Romans 12:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

King James Bible
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

American Standard Version
But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

English Revised Version
But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

Webster's Bible Translation
Therefore if thy enemy hungereth, feed him; if he thirsteth, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Weymouth New Testament
On the contrary, therefore, if your enemy is hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, quench his thirst. For by doing this you will be heaping burning coals upon his head.

Romans 12:20 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Feed (ψώμιζε)

See on sop, John 13:26. The citation from Proverbs 25:21, Proverbs 25:22, closely follows both Hebrew and Septuagint.

Shalt heap (σωρεύσεις)

Only here and 2 Timothy 3:6.

Coals of fire

Many explain: The memory of the wrong awakened in your enemy by your kindness, shall sting him with penitence. This, however, might be open to the objection that the enemy's pain might gratify the instinct of revenge. Perhaps it is better to take it, that kindness is as effectual as coals of fire. Among the Arabs and Hebrews the figure of "coals of fire" is common as a symbol of divine punishment (Psalm 18:13). "The Arabians call things which cause very acute mental pain, burning coals of the heart and fire in the liver" (Thayer, "Lexicon"). Thomas De Quincey, referring to an author who calls this "a fiendish idea," says: "I acknowledge that to myself, in one part of my boyhood, it did seem a refinement of malice. My subtilizing habits, however, even in those days, soon suggested to me that this aggravation of guilt in the object of our forgiveness was not held out as the motive to the forgiveness, but as the result of it; secondly, that perhaps no aggravation of his guilt was the point contemplated, but the salutary stinging into life of his remorse hitherto sleeping" ("Essays on the Poets").

Romans 12:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

if thine.

Exodus 23:4,5 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again...

1 Samuel 24:16-19 And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, Is this your voice, my son David...

1 Samuel 26:21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do you harm, because my soul was precious in your eyes this day...

Proverbs 25:21,22 If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink...

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you...

coals.

Psalm 120:4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

Psalm 140:10 Let burning coals fall on them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

Songs 8:6,7 Set me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave...

Cross References
Genesis 42:25
And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

2 Kings 6:22
He answered, "You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master."

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,

Matthew 5:44
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Luke 6:27
"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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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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