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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Obadiah 1

 

 

Verses 1-21

THE PROPHECY

1Vision of Obadiah:

Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom;[FN1]

We have heard tidings from Jehovah,

We have heard tidings from Jehovah,

And[FN2] an ambassador is sent forth among the nations.[FN3]

Arise ye,[FN4] and let us arise against her to battle!

2Behold, I make thee small among the nations;

Despised art thou exceedingly.

3The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee,

Dweller in the refuges of the cliff,

His lofty habitation;[FN5]

Who saith in his heart:

Who will bring me down to the earth?

4Though high,[FN6] like the eagle,

And though among the stars thou set thy nest,

Thence will I bring thee down,

Whispers Jehovah.[FN7]

5 If thieves had come to thee,[FN8]

If robbers by night—

How art thou destroyed!

Would they not steal until they had enough?

If grape gatherers had come to thee,

Would they not leave gleanings?

6 How is Esau searched out![FN9]

His hidden things sought up!

7 To the border have sent[FN10] thee forth

All the men of thy covenant;

They have deceived thee, prevailed against thee,

The men that were at peace with thee;

Thy bread[FN11] have they placed as a snare under thee;

There is no understanding in him.[FN12]

8 Will not I, in that day,

Whispers Jehovah,

Destroy the wise out of Edom,

And understanding out of the mount of Esau?

9 And thy heroes shall be dismayed, O Teman,

That[FN13] every man may be cut off from the mount of Esau

By[FN14] slaughter.

10 For the violence toward thy brother Jacob,

Shame shall cover thee,

And thou shalt be cut off forever.

11In the day when thou stoodest opposite,

In the day when strangers took captive his army,[FN15]

And foreigners entered his gates,

And over Jerusalem cast lots,

Thou also wast as one of them.

12And [yet] thou shouldest not have looked on[FN16] the day of thy brother, on the day of his calamity;

And not have rejoiced over the sons of Judah in the day of their destruction;

And not have enlarged thy mouth in the day of distress.

13Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people, in the day of their ruin;

Not have looked, thou also, on his misfortune, in the day of his destruction;

And not have laid hand on his army, in the day of his ruin.

14And thou shouldest not have stood at the forks,

To cut off his fugitives;

And not have delivered up his remnant, in the day of distress.

15 For near is the day of Jehovah on all the nations;

As thou hast done will they do to thee;

Thy deed will return upon thy head.

16 For as ye have drunken on the mountain of my holiness,

All the nations shall drink continually,

And drink, and swallow down,

And be as though they had never been.[FN17]

17 And on mount Zion shall be deliverance, and it will be holiness;

And the. house of Jacob will take their possessions.

18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire,

And the house of Joseph a flame,

And the house of Esau for stubble;

And they will kindle upon them, and devour them,

And there will be none remaining to the house of Esau;

For Jehovah hath spoken it.

19 And the south country shall possess the mountain of Esau,

And the lowland the Philistines;

And they shall possess the field of Ephraim,

And the field of Samaria;

And Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead.

20 And the captivity of this army of the sons of Israel,

Who [are among the] Canaanites, as far as Zarepath,[FN18]

And the captivity of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad,

Shall possess the cities of the south.

21And saviors shall go up on mount Zion,

To judge the mountain of Esau[FN19].

And the kingdom shall be Jehovah’s.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

I. The judgment upon Edom, Obadiah 1:1-9.

Obadiah 1:1. The title designates the chapter as a Vision of Obadiah. חזון is not merely a single vision ( Isaiah 29:7), but the result of the views of the prophets (חֹזִים, Micah 3:7; Isaiah 29:10), in the widest sense, embracing both species, the vision in the waking state, and the prophetic dream ( Numbers 12:6); hence used elsewhere also in the inscriptions to prophetic records ( Nahum 1:1), and even to entire collections of prophecies ( Isaiah 1:1). The second title, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom (cf. [לְ “concerning”] Judges 9:54), which also stands unconnected with the following, is an emphatic epexegesis to the “vision.”

The prophecy itself begins with the brief statement of what God has decreed: A rumor have we (i.e., the people, not merely the prophet, as in Jeremiah 49:14) heard from Jehovah, therefore through the medium of prophecy (cf. Amos 3:7; 2 Kings 6:12); and a messenger is sent among the heathen nations (the connection by “and” as often with vv. sentiendi, Zechariah 6:1): Rise ye, and let us rise against her to battle. Not only when God summons the heathen to the decisive contest with his people ( Joel 4:9), but also when they are obliged to perform his judgment against a people belonging even to their own circle, does this war-message which is sent forth among them proceed under his direction. They are even called in this case his sanctified ones ( Isaiah 13:3), as Cyrus is named in such a mission the anointed of God ( Isaiah 45:1). The reference of עָלֶיהָ to Jerusalem which, from Isaiah 7:1, seems the more obvious, as the feminine construction of אדום nowhere else occurs, is expressly excluded by the quotation in Jeremiah 49:14. Obadiah 1:1-2 stand, accordingly, not in a relation of opposition, but of climax.

