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Romans 12:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “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.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— 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.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But—if thine enemy hunger, be feeding him, if he thirst, be giving him drink; for, this doing, coals of fire, shalt thou heap upon his head.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— 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;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But if the 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Therefore if thine enemie hunger, feed him: if he thirst, giue him drink. For in so doing thou shalt heape coales of fire on his head.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And if thy adversary hunger, feed him; and if he thirst, give him drink: and if these things thou do unto him, coals of fire thou wilt heap upon his head.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And if thy adversary be hungry, feed him: and if he be thirsty, give him drink. For if thou doest these things to him, thou wilt heap coals of fire on his head.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Therefore 3767
{3767} Prime
οὖν
oun
{oon}
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
if 1437
{1437} Prime
ἐάν
ean
{eh-an'}
From G1487 and G0302; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty.
thine 4675
{4675} Prime
σοῦ
sou
{soo}
Genitive case of G4771; of thee, thy.
enemy 2190
{2190} Prime
ἐχθρός
echthros
{ech-thros'}
From a primary word ἔχθω [[echtho]] (to hate); hateful (passively odious, or actively hostile); usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan).
hunger, 3983
{3983} Prime
πεινάω
peinao
{pi-nah'-o}
From the same as G3993 (through the idea of pinching toil; 'pine'); to famish (absolutely or comparatively); figuratively to crave.
z5725
<5725> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 352
feed 5595
{5595} Prime
ψωμίζω
psomizo
{pso-mid'-zo}
From the base of G5596; to supply with bits, that is, (genitive case) to nourish.
z5720
<5720> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 592
him; 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
if 1437
{1437} Prime
ἐάν
ean
{eh-an'}
From G1487 and G0302; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty.
he thirst, 1372
{1372} Prime
διψάω
dipsao
{dip-sah'-o}
From a variation of G1373; to thirst for (literally or figuratively).
z5725
<5725> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 352
give y4222
[4222] Standard
ποτίζω
potizo
{pot-id'-zo}
From a derivative of the alternate of G4095; to furnish drink, irrigate.
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
him y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
drink: 4222
{4222} Prime
ποτίζω
potizo
{pot-id'-zo}
From a derivative of the alternate of G4095; to furnish drink, irrigate.
z5720
<5720> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Imperative (See G5794)
Count - 592
x846
(0846) Complement
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
for 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
in so 5124
{5124} Prime
τοῦτο
touto
{too'-to}
Neuter, singular, nomitive or accusative of G3778; that thing.
doing 4160
{4160} Prime
ποιέω
poieo
{poy-eh'-o}
Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
thou shalt heap 4987
{4987} Prime
σωρεύω
soreuo
{sore-yoo'-o}
From another form of G4673; to pile up (literally or figuratively).
z5692
<5692> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 814
coals 440
{0440} Prime
ἄνθραξ
anthrax
{anth'-rax}
Of uncertain derivation; a live coal.
of fire 4442
{4442} Prime
πῦρ
pur
{poor}
A primary word; 'fire' (literally or figuratively, specifically lightning).
on 1909
{1909} Prime
ἐπί
epi
{ep-ee'}
A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.
his y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
head. 2776
{2776} Prime
κεφαλή
kephale
{kef-al-ay'}
Probably from the primary word κάπτω [[kapto]] (in the sense of seizing); the head (as the part most readily taken hold of), literally or figuratively.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Romans 12:19-21.


Romans 12:20

_ _ if thine enemy hunger, etc. — This is taken from Proverbs 25:21, Proverbs 25:22, which without doubt supplied the basis of those lofty precepts on that subject which form the culminating point of the Sermon on the Mount.

_ _ in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head — As the heaping of “coals of fire” is in the Old Testament the figurative expression of divine vengeance (Psalms 140:10; Psalms 11:6, etc.), the true sense of these words seems to be, “That will be the most effectual vengeance — a vengeance under which he will be fain to bend” (So Alford, Hodge, etc.). Romans 12:21 confirms this.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Romans 12:1-21.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 12:20

Feed him — With your own hand: if it be needful, even put bread into his mouth. Heap coals of fire upon his head — That part which is most sensible.

"So artists melt the sullen ore of lead, By heaping coals of fire upon its head; In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, And pure from dross the silver runs below." Proverbs 25:21, &c.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 12:20

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

(y) In this manner Solomon points out the wrath of God which hangs over a man.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
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. ... If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.
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. ... For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.
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.
Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: ... For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

coals:

Psalms 120:4 Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
Psalms 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 Songs 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. ... Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if [a] man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
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Ex 23:4. 1S 24:16; 26:21. Ps 120:4; 140:10. Pv 25:21. So 8:6. Mt 5:44.

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