Romans 12:20
New International Version
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."

New Living Translation
Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

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.”

Berean Study Bible
On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Berean Literal Bible
On the contrary, "If your enemy should hunger, feed him; if he should thirst, give him to drink; for doing this, you will heap coals of fire upon his head."

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.

Christian Standard Bible
But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.

Contemporary English Version
The Scriptures also say, "If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads."

Good News Translation
Instead, as the scripture says: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink; for by doing this you will make them burn with shame."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.

International Standard Version
But "if your enemy is hungry, feed him. For if he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will pile burning coals on his head."

NET Bible
Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head.

New Heart 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."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“And if your enemy hungers, feed him, and if he thirsts, give him a drink, and if you do these things to him you will heap coals of fire on his skull.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed."

New American Standard 1977
“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 UPON HIS HEAD.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, if thine enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.

American King James Version
Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall 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.

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.

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.

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;
Study Bible
Forgiveness
19Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.” 20On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.…
Cross References
Genesis 42:25
Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, return each man's silver to his sack, and give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out,

2 Kings 6:22
"Do not kill them," he replied. "Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and then return 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 tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Luke 6:27
But to those of you who will listen, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

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

Treasury of Scripture

Therefore if your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head.

if thine.

Exodus 23:4,5
If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt 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 unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept…

1 Samuel 26:21
Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

coals.

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

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

Song of Solomon 8:6,7
Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame…







Lexicon
On the contrary,
Ἀλλὰ (Alla)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

“If
Ἐὰν (Ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

your
σου (sou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

enemy
ἐχθρός (echthros)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2190: Hated, hostile; subst: an enemy. From a primary echtho; hateful; usually as a noun, an adversary.

is hungry,
πεινᾷ (peina)
Verb - Present Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3983: To be hungry, needy, desire earnestly. From the same as penes; to famish; figuratively, to crave.

feed
ψώμιζε (psōmize)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5595: To feed, dole out. From the base of psomion; to supply with bits, i.e. to nourish.

him;
αὐτόν (auton)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

if
ἐὰν (ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

he is thirsty,
διψᾷ (dipsa)
Verb - Present Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1372: To thirst for, desire earnestly. From a variation of dipsos; to thirst for.

give him a drink.
πότιζε (potize)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4222: To cause to drink, give to drink; irrigate, water. From a derivative of the alternate of pino; to furnish drink, irrigate.

For
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

in so doing,
ποιῶν (poiōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4160: (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.

you will heap
σωρεύσεις (sōreuseis)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4987: To heap up, load. From another form of soros; to pile up.

burning
πυρὸς (pyros)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4442: Fire; the heat of the sun, lightning; fig: strife, trials; the eternal fire. A primary word; 'fire'.

coals
ἄνθρακας (anthrakas)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 440: Coal, charcoal, a burning coal. Of uncertain derivation; a live coal.

on
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

his
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

head.”
κεφαλὴν (kephalēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2776: From the primary kapto; the head, literally or figuratively.
(20) Thou shalt heap coals of fire.--Comp. Psalm 18:12-14, where the phrase "coals of fire" is used of the divine vengeance. So here, but in a strictly metaphorical sense, it means, "Thou shalt take the best and most summary vengeance upon him." There may be the underlying idea of awakening in the adversary the pangs of shame and remorse.

12:17-21 Since men became enemies to God, they have been very ready to be enemies one to another. And those that embrace religion, must expect to meet with enemies in a world whose smiles seldom agree with Christ's. Recompense to no man evil for evil. That is a brutish recompence, befitting only animals, which are not conscious of any being above them, or of any existence hereafter. And not only do, but study and take care to do, that which is amiable and creditable, and recommends religion to all with whom you converse. Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath. When a man's passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongeth. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God's children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.
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