Obadiah 1:15
For the day 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.
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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.

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). Obadiah 1:15This warning is supported in Obadiah 1:15 by an announcement of the day of the Lord, in which Edom and all the enemies of Israel will receive just retribution for their sins against Israel. Obadiah 1:15. "For the day of Jehovah is near upon all nations. As thou hast done, it will be done to thee; what thou hast performed returns upon thy head. Obadiah 1:16. For as ye have drunken upon my holy mountain, all nations will drink continually, and drink and swallow, and will be as those that were not." כּי (for) connects what follows with the warnings in Obadiah 1:12-14, but not also, or exclusively, with Obadiah 1:10, Obadiah 1:11, as Rosenmller and others suppose, for Obadiah 1:2-14 are not inserted parenthetically. "The day of Jehovah" has been explained at Joel 1:15. The expression was first formed by Obadiah, not by Joel; and Joel, Isaiah, and the prophets that follow, adopted it from Obadiah. The primary meaning is not the day of judgment, but the day on which Jehovah reveals His majesty and omnipotence in a glorious manner, to overthrow all ungodly powers, and to complete His kingdom. It was this which gave rise to the idea of the day of judgment and retribution which predominates in the prophetic announcements, but which simply forms one side of the revelation of the glory of God, as our passage at once shows; inasmuch as it describes Jehovah as not only judging all nations and regarding them according to their deeds (cf. Obadiah 1:15, and Obadiah 1:16), but as providing deliverance upon Zion (Obadiah 1:17), and setting up His kingdom (Obadiah 1:21). The retribution will correspond to the actions of Edom and of the nations. For גּמלך וגו, compare Joel 3:4, Joel 3:7, where (Joel 3:2-7) the evil deeds of the nations, what they have done against the people of God, are described. In Obadiah 1:16 Obadiah simply mentions as the greatest crime the desecration of the holy mountain by drinking carousals, for which all nations are to drink the intoxicating cup of the wrath of God till they are utterly destroyed. In shethı̄them (ye have drunk) it is not the Judaeans who are addressed, as many commentators, from Ab. Ezra to Ewald and Meier, suppose, but the Edomites. This is required not only by the parallelism of כּאשׁר שׁתיתם (as ye have drunk) and בּאשׁר שׁתיתם על הת (as thou hast done), but also by the actual wording and context. בּאשׁר שׁתיתם על הר cannot mean "as ye who are upon my holy mountain have drunk;" and in the announcement of the retribution which all nations will receive for the evil they have done to Judah, it is impossible that either the Judaeans should be addressed, or a parallel drawn between their conduct and that of the nations. Moreover, throughout the whole of the prophecy Edom only is addressed, and never Judah. Mount Zion is called "my holy mountain," because Jehovah was there enthroned in His sanctuary. The verb shâthâh is used in the two clauses in different senses: viz., shethı̄them, of the drinking carousals which the Edomites held upon Zion, like yishtū in Joel 3:3; and shâthū, in the apodosis, of the drinking of the intoxicating goblet (cf. Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15; Jeremiah 49:12, etc.), as the expression "they shall be as though they had not been" clearly shows. At the same time, we cannot infer from the words "all nations will drink," that all nations would succeed in taking Zion and abusing it, but that they would have to taste all the bitterness of their crime; for it is not stated that they are to drink upon Mount Zion. The fact that the antithesis to שׁתיתם is not תּשׁתּוּ ("ye will drink") but ישׁתּוּ כּל־הגּוים, does not compel us to generalize shethı̄them, and regard all nations as addressed implicite in the Edomites. The difficulty arising from this antithesis cannot be satisfactorily removed by the remark of Caspari, that in consequence of the allusion to the day of the Lord upon all nations in Obadiah 1:15, the judgment upon all nations and that upon the Edomites were thought of as inseparably connected, or that this induced Obadiah to place opposite to the sins of the Edomites, not their own punishment, but the punishment of all nations, more especially as, according to Obadiah 1:11, it must necessarily be assumed that the foreign nations participated in the sin of Edom. For this leaves the question unanswered, how Obadiah came to speak at all (Obadiah 1:15) of the day of the Lord upon all nations. The circumstance that, according to Obadiah 1:11, heathen nations had plundered Jerusalem, and committed crimes like those for which Edom is condemned in Obadiah 1:12-14, does not lead directly to the day of judgment upon all nations, but simply to a judgment upon Edom and the nations which had committed like sins. The difficulty is only removed by the assumption that Obadiah regarded Edom as a type of the nations that had risen up in hostility to the Lord and His people, and were judged by the Lord in consequence, so that what he says of Edom applies to all nations which assume the same or a similar attitude towards the people of God. From this point of view he could, without reserve, extend to all nations the retribution which would fall upon Edom for its sins. They should drink tâmı̄d, i.e., not at once, as Ewald has rendered it in opposition to the usage of the language, but "continually." This does not mean, however, that "there will be no time in which there will not be one of the nations drinking the intoxicating cup, and being destroyed by drinking thereof; or that the nations will come in turn, and therefore in a long immeasurable series, one after the other, to drink the cup of intoxication," as Caspari supposes, but "continually, so that the turn never passes from the heathen to Judah, Isaiah 51:22-23" (Hitzig). This drinking is more precisely defined as drinking and swallowing (לוּע, in Syriac, to devour or swallow, hence לע, a throat, so called from the act of swallowing, Proverbs 23:2), i.e., drinking in full draughts; and the effect, "they will be like such as have not been, have never existed" (cf. Job 10:19), i.e., they will be utterly destroyed as nations.
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