Obadiah 1:13
You should not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yes, you should not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
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Obadiah 1:13-14. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people, &c. — Thou shouldest not have entered into the cities of my people by way of spoiling them, or of feasting thy eyes with the slaughter, when their enemies made themselves masters of them. Neither shouldest thou have stood in the cross-way — Or, in the goings forth; to cut off those that did escape — Thou shouldest not have posted thyself in the passages that were left unguarded by the enemy, in order to cut off those who endeavoured to escape by such ways. Neither have delivered up those —

Or shut up those, as the margin reads it, that did remain — The word סגר, here used, signifies to shut up all the ways of escaping to the conquered, in order to deliver them up to the enemy.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.But thou shouldest not - , rather it means, and can only mean , "And look not (i. e., gaze not with pleasure) on the day of thy brother in the day of his becoming a stranger ; and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; and enlarge not thy mouth in the day of distress. Enter not into the gate of My people in the day of their calamity; look not, thou too, on his affliction in the day of his calamity; and lay not hands on his substance in the day of his calamity; And stand not on the crossway, to cut off his fugitives; and shut not up his remnants in the day of distress."

Throughout these three verses, Obadiah uses the future only. It is the voice of earnest, emphatic, dehortation and entreaty, not to do what would displease God, and what, if done, would be punished. He dehorts them from malicious rejoicing at their brother's fall, first in look, then in word, then in act, in covetous participation of the spoil, and lastly in murder. Malicious gazing on human calamity, forgetful of man's common origin and common liability to ill, is the worst form of human hate. It was one of the contumelies of the Cross, "they gaze, they look" with joy "upon Me." Psalm 22:17. The rejoicing over them was doubtless, as among savages, accompanied with grimaces (as in Psalm 35:19; Psalm 38:16). Then follow words of insult. The enlarging of the mouth is uttering a tide of large words, here against the people of God; in Ezekiel, against Himself Ezekiel 35:13 : "Thus with your mouth ye have enlarged against Me and have multiplied your words against Me. I have heard."

Thereon, follows Edom's coming yet closer, "entering the gate of God's people" to share the conqueror's triumphant gaze on his calamity. Then, the violent, busy, laying the hands on the spoil, while others of them stood in cold blood, taking the "fork" where the ways parted, in order to intercept the fugitives before they were dispersed, or to shut them up with the enemy, driving them back on their pursuers. The prophet beholds the whole course of sin and persecution, and warns them against it, in the order, in which, if committed, they would commit it. Who would keep clear from the worst, must stop at the beginning. Still God's warnings accompany him step by step. At each step, some might stop. The warning, although thrown away on the most part, might arrest the few. At the worst, when the guilt had been contracted and the punishment had ensued, it was a warning for their posterity and for all thereafter.

Some of these things Edom certainly did, as the Psalmist prays Psalm 137:7, "Remember, O Lord, to the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, Lay bare, lay bare, even to the foundation in her." And Ezekiel EZechariah 35:5-6 alluding to this language of Obadiah , "because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end, therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee; sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee." Violence, bloodshed, unrelenting, deadly hatred against the whole people, a longing for their extermination, had been inveterate characteristics of Esau. Joel and Amos had already denounced God's judgments against them for two forms of this hatred, the murder of settlers in their own land or of those who were sold to them Joel 3:19; Amos 1:6, Amos 1:9, Amos 1:11.

Obadiah warns them against yet a third, intercepting their fugitives in their escape from the more powerful enemy. "Stand not in the crossway." Whoso puts himself in the situation to commit an old sin, does, in fact, will to renew it, and will, unless hindered from without, certainly do it. Probably he will, through sin's inherent power of growth, do worse. Having anew tasted blood, Ezekiel says, that they sought to displace God's people and remove God Himself Ezekiel 35:10-11. "Because thou hast said, these two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it, whereas the Lord was there, therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy, which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them."

13. substance—translated "forces" in Ob 11. Thou shouldest not have entered, as an enemy, a conqueror, into the gate; by synecdoche, city is meant by gate. The Edomites warring among the Babylonians, did with them enter the gates of conquered Jerusalem, appeared a proud, insulting enemy of Judah.

My people; thou shouldst have remembered that the Jews thy brethren were my people, my peculiar people.

In the day of their calamity; when their city was broken up, their king imprisoned, and captive with his nobles and other subjects.

Thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction, as before, Obadiah 1:12.

Nor have laid hands on their substance, or strength, the word notes both: Edom seized the persons of the Jews, and made them prisoners, and they plundered the city, seized the goods of the citizens; this they did with delight, but God will punish for it. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity,.... Or gates, as the Targum; the gates of any of their cities, and particularly those of Jerusalem; into which the Edomites entered along with the Chaldeans, exulting over the Jews, and insulting them, and joining with the enemy in distressing and plundering them:

yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity: which is repeated, as being exceeding cruel and inhuman, and what was highly resented by the Lord; that, instead of looking upon the affliction of his people and their brethren with an eye of pity and compassion, they looked upon it with the utmost pleasure and delight:

nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; or "on their forces" (x); they laid violent hands on their armed men, and either killed or took them captive: and they laid hands on their goods, their wealth and riches, and made a spoil of them. The phrase, "in the day of their calamity", is three times used in this verse, to show the greatness of it; and as an aggravation of the sin of the Edomites, in behaving and doing as they did at such a time.

(x) "is exercitum ejus", Drusius; "in copius eorum", Castalio; "in copiam ejus", Cocceius.

Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
13. Thou shouldest not have entered … looked … laid hands] rather, enter not, look not, lay not hands.

The gate of my people] i. e. the city of Jerusalem, comp. “he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem.” Micah 1:9. The emphatic “thou also,” thou the brother as well as they the aliens, follows the word “look” in the Hebrew, though it is unnoticed in A.V., “look not thou also on his affliction.” “If other neighbours do it, yet do thou abstain, seeing thou art of one blood. If thou canst not render assistance, at least shew some sign of sorrow and sympathy.” Calvin.Verse 13. - In this verse it is the making common cause with the enemy in the plundering of Jerusalem that is complained cf. Thou shouldest not have entered. Do not enter; so below, "do not look," "lay not hands" (see note on ver. 12). The gate of my people; i.e. Jerusalem, the capital, as Micah 1:9. In the day of their calamity, repeated thrice with sorrowful emphasis, as making the Edomites' conduct more reproachful. Yea, thou shouldest not have looked. Hebrew, "look not thou also" - thou, as well as the alien enemies. What is natural in them is a crime in thee (comp. Psalm 22:17). Their affliction; Septuagint, τὴν συναγωγὴν αὐτῶν, "their gathering" - a different reading from the Masoretic. Substance, as in ver. 11. This was a further aggravation; they helped to plunder Jerusalem. Septuagint, μὴ μεγαλοῥῤημονῇ, "Do not set upon their host;" Vulgate, Et non emitteris adverus exercitum ejus. This implies a warning against being instigated by the enemy to attack the Jewish forces. But the rendering in the text is doubtless correct. Tyre or Phoenicia. - Amos 1:9. "Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Tyre, and for four, I shall not reverse it, because they have delivered up prisoners in full number to Edom, and have not remembered the brotherly covenant, Amos 1:10. I send fire into the wall of Tyrus, and it will devour their palaces." In the case of Phoenicia, the capital only (Tzōr, i.e., Tyrus; see at Joshua 19:29) is mentioned. The crime with which it is charged is similar to the one for which the Philistines were blamed, with this exception, that instead of על־הגלותם להסגּיר (Amos 1:6) we have simply על־הסגּירם. If, therefore, Tyre is only charged with delivering up the captives to Edom, and not with having carried them away, it must have bought the prisoners from an enemy of Israel, and then disposed of them to Edom. From what enemy they were purchased, it is impossible to determine with certainty. Probably from the Syrians, in the wars of Hazael and Benhadad with Israel; for there is nothing at variance with this in the fact that, when they purchased Israelitish captives in the time of Joram, they sold them to Javan. For a commercial nation, carrying on so extensive a trade as the Phoenicians did, would have purchased prisoners in more than one war, and would also have disposed of them as slaves to more nations than one. Tyre had contracted all the more guilt through this trade in Israelitish salves, from the fact that it had thereby been ummindful of the brotherly covenant, i.e., of the friendly relation existing between Israel and itself-for example, the friendly alliance into which David and Solomon had entered with the king of Tyre (2 Samuel 5:11; 1 Kings 5:15.) - and also from the fact that no king of Israel or Judah had ever made war upon Phoenicia.
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