Romans 12:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN 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.

Darby Bible Translation
If therefore thine enemy should hunger, feed him; if he should thirst, give him drink; for, so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

World English Bible
Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head."

Young's Literal Translation
I will recompense again, saith the Lord;' if, then, thine enemy doth hunger, feed him; if he doth thirst, give him drink; for this doing, coals of fire thou shalt heap upon his head;

Romans 12:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Therefore, if thine enemy hunger ... - This verse is taken almost literally from Proverbs 25:21-22. Hunger and thirst here are put for want in general. If thine enemy is needy in any way, do him good, and supply his needs. This is, in spirit, the same as the command of the Lord Jesus Matthew 5:44, "Do good to them that hate you," etc.

In so doing - It does not mean that we are to do this "for the sake" of heaping coals of fire on him, but that this will be the result.

Thou shalt heap ... - Coals of fire are doubtless emblematical of "pain." But the idea here is not that in so doing we shall call down divine vengeance on the man; but the apostle is speaking of the natural effect or result of showing him kindness. Burning coals heaped on a man's head would be expressive of intense agony. So the apostle says that the "effect" of doing good to an enemy would be to produce pain. But the pain will result from shame, remorse of conscience, a conviction of the evil of his conduct, and an apprehension of divine displeasure that may lead to repentance. To do this, is not only perfectly right, but it is desirable. If a man can be brought to reflection and true repentance, it should be done. In regard to this passage we may remark,

(1) That the way to promote "peace" is to do good even to enemies.

(2) the way to bring a man to repentance is to do him good. On this principle God is acting continually. He does good to all, even to the rebellious; and he designs that his goodness should lead people to repentance; Romans 2:4. People will resist wrath, anger, and power; but "goodness" they cannot resist; it finds its way to the heart; and the conscience does its work, and the sinner is overwhelmed at the remembrance of his crimes.

(3) if people would act on the principles of the gospel, the world would soon be at peace. No man would suffer himself many times to be overwhelmed in this way with coals of fire. It is not human nature, bad as it is; and if Christians would meet all unkindness with kindness, all malice with benevolence, and all wrong with right, peace would soon pervade the community, and even opposition to the gospel might soon die away.

Romans 12:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
July 22. "He that Ministereth Let us Wait on Our Ministering" (Rom. xii. 7).
"He that ministereth let us wait on our ministering" (Rom. xii. 7). Beloved, are you ministering to Christ? Are you doing it with your hands? Are you doing it with your substance and with what you have? Is He getting the best of what is most real to you? Has He a place at your table? And when He does not come to fill the chair, is it free to His representative, His poor and humble children? Your words and wishes are cheap if they do not find expression in your actual gifts. Even Mary did not put
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Second Sunday after Epiphany
Text: Romans 12, 6-16. 6 And having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith; 7 or ministry, let us give ourselves to our ministry; or he that teacheth, to his teaching; 8 or he that exhorteth, to his exhorting; he that giveth, let him do it with liberality; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness. 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Still Another Triplet
'Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.'--ROMANS xii. 13-15. In these verses we pass from the innermost region of communion with God into the wide field of duties in relation to men. The solitary secrecies of rejoicing hope, endurance, and prayer unbroken, are exchanged for the publicities of benevolence and sympathy. In the former verses the Christian
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Many and One
'For we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.'--ROMANS xii. 4, 5. To Paul there was the closest and most vital connection between the profoundest experiences of the Christian life and its plainest and most superficial duties. Here he lays one of his most mystical conceptions as the very foundation on which to rear the great structure of Christian conduct, and links on to one of
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

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

2 Kings 6:22
He answered, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill those 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 food 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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