Obadiah 1:15
For the day of the LORD is near on all the heathen: as you have done, it shall be done to you: your reward shall return on your own head.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Obadiah 1:15-16. For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen — The sacred writers call that the day of any persons, in which they do or suffer any thing very remarkable. Thus, Obadiah 1:13, the day of thy brother, signifies that time in which he was remarkably afflicted. So the day of the Lord signifies that time in which he does something extraordinary; and here it means the time in which God would inflict a remarkable vengeance upon the enemies of Judah. By all the heathen, is meant all those nations who, together with the Idumeans, insulted over the calamities of the Jews, or had waged war against them without any just cause. As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee — As thou hast rejoiced at the calamities of others, so shall others rejoice at thine: and as thou hast spoiled and plundered thy neighbours, so shalt thou be served thyself: see the margin. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, &c. — Here is a sudden apostrophe to the Jewish people, who are here addressed. The sense is, As ye, who dwell on the mount which is sacred to me, have drunk of the cup of my indignation, or have suffered grievous calamities from my just displeasure, so also shall the nations among whom I am not known. They shall drink and swallow down — Or, they shall drink large draughts of it, even to the very dregs. By this is expressed their suffering calamities in an extraordinary degree. They shall be as though they had not been — They shall be utterly destroyed, so that there shall be no remains of them. 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.For the day of the Lord is near upon all the pagan - The prophet once more enforces his warning by preaching judgment to come. "The day of the Lord" was already known Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1, Joel 2:31, as a day of judgment upon "all nations," in which God would "judge all the pagan," especially for their outrages against His people. Edom might hope to escape, were it alone threatened. The prophet announces one great law of God's retribution, one rule of His righteous judgment. "As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee." Pagan justice owned this to be just, and placed it in the mouth of their ideal of justice. "Blessed he," says the Psalmist Psalm 137:8, "that recompenses unto thee the deed which thou didst to us." "Blessed," because he was the instrument of God. Having laid down the rule of God's' judgment, he resumes his sentence to Edom, and speaks to all in him. In the day of Judahs calamity Edom made itself as "one of them." It, Jacob's brother, had ranked itself among the enemies of God's people. It then too should be swept away in one universal destruction. It takes its place with them, undistinguished in its doom as in its guilt, or it stands out as their representa tive, having the greater guilt, because it had the greater light. Obadiah, in adopting Joel's words Joel 3:7, "thy reward shall return upon thine own head," pronounces therewith on Edom all those terrible judgments contained in the sentence of retribution as they had been expanded by Joel. 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).

For the day of the Lord, of just revenge from the Lord upon this cruelty of Edom, the time which the Lord hath appointed for the punishing of this and other nations, is near upon all the heathen; which God had given to Nebuchadnezzar, and which by this man’s arms God would punish, as Jeremiah 27:2-7; and that day may justly be accounted near, which shall come within the compass of one man’s life, and that well advanced in years, as Nebuchadnezzar now was.

As thou hast done, perfidiously, cruelly, and ravenously against Jacob, with a hostile, revengeful mind, it shall be done by thine enemies

to thee, as Obadiah 1:7; and this came to pass on Edom within five years after Jerusalem was sacked and ruined; within which space of time Obadiah prophesied, reproving Edom, and threatening him for what he had done against Jerusalem and its inhabitants.

Thy reward, the punishment or retribution of evil for the evil thou hast done to Jacob,

shall return; by God’s just hand, and by thy enemy’s cruel hand, shall be poured out upon thee.

Upon thine own head: thy chief men, chief in the cruelty, shall be chief in suffering, for the measure thou hast measured shall be measured to thee, as Psalm 137:8 Ezekiel 35:15 Joel 3:7,8. 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.

For the day {k} of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

(k) When he will summon all the heathen, and send them to destroy you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The day of the Lord] The order of the words, “for near is the day of the Lord,” accords with the fact that the day of the Lord is here spoken of as something already known and familiar. It was first revealed to the prophet Joel (Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1; Joel 2:31 [Heb, 3:4]). There as here it had reference first to some nearer typical visitation and judgment, but included the great final day into which the prophet’s view here expands.

as thou hast done] comp. Ezekiel 35:15 and Psalm 137:8.

thy reward] rather, thy work; dealing, R.V. Comp. Joel 3:7 [Heb., 4:7].

