Romans 12, 14-21

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have[e] regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath [of GOD][note a]; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.[note b]
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.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Interlinear translation

Verse English Greek (LXX) transliteration
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς διώκοντας [ὑμᾶς] εὐλογεῖτε καὶ μὴ καταρᾶσθε eulogeite tous diōkontas [hymas] eulogeite kai mē katarasthe
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. χαίρειν μετὰ χαιρόντων κλαίειν μετὰ κλαιόντων chairein meta chairontōn, klaiein meta klaiontōn
16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. τὸ αὐτὸ εἰς ἀλλήλους φρονοῦντες μὴ τὰ ὑψηλὰ φρονοῦντες ἀλλὰ τοῖς ταπεινοῖς συναπαγόμενοι μὴ γίνεσθε φρόνιμοι παρ’ ἑαυτοῖς to auto eis allēlous phronountes, mē ta upsēla phronountes alla tois tapeinois sunapagomenoi. mē ginesthe phronimoi par eautois
Verse English Greek (LXX) transliteration
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. μηδενὶ κακὸν ἀντὶ κακοῦ ἀποδιδόντες προνοούμενοι καλὰ ἐνώπιον πάντων ἀνθρώπων mēdeni kakon anti kakou apodidontes, pronooumenoi kala enōpion pantōn anthrōpōn
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. εἰ δυνατόν τὸ ἐξ ὑμῶν μετὰ πάντων ἀνθρώπων εἰρηνεύοντες ei dunaton to ex umōn, meta pantōn anthrōpōn eirēneuontes
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. μὴ ἑαυτοὺς ἐκδικοῦντες ἀγαπητοί ἀλλὰ δότε τόπον τῇ ὀργῇ γέγραπται γάρ Ἐμοὶ ἐκδίκησις ἐγὼ ἀνταποδώσω λέγει Κύριος mē eautous ekdikountes, agapētoi, alla dote topon tē orgē, gegraptai gar· emoi ekdikēsis, egō antapodōsō, legei kurios
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.” Ἀλλὰ Ἐὰν πεινᾷ ὁ ἐχθρός σου ψώμιζε αὐτόν ἐὰν διψᾷ πότιζε αὐτόν τοῦτο γὰρ ποιῶν ἄνθρακας πυρὸς σωρεύσεις ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ alla ean peina o echthros sou psōmize auton· ean dipsa, potize auton· touto gar poiōn anthrakas pyros sōreuseis epi tēn kephalēn autou
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Μὴ νικῶ ὑπὸ τοῦ κακοῦ ἀλλὰ νίκα ἐν τῷ ἀγαθῷ τὸ κακόν mē nikō hypo tou kakou alla nika en tō agathō to kakon

Note:

[note a] The expression “Wrath of GOD” is often understood in a metaphorical sense and represents a concept that, in Christian theology, reflects divine justice rather than a simple human emotion such as anger. This term symbolizes the principle that GOD, in his justice, will repay each person according to his or her actions, both good and bad. It is important to note that attributing human feelings to the Creator can be extremely limiting. In this context, “GOD’S wrath” does not imply that he feels emotions like human beings, but rather that he acts according to his perfect justice and divine plans. This concept urges humans not to interfere in the natural order of things and to let GOD establish justice and righteousness.

[note b] vengeance is the exclusive prerogative of GOD, emphasizing the importance of penance, humility and trust in divine justice. This passage urges us to replace anger and vengeance with love and understanding, promoting compassion even toward our enemies. This approach elevates the importance of showing love not only in words but also through actions.

Commentary:

Verse 14
This verse challenges believers to respond to persecution with blessings, not lemaledications. This reflects Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:44, in which he instructs to love enemies and pray for those who persecute. One approach transforms the natural inclination to retaliate into a divine expression of grace, reflecting the compassionate character of GOD himself, as seen in Luke 6:35-36.

Verse 15
Here the apostle Paul stresses the importance of empathy and sharing for communities, inviting sincere connection with the experiences of others, in line with Messiah’s teachings about loving your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31).

Verse 16
Humility one of the most difficult attributes to obtain and retain. Constant reminder and work, the great is only cgi keeps himself humble deep down, and not just in facade. It echoes Philippians 2:2-3, where Paul urges believers to be like-minded and consider others better than themselves. True Christian fellowship transcends social status, reflecting the humility and inclusion of Christ himself.

Verse 17
The call to refrain from revenge is a central Christian ethic. In line with Proverbs 20:22, which advises not to reciprocate evil with more evil.

Verse 18
This verse recognizes the complexity of achieving peace, and insists on personal responsibility in pursuing it. This directive complements the call in Hebrews 12:14 to seek peace with all. The Christian is encouraged to be an agent of peace, reflecting the peacemaking nature of Messiah (Matthew 5:9).

Verse 19.
This verse reinforces the prohibition of personal vengeance. Citing Deuteronomy 32:35, it recognizes the role of GOD as the only ultimate judge. A principle also evident in Proverbs 24:29 and Matthew 5:39, where we are instructed to resist the impulse (sometimes unfortunately innate in man’s imperfection) for revenge, trusting in divine justice.

Verse 21
The concluding verse summarizes the response to evil, resonating similarly with the teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), particularly with the call to be light in a dark world. Overcoming evil with good is a testimony to the transformative power of divine love and grace

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