All men are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28; 9:6) and torture degrades that image (Deut. 25:3). Even after a trial and conviction, this image of God in man meant that no one could be given more than forty lashes in a beating because that would make him “degraded” (Deut. 25:3 NASB). It didn’t matter that a horrendous criminal might be thought to “deserve” more than that, this was the limit of degradation that was allowed in the Bible as punishment. Nor were there other forms of physical pain beyond beatings and capital punishment that were allowed for any one crime. Torture appeared to be off the radar of Biblical justice.
- Phillip Kayser, Torture: A Biblical Critique, p. 19, http://biblicalblueprints.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Torture.pdf.