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Proverbs 25:21-22

Context

25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat,

and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,

25:22 for you will heap coals of fire on his head, 1 

and the Lord will reward you. 2 

1 sn The imagery of the “burning coals” represents pangs of conscience, more readily effected by kindness than by violence. These coals produce the sharp pain of contrition through regret (e.g., 18:19; 20:22; 24:17; Gen 42-45; 1 Sam 24:18-20; Rom 12:20). The coals then would be an implied comparison with a searing conscience.

2 sn The second consequence of treating enemies with kindness is that the Lord will reward the act. The fact that this is promised shows that the instruction here belongs to the religious traditions of Israel.



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