|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 12. - The prophet complains of the malignant neutrality of the Edomites. Thou shouldest not have looked. In this and the two following verses, al with the future is wrongly translated. It should be rendered throughout, "do not look," "do not rejoice," etc. Obadiah, in view of the past behaviour of Edom, and looking forward to another and more fatal conquest of Jerusalem, warns the Edomitas against repeating this malicious conduct. Septuagint, μὴ ἐπίδης. Gaze not with pleasure, feast not thine eyes (Micah 7:10). The day of thy brother; i.e. when some great event befell him - explained further in the next clause. Compare "the day of Jerusalem" (Psalm 137:7). In the day that he became a stranger; Septuagint, ἐν ἡμέρα ἀλλοτρίων, "in the day of strangers;" Vulgate, in die peregrinationis ejus. The Anglican and Vulgate Versions signify, "in the day that he was carried captive into strange lands;" but most probably the expression should be rendered, "in the day of his calamity." Rejoiced over (comp. Job 31:29; Proverbs 17:5; Micah 7:8). Spoken proudly; literally, make thy mouth great; Septuagint, μὴ μεγαλοῥῤημονῇ, "do not boast;" Vulgate, non magnificabis os tuum. Utter a flood of mocking words, probably accompanied with derisive grimaces. There is a climax in this verse - first the complacent look, then the malicious pleasure, then words of insult and derision.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother,.... The day of his calamity, distress, and destruction, as afterwards explained; that is, with delight and satisfaction, as pleased with it, and rejoicing at it; but rather should have grieved and mourned, and as fearing their turn would be next: or, "do not look" (t); so some read it in the imperative, and in like manner all the following clauses:
in the day that he became a stranger; were carried into a strange country, and became strangers to their own: or, "in the day of his alienation" (u); from their country, city, houses, and the house and worship of God; and when strange, surprising, and unheard of things were done unto them, and, among them:
neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; the destruction of the Jews, of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, by the Chaldeans: this explains what is meant by the Edomites looking upon the day of the calamity of the Jews, that it was with pleasure and complacency, having had a good will to have destroyed them themselves, but it was not in the power of their hands; and now being done by a foreign enemy, they could not forbear expressing their joy on that occasion, which was very cruel and brutal; and this also shows that Obadiah prophesied after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar:
neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress; or "magnified thy mouth" (w); opened it wide in virulent scoffing, and insulting language; saying with the greatest fervour and vehemence, and as loud as it could be said, "rase it, rase it to the foundation thereof", Psalm 137:7.
(t) "ne aspicias", Junius & Tremellius; "ne aspicito", Piscator; "ne spectes", Cocceius. (u) "diem alienationis ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus; "in die alienationis ejus", Calvin, Cocceius, Burkius. (w) "et non debebas magnificare os tuum", Pagninus; "ne magnifices", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius; "ne magnificato", Piscator; "ne magno ore utaris", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. looked on—with malignant pleasure, and a brutal stare. So the antitypes, Messiah's foes (Ps 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 (Pr 17:5; 24:17, 18). Contrast the opposite conduct of David and of the divine Son of David in a like case (Ps 35:13-15).
spoken proudly—literally, "made great the mouth"; proudly insulting the fallen (Eze 35:13, Margin; compare 1Sa 2:8; Re 13:6).
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