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16 March 2007



Amen. My goal is to bring the coals a plenty of the evil one.



Joe James


I have just read somewhere, and I can't remember for the life of me where, that these scriptures are also symbolic of the High Priest putting 'something' (I'm having serious brain pause) on the altar which God regarded as a soothing aroma.

Have you heard that?



Joe, here is the (only?) OT reference to coals...

"And he (the high Priest) shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and he shall bring it inside the veil and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is over the testimony, so that he does not die." (Lev 16:12f)

It's great imagery and very redemptive, but it's still quite a jump from "your enemies head" to the altar of incense (which is a type of the saints)!

Joe James

Ha! I found it!!!

Whilst reading a chapter of Proverbs a day I like to use different translations to get a bit of 'Manifold' wisdom, and one month I used the Amplified Bible. This is what the foot note says concerning Prov 25v22:

"This is not to be understood as a revengeful act intended to embarras its victim, but just the opposite. The picture is that of the High Priest (Lev16v12) who, on the Day of Atonement, took his censer and filled it with 'coals of fire' from off of the altar of burning offering, and then put incence on the coals to create a pleasing, sweet-smelling fragrance. The cloud or smoke of the incence covered the mercy seat and was acceptable to God for atonement. Samuel Wesley wrote - 'So artist 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' - "

There you have it. I don't know exactly where they get that from but at the leats its another viewpoint with a nice little poem on the end.



Hi, Matthew -

Just thinking...In John 8, where Lord Jesus is revealing His Deity, He says something to the Jews, who are claiming the Father as their God. He says, "You are of your father, the devil." In Matthew 10, the Lord says to the disciples, "If they have called the Head of the house [Jesus Himself] 'Beelzebub', how much more the members of His household!" If, by God's design, a father is the head of a household...and if the "father" or head of unregenerated man is the devil...then we really ARE proclaiming satan's condemnation - by fire - loudly - when we love our enemies and win them to our Head.

It makes sense Biblically, Matthew.

Akinola Akinyede

Concise but powerful & insightful post Matthew.

I have not heard or seen it in this light before. I agree with you that the coals are meant for the head of satan. Afterall he-satan is heading for the lake of un-ending fire, he could as well start having a feel of it now by our good deeds.

Indeed the revelation of God is progressive & progressing. Praise God!


I've always seen this proverb in its simplest terms - don't fight the devil his way fight it God's way.

hugh froese

'heaping burning coals upon the head of your enemy" is not a vengeful act. (And a head is a head.) Fire, or live coals were crucial for life. If someone's fire went out during the day, they would get a live coal from their neighbor, and carry it home in a container, in typical fashion, on their head. The context is all about treating your enemy with kindness - and therefore, HEAP the burning coals - it is quite generous.


Ithink it means that genuine kindness which is unnaturaL and unexpected may melt a persoanl may draw forth the precious metals of guilt, shame and repentance. It may cause him to reconsider his hard treatment of you and feel the pain of remorse and beg for forgiveness.

On the other may harden his heart toward wickedness, if there is not any natural mercy in his heart. Sometimes fire often reveals the total absence of precious metals. Jesus and his gracious words did not melt his enemies hearts. But God will reward the one showing the kindnesses.

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