30 Bible Verses about Revenge

30 Bible Verses about Revenge (With Commentary)

Feeling wronged and craving payback is a struggle we all face. Romans 12:19 teaches us to resist taking revenge into our own hands. Our article highlights key Bible verses that address the difficult yet freeing path of leaving vengeance to God.

Dive in for wisdom on overcoming hurt with grace..

Leaving Vengeance to God

The painting showcases a serene landscape with a gentle river flowing and soft light breaking through the clouds, symbolizing the calmness and divine intervention in leaving vengeance to a higher power.

Romans 12:19

"Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’"

Romans 12:19 tells us not to seek payback but to let God handle it. It teaches that revenge is God’s job, not ours. When someone wrongs us, our first thought might be to get even. But this verse says, “No way!” We must leave space for God’s wrath.

He promises to repay those who deserve it.

Resisting the urge to fight back can be tough. Yet, we are called to trust in divine retribution—that’s God setting things right—and focus on doing good instead. Romans 12:19 is clear: vengeance is off-limits for us because it belongs solely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His perfect justice system.

Leviticus 19:18

"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."

Leviticus 19:18 tells us not to seek revenge or stay mad at others. It says love your neighbor like you love yourself. This verse shows that holding onto anger hurts us, and it’s better to let go and trust God.

Love is stronger than any grudge or desire for payback.

This command from Moses teaches us an important lesson. If someone wrongs you, don’t pay them back with the same action. Instead, show kindness. Following this rule helps prevent sins from piling up because of someone else’s bad choices.

Deuteronomy 32:35

"Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly."

Deuteronomy 32:35 tells us vengeance is God’s job, not ours. He will repay those who do wrong in His own time. The verse warns that a day of disaster is close by for the wicked and their punishment won’t be delayed.

It teaches us to step back and let God handle justice.

God sees everything and knows when to act. While we might want to take matters into our own hands, this scripture reminds us to trust in Him instead. He has promised calamity for sinners and ensures that consequences are on their way, showing that revenge is better left to the Almighty.

Hebrews 10:30

"For we know him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’"

Hebrews 10:30 tells us that God is the one who will judge and repay. It’s clear—revenge isn’t ours to take. This verse shows that when others harm us, we don’t need to fight back.

God sees everything and He promises to handle those who do wrong. Trusting Him means we can let go of anger and the urge for payback.

God has a plan for every act against His children, whether seen or hidden from human eyes. Hebrews 10:30-31 reminds believers he will make things right. Those who hurt others won’t escape His notice; they’ll face his certain judgment.

So, we put aside our own desires for vengeance because God’s justice is perfect—and it’s only His to give.

1 Peter 3:9

"Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing."

1 Peter 3:9 tells us not to return bad behavior with more of the same. If someone is mean or insults you, don’t lash out or insult them back. Instead, offer kindness and prayers for blessings upon them.

This approach sets us apart and honors God’s wishes.

Choosing to bless others can be hard, especially if they’ve hurt you. But this verse guides us to show gentleness and respect in all situations. It asks that we act differently from those who do wrong because we aim to reflect Christ in our lives.

Forgiveness Over Revenge

This artwork portrays two individuals embracing in forgiveness, set in a tranquil, sunlit garden, representing new beginnings and the release of past grievances.

Matthew 18:21-22

"Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.’"

Peter came to Jesus with a question about forgiveness. He asked if forgiving someone seven times was enough. Jesus told him, not just seven times, but seventy times seven. This wasn’t about counting how many times to forgive.

It taught us that forgiveness should have no limit.

Jesus’ answer shows the huge difference between holding grudges and offering mercy. Instead of seeking revenge, we must keep forgiving others. This way, we act like our Father in heaven who forgives us over and over again.

Forgiving is better than keeping score of wrongs; it’s what God wants for all of us.

Ephesians 4:31-32

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger. No more shouting or insulting, no evil talk. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another just as God through Christ forgave you.

These words from Ephesians 4:31-32 are clear. They guide us to throw away bad feelings and mean behavior.

Choose forgiveness over getting even. Show mercy like Jesus did for us on the cross. This Bible verse tells us to live with love and kindness toward everyone—even those who hurt us.

Colossians 3:13

"Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."

Colossians 3:13 tells us to forgive others just like the Lord forgave us. It’s not about holding grudges or planning payback. This verse says we should bear with each other, which means being patient and understanding, even when it’s tough.

Forgiveness can be hard, but it sets us free from bitterness.

The message here is clear — let go of anger and show mercy instead. Bitter feelings only lead to trouble, so we’re encouraged to live in peace and love one another deeply. Think about how much better things are when everyone gets along without plotting revenge!

