Obadiah 1:1-21 . DOOM OF EDOM FOR CRUELTY TO JUDAH, EDOM'S BROTHER; RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.
11. thou stoodest on the other side--in an attitude of hostility, rather than the sympathy which became a brother, feasting thine eyes (see Obadiah 1:12 ) with the misery of Jacob, and eagerly watching for his destruction. So Messiah, the antitype to Jerusalem, abandoned by His kinsmen ( Psalms 38:11 ).
strangers--the Philistines, Arabians in the reign of Jehoram, &c. ( 2 Chronicles 21:16 ); the Syrians in the reign of Joash of Judah ( 2 Chronicles 24:24 ); the Chaldeans ( 2 Chronicles 36:1-23 ).
carried . . . captive his forces--his "host" ( Obadiah 1:20 ):the multitude of Jerusalem's inhabitants.
cast lots upon Jerusalem--( Joel 3:3 ). So Messiah, Jerusalem's antitype, had lots cast for His only earthly possessions ( Psalms 22:18 ).
12. looked on--with malignant pleasure, and a brutal stare. So the antitypes, Messiah's foes ( Psalms 22:17 ). MAURER translates, as the Margin, "thou shouldest not look" any more. English Version agrees with the context better.
the day of thy brother--his day of calamity.
became a stranger--that is, was banished as an alien from his own land. God sends heavy calamities on those who rejoice in the calamities of their enemies ( Proverbs 17:5 , Proverbs 24:17 Proverbs 24:18 ). Contrast the opposite conduct of David and of the divine Son of David in a like case ( Psalms 35:13-15 ).
spoken proudly--literally, "made great the mouth"; proudly insulting the fallen ( Ezekiel 35:13 , Margin; compare 1 Samuel 2:8 , Revelation 13:6 ).
13. substance--translated "forces" in Obadiah 1:11 .
14. stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his--Judah's.
that did escape--The Jews naturally fled by the crossways. (MAURER translates, "narrow mountain passes") well known to them, to escape to the desert, and through Edom to Egypt; but the Edomites stood ready to intercept the fugitives and either kill or "deliver them up" to the foe.
15. For--resumptive in connection with Obadiah 1:10 , wherein Edom was threatened with cutting off for ever.
the day of the Lord--the day in which He will manifest Himself as the Righteous Punisher of the ungodly peoples ( Joel 3:14 ). The "all" shows that the fulfilment is not exhausted in the punishment inflicted on the surrounding nations by the instrumentality of Nebuchadnezzar; but, as in Joel 3:14 , and Zechariah 12:3 , that the last judgment to come on the nations confederate against Jerusalem is referred to.
as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee--the righteous principle of retribution in kind ( Leviticus 24:17 , Matthew 7:2 ; compare Judges 1:6 Judges 1:7 , 8:19 , Esther 7:10 ).
thy reward--the reward of thy deed (compare Isaiah 3:9-11 ).
16. ye . . . upon my holy mountain--a periphrasis for, "ye Jews" [MAURER], whom Obadiah now by a sudden apostrophe addresses. The clause, "upon My holy mountain," expresses the reason of the vengeance to be taken on Judah's foes; namely, that Jerusalem is God's holy mountain, the seat of His temple, and Judah His covenant-people. Jeremiah 49:12 , which is copied from Obadiah, establishes this view (compare 1 Peter 4:17 ).
as ye have drunk, &c.--namely, the cup of wrath, being dispossessed of your goods and places as a nation, by Edom and all the heathen; so shall all the heathen (Edom included) drink the same cup ( Psalms 60:3 , Isaiah 51:17 Isaiah 51:22 , Jeremiah 13:12 Jeremiah 13:13 , 25:15-33 , 49:12 , Lam 4:21 Lam 4:22 Lam 51:7 Nahum 3:11 , Habakkuk 2:16 ).
continually--whereas Judah's calamity shall be temporary ( Obadiah 1:17 ). The foes of Judah shall never regain their former position ( Obadiah 1:18 Obadiah 1:19 ).
swallow down--so as not to leave anything in the cup of calamity; not merely "drink" ( Psalms 75:8 ).
be as though they had not been--not a trace left of their national existence ( Job 10:19 , Psalms 37:36 , Ezekiel 26:21 ).
17. upon . . . Zion . . . deliverance--both in the literal sense and spiritual sense ( Joel 2:32 , Isaiah 46:13 , 59:20 , Romans 11:26 ). MAURER as the Margin explains it, "there shall be a remnant that shall escape." Compare Isaiah 37:32 ; to the deliverance from Sennacherib there described GROTIUS thinks Obadiah here refers. "Jerusalem shall not be taken, and many of the neighboring peoples also shall find deliverance there." Unlike Judah's heathen foes of whom no remnant shall escape ( Obadiah 1:9 Obadiah 1:16 ), a remnant of Jews shall escape when the rest of the nation has perished, and shall regain their ancient "possessions."
there shall be holiness--that is, Zion shall be sacrosanct or inviolable: no more violated by foreign invaders ( Isaiah 42:1 , Joel 3:17 ).
18. fire--See the same figure, Numbers 21:28 , Isaiah 5:24 , 10:17 .
house of Jacob . . . Joseph--that is, the two kingdoms, Judah and Ephraim or Israel [JEROME]. The two shall form one kingdom, their former feuds being laid aside ( Isaiah 11:12 Isaiah 11:13 , 37:22-28 , Jeremiah 3:18 , Hosea 1:11 ). The Jews returned with some of the Israelites from Babylon; and, under John Hyrcanus, so subdued and, compelling them to be circumcised, incorporated the Idumeans with themselves that they formed part of the nation [JOSEPHUS, Antiquities, 13.17; 12.11]. This was but an earnest of the future union of Israel and Judah in the possession of the enlarged land as one kingdom ( Ezekiel 37:16 , &c.).
stubble--( Malachi 4:1 ).
19. they of the south--The Jews who in the coming time are to occupy the south of Judea shall possess, in addition to their own territory, the adjoining mountainous region of Edom.
they of the plain--The Jews who shall occupy the low country along the Mediterranean, south and southwest of Palestine, shall possess, in addition to their own territory, the land of "the Philistines," which runs as a long strip between the hills and the sea.
and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim--that is, the rightful owners shall be restored, the Ephraimites to the fields of Ephraim.
Benjamin shall possess Gilead--that is, the region east of Jordan, occupied formerly by Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh. Benjamin shall possess besides its own territory the adjoining territory eastward, while the two and a half tribes shall in the redistribution occupy the adjoining territory of Moab and Ammon.
20. the captivity of this host--that is, the captives of this multitude of Israelites.
shall possess that of the Canaanites--MAURER translates, "the captives . . . whom the Canaanites (carried away captive into Phoenicia) even unto Zarephath, shall possess the south," namely, Idumea as well as the south ( Obadiah 1:19 ). HENDERSON, similarly, "the captives that are among the Canaanites," &c. But the corresponding clauses of the parallelism are better balanced in English Version, "the ten tribes of Israel shall possess the territory of the Canaanites," namely, Western Palestine and Phoenicia ( Judges 3:3 ). "And the captives of Jerusalem (and Judah) shall possess the southern cities," namely, Edom, &c. Each has the region respectively adjoining assigned to it; Israel has the western Canaanite region; Judah, the southern.
even unto Zarephath--near Zidon; called Sarepta in Luke 4:26 . The name implies it was a place for smelting metals. From this quarter came the "woman of Canaan" ( Matthew 15:21 Matthew 15:22 ). Captives of the Jews had been carried into the coasts of Palestine or Canaan, about Tyre and Zidon ( Joel 3:3 Joel 3:4 , Amos 1:9 ). The Jews when restored shall possess the territory of their ancient oppressors.
in Sepharad--that is, the Bosphorus [JEROME, from his Hebrew Instructor]. Sephar, according to others ( Genesis 10:30 ). Palæography confirms JEROME. In the cuneiform inscription containing a list of the tribes of Persia [Niebuhr tab. 31.1], before Ionia and Greece, and after Cappadocia, comes the name CPaRaD. It was therefore a district of Western Asia Minor, about Lydia, and near the Bosphorus. It is made an appellative by MAURER. "The Jerusalem captives of the dispersion" (compare James 1:1 ), wherever they be dispersed, shall return and possess the southern cities. Sepharad, though literally the district near the Bosphorus, represents the Jews' far and wide dispersion. JEROME says the name in Assyrian means a boundary, that is, "the Jews scattered in all boundaries and regions."
21. saviours--There will be in the kingdom yet to come no king, but a prince; the sabbatic period of the judges will return (comparethe phrase so frequent in Judges, only once found in the times of the kings, 2 Chronicles 14:1 , "the land had rest"), when there was no visible king, but God reigned in the theocracy. Israelites, not strangers, shall dispense justice to a God-fearing people ( Isaiah 1:26 , Ezekiel 45:1-25 ). The judges were not such a burden to the people as the kings proved afterwards ( 1 Samuel 8:11-20 ). In their time the people more readily repented than under the kings (compare 2 Chronicles 15:17 ), [ROOS]. Judges were from time to time raised up as saviours or deliverers of Israel from the enemy. These, and the similar deliverers in the long subsequent age of Antiochus, the Maccabees, who conquered the Idumeans (as here foretold, compare II Maccabees 10:15,23), were types of the peaceful period yet to come to Israel.
to judge . . . Esau--to punish (so "judge," 1 Samuel 3:13 ) . . . Edom (compare Obadiah 1:1-9 Obadiah 1:15-19 ). Edom is the type of Israel's and God's last foes ( Isaiah 63:1-4 ).
kingdom shall be the Lord's--under Messiah ( Daniel 2:44 , Daniel 7:14 Daniel 7:27 , Zechariah 14:9 , Luke 1:33 , Revelation 11:15 , 19:6 ).