The second verse of this first chapter gives the key to the book. Jehovah declared Himself in judgment. Beginning at the point farthest from Israel, the prophet delivered his messages to the nations as such. Each in turn passes before Jehovah, and receives sentence.
The sin of Syria was cruelty. At last, sentence was uttered; the flame would devour, all defense would be useless, and the people would be driven into captivity.
The sin of Philistia had been the slave trade. Here, as before, and as in each subsequent case, the form of the declaration reveals the exhausted patience of God. Philistia would be visited with the devouring flame, her inhabitants be cut off, and even the remnant would perish. Phoenicia's special guilt had been that in spite of the covenant made, she had acted as a slave agent. Edom was doomed for determined and revengeful unforgiveness. The children of Ammon were specially denounced for cruelty based upon cupidity.
Moab's chief wickedness had been her shocking and vindictive hatred.
the First Week after Epiphany