The phrase “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” has always bothered me. It’s gruesome.
One interpretation I’d read said it means if you want something of worth, you must give up something of worth. You want a svelte body, you gotta give up cheesecake, or whatever.
A speaker on CSN radio said “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” is a limiting phrase. He explained that if someone does something harmful to us, say, punches us in the mouth and knocks out a front tooth, our human response is to want to knock out all the guy’s teeth. Uppers, lowers, incisors, molars . . .
The Biblical quote reminds us to make the punishment fit the crime.