Coal — It is by no means certain that the Hebrews were acquainted with mineral coal, although it is found in Syria. Their common fuel was dried dung of animals and wood charcoal. Two different words are found in Hebrew to denote coal, both occurring in Prov. 26:21, “As coal [Heb. peham; i.e., “black coal""] is to burning coal [Heb. gehalim].” The latter of these words is used in Job 41:21; Prov. 6:28; Isa. 44:19. The words “live coal” in Isa. 6:6 are more correctly “glowing stone.” In Lam. 4:8 the expression “blacker than a coal” is literally rendered in the margin of the Revised Version “darker than blackness.” “Coals of fire” (2 Sam. 22:9, 13; Ps. 18:8, 12, 13, etc.) is an expression used metaphorically for lightnings proceeding from God. A false tongue is compared to “coals of juniper” (Ps. 120:4; James 3:6). “Heaping coals of fire on the head” symbolizes overcoming evil with good. The words of Paul (Rom. 12:20) are equivalent to saying, “By charity and kindness thou shalt soften down his enmity as surely as heaping coals on the fire fuses the metal in the crucible.”
Verses with reference to Coal.
Leviticus Chapter 16 Verse 12 — And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail:
2 Samuel Chapter 14 Verse 7 — And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.
2 Samuel Chapter 22 Verse 13 — Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled.
2 Samuel Chapter 22 Verse 9 — There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
1 Kings Chapter 19 Verse 6 — And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
Job Chapter 41 Verse 21 — His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.
Psalms Chapter 18 Verse 13 — The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.
Psalms Chapter 18 Verse 12 — At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.
Psalms Chapter 18 Verse 8 — There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
Psalms Chapter 120 Verse 4 — Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper
Psalms Chapter 140 Verse 10 — Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
Proverbs Chapter 6 Verse 28 — Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
Proverbs Chapter 25 Verse 22 — For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
Proverbs Chapter 26 Verse 21 — As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
Song of Solomon Chapter 8 Verse 6 — Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Isaiah Chapter 6 Verse 6 — Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
Isaiah Chapter 44 Verse 19 — And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
Isaiah Chapter 44 Verse 12 — The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
Isaiah Chapter 47 Verse 14 — Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.
Lamentations Chapter 4 Verse 8 — Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
Ezekiel Chapter 1 Verse 13 — As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps: it went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
Ezekiel Chapter 10 Verse 2 — And he spake unto the man clothed with linen, and said, Go in between the wheels, even under the cherub, and fill thine hand with coals of fire from between the cherubims, and scatter them over the city. And he went in in my sight.
Ezekiel Chapter 24 Verse 11 — Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed.
Habakkuk Chapter 3 Verse 5 — Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
John Chapter 18 Verse 18 — And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
John Chapter 21 Verse 9 — As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
Romans Chapter 12 Verse 20 — Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
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