|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 15, 16. - § 3. The warning given in the first section (vers, 1-9) is supplemented by the announcement that in the day of the Lord, Edom and all the enemies of Israel shall be remembered, and shall suffer just retribution, meeting with the fate which they had inflicted on others. Verse 15. - The day of the Lord. This is not primarily the final day of judgment, but the time when "Jehovah reveals his majesty and omnipotence in a glorious manner, to overthrow all ungodly powers, and to complete his kingdom" (Keil). It is announced by Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1, 31; Zephaniah 1:14; but the notion of a judgment to fall on Gentile nations, and to issue in the establishment of the kingdom of God, was familiar long before. Balaam had seen it in dim vision (Numbers 24:17-24); Hannah had anticipated the destruction that would accompany it (1 Samuel 2:9, 10); so had David (2 Samuel 23:5-7) in his last words; it is clearly predicted in the Psalms (see Psalm 2 and 110.) (Knabenbauer). Is near. Because every such judgment upon individual nations is typical of the great day and preparative of it. As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee (comp. Judges 1:7; Psalm 137:8; Jeremiah 50:15). This law of retribution was the ideal of heathen justice, according to the Rhadamanthian rule, "If a man should suffer what he hath done, then there would be strict justice" (Aristotle, 'Eth. Nic.' 5:5. 3). Thy reward (Joel 3:7 [4:7, Hebrew]; better, that which thou hast performed - thy work or dealing, Upon thine own head. Like a stone cast towards heaven (comp. Psalm 7:16; Esther 9. '25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the day of the Lord is near upon all the Heathen,.... That is, the time was at hand, fixed and determined by the Lord, and he had spoken of by his prophets, when he would punish all the Heathens round about for their sins; as the Egyptians, Philistines, Tyrians, Ammonites, Moabites, and others; and so the Edomites among the rest; for this is mentioned for their sakes, and to show that their punishment was inevitable, and that they could not expect to escape in the general ruin; see Jeremiah 25:17. This destruction of Edom here prophesied of, and of all the Heathen, was accomplished about five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, so that it might be truly said to be near; and some time within this space Obadiah seems to have prophesied; and the day of the Lord is not far off upon the Pagans, Mahometans, and all the "antichristian" states, When mystical Edom or Rome will be destroyed; see Revelation 16:19;
as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head; this is particularly directed to Edom, upon whom the day of the Lord's vengeance shall come; when he punished the Heathens, then the Edomites should be retaliated in their own way; and as they had rejoiced at the destruction of the Jews, and had insulted them in their calamities, and barbarously used them, they should be treated in like manner; see Ezekiel 35:15; and thus will mystical Babylon, or the mystical Edomites, be dealt with, even after the same manner as they have dealt with the truly godly, the faithful professors of Christ, Revelation 18:6.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. For—resumptive in connection with Ob 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 (Joe 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 Joe 3:14, and Zec 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 (Le 24:17; Mt 7:2; compare Jud 1:6, 7; 8:19; Es 7:10).
thy reward—the reward of thy deed (compare Isa 3:9-11).
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