John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. Romans 12:20, NLT: "Instead, 'If your enemies are hungry, feed them. Faithful pastors long to see their churches grow up in faith, hope, and love. Jesus said to love our enemies and to bless those who persecute us (Mt 5:44). Now, whereas the meaning of v. 19 is clear in its prohibition of personal revenge in the ethic of love and in light of the promise of divine vengeance, there is vigorous debate as to the meaning of Romans 12:20 as it follows on the heels of v. 19 and relates to the rest of the context. To get what Romans 12:19 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity. Romans 12:19 Context. In his book, Kingdoms in Conflict, Charles Colson paints a dismal picture of the state of commitment to God at the UN building complex in New York: The United Nations complex sits on sixteen acres of New York City’s choicest real estate, bordering the East River and Manhattan. Compare Plato: Socrates, "And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the morality of the many - is that just or not? This expression implies that it is "improper" for people to interfere with that which properly belongs to God. NKJV - 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. If he shall obtain it, he will also acknowledge no doubt the injury, which he did to you, even though you should not be alive; and in this case you will not desire, I hope, in consequence of any grudge of yours, to debar him from access to, but rather would feel delight in assisting him in every way with your prayers. Romans 12 is a pillar for change, it is that chapter that will give you the tools to live according to God’s plan. The great “Aaronic blessing” of Numbers 6 gives us a powerful glimpse into God’s promises of grace and peace for his people today. it is important as you need to transform your mind, renew it, think differently and knowing that the past is gone and the future is as per God’s plan if only you allow the holy spirit to lead. Avenge not yourselves - To "avenge" is to take satisfaction for an injury by inflicting punishment on the offender. Septuagint, In the day of vengeance I will requite. If he shall not obtain it, at least in His own behoof as supreme Judge, will by no means fail to punish him severely for the fault, for which you have granted him pardon, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Then he turned to his father and said, "I suppose you noticed you weren't in my prayer." But rather (or, on the contrary) give place unto the wrath of God. And (we pray!) You see for yourself whether the meaning is really there. The command here "not to avenge ourselves" means, that we are not to take it out of the hands of God, or the hands of the law, and to inflict it ourselves. Be not wise in your own conceits. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.'". All of our resources exist to guide you toward everlasting joy in Jesus Christ. Paul goes on to quote God’s words in Deuteronomy: “Vengeance is mine, and retribution.” (De 32:19-35) Although the Greek text at Ro 12:19 does not include the expression “of God,” many Bible translators insert it in order to convey the correct idea. II. thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Which thou shalt look upon before thou diest. This seems to be the only sense consistent with what follows. Regarding war, Exodus 14:14 says, "The L ORD will fight for you." This assurance will sustain as, not in the "desire" that our enemy shall be punished, but in the belief that "God" will take the matter into his own hands; that he can administer it better than we can; and that if our enemy "ought" to be punished, he will be. But rather give place unto wrath - This expression has been interpreted in a great variety of ways. Besides, the magistrate is appointed for the praise of those who do well, and to punish evil-doers; 1 Peter 2:14. Romans 12:20. Do not execute wrath; leave it to God; commit all to him; leave yourself and your enemy in his hands, assured that he will vindicate you and punish him. Romans 12:20. The idea of personal vindictiveness must be eliminated from the word here. Subscribe. Beatrice says: In which, if thou hadst understood its prayers, Already would be known to thee the vengeance. But Christianity seeks the ascendancy of the laws; and in cases which do not admit or require the interference of the laws, in private assaults and quarrels, it demands that we bear injury with patience, and commit our cause unto God; see Leviticus 19:18. Hebrew, To me belongs vengeance and requital. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. Subscribe. Epictetus, being asked how a man could injure his enemy, replied, "By living the best life himself." Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1]. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 5:12-19 EXEGESIS: ROMANS—THE CONTEXT: In Romans 1:18—3:20, Paul addressed the issue of sin. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. The quotation is from Deuteronomy 32:35. And (we pray!) Apple YouTube Email. Romans 12:9-21 A little boy was punished by his father. Hebrew, is the same mind one toward another of vengeance I will repay... - expression... 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