Not his people does Jehovah summon against Edom, but heathen nations. In this lies the miserableness of his fate, that he should ( Obadiah 1:2) take among his associates the place of a despised and humbled enemy; behold, I make thee small among the heathen. (חִנֵּה with the participle, the common form of apodeictic prediction): despised art thou exceedingly.

While this picture of humiliation appears vividly present to the eyes of the prophet, he gives to it the signature: the pride of thy heart hath deceived thee. Properly the emphasis lies on the verb; betrayed thee has, etc, but through the precedence given to the sin which has caused this the ethical element in this calamity, that it is incurred by guilt, is rendered prominent. Jeremiah 37:9. The pride of Edom rested on the notion of apparent unassailableness: thou that dwellest (Ges. § 90, 3 a.) in the refuges (after the Arab.; according to LXX, Vulg, Syr.: clefts) of the cliff, his lofty habitation (שׁכֵן with the ace. מרוֹם, as in Isaiah 33:5; מרום שׁבתו, like פֶלֶא יֹועֵץ, Isaiah 9:5; Ew. § 287 g.). “The territory of Edom was a rocky mountain mass, full of caverns, and the Edomites dwelt, partly, in the natural caves there found (hence the earlier inhabitants of Mount Seir were called הורים, i.e., troglodytes, cave-dwellers, Genesis 14:6; Deuteronomy 2:12; Deuteronomy 2:22), partly in abodes artificially hewn out of the rock.” Caspari. Jerome (on Obadiah 5:6): “Revera omnis australis regio Idumœorum de Eleutheropoli, usque ad Petram et Halam in specubus habitatiunculas habet.” Pliny: “Petra (= סלע, the capital,) fuit oppidum circumdatum montibus inaccessis.” Compare, on the hardly approachable position, and the peculiar impression given by the sight of the city hewn out of the rock, also Rosenmüller, Bibl Aiterthumskunde, Obadiah 3:76 ff.; and specially C. Riter, Erdkunde, xiv1108 ff. [Robinson, Stevens]. That sayest in thy heart: Who will bring me down to the earth?i.e., no man can do it. And yet there is one who can.

Obadiah 1:4. Though high like the eagle, and though between the stars thou set thy nest (שׂים is an infin. dependent on תנביה, and תנביה שׂ ם, “to place high,” like הצנע לכת “to walk humbly,” Ew. § 280 c.), from thence will I bring thee down, saith Jehovah. The hyperbole of the first member of the verse, and the threatening of the second, became, from this time on, standing formulas to express human pride and divine retribution ( Amos 9:2 f.; Isaiah 14:13 ff.).

Since the humiliation of Edom is decreed by God, it will exceed all the experience of men, and all analogy with their proceedings.

Obadiah 1:5-6. Verily, not thieves have come to thee, not robbers of the night;—how art thou brought to nought! They steal only so much as they need; while thieves leave undisturbed that which is of no value to them, Edom is utterly destroyed. Not grape-gatherers have come to thee, they leave gleanings; but how are those of Esau searched out! his hid treasures discovered! We follow, in the main, the view of Chr5. Michaelis, Jäger, Ewald, Caspari, who (in opposition to Kimchi, Marck, Rosenmüller, Hendewerk, De Wette, Maurer, Umbreit, Hitzig,) recognize an ascending contrast between the sentences beginning with אִם, and those with אֵידְ. But this cannot fully appear if we retain the conditional sense of אִם. It is to be regarded as a strengthening particle of negation (Ew. § 356 a.; [Ges. Lex. s. Obadiah 1:10 :C1, c. Cf. Fürst]). Our translation notices also that the rhetorical questions with הֲלוֹא stand in an affirmative sense. (Literally, we should have to translate: If thieves had come to thee, would they not have taken what they need? etc.[FN20]) The ruin of Edom is too complete to be ascribed to human causality, to the depredation of robbers, to an overthrow as if reapers had come over the harvest; it is God’s pitiless work.

But truly God has, as Obadiah 1:1 already indicated, judged with divine irony; the heathen, Edom’s own allies, have become his instrument: those who were bound ( Genesis 25:24) to render aid have for saken the unhappy people, deceived, betrayed them.

Obadiah 1:7. To the border have they escorted thee, all thy confederates.Quos de petendo contra hostem auxilio legatos mittes, socii recusabunt admittere, suisque finibus excedere jubebunt, metu hostium uorum, quos lacessere verebuntur.” (Schnurrer.) “Mos antiqituus, qui etiam nunc obtinet, ut principes honoris causa deduci curent legatos, cum discedent ad limites ditionis suœ.” (Drusius.) So Edom himself ( Isaiah 16:1-2) thrusts out from his capital, Sela, the Moabites who have sought refuge there, with their cattle, into the wilderness, and bids them seek protection in Judah. They have deceived thee, prevailed against thee, the men who were at peace with thee; thy bread have they placed as a snare under thee; although pledged by their alliance to hospitality, they press thee with hostile treachery (cf. on the comparison with bread, Hupfeld on Psalm 60:5); thou considerest it not. The בּוֹ is to be referred, with Hitzig (similarly Luther), to the snare.

