|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.
Verse 11. - The injuries complained of were committed lately, and the prophet could speak of them as well known (see note on ver. 10). In the day that thou stoodest; literally, in the day of thy standing, without note of time, but implying a past event here. On the other side. The words may denote either malicious unconcern, as Psalm 38:11 (12), or hostile opposition, as 2 Samuel 18:13. Besides the direct application to recent events, the clause intimates the usual attitude of the Edomites toward Israel. In the day that the strangers - Philistines and Arabians (2 Chronicles 21:16) - carried away captive his forces; rather, carried array his substance, as ver. 13; Genesis 34:29; Deuteronomy 8:17; Isaiah 8:4. Foreigners. The same as "strangers." Both words are usually applied to heathen enemies. Cast lots upon Jerusalem. Divided the captives and spoil of Jerusalem by lot (2 Chronicles 21:17; comp. Joel 3:3; Nab. 3:10). Nothing is said of the total destruction of Jerusalem or the wholesale deportation of the inhabitants to Babylon, So that Obadiah cannot be referring to the Chaldean conquest. Thou wast as one of them; literally, thou, too, as one of them. In this expression the past is set before the mind as present.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In the day thou stoodest on the other side,.... Aloof off, as a spectator of the ruin of Jerusalem, and that with delight and pleasure; when they should, as brethren and neighbours, have assisted against the common enemy; but instead of this they stood at a distance; or they went over to the other side, and joined the enemy, and stood in opposition to their brethren the Jews:
in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces; that is, at the time that the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and carried captive as many of the forces of the Jews as fell into their hands; or when
"the people spoiled his substance,''
as the Targum; plundered the city of all its wealth and riches:
and foreigners entered into his gates; the gates of their cities, particularly Jerusalem; even such who came from a far country, the Babylonians, who were aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of Israel; whereas the Edomites were their near neighbours, and allied to them by blood, though not of the same religion; and by whom they helped against a foreign enemy, instead of being used by them as they were:
and cast lots upon Jerusalem; either to know when they should make their attack upon it; or else, having taken it, the generals of the Chaldean army cast lots upon the captives, to divide them among them, so Kimchi; see Joel 3:3; or rather, the soldiers cast lots for the division of the plunder of the city, as was usual at such times:
even thou wast as one of them; the Edomites joined the Chaldeans, entered into the city with them, showed as much wrath, spite, and malice, as they did, and were as busy in dividing the spoil. So Aben Ezra interprets these and the following verses of the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; but Kimchi expounds them of the destruction of them by the Romans, at which he supposes many Edomites to be present, and rejoiced at it: could this be supported, the connection would be more clear and close between these words and those that follow, which respect the Gospel dispensation, beginning at Obadiah 1:17; but the Edomites were not in being then; and that there were many of them in the Roman army, and that Titus himself was one, is all fabulous.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. thou stoodest on the other side—in an attitude of hostility, rather than the sympathy which became a brother, feasting thine eyes (see Ob 12) with the misery of Jacob, and eagerly watching for his destruction. So Messiah, the antitype to Jerusalem, abandoned by His kinsmen (Ps 38:11).
strangers—the Philistines, Arabians in the reign of Jehoram, &c. (2Ch 21:16); the Syrians in the reign of Joash of Judah (2Ch 24:24); the Chaldeans (2Ch 36:1-23).
carried … captive his forces—his "host" (Ob 20): the multitude of Jerusalem's inhabitants.
cast lots upon Jerusalem—(Joe 3:3). So Messiah, Jerusalem's antitype, had lots cast for His only earthly possessions (Ps 22:18).
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