Bible Articles on the Topic of Revenge

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Avenge, Vengeance

The parable of the importunate widow, a problem to our translators, ceases to be a problem when the context is allowed to do its work. The second half of Luke 17 is all about the Second Coming; and Luke 18:8 rounds off with: “when the Son of man cometh...” Then is there not here a plain directive to apply the intervening parable to the Second Coming? In that case, who is the widow? — Israel or the new Israel? The former, doubtless: see Isaiah 54:5-8; Lamentations 1:1 (cf. Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).

Accomplices Are Also Guilty

“And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.” (Genesis 34:1-2)

Controlling Emotions: A Lesson from Angry Birds

Do angry birds have a choice to be angry? For many of us, anger seems to be a reflex reaction. But we actually have a choice. Behold the fowls of the air...

Avenge; Avenger

a-venj ́ a-venj ́ẽr: Avenge.—The general idea connected with this word is that of inflicting punishment upon the wrongdoer. Since emphasis may be placed upon the deed itself, the wrongdoer, or the injured party, the verb is found an intransitive (only Leviticus 19:18; see below), transitive (2 Samuel 4:8 et al.); and also active (Deuteronomy 32:43), passive (Jeremiah 5:9) and reflexive (Esther 8:13). In 1 Samuel 25:26 avenge is translated from ישע, yāsha', “to save” (Revised Version margin, “thine own hand saving thee”), in Hosea 1:4 from פקד, pāḳadh, “to visit,” and in 2 Samuel 18:19 from שׁפט, shāphaṭ, “to judge,” but the usual Hebrew word is נקם, nāḳam, or derivatives, “to avenge.” The translation in the Revised Version differs in some places from King James Version: Numbers 31:3 (Revised Version “execute Yahweh’s vengeance”; compare 2 Samuel 22:48; Psalms 18:47; Leviticus 26:25); Leviticus 19:18 (Revised Version “take vengeance”); Judges 5:2 (Revised Version “for that the leaders took the lead in Israel” from פרע, pāra‛, “to be free, to lead”). In the New Testament avenge is translated from the Greek ἐκδικέω, ekdikéō, “to do justice,” “to protect” (Luke 18:3 et al.) and the King James Version Revelation 18:20, κρίνω, krínō, “to judge” (Revised Version “God hath judged your judgment”).

Revenge; Revenger

rḗ-venj ́, rḗ-venj ́ẽr: The same Hebrew and Greek words are used to express the idea of “to avenge” and “to revenge” (נקם, nāḳam, or derivative; ἐκδικέω, ekdikéō, or derivative). In English these words are synonymous in that they are both used to express the infliction of punishment upon the wrongdoer, but “to take revenge” may also imply a spiteful, wrong or malignant spirit. In the latter case, the Revised Version preserves “revenge” (compare Jeremiah 20:10; Ezekiel 25:15; 25:17 is an anthropomorphism), but, wherever it is synonymous with “avenge,” this word is used (compare Numbers 31:2-3; Psalms 79:10; Nahum 1:2; Judith 13:20; Romans 13:4; 2 Corinthians 7:11; 10:6 the Revised Version; the King James Version has “revenge” in all these cases). In Deuteronomy 32:42, the King James Version “revenge” is a wrong translation. Read with the Revised Version “from the head of the leaders of the enemy” or the Revised Version margin “the hairy head of the enemy.” Compare AVENGE, AVENGER; BLOOD; GOEL.


Revenge, (נקָמָה, ἐκδίκησις) means the return of injury for injury, or the infliction of pain on another in consequence of an injury received from him further than the just ends of reparation or punishment require. Revenge differs materially from resentment, which rises in the mind immediately on being injured; but revenge is a cool and deliberate wickedness, and is often executed years after the offence is given. By some it is considered as a perversion of anger. Anger, it is said, is a passion given to man for wise and proper purposes, but revenge is the corruption of anger, is unnatural, and therefore ought to be suppressed. It is observable that the proper object of anger is vice; but the object, in general, of revenge, is man. It transfers the hatred due to the vice to the man, to whom it is not due. It is forbidden by the Scriptures, and is unbecoming the character and spirit of a peaceful follower of Jesus Christ. SEE ANGER.


Vengeance, (Gr. Δίκη), the heathen goddess of retribution (Lat. Justitia), described as the daughter of Zeus (Hesiod, Op. 266) and Themis (Theog. 902) and the coadjutor (πάρεδρος) of the former (Sophoc. (Ed. Col. 1384; Arrian, Alex. 4:9; see Montfaucon, Antiq. I, 2, 8). The punishment of murderers is particularly ascribed to her; and, therefore, besides being the goddess of punishment in a general sense, she is often to be considered the same as Nemesis or Vengeance (Eurip. Med. 1390; Dion Halic. 11:37; see Mitscherlich, ad Horace, Od. 3, 2, 32; Palaiset, Observ. p. 347). The word occurs in Acts 28:4, but its significance is there disguised in the A.V., which renders it “justice.” SEE REVENGE.