As ye have drunk] This is commonly interpreted to mean, “As ye Edomites have drunk in triumphant revelry and carousal on my holy mountain, rejoicing with unhallowed joy over its destruction, so shall (ye and) all the nations drink continually the wine of God’s wrath and indignation.” But it is better to understand the first clause as referring to the Jews: “As ye have drunk (who are) upon my holy mountain; as even you, who are my chosen people and inhabit the mountain consecrated by my presence, have not escaped the cup of my wrath, so all the nations shall drink of that same cup, not with a passing salutary draught as you have done, but with a continuous swallowing down, till they have wrung out the dregs thereof and been brought to nothing by their consuming power.” The “drinking” is thus the same in both clauses and not as in the other interpretation, literal in the first clause, and figurative in the second. Thus too the word “continually” has its proper force, by virtue of the contrast which it suggests between the Jews, for whom the bitter draught was only temporary, for amendment and not for destruction, and the heathen who were to drink on till they perished. And this view of the words is strikingly confirmed by the parallel passages in Jeremiah. To that prophet the commission is given by God, “Take the wine cup of this fury at mine hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it.” Beginning with “Jerusalem and the cities of Judah” the prophet passes the cup in turn to Edom. And if the nations refuse to take the cup, he is to answer them by Obadiah’s argument that even God’s holy mountain has not escaped: “ye shall certainly drink. For do I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name and should ye be utterly unpunished?” (Jeremiah 25:15-29). Again in the chapter in which, as we have seen, Jeremiah has much in common with Obadiah, he uses the figure of the cup of judgment with reference both to Jews and Edomites as though he had so understood it here. “Behold,” he says, “they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken, and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished?” Jeremiah 49:12. And once more in the book of Lamentations he prophesies, “the cup also (of which we have drunk) shall pass through unto thee,” and then draws, in the following verse, the same contrast in plain language between the punishment of Israel and of Edom, which is here drawn by Obadiah by the figure of the single and the continuous draught. “The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity. He will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins” (Jeremiah 4:21-22).

15, 16. After the description in Obadiah 1:11-14, of the fault for which Edom was to be punished, the prophet returns in these two verses to the subject of Obadiah 1:2-9, and completes the description of the punishment that should be inflicted on him. He connects them by the word “for,” at once with the prediction of Obadiah 1:10, “thou shalt be cut off for ever,” and with the earnest dissuasions of the verses that have followed.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). Edom. - Amos 1:11. "Thus saith Jehovah: For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I shall not reverse it, because it pursues its brother with the sword, and stifles its compassion, and its anger tears in pieces for ever, and it keeps its wrath for ever, Amos 1:12. I send fire into Teman, and it will devour the palaces of Bozrah." Edom and the two following nations were related to Israel by lineal descent. In the case of Edom, Amos does not condemn any particular sins, but simply its implacable, mortal hatred towards its brother nation Israel, which broke out into acts of cruelty at every possible opportunity. ושׁחת רחמיו, he annihilates, i.e., suppresses, stifles his sympathy or his compassionate love; this is still dependent upon על רדפו, the preposition על continuing in force as a conjunction before the infinitive (i.e., as equivalent to על אשׁר), and the infinitive passing into the finite verb (cf. Amos 2:4). In the next clause אפּו is the subject: its wrath tears in pieces, i.e., rages destructively (compare Job 16:9, where târaph is applied to the wrath of God). In the last clause, on the other hand, Edom is again the subject; but it is now regarded as a kingdom, and construed as a feminine, and consequently עברתו is the object, and placed at the head as an absolute noun. שׁמרה, with the tone upon the penult. (milel) on account of netsach, which follows with the tone upon the first syllable, stands for שׁמרהּ (it preserves it), the mappik being omitted in the toneless syllable (compare Ewald, 249, b). If עברתו were the subject, the verb would have to be pointed שׁמרה. Again, the rendering proposed by Ewald, "his fury lies in wait for ever," is precluded by the fact that שׁמר, when applied to wrath in Jeremiah 3:5, signifies to keep, or preserve, and also by the fact that lying in wait is generally inapplicable to an emotion. Teman, according to Jerome (ad h. l.), is Idumaeorum regio quae vergit ad australem partem, so that here, just as in Amos 2:2 and Amos 2:5, the land is mentioned first, and then the capital.

(Note: It is true that, according to Eusebius, Jerome does also mention in the Onom. a villa (κώμη) named Teman, which was five Roman miles from Petra, and in which there was a Roman garrison; and also that there is a Teman in Eastern Hauran (see Wetzstein in Delitzsch's Comm. on Job, i. 73); but in the Old Testament Teman is never to be understood as referring to a city.)

Bozrah, an important city, supposed to be the capital of Idumaea (see comm. on Genesis 36:33). It was to the south of the Dead Sea, and has been preserved in el-Buseireh, a village with ruins in Jebl (see Robinson, Pal. ii. p. 570), and must not be confounded with Bossra in Hauran (Burckhardt, Syr. p. 364).

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