The Italian interpreter for Sepharad retains Zarphath...
The Greek hath Ephratha, with which the Arabian interpreter agrees. But the Syriac with the Targumist, Spain. The Vulgar, Bosphorus, confusedly. And yet Nobilius hath this passage: "St. Jerome tells us, the other interpreters agreed with the Hebrew word Sepharad, which he rendered Bosphorus." If he means that all agreed in acknowledging the word Sepharad, he tells us no news; but who agreed with his word Bosphorus?
I must confess, Sepharad is not a place so obvious as Zarephath, nor can any thing be offered in it but conjecture only: and if I might be allowed my guess, I would look for Sepharad in Edom rather than in Spain: and that because Obadiah prophesies against the Edomites properly so called. Whereas, therefore, he tells us, That the captivity of Israel, in Sarepta of the Phoenicians, shall possess the land of the Canaanites, it is probable he means, by the captivity in Sepharad, those captives in Edom who shall possess the cities of the south. The Zarphathani, or Sareptani were of the north, the Sepharadani of the south, amongst the Erembi. "Whom you may rightly call the Troglodyte Arabs," saith Strabo; that is, probably, the Horims in mount Seir; for I suspect Horim, by ill use, might form itself into Eremb.
If we consider that the Jews do generally by Edom understand the Roman empire, and indeed all the Christian nations in the west, we shall easily perceive why they fix these places, Zarephath and Sepharad, so far from Palestine. For Obadiah prophesying against the Edomites, properly so called, the Jews change the scene and persons according to the vulgar construction of Edom, which they had received amongst themselves.