|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 2. - Behold, I have made thee small. Here is the effect of the summons. So in Jeremiah 49:15, "For, lo, I will make thee small." Jehovah is the Speaker, and he regards the future as past. What he determines is as good as accomplished. At this time the Edomites were a powerful nation, and possessed an almost impregnable seat at Petra. Small; in numbers, territory, honour.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, I have made thee small among the Heathen,.... Or "a little one", or "thing" (o); their number few, and their country not large, as Aben Ezra, especially in comparison of other nations; and therefore had no reason to be so proud, insolent, and secure, as they are afterwards said to be; or rather, "I will make thee"; the past for the future, after the prophetic manner, as Kimchi; that is weak and feeble, as the Targum; reduce their numbers, destroy their towns and cities, and bring them into a low and miserable condition: or the sense is, that he would make them look little, mean, and abject, in the sight of their enemies who would conclude, upon a view of them, that they should have no trouble in subduing them, and therefore should attack them without fear, and as sure of success:
thou art greatly despised; in the eyes of the nations round about; by their enemies, who looked upon them with contempt, because of the smallness of their number, their defenceless state and want of strength to support and defend themselves; see Jeremiah 49:15; had so the pope of Rome is little and despicable in the eyes of the monarchs of the earth; and the antichristian Edom will be more so at the time of its general ruin.
(o) "parvium", V. L.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. I have made thee small—Thy reduction to insignificance is as sure as if it were already accomplished; therefore the past tense is used [Maurer]. Edom then extended from Dedan of Arabia to Bozrah in the north (Jer 49:8, 13). Calvin explains it, "Whereas thou wast made by Me an insignificant people, why art thou so proud" (Ob 3)? But if so, why should the heathen peoples be needed to subdue one so insignificant? Jer 49:15, confirms Maurer's view.
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