Luke 6:27

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."

Luke 6:27 challenges us with a tough call—love your enemies and do good to those who hate you. It’s not just about avoiding revenge; it’s taking a step further by showing kindness to those who don’t deserve it.

This command turns the world’s idea of justice on its head. Instead of hitting back, we’re told to bless our haters and pray for abusers.

Jesus’ words here are radical—they demand action that goes against our natural instincts. Loving our enemies isn’t just a noble ideal; it’s practical advice for living out Christian behavior every day.

As followers of Christ Jesus, we respond differently—we overcome evil with goodreflecting the mercies of God in all we do.

Proverbs 24:29

"Do not say, ‘I will do to him as he has done to me; I will pay the man back for what he has done.’"

Proverbs 24:29 tells us not to plan harm against our neighbor who lives trustfully near us. It says, “Do not say, ‘I’ll do to them as they have done to me; I’ll pay them back for what they did.'” This wise saying teaches us that paying back wrong with wrong is never the answer.

Trust in the Lord and avoid trouble. Choose peace over conflict.

Avoid sinking into the trap of revenge; it only leads to more violence and heartache. Better than revenge is leaving judgment in God’s hands—He sees everything and will set all things right.

Let go of grudges and move forward in forgiveness; it’s a path that leads to true freedom and honor.

The Consequences of Seeking Revenge

The painting depicts a stormy sea and dark clouds, symbolizing the chaos and turmoil of revenge, with a lone figure reflecting on the shore about the destructive nature of such actions.

Proverbs 20:22

"Do not say, ‘I will repay evil’; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you."

Proverbs 20:22 tells us not to take revenge. It says wait for the Lord, and He will save you. This verse is a strong warning. Trying to get even can make things worse. Trust God instead; He knows how to handle it right.

Revenge comes from pride and often leads to more trouble. The Bible teaches us that taking matters into our own hands isn’t wise. Let’s leave justice in God’s control; he’ll take care of those who do wrong.

Matthew 5:38-39

"You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” that’s what the old rule said. But Jesus brought a new challenge in Matthew 5:38-39. He told us not to fight back when someone hurts us.

Instead, if someone slaps you on one cheek, turn the other to them too. This teaching is tough but it changes how we see revenge.

It asks us to hold back and show kindness instead of getting even. These words from Jesus are not just advice; they’re a call to live differently. He wants us to break the cycle of anger and hurt with acts of love and forgiveness.

We don’t have to strike back—we can be peacemakers, as hard as it might seem.

Proverbs 25:21-22

"If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you."

If your enemy is hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. Proverbs 25:21-22 tells us that showing love beats seeking revenge. Treating enemies with kindness can turn things around.

These verses urge us not to fall into the trap of an endless cycle of payback. Instead, we should act with compassion and let God handle justice. It’s a powerful move—doing good for those who hurt you might just change their hearts.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

"See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone."

1 Thessalonians 5:15 tells us to always choose kindness. Even if someone hurts us, we shouldn’t hurt them back. Instead, we should try to do good things for each other and for everyone else.

This message is powerful because it teaches us how to live with grace and forgiveness. It reminds us of Jesus’s love and how He wants us to treat others the same way. Acting with love—even during tough times—shows true strength and can change hearts.

James 4:12

"There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?"

James 4:12 tells us that God is the only one who can make laws and judge people. He’s the one in charge, not us. We shouldn’t try to take His place by seeking revenge or holding grudges.

This verse helps us see that our desires might be different from what God wants for us. Sometimes we ask for things with selfish reasons.

We must trust God as the fair judge who knows everything. If we’re upset or angry, it’s better to leave it up to Him instead of acting on those feelings ourselves. That way, we show faith in His justice and mercy.

God’s Judgment on the Vengeful

This artwork illustrates a powerful landscape with dark, swirling clouds and rays of light breaking through, symbolizing divine judgment and the guidance of God for those who renounce vengeance.

Romans 12:17

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all."

Romans 12:17 teaches us an important lesson—don’t hit back. It tells us to act honorably, not just before friends but in front of everyone. If someone wrongs you, resist the urge to pay them back with the same.

Instead, we’re guided to do what’s right and let God handle the justice part.

Kindness throws a curveball at those who wish us harm. While it might seem tough, responding with good disrupts cycles of revenge. Romans reminds us that vengeance isn’t ours to dish out—we leave room for God’s wrath instead.

Think about it; acting with integrity sets a powerful example and keeps peace within reach.

1 Peter 2:23

"When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly."

Jesus showed us the ultimate example of self-control and trust in God. Faced with insults and suffering, he did not fight back or yell for revenge. Instead, Jesus kept calm, trusting his Father to judge fairly.

