is a reminder that retribution for wrongs must be balanced with mercy and compassion.

Suffering and Vengeance

The Bible speaks a lot about the relationship between suffering and vengeance. In Deuteronomy 32:36 we read, “For the Lord will judge His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.” This passage speaks of God’s judgement and compassion when His people suffer and find themselves at a disadvantage. It reminds us that while we should strive to seek justice and retribution, we should also remain humble and compassionate when doing so.

The Bible also speaks of the importance of holding on to hope in the face of suffering. In Ecclesiastes 3:17 it states, “I said in my heart, ‘God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.’” This passage serves to remind us that God will bring justice and retribution for the righteous and wicked alike. We should have faith that God will mete out vengeance and justice, and that the suffering we endure will be redeemed in due time.

Justice vs Vengeance

The Bible makes a clear distinction between justice and vengeance. While justice is seen as an appropriate and warranted response to certain wrongs, vengeance is viewed as an inappropriate and excessive response. In Romans 12:17-19 we read, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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 passage speaks of the importance of following the path of justice instead of taking revenge on someone. It also serves as a reminder that vengeance is an emotion that should be left to God.

The Bible also speaks of the importance of being impartial in meting out justice. In Leviticus 19:15 it states, “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” This passage speaks of the need for impartiality when determining what should be done in court. It reminds us that we should not seek revenge on anyone but instead use justice as the foundation for our decisions.

What Does God Say About Vengeance?

The Bible makes it clear that vengeance is something that should be taken out of human hands and left to God to decide. In the New Testament, Jesus explains the concept of non-retaliation in His Sermon on the Mount. In Luke 6:27-29 He states, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” This passage speaks of the need to love our enemies and pray for those who do us wrong. It reminds us to take the higher road and leave vengeance to God.

The Bible also makes it clear that God will ultimately bring about justice and retribution for those who do wrong. In the book of Revelation, we read that “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” This passage speaks of the need to trust God to mete out His judgement in His own time, instead of attempting to take revenge on someone ourselves.

Vengeance and Love

The Bible speaks of the need to practice love and forgiveness rather than pursuing vengeance. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 it states, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This passage is a reminder that we should strive to show love and compassion instead of taking vengeance on someone.

The Bible also speaks of the importance of humbling ourselves and showing mercy to those who have done us wrong. In James 4:11-12 it states, “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” This passage speaks of the need to show mercy and love to those who have wronged us instead of seeking revenge.


The Bible has much to say about the difficult and important topic of vengeance. While it can be tempting to take matters into our own hands, we must remember that vengeance is not the solution. Instead, the Bible calls us to trust God, practice love, and leave retribution in His hands. We must also remember to be impartial when meting out justice and show mercy to those who do wrong. In doing so, we will be reminded of the ultimate power of God and how He will ultimately bring justice and retribution in His own time.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

Leave a Comment