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21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;(A)

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22 For in doing so, you will [a]heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord will reward you.

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Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 25:22 This is not to be understood as a revengeful act intended to embarrass its victim, but just the opposite. The picture is that of the high priest (Lev. 16:12) who, on the Day of Atonement, took his censer and filled it with “coals of fire” from off the altar of burnt offering, and then put incense on the coals to create a pleasing, sweet-smelling fragrance. The cloud or smoke of the incense covered the mercy seat and was acceptable to God for atonement. Samuel Wesley wrote:/ “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.”

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