Romans 12:20 swrew anqraxas purws epi thn kefalhn

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Fri Sep 13 1996 - 06:03:03 EDT

Louw and Nida 25.199 claims that this is an idiom which means "to treat someone
in such a positive manner as to cause that person to be ashamed or embarassed".
The connection between flaming coals and embarassment or shame is probably
blushing, which makes your head red and warm. Flaming coals would probably do
the same (I haven't tried it). If this is really the meaning of the phrase, it
is extremely convenient in explaining Romans 12:20:

Romans 12:20 alla ean peina o exqros sou, fwmize auton*ean dipsa, potize auton*
touto gar poiwn anqraxas puros swreuseis epi thn kefalhn auto
"but if your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if he is thirsty, give
him something to dring; for in doing this, you will make him ashamed."

Is this phrase used anywhere except for Romans 12:20? Is there any evidence that
this phrase is an idiom?


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