Romans 12:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

King James Bible
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Darby Bible Translation
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

World English Bible
Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Young's Literal Translation
Be not overcome by the evil, but overcome, in the good, the evil.

Romans 12:21 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Be not overcome of evil - Do not, by giving place to evil, become precisely the same character which thou condemnest in another. Overcome evil with good - however frequently he may grieve and injure thee, always repay him with kindness; thy good-will, in the end, may overcome his evil.

1. Thomas Aquinas has properly said: Vincitur a malo qui vult peccare in alium, quia ille peccavit in ipsum. "He is overcome of evil who sins against another, because he sins against him." A moral enemy is more easily overcome by kindness than by hostility. Against the latter he arms himself; and all the evil passions of his heart concentrate themselves in opposition to him who is striving to retaliate, by violence, the injurious acts which he has received from him. But where the injured man is labouring to do him good for his evil - to repay his curses with blessings and prayers, his evil passions have no longer any motive, any incentive; his mind relaxes; the turbulence of his passions is calmed; reason and conscience are permitted to speak; he is disarmed, or, in other words, he finds that he has no use for his weapons; he beholds in the injured man a magnanimous friend whose mind is superior to all the insults and injuries which he has received, and who is determined never to permit the heavenly principle that influences his soul to bow itself before the miserable, mean, and wretched spirit of revenge. This amiable man views in his enemy a spirit which he beholds with horror, and he cannot consent to receive into his own bosom a disposition which he sees to be so destructive to another; and he knows that as soon as he begins to avenge himself, he places himself on a par with the unprincipled man whose conduct he has so much reason to blame, and whose spirit he has so much cause to abominate. He who avenges himself receives into his own heart all the evil and disgraceful passions by which his enemy is rendered both wretched and contemptible. There is the voice of eternal reason in "Avenge not yourselves: - overcome evil with good;" as well as the high authority and command of the living God.

2. The reader will, no doubt, have observed with pleasure the skill and address, as well as the Divine wisdom, with which the apostle has handled the important subjects which he has brought forth to view in the preceding chapters. Nothing can be more regular or judicious than his plan of proceeding. He first shows the miserable, wretched, fallen, degraded state of man; next, the merciful provision which God has made for his salvation, and lastly, the use which man should make of the mercies of his God. He shows us, in a most pointed manner, the connection that subsists between the doctrines of the Gospel and practical piety. From the beginning of the first to the end of the eleventh chapter he states and defends the grand truths of Christianity, and from the beginning of the twelfth to the end of the epistle he shows the practical use of these doctrines. This is a point which is rarely considered by professors; multitudes run to the Epistle to the Romans for texts to prop up their peculiar system of doctrine, but how few go to this sacred book for rules relative to holy life! They abound in quotations from the doctrinal parts, but seldom make that use of them which the apostle makes in this chapter. "I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world, etc." Now we learn from the use which the apostle makes of his doctrines, that whatsoever teaching comes from God leads to a holy and useful life. And if we hold any doctrine that does not excite us to labor after the strictest conformity to the will of God in all our tempers, spirit, and actions, we may rest assured that either that doctrine is not of God, or we make an improper use of it. He that knows God best, loves and resembles him most.

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.

Luke 6:27-30 But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you...

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called...

A Reasonable Service
TEXT: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."--Romans 12:1. There is perhaps no chapter in the New Testament, certainly none in this epistle, with which we are more familiar than this one which is introduced by the text; and yet, however familiar we may be with the statements, if we read them carefully and study them honestly they must always come to us not only in the
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

April 6. "As we have Many Members in one Body, So we Being Many are one Body in Christ" (Rom. xii. 4, 5).
"As we have many members in one body, so we being many are one body in Christ" (Rom. xii. 4, 5). Sometimes our communion with God is cut off, or interrupted because of something wrong with a brother, or some lack of unity in the body of Christ. We try to get at the Lord, but we cannot, because we are separated from some member of the Lord's body, or because there is not the freedom of His love flowing through every organic part. It does not need a blow upon the head to paralyze the brain; a blow
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Another Triplet of Graces
'Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.'--ROMANS xii. 12. These three closely connected clauses occur, as you all know, in the midst of that outline of the Christian life with which the Apostle begins the practical part of this Epistle. Now, what he omits in this sketch of Christian duty seems to me quite as significant as what he inserts. It is very remarkable that in the twenty verses devoted to this subject, this is the only one which refers to the inner secrets
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Still Another Triplet
'Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits.'--Romans xii. 16 (R.V.). We have here again the same triple arrangement which has prevailed through a considerable portion of the context. These three exhortations are linked together by a verbal resemblance which can scarcely be preserved in translation. In the two former the same verb is employed: and in the third the word for 'wise' is cognate with
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Cross References
Romans 12:20
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Romans 13:1
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

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