This teaches us to do the same—to leave our fights in God’s hands.

He endured pain without a single threat against those hurting him. By doing this, Jesus sets a powerful example for us all. He invites everyone to step away from the urge for payback and toward a path of peace—trusting that justice lies with God, always fair and true.

Proverbs 24:17-18

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him."

Don’t cheer when your enemy falls; don’t be happy when they stumble. This message from Proverbs 24:17-18 teaches us an important lesson about humility and kindness. Even if someone has hurt you, it’s not good to want bad things for them.

If you do, God might see this and turn His anger away from them because of your wrong attitude.

Showing mercy instead of seeking revenge is a powerful choice. These verses remind us to keep love in our hearts, even for those who are against us. Holding on to anger can lead others to harm, but letting go brings peace into your life and honors the teaching of loving your enemies.

Obadiah 1:15

"For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head."

Obadiah 1:15 delivers a powerful message about God’s justice. It warns that the same harm you cause others will come back to you. Think of it as a divine boomerang—what goes around comes around, by God’s hand.

This verse isn’t just an idle warning; it reveals how seriously God takes His commandments and the treatment of His people.

The prophet Obadiah speaks of a time when all nations must face the music for rejecting Him. Edom learned this lesson the hard way, and their downfall serves as a vivid example to us today.

In essence, Obadiah 1:15 is not merely about punishment; it’s about learning that pride and revenge have no place before God’s throne of judgment. It echoes throughout biblical texts, reminding us that He alone will make things right in His time.

Jeremiah 20:11

"But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten."

Jeremiah 20:11 shows us a powerful image of God as a mighty warrior. It speaks to His commitment to fight for those who believe in Him. The Lord stands with you, ready to protect and claim victory over your enemies.

This verse teaches us that divine justice is real, even when we face tough times.

God’s role as our defender means we don’t need to take revenge ourselves. Instead, He wants us to trust in His perfect plan and timing. Enemies may come against us, but they’ll end up stumbling and ashamed because the Almighty is on our side.

With God as your warrior, expect triumph over adversity without seeking retaliation yourself.

Examples of Avoiding Revenge

The painting captures a peaceful, moonlit scene with two figures sitting by a campfire, symbolizing understanding, reconciliation, and the tranquility that comes with choosing forgiveness.

1 Samuel 24:12

"May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you."

In the wilderness of En Gedi, a powerful moment unfolds. King Saul is after David, seeking to kill him. But David shows us what it means to overcome evil with good; he spares Saul’s life.

It’s a profound act of mercy and an example for all of us. This story in 1 Samuel 24:12 teaches us about leaving vengeance to God.

Instead of retaliating, David chooses peace and leaves judgment in the hands of the Lord. He could have taken matters into his own hands but realized some battles are for God alone.

This choice highlights a path less traveled – one where forgiveness trumps revenge, and faith in justice prevails over immediate satisfaction from personal retribution.

1 Samuel 26:10-11

"David said, ‘As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go.’"

David faced a choice with King Saul. He could have taken revenge right then and there. Instead, David chose mercy over getting even. He told his friend Abishai that the Lord would judge Saul in His own time.

“Do not destroy him,” David said, because Saul was the Lord’s anointed leader.

In 1 Samuel 26:10-11, we see David trusting God to handle things instead of taking matters into his own hands. He knew that killing Saul wasn’t right since it went against God’s plan.

By sparing Saul’s life, David showed he believed in God’s justice more than personal revenge.

2 Samuel 16:12

"It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today."

King David saw the hand of God in tough times. He hoped for mercy even when faced with hardships. In 2 Samuel 16:12, he faces insults from Shimei and thinks maybe God will see his suffering.

He believes that God might turn these curses into blessings because of his humility. The verse reminds us to look beyond human revenge and seek comfort in divine justice.

David’s attitude shows us strength during a betrayal by someone like Ziba. It teaches us about the power of staying calm when others are after our downfall. Rather than giving back hate for hate, we should stay true to kindness just as David did under pressure from Absalom’s schemes.

It takes courage not to strike back but to wait for God’s judgment instead.

Luke 23:34

"And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ And they cast lots to divide his garments."

Jesus spoke powerful words in Luke 23:34. As he hung on the cross, Jesus asked his Father to forgive those who were hurting him. He showed love instead of hate, even at his weakest moment.

This choice was amazing—a true lesson for us all. It tells us to let go of anger and choose forgiveness over revenge. Instead of paying back wrongs, we can pray for others’ hearts to change, just like Jesus did.

Genesis 50:19-20

"But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.’"

