|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 6. - Obadiah contemplates Eden's ruin, in retribution of her plundering Jerusalem, and speaks of it as past. How are the things of Esau searched out! literally, how are the things searched out, Esau! i.e. the people and property that belong to Esau. The enemy leave no place unexamined. So in Zephaniah 1:12 the Lord says, "I will search Jerusalem with candles." (For "Esau" as equivalent to "Eden," see Genesis 25:30.) His hidden things (matspon, ἅπαξ λεγόμενον); hidden treasures; Septuagint, τὰ κεκρυμμένα αὐτοῦ. Jeremiah (Jeremiah 49:10) gives, "secret places." Keil notes that Petra was a great emporium of the trade between Arabia and Syria, and that in it great treasures were stored (Diod. Sic., 19:95).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How are the things of Esau searched out!.... Or how are the Esauites, the posterity of Esau, sought out! though they dwelt in the clefts of the rocks, and hid themselves in caves and dens, yet their enemies searched them, and found there, and plucked them out from thence, so that none escaped:
how are his hid things sought up! his riches, wealth and treasure, hid in fortresses, in rocks and caves, where they were thought to be safe, and judged inaccessible; or that an enemy would not have ventured in search of them there; and yet these should be sought after and found by the greedy, and diligent, and venturous soldier, and carried off; which was the case of the Edomites by the Chaldeans, and will be of the antichristian states by the kings of the earth, Revelation 17:16; see Jeremiah 49:10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. How are the things of Esau searched out!—by hostile soldiers seeking booty. Compare with Ob 5, 6 here, Jer 49:9, 10.
hidden things—or "places." Edom abounded in such hiding-places, as caves, clefts in the rock, &c. None of these would be left unexplored by the foe.
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