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Edom. The Jews understand this of the Romans; others apply it to themselves; but it seems to speak of the Idumeans. --- Ambassador, prophet, or angel; or God has suffered the passions of men to act. All is here animated. God appears leading on the various nations. (Calmet) --- He directed their thoughts to unite against Edom. (Worthington) --- Yet he did not approve of their ambition. (Haydock)
Contemptible. The nations of Chaldea, &c., were far more potent. Yet Edom must be brought still lower.
Rocks. Hebrew, "Selah," or Petra, the capital. (Calmet) --- People dwell in caverns from Eleutheropolis to Ailath. (St. Jerome)
Down. (Job xx. 6.) How vain is all human power!
Cluster. (Jeremias xlix. 9.) The Chaldeans take all, and remove the people, ver. 7.
Peace. The enemy had used their services against the Jews; but now they invade their confederates. (Calmet) --- Of this the Idumeans were not aware. (Haydock)
Esau. Job and Eliphaz were both from this country.
South. Hebrew, "Theman," (Calmet) where the Romans kept a garrison, fifteen miles south of Petra. (St. Jerome)
Slaughter. They invaded the dominions of Achaz, and incited the enemy to destroy all, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 17., and Psalm cxxxvi. 7.
Captive. He alludes to the taking of Sedecias. --- Lots, for the booty, or whether they should burn the city or not. All was regulated by lots. (Calmet)
Though shalt not look, &c., or thou shouldst not, &c. It is a reprehension for what they had done, and at the same time a declaration that these things should not pass unpunished. (Challoner) --- God admonishes, and at the same time insinuates that the Idumeans would act quite the reverse. (Worthington) --- Magnify. Literally, thou shalt not speak arrogantly against the children of Juda, as insulting them in their distress, (Challoner) like people mocking. When they shall be themselves afflicted, they shall cease to upbraid the Jews. (Calmet)
Army. Hebrew also, "goods." Septuagint, "thou wilt not join their army in the day of ruin." (Haydock) --- Thou wilt have other things to think about.
Flee. The Idumeans might easily have concealed the fugitives. But they were so inhuman as to fall upon them, (Calmet) or drive them back.
Nations around. (Haydock) --- Josephus ([Antiquities?] x. 11.) does not specify Edom. But the prophets had announced their destruction, effected by Nabuchodonosor, while the main part of his army besieged Tyre. (Calmet)
Drink. They shall rejoice at your fall, as you did at that of Juda; (St. Jerome) or, as my people has not been spared, can you expect to escape? (Jeremias xlix. 12.) --- Not. These nations and the Chaldeans themselves were brought low, while the Jews regained the regal power. The cup denotes vengeance, Psalm lxxiv. 9. Plautus uses the same expression: ut senex hoc eodem poculo, quo ego bibi, biberet. (Casina.) (Calmet)
Sion. This prosperity, in the historical sense, was promised to the Jews, after their return; and they enjoyed as much of it as their sins did not hinder; the rest was fulfilled in Christ. (St. Jerome, ad Dard.) (Worthington) --- Holy. Providence watched over the Jews in a particular manner, while the neighbouring nations fell a prey to the Persians, to Alexander, &c. The persecution of Epiphanes was sharp, but of short duration; and it gave occasion to the Jews to regain their liberty, and to have kings (Calmet) little (Haydock) inferior to those of old. --- Them. Hebrew, "its goods." The Jews obtained all Palestine. (Calmet) --- Christ extends his dominion over the world. (Theodoret)
Stubble. The Jews often attacked Edom, and at last forced them to submit to the law of circumcision. --- Remains. Septuagint copies vary; "corn fire or carrier." (Haydock) --- Those who escaped alone from battle had the former title. (Hesychius, Greek: purphoros.) (Calmet) --- Priests went with fire before the armies engaged. If they were slain, it was a sign, that no quarter was given, as these were accounted sacred. (Grabe, Prol.) (Haydock)
Plains. Sephala, Josue x. 40. --- Samaria, which the Cutheans had occupied, till Alexander subjected them to the Jews, and Hircan asserted his authority. (Josephus, Antiquities xiii. 18.) --- Galaad, east of the Jordan. Benjamin alone did not occupy this country.
Sarepta. This was accomplished after the persecution of Epiphanes. --- Bosphorus. So St. Jerome’s master interpreted Bispharad. But it seems rather to mean a part of Mesopotamia. Sippara stands above, where the Euphrates divides its streams.
Saviours, the Machabees, as figures of Christ. The temporal power of the Jews ended thirty-seven years after his resurrection. (Calmet) -- The rest of this prophecy (ver. 19.) regards Christ’s kingdom over all nations, which believe in him, and receive the remission of their sins, Acts x. 43. (St. Augustine, City of God xviii. 31.) (Worthington)
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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Obadiah 1". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany