it is the birth pangs of a new brotherhood. Hence this is how to deal with an enemy and to punish him in the most constructive way. He is to have pain inflicted on him by his experience of magnanimity and generous forgiveness of the one from whom he expected enmity. 30
McKane's loquent statement of the latter interpretation is testimony to its powerful moral and spiritual insight.
Other modern interpreters' efforts to interpret the "coals of fire" imagery have proceeded via the avenues of textual emendation, philology and the history of religions. Bickell suggested omitting the phrase "on his head" and understanding it to mean, "thou wilt put away the burning coals of hate.”31 More recently, a text critical solution has been put forward by Ramaroson.32
He argues that since the word MylHg ("coals")
normally appears in connection with the word wx ("fire") it is puzzling here.33 Since there were, however, certain
30 31 McKane, p. 592. Cited by Toy, p. 468, and Dahood, "Two Pauline Quotations from the Old Testament," 20.
32 L. Ramaroson, "'Charbons ardent': ‘sur la tete,’ ou 'pour le feu'? Proverbs 25:22a -- Rom. 12:20b," Biblica 51 (1970), 230-234.
wx-ylHg appears in Ezek 1:13; 10:2; Lev. 16:12; II Sam. 22:13; Psalm 18:13, 14. Otherwise, wx appears in the same verse as MylHg in II Sam. 22:9 (=Psalm 18:9); 33
Isa. 44:19; 47:14; Job 41:13; and Prov. 26:21; it is in the preceding verse in Ezek. 24:11 and Prov. 6:28; it is absent from II Sam. 14:7 and Psalms 120:4 and 140:11.