U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said ‘an eye for an eye’ is his favorite Bible verse.
Donald Trump likes his Bible verses like he likes his campaign rhetoric: not “particularly nice.”
The hate-spewing GOP presidential candidate claimed “an eye for an eye” is his favorite line in the Scriptures — and then stumbled his way through an explanation, admitting the maxim isn’t the kindest Bible teaching.
“Well, I think many. I mean, you know, when we get into the Bible, I think many. So many,” he told conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry on Rochester’s WHAM 1180 AM when asked about his favorite verse.
He continued the nearly incoherent ramble: “And some people — look, ‘an eye for an eye,’ you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing.”
The billionaire presidential hopeful justified his pick by alluding to the U.S.’s foreign relations.
“But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country — I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us,” he said. “And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be firm and have to be very strong.”
He concluded: “And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.”
Trump — whom the Pope once called “not Christian” for his callous plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and bar Muslims from entering the country — appeared to reference two Old Testament verses with his bloviating response.
Trump seemed to reference two Old Testament verses with his bloviating response.
Exodus 22 reads: “If there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
And Leviticus 24:19-21 makes a similar assessment: “And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbor; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.”
The phrase appears one more time in the New Testament, where Jesus apparently rejects the idea of vengeance.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth,’” Jesus said, according to the Book of Matthew. “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
The Thursday interview wasn’t Trump’s first time talking about the Bible. In September, he butchered a verse during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“There’s so many things that you can learn from it,” he said of the Bible. “Proverbs, the chapter ‘never bend to envy.’ I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy.”
The verse Trump was trying to quote, Proverbs 24:1-2, actually reads: “Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.”