1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; a We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and b let us rise up against her in battle.
The Argument - The Idumeans, who came from Esau, were mortal enemies always to the Israelites, who came from Jacob, and therefore did not only vex them continually with various types of cruelty, but also stirred up others to fight against them. Therefore when they were now in their greatest prosperity, and did most triumph against Israel, which was in great affliction and misery, God raised up his Prophet to comfort the Israelites. For God had now determined to destroy their adversaries, who did so severely vex them, and to send them those who would deliver them, and set up the kingdom of the Messiah which he had promised. 1:3 The c pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation [is] high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
(a) God has certainly revealed to his prophets, that he will raise up the heathen to destroy the Edomites, concerning which the rumour is now proclaimed; ( Jeremiah 49:14 ).
(b) Thus the heathen encourage themselves to rise against Edom.
(c) Which despises all others in respect of yourself, and yet you are but a handful in comparison with others, and you are shut up among the hills as separate from the rest of the world. 1:5 d If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave [some] grapes?
(d) God will so destroy them that he will leave none, even though thieves when they come take but until they have enough, and they that gather grapes always leave some behind them. See Jeremiah 49:9 1:7 All the men of thy confederacy e have brought thee [even] to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, [and] prevailed against thee; [they that eat] thy f bread have laid a wound under thee: [there is] none understanding in him.
(e) Those in whom you trusted to have help and friendship, will be your enemies and destroy you. 1:10 For [thy] violence against thy g brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
(f) That is, your familiar friends and guests have by secret practices destroyed you.
(g) He shows the reason why the Edomites were so severely punished: that is, because they were enemies to his Church, whom he now comforts by punishing their enemies. 1:11 In the day that thou stoodest h on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou [wast] as one of them.
(h) When Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem, you joined with him, and had part of the spoil, and so rejoiced when my people (that is, your brother), were afflicted, whereas you should have pitied and helped your brother. 1:12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became i a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
(i) When the Lord deprived them of their former dignity, and delivered them to be carried into captivity. 1:15 For the day k of the LORD [is] near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
(k) When he will summon all the heathen, and send them to destroy you. 1:16 For as ye have l drunk upon my holy mountain, [so] shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be m as though they had not been.
(l) That is, rejoiced and triumphed. 1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be n a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be [any] remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken [it].
(m) The Edomites will be utterly destroyed, and yet in spite of all the enemies I will reserve my Church and restore it.
1:19 And [they of] the south shall possess the o mount of Esau; and [they of] the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead.
(n) God attributes this power to consume his enemies to his Church, which power properly belongs only to himself; ( Isaiah 10:17 ; Deuteronomy 4:24 ; Hebrews 12:29 ).
(o) He describes how the Church will be enlarged and have great possessions: but this is mainly accomplished under Christ, when that faithful are made heirs and lords of all things by him who is their head. 1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel [shall possess] that of the p Canaanites, [even] unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which [is] in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
(p) By the Canaanites, the Jews mean the Dutchmen, and by Zarephath, France, and by Sepharad, Spain. 1:21 And q saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORDS.
(q) Meaning that God will raise up in his Church those who will rule and govern for the defence of it, and for the destruction of his enemies under the Messiah, whom the Prophet here calls the Lord and head of this kingdom.