Proverbs 25:21,22 - Kill Them With Kindness?

Prov 25:21, 22:  Kill Them With Kindness?

CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word 

Prov 25:21, 22 (KJV)  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 

Prov 25:21, 22 (TEV)  If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he 
is thirsty, give him a drink.  You will make him burn with shame, 
and the LORD will reward you. 

Prov 25:21, 22 (CWR)  If your enemy is hungry, give him food; if 
he is thirsty, give him water.  When you do this, he will feel 
ashamed of hating you and the Lord will reward your compassion. 

CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:

The second collection attributed to Solomon  (25:1-29:27)
More Proverbs of Solomon  (25:1-29:27)
Similitudes, Instructions
Advice for Kings
A Person Without Self-Control  (25:16-28)

CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.

Romans 12:20-21 (KJV)  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. [21] Be not overcome of evil, but overcome 
evil with good.  

Matthew 5:39 (KJV)  But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: 
but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the 
other also.  

Matthew 5:44 (KJV)  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;  

Exodus 23:4-5 (KJV)  If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass 
going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. [5] 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.  

Proverbs 24:17 (KJV)  Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and 
let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:  

COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?

In returning good for evil and so being kind to your enemy, you 
may cause him to repent or change. [NIV SB] 

Kindness shown to an enemy will bring shame to him and blessing 
to the benefactor. Burning coals will kindle shame in the enemy and 
perhaps lead him to repentance. In an Egyptian ritual a guilty person 
carried a pan of burning coals on his head to indicate his repentance. 
[Ryrie SB] 

Heap coals of fire. There has been much difference of opinion as 
to the meaning of this metaphor. Some have felt that the coals of 
fire represent the burning shame and remorse with which the enemy is 
covered and that this was a form of vengeance gained by the innocent 
party. But one cannot very well conceive of God rewarding the taking of 
vengeance. He has claimed that vengeance belongs to Him (Heb. 10:30), and 
has bidden us to love our enemies and suffer whatever they may do to 
us (Matt. 5:44; James 5:6-8). Whatever the precise meaning, the 
metaphor seems most probably to represent an attempt to do good to the 
foe, even though such an action may give him further opportunity to 
sin against us..Our material kindness to an enemy, by seeking him 
out when he should really come to us for reconciliation, may bring 
upon his head fires of repentance and sorrow for sin that will burn 
up all the ill will and make us good friends and fellow servants of 
the Lord. [SDA Commentary] 

Occasions of irritation to the Jews were constantly arising from 
their contact with the Roman soldiery. Detachments of troops were 
stationed at different points throughout Judea and Galilee, and their 
presence reminded the people of their own degradation as a nation. With 
bitterness of soul they heard the loud blast of the trumpet and saw the 
troops forming around the standard of Rome and bowing in homage to this 
symbol of her power. Collisions between the people and the soldiers 
were frequent, and these inflamed the popular hatred. Often as some 
Roman official with his guard of soldiers hastened from point to 
point, he would seize upon the Jewish peasants who were laboring in the 
field and compel them to carry burdens up the mountainside or render 
any other service that might be needed. This was in accordance with 
the Roman law and custom, and resistance to such demands only called 
forth taunts and cruelty. Every day deepened in the hearts of the 
people the longing to cast off the Roman yoke. Especially among the 
bold, rough-handed Galileans the spirit of insurrection was rife. 
Capernaum, being a border town, was the seat of a Roman garrison, and even 
while Jesus was teaching, the sight of a company of soldiers recalled 
to His hearers the bitter thought of Israel's humiliation. The 
people looked eagerly of Christ, hoping that He was the One who was to 
humble the pride of Rome.  
With sadness Jesus looks into the upturned faces before Him. He 
notes the spirit of revenge that has stamped its evil imprint upon 
them, and knows how bitterly the people long for power to crush their 
oppressors. Mournfully He bids them, "Resist not him that is evil: but 
whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."  
These words were but a reiteration of the teaching of the Old 
Testament. It is true that the rule, "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" 
(Leviticus 24:20), was a provision in the laws given through Moses; but it 
was a civil statute. None were justified in avenging themselves, for 
they had the words of the Lord: "Say not thou, I will recompense 
evil." "Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me." "Rejoice 
not when thine enemy falleth." "If he that hateth thee be hungry, 
give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to 
drink." Proverbs 20:22; 24:29, 17; 25:21, 22, R.V., margin.  
The whole earthly life of Jesus was a manifestation of this 
principle. It was to bring the bread of life to His enemies that our 
Saviour left His home in heaven. Though calumny and persecution were 
heaped upon Him from the cradle to the grave, they called forth from 
Him only the expression of forgiving love. Through the prophet 
Isaiah He says," I gave My back to the smiters, and My cheeks to them 
that plucked off the hair: I hid not My face from shame and 
spitting." "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His 
mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before 
her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." Isaiah 50:6; 
53:7. And from the cross of Calvary there come down through the ages 
His prayer for His murderers and the message of hope to the dying 
The Father's presence encircled Christ, and nothing befell Him 
but that which infinite love permitted for the blessing of the 
world. Here was His source of comfort, and it is for us. He who is 
imbued with the Spirit of Christ abides in Christ. The blow that is 
aimed at him falls upon the Saviour, who surrounds him with His 
presence. Whatever comes to him comes from Christ. He has no need to 
resist evil, for Christ is his defense. Nothing can touch him except by 
our Lord's permission, and "all things" that are permitted "work 
together for good to them that love God." Romans 8:28.  MB69-71 re 

God's form of retaliation is most effective and yet difficult to 
do. Paul quotes this proverb in Romans 12:19-21. In Matthew 5:44, 
Jesus encourages us to pray for those who hurt us. By returning good 
for evil, we are acknowledging God as the balancer of all accounts 
and trusting him to be the judge. [Life Application SB]