If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
– Proverbs 25:21
Verses 21-22 teach a compassionate response and treatment of our enemies. Giving food and water to an enemy is a counterintuitive act of kindness. Though not humanly natural, it does rise from two principles of biblical teaching: 1) the command to show compassion to strangers (Exodus 23:4-5; Leviticus 19:9-18; Deuteronomy 24:14-22; Proverbs 3:27; 10:12; 17:9; 19:11), and, 2) the prohibition against taking personal vengeance (Proverbs 17:13; 20:22; 24:17-18). It may seem a stretch to go from loving neighbor to loving enemies, but Jesus taught the law of loving neighbors extended to even enemies in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:43-48).