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21 Like charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire,
so is a contentious person[a] to kindle strife.[b]

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  1. Proverbs 26:21 sn Heb “a man of contentions”; NCV, NRSV, NLT “a quarrelsome person.” The expression focuses on the person who is contentious by nature. His quarreling is like piling fuel on a fire that would otherwise go out. This kind of person not only starts strife, but keeps it going.
  2. Proverbs 26:21 tn The Pilpel infinitive construct לְחַרְחַר (lekharkhar) from חָרַר (kharar, “to be hot; to be scorched; to burn”) means “to kindle; to cause to flare up.”