Deuteronomy 32:35

Hebrew Bible

33 Their wine is snakes’ poison, the deadly venom of cobras. 34 “Is this not stored up with me?” says the Lord, “Is it not sealed up in my storehouses? 35 I will get revenge and pay them back at the time their foot slips; for the day of their disaster is near, and the impending judgment is rushing upon them!” 36 The Lord will judge his people, and will have compassion on his servants;62 when he sees that their power has disappeared, and that no one is left, whether confined or set free. 37 He will say, “Where are their gods, the rock in whom they sought security,

Romans 12:19

New Testament

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. 19 Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Rather, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing this you will be heaping burning coals on his head. 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 Notes and References

"... The enslaved human condition notwithstanding, however, these texts still seem to view humans as complicit in their evil actions to some degree; they still do the will of the flesh and so must take some responsibility for their wrongdoing—hence the occasional language of punishment and accountability (see Romans 10:3, 16–21, treated more extensively in part five, chapter nineteen). Moreover, these explanations from disputed letters are to my mind authentically Pauline in tenor and partly confirmatory of accountability by the apostle’s notorious discussion of imperial government in Romans 13. Paul recognizes a degree of divine authorization within the Roman government to the point that an experience of “the sword” by wrongdoers is an appropriate experience of God’s wrath and punishment (Rom. 13:3–4: Gk ἔκδικος εἰς ὀργήν). This perspective also explains Paul’s quotation of Deuteronomy 32:35 in Romans 12:19. Paul seems to believe that one reason for Christians to refrain from revenge is that God reserves that right for himself! Not only does the nonretaliation of Christians heap burning coals on the heads of hostile non-Christians, but the endurance of ongoing hostility might simultaneously increase their future punishment ..."

Campbell, Douglas A. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul (p. 166) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009

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