After a few teasers on capital punishment Kuyper now turns to it in Genesis 9:6.
He starts by examining the “untenable” argument of Nieuwenhuis, a professor of Law at Groningen, who maintains that the legislation was placed in Israel and that it was a private vendetta and nothing to do with government. Kuyper dismisses the first by distinguishing between moral, ceremonial and political laws; the form has passed away but not the principle. As for the second point:
“The requirement of “an eye for an eye” was a stipulation of a judicial nature in the Mosaic legislation. It was hardly intended that the individual citizen would act according to this rule, but only that the government would function in terms of recompense when it came to judicial punishment.” (73)
Kuyper then goes on to challenge the position that it is only personal vengeance intended here.
He maintains that what we have here is not a prescription but an institution; the institution of government is sanctioned and “capital punishment is prescribed to be exercised by the neared blood relative” (79)