Proverbs 25:28
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.

King James Bible
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

American Standard Version
He whose spirit is without restraint Is like a city that is broken down and without walls.

Douay-Rheims Bible
As a city that lieth open and is not compassed with walls, so is a man that cannot refrain his own spirit in speaking.

English Revised Version
He whose spirit is without restraint is like a city that is broken down and hath no wall.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

Proverbs 25:28 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

21 If thine enemy hunger, feed him with bread;

     And if he thirst, give him water to drink.

22 For thereby thou heapest burning coals on his head,

     And Jahve will recompense it to thee.

The translation of this proverb by the lxx is without fault; Paul cites therefrom Romans 12:20. The participial construction of 22a, the lxx, rightly estimating it, thus renders: for, doing this, thou shalt heap coals on his head. The expression, "thou shalt heap" (σωρεύσεις), is also appropriate; for חתה certainly means first only to fetch or bring fire (vid., Proverbs 6:27); but here, by virtue of the constructio praegnans with על, to fetch, and hence to heap up - to pile upon. Burning pain, as commonly observed, is the figure of burning shame, on account of undeserved kindness shown by an enemy (Fleischer). But how burning coals heaped on the head can denote burning shame, is not to be perceived, for the latter is a burning on the cheeks; wherefore Hitzig and Rosenmller explain: thou wilt thus bring on him the greatest pain, and appease thy vengeance, while at the same time Jahve will reward thy generosity. Now we say, indeed, that he who rewards evil with good takes the noblest revenge; but if this doing of good proceed from a revengeful aim, and is intended sensibly to humble an adversary, then it loses all its moral worth, and is changed into selfish, malicious wickedness. Must the proverb then be understood in this ignoble sense? The Scriptures elsewhere say that guilt and punishment are laid on the head of any one when he is made to experience and to bear them. Chrysostom and others therefore explain after Psalm 140:10 and similar passages, but thereby the proverb is morally falsified, and Proverbs 25:22 accords with Proverbs 25:21, which counsels not to the avenging of oneself, but to the requital of evil with good. The burning of coals laid on the head must be a painful but wholesome consequence; it is a figure of self-accusing repentance (Augustine, Zckler), for the producing of which the showing of good to an enemy is a noble motive. That God rewards such magnanimity may not be the special motive; but this view might contribute to it, for otherwise such promises of God as Isaiah 58:8-12 were without moral right. The proverb also requires one to show himself gentle and liberal toward a needy enemy, and present a twofold reason for this: first, that thereby his injustice is brought home to his conscience; and, secondly, that thus God is well-pleased in such practical love toward an enemy, and will reward it; - by such conduct, apart from the performance of a law grounded in our moral nature, one advances the happiness of his neighbour and his own.

Proverbs 25:28 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.

Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go:

1 Samuel 20:30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of the perverse rebellious woman...

1 Samuel 25:17 Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household...

Cross References
2 Chronicles 32:5
He set to work resolutely and built up all the wall that was broken down and raised towers upon it, and outside it he built another wall, and he strengthened the Millo in the city of David. He also made weapons and shields in abundance.

Nehemiah 1:3
And they said to me, "The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire."

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.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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