(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
re-venj', re-venj'-er: The same Hebrew and Greek words are used to express the idea of "to avenge" and "to revenge" (naqam, or derivative; ekdikeo, 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 (British and American) preserves "revenge" (compare Jeremiah 20:10; Ezekiel 25:15; Ezekiel 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; II Corinthians 7:11; II Corinthians 10:6 the Revised Version (British and American); 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 (British and American) "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.
A. L. Breslich
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