Joseph faced his brothers with a heart full of forgiveness. They feared he’d seek revenge for the wrongs they did to him. But Joseph saw things differently; he understood God had used their deeds for a greater good.

Instead of anger, he chose mercy and reassurance. He told them not to be afraid, highlighting how God turned what was intended as evil into something that saved many lives. His response teaches us about overcoming evil with goodforgiving those who may have harmed us because there’s often a bigger plan at work.

Encouragement to Be Peaceful

The artwork shows a serene meadow at sunrise with people joined in unity, bathed in the warm light of hope and harmony, representing the peaceful coexistence of mankind.

James 3:13-18

"Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

James 3:13-18 tells us to show our wisdom and understanding through good deeds. It’s not about being smart in the way the world thinks. True wisdom comes from God and leads to a peaceful life.

This part of the Bible makes it clear that we need to live by God’s wisdom, not human ideas.

It points out the difference between earthly ways and what comes from heaven. With humility, we can grow wise—doing kind things without expecting anything back shows real heavenly smarts! So let’s walk humbly, act kindly, and spread peace just like this passage teaches us.

Romans 14:19

"So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding."

Let’s chase after things that bring peace and help us grow closer. Romans 14:19 is all about this! It tells us to create a place where everyone can get along, no matter what they believe on the little stuff.

Instead of fighting or getting even, we focus on being kind and building each other up. That’s how we shine like stars in a dark sky—by spreading kindness and respecting our differences.

Proverbs 16:32

"Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

Proverbs 16:32 tells us being calm and in control is better than showing off strength. It says a person who holds back their anger is mightier than someone who takes over a city. This Bible verse puts the spotlight on patience, kindness, and staying cool under pressure.

Instead of lashing out, it praises those who keep their spirit in check.

To manage our temper is a show of real power — that’s what Proverbs 16:32 teaches us. We find true strength when we respond with gentleness instead of revenge or harsh words. Controlling our spirit leads to peace and good relationships with others.

This wisdom from the Bible helps us live better lives by choosing love and forgiveness every day.

Matthew 5:9

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God."

Matthew 5:9 calls us to be peacemakers, highlighting the value of peace in a world often filled with conflict. It teaches us that making peace isn’t just nice; it’s what God wants.

Those who work for peace earn a special place as God’s children. This isn’t about ignoring wrongs but choosing to handle them in ways that build bridges instead of walls.

Being a peacemaker takes courage and strength, much more than seeking revenge does. It asks us to rise above our anger and hurt, seeking solutions that mend rather than tear apart relationships.

Trusting God’s justice lets us live out this call—to bring people together and heal divisions everywhere we go.

Philippians 2:3-4

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Philippians 2:3-4 flips the script on revenge. It tells us to think of others as better than ourselves. We’re taught not to be full of selfish ambition or chase after empty glory. Instead, we should be humble and put other people first.

This passage calls for a change in perspective—value everyone more than you value yourself. Acting out of selfishness or trying to pay someone back is off the table. Focus on lifting others up and forget about getting even—it’s a whole different way of living that brings peace instead of conflict.


The Bible tells us revenge isn’t ours to take. Instead, we should forgive and let God handle justice. Remember, choosing peace over payback brings blessings. Let’s walk in forgiveness—it’s the path God laid out for us.

Embrace mercy and leave vengeance to the Lord; it leads to true freedom.


1. What does the Bible say about getting revenge?

The Bible often teaches against revenge; for instance, in the New Testament, Matthew 5:44 says to love your enemies and turn away from seeking revenge.

2. Are there any stories of revenge in the Old Testament?

Yes, there are several stories where themes of vengeance appear, like when Dinah’s brothers took revenge on Shechem or Haman the Agagite plotted against Mordecai and Queen Esther.

3. Do any verses suggest a different way to deal with wrongs instead of taking revenge?

Definitely – verses like “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” advocate for gentleness over retaliation, while teachings about mercy encourage forgiveness rather than seeking payback.

4. Did Jesus talk about revenge during his time on Earth?

Indeed – Jesus brought a message of love and forgiveness that goes beyond old laws; he highlighted loving others and leaving vengeance to God as part of living a life that honors Him.

5. Can we find guidance on managing our urge to get even with someone in Scripture?

Absolutely! The Bible offers advice on controlling passions and praying for those who’ve hurt us, showing us how seeking God’s glory can help manage our desires for retribution.

6. How is forgiving someone better than seeking vengeance according to biblical teaching?

Forgiving others reflects God’s mercy toward us—remember how “Jesus died for our sins.” It connects deeply with other messages from Scripture such as “the merciful… will be shown mercy” and promises like inheriting “the kingdom of heaven.”

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