Proverbs 25:21

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink:
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
This [scriptural passage] seems to prescribe a crime or a vice; therefore, it is a figure of speech directing that we are to participate in the Lord’s passion and treasure up in grateful and salutary remembrance the fact that his flesh was crucified and wounded for us. Scripture says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him food; if he is thirsty, give him drink.” This undoubtedly prescribes a kindness, but the part that follows—“For by so doing you will heap coals of fire upon his head”—you might suppose was commanding a crime of malevolence. So, do not doubt that it is a figurative expression. Although it can have a twofold interpretation, by one intending harm, by the other intending a good, charity should call you away from the former to kindness, so that you may understand that the coals of fire are the burning lamentations of repentance by which that person’s pride is healed and he grieves that he has been an enemy of the one who relieves his misery. .

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
The apostle Paul teaches us in the clearest possible way that alms are to be distributed to everybody, when he says, “Let us be tireless, while we have the time, in doing good to all, though supremely to those at home in the faith.” This indeed makes it plain enough that in works of this kind the just are to be given preference. Who else, after all, are we to understand by “those at home in the faith,” since elsewhere it is stated plainly, “The just person lives by faith”? That doesn’t mean, though, that we must close our hearts to other people, even sinners, not even if they adopt a hostile attitude toward us. The Savior himself says, after all, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Nor is the point passed over in silence in the books of the Old Testament; one reads there, you see, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink,” a text the apostle also makes use of in the New. ..


AD 735
This can be understood both of corporeal food and of spiritual nourishment.

Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
The Holy Spirit speaks in the same manner through Solomon: “If your enemy is hungry, give him to eat; if he is thirsty, give him to drink; in doing this you will heap coals of fire upon his head.” At this point we must watch carefully, lest, perchance, we make wounds out of the remedies for us if we do not understand it well. Some people are even inclined to take this precept as if to satisfy their wrath. Indeed, they say within themselves, Behold, I will feed my enemy, so he may burn forever. May God keep an idea of this sort far from our minds! This point ought to be accepted as the saints and ancient fathers have explained it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.… When you piously do good to your enemy, however wicked and cruel, savage and unfeeling he may be, he at length sometimes blushes and grieves, beginning to repent of what he has done. Then, when he has begun to do penance, his rational sense, that is, his head, begins to be kindled with the fire of charity. One who before ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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