Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Obadiah 1

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verse 1

Obadiah 1:1 . The vision of Obadiah. This is reckoned a higher mode of revelation than that of dreams. The Chaldaic paraphrase reads, “The prophecy of Obadiah.”

Concerning Edom. He joins his voice to his contemporary prophets against this country, as may be seen in Isaiah 21:11. Amos 1:11. Joel 1:19.

Obadiah 1:3 . The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee. Dwelling in mount Seir, and having abundance of rocks for fortresses, Edom boasted of exemption from the sword, and of her splendid palaces.

Obadiah 1:5 . If thieves came by night, to thy house, or to thy vintage, they would have stolen only till they had enough, and left all the rest behind. But, oh Edom, the Chaldeans will leave nothing whatever. The mountains of Idumea were favourable to the culture of the vine.

Obadiah 1:9 . Thy mighty men, oh Teman, shall be dismayed. Duke Teman was grandson of Esau. Genesis 36:15. Teman was also the name of the capital, which too much confided in its strength. The jews, it is not doubted, had oppressed them; but when Jerusalem fell under the invader, the Edomites indulged in indecent exultations. They even sent an army of mighty men to join the Chaldeans, and to slaughter the fugitive jews: a most unbrotherly part towards Jacob. Nothing is more strongly marked as an object of divine displeasure than the sin of cruelty or unkindness towards brethren, and in this instance an awful retaliation was denounced. Psalms 137:7-9.

Obadiah 1:15 . The day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen. The Chaldean army presently reached Idumea, and carried Teman into captivity. Whatever mercy or forbearance the western nations of Syria might receive, the wars, the successive wars, between the kings of Egypt and of Syria, as described in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, made them the most unhappy of nations. The Lord visited the blood of guilty fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation. The race of Edom was cut off, as in Obadiah 1:18, till none remained.

Obadiah 1:17 . Upon mount Zion shall be deliverance. The christian church is his holy hill, the throne of the glory of Christ. Zion and the temple shall be restored, but Teman shall be destroyed.

Obadiah 1:21 . The kingdom shall be the Lord’s, when the jews may yet in part be restored to their own land, if they, as Paul says, abide not still in unbelief. The Hebrew prophets ever left some encouragement to the remnant, a hope in their end, when all the glory of the latter day shall break forth upon the church; when the sun of Zion shall no more go down, nor her moon wane.


Boundless was the joy of Edom when Jerusalem fell; for they then hoped to rise and reign. But as Josephus states, in four years the Chaldeans dashed in pieces all the nations of the west. Then the pride of Edom had a final fall. It is rash to rejoice at our neighbour’s calamities, for we know not what is suspended over our own heads.

The sins of men and of nations in the very striking characters of retributive justice, display the righteousness of God in the identity of his visitations. Not an act that Edom did against Israel and Judah, but it was requited on the head of Edom. The storming of cities, the slaughter of the people, the burning of palaces, in which the pride of Edom had been displayed; the utter desolation of the country, and the howling of the captives, elsewhere compared to the cries of a heifer three years old, when separated from her company, all display the calamities of Edom; yea, and far greater. Upon mount Zion, the new-testament church, shall be deliverance; and all its glory shall be holiness to the Lord. Her enemies shall be numbered with the dust, while she and her children shall fill the earth, and the Lord in the midst of her will make the place of his feet glorious. Wars shall end in peace, crimes shall be superseded with righteousness, and the glory shall no more depart.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Obadiah 1". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/obadiah-1.html. 1835.
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