|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-16 This prophecy is against Edom. Its destruction seems to have been typical, as their father Esau's rejection; and to refer to the destruction of the enemies of the gospel church. See the prediction of the success of that war; Edom shall be spoiled, and brought down. All the enemies of God's church shall be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. God can easily lay those low who magnify and exalt themselves; and will do it. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and makes the ruin worse when it comes. Treasures on earth cannot be so safely laid up but that thieves may break through and steal; it is therefore our wisdom to lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Those that make flesh their trust, arm it against themselves. The God of our covenant will never deceive us: but if we trust men with whom we join ourselves, it may prove to us a wound and dishonour. God will justly deny those understanding to keep out of danger, who will not use their understandings to keep out of sin. All violence, all unrighteousness, is sin; but it makes the violence far worse, if it be done against any of God's people. Their barbarous conduct towards Judah and Jerusalem, is charged upon them. In reflecting on ourselves, it is good to consider what we should have done; to compare our practice with the Scripture rule. Sin, thus looked upon in the glass of the commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful. Those have a great deal to answer for, who are idle spectators of the troubles of their neighbours, when able to be active helpers. Those make themselves poor, who think to make themselves rich by the ruin of the people of God; and those deceive themselves, who call all that their own on which they can lay their hands in a day of calamity. Though judgment begins at the house of God, it shall not end there. Let sorrowful believers and insolent oppressors know, that the troubles of the righteous will soon end, but those of the wicked will be eternal.
Verses 10-14. - § 2. The cause of Edom's destruction. This punishment falls upon her as the result of the malice and unfriendliness which she has displayed to wards Israel in the time of calamity, in that she rejoiced at her sister's disaster and took part with her enemies. Verse 10. - For thy violence against thy brother Jacob. The special action to which Obadiah alludes, and which he particularizes in the following verses, occurred at the time of the invasion of Judaea by Philistines and Arabians during the reign of Jehoram, when the Edomites sided with the enemy, and acted as the prophet intimates (2 Chronicles 21:16, etc.; see Introduction, § III.). The iniquity of such conduct is aggravated by the fact that the victim was the "brother Jacob," who was commanded not to hate the Edomites (Deuteronomy 23:7). This enjoined friendship was not reciprocated by the descendants of Esau. Whether from envy at the superior privileges of Israel, or from other causes, the Edomites, from the time of Moses, had always been actively hostile to the Israelites. They had been subdued by David, but had lately rebelled and scoured their independence, and were always looking for an opportunity of revenging themselves on their conquerors (comp. Amos 1:11; Ezekiel 25:12; Ezekiel 35:5). Shame shall cover thee. Shame for the destruction that hath overtaken thee (Micah 7:10). Thou shalt be cut off forever (comp. Malachi 1:4; see Introduction, § I.). Terrible retribution fell on Idumea in the time of the Maccabees (see 1 Macc. 5:3; 2 Macc. 10:15, etc.; Josephus, 'Ant.,' 12:08. 1), Before that time they had been dispossessed of Petra by the Nabathaeans.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob,.... Which is aggravated: by being against Jacob, an honest plain hearted man, and whom the Lord loved; his brother, his own brother, a twin brother, yea, his only brother; yet this is to be understood, not so much of the violence of Esau against Jacob personally, though there is an allusion to that; as of the violence of the posterity of the one against the posterity of the other; and not singly of the violence shown at the destruction of Jerusalem, but in general of the anger they bore, the wrath they showed, and the injuries they did to their brethren the Jews, on all occasions, whenever they had an opportunity, of which the following is a notorious instance; and for which more especially, as well as for the above things, they are threatened with ruin:
shame shall cover thee; as a garment; they shall be filled with blushing, and covered with confusion, when convicted of their sin, and punished for it:
and thou shalt be cut off for ever; from being a nation; either by Nebuchadnezzar; or in the times of the Maccabees by Hyrcanus, when they were subdued by the Jews, and were incorporated among them, and never since was a separate people or kingdom.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. against thy brother—This aggravates the sin of Esau, that it was against him who was his brother by birth and by circumcision. The posterity of Esau followed in the steps of their father's hatred to Jacob by violence against Jacob's seed (Ge 27:41).
Jacob—not merely his own brother, but his twin brother; hence the name Jacob, not Israel, is here put emphatically. Compare De 23:7 for the opposite feeling which Jacob's seed was commanded to entertain towards Edom's.
shame … cover thee—(Ps 35:26; 69:7).
for ever—(Isa 34:10; Eze 35:9; Mal 1:4). Idumea, as a nation, should be "cut off for ever," though the land should be again inhabited.
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