Behold, I have made you small among the heathen: you are greatly despised.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Behold, ye Edomites, lay it to heart, and consider it well; be not secure amidst such dangers.
I have made thee small; thou art a small people for number, thy land mountainous, rocky, and barren, and it is little that which is of it, situate very incommodiously for any trade, which makes people great and famous; a country titled for moss-troopers, or banditti; and as such outlaws and robbers, thou art proud, and promisest great things to thyself.
Among the heathen, in comparison with other nations.
Thou art greatly despised, by those that do hear of thee, who know thy situation, government, manner of life, and what thy forces are, and how usually employed. Whatever these Edomites had been, now they are despised, and ere long should be more despicable, when, as Jeremiah 49:20, the least of Nebuchadnezzar’s army should pull them out of their caves, houses, and strong holds.
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.Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. I have made thee … thou art] Jehovah is now the speaker. “I have made thee small” in my purpose, which though its accomplishment is still future is as certain as though it were already executed. “Thou art,” already in inevitable destiny, “greatly despised.” There is nothing to commend the view of Calvin and others that Obadiah 1:2 is introduced to aggravate the pride of Edom: “Whereas I made thee small and despised, by the narrow territory which I assigned to thee, and the low place I gave thee among the nations of the earth, the pride of thine heart hath deceived thee,” &c. As a fact the Edomites had at this time acquired very considerable territory, and were a strong and formidable nation. If that had not been so, what need would there have been to summon “the nations” to chastise them?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. Isaiah 13:20, etc. Thus will Jehovah, by means of the final judgment upon the heathen, wipe away the bloodguiltiness that they have contracted in their treatment of His people, and manifest Himself as King of Zion. With these thoughts the prophecy of Joel closes (Joel 3:21). The verb niqqâh, to cleanse, with dâm, to wipe away or expunge blood-guiltiness by punishment, is chosen with reference to דּם נקיא in Joel 3:19; and לא נקּיתי, which follows, is to be taken in a relative sense: so that there is no need to alter ונקּיתי into ונקּמתּי otni ונקּ (Ges.); and the latter has no critical support in the Septuagint rendering καὶ ἐκζητήσω, which merely reproduces the sense.
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