Prudence is wanting, for, Obadiah 1:8, Will not I in that day,—it is the word of Jehovah,—destroy the wise out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? It is God’s way to change the wisdom which is estranged from Him into its opposite ( Isaiah 19:11; Isaiah 29:14; Jeremiah 49:7).—For the first time in prophecy we here meet with the solemn היום ההוּה, the designation of the judgment day; here, it is true, only in a germinal form, so to speak, in finite relations, and without the eschatological addition, which accrues first in the later prophetical development.

Obadiah 1:9. And as the wise become fools, so the heroes dispirited; And dismayed shall be thy heroes, O Teman. Teman, according to Jerome, in the Onomast., and on Amos 1:12, was a special, and that the southern, part of Edom, which here, according to poetical usage, could the better stand for the whole land, since the association of ideas in ver8 would lead precisely to the Temanites celebrated for their wisdom ( Jeremiah 49:7). Until (לְמַעַן, like ‘lva, in the N. T, stands not always in a purely final sense, but introduces a result which necessarily follows from the inward nature of a thing,[FN21] Hosea 8:4; Amos 2:7; Psalm 51:6, 4]), every man is [that every man may be] cut off from the mountain of Esau, by slaughter. מִן of the efficient cause, as in Genesis 9:14 [Gesen. Lex p582 d.]. With the impressive phrase, “by slaughter” closes the delineation of the threatened judgment: Obadiah 1:8-9 complete the denunciation proper, for which the opening formula, “Thus saith Jehovah” ( Obadiah 1:1), has prepared us, and which has hung suspended through all the intervening discourse. Then follows—

II. Obadiah 1:10-16. The statement of the reasons why God will and must execute this terrible judgment. A logically argumentative discourse would have inferred from the present, in connection with the interior laws of divine providence, the tragical future of Esau; prophecy sees the future first, and from that descends, in explanation, to the roots which this future has in the events of the present. For the violence (מִן, as in Isaiah 53:5,) toward thy brother Jacob (gen. obj, as in Joel 4, 3] 19). In spite of the old family feud, the consciousness of relationship between Edom and Israel had never been extinguished, and was sanctified by the law ( Deuteronomy 23:7 f.) Shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off forever. The word כָרַה is designedly chosen; it denotes the extermination demanded by God’s will and law ( Leviticus 22:3).

Obadiah 1:9 b and10 c are limited by2 c to this sense, that a few Edomites shall yet (perhaps those who have beforehand avoided the contest by flight; for all those present at the time of the contest shall, according to9 b and18, fall without exception) remain and constitute the extremely enfeebled people. The הכרה is therefore a destruction of them as a people, or rather, according to Obadiah 1:2 a as a numerous, strong people; cf. Isaiah 7:8; Jeremiah 48:42; Jeremiah 48:47.” Caspari.

Obadiah 1:11. In what did that iniquity consist? In the day when thou stoodest opposite, sc. against thy brother; the suff. in חֵילוֹ is anticipated as the object; in the day when foreigners carried away his treasures ( Isaiah 10:14; 2 Chronicles 21:17), and strangers entered his gates ( Joel 4, 3] (17), and cast lots over Jerusalem, i.e., over the population, whom they distributed among them by lot, to sell into slavery ( Joel 4, 3] 3), thou also wast as one of them.

In a series of particular charges ( Obadiah 1:12 ff), the hostile disposition of Edom is depicted. The imperfect stands in these complaints for that which, in the mind of the prophet, ought in the past to have been done or avoided (Ew. § 136 g; cf. Job 10:18; Genesis 20:9). Hitzig supposes that in such connection the unabbreviated imperf. must have stood; but in the examples cited by him, the cohortative (prohibitive) turn of the thought is wanting, which is here so plainly manifest. By this turn also the אל is justified, which Caspari urges against our view. In Genesis 20:9, לא must stand instead of אל, because there a transgression of a law sanctified by custom and hereditary derivation is spoken of.

[There is room for doubt about the propriety of translating אַל־תֵּרֶא, and the other futures preceded by אַל, this and the two following verses, as in the pluperfect subjunctive. Dr. Pusey, who strenuously maintains that the prophecy, although delivered soon after the time of Joel and Amos, contemplates directly the Chaldæan catastrophe, denies that these phrases can be so translated. “It is absolutely certain,” he says, “that al with the future forbids or deprecates a thing future. In all the passages in which al occurs in the Hebrew Bible it signifies ‘do not.’ We might as well say that ‘do not steal’ means ‘thou shouldest not have stolen,’ as say that veal tçrehand do not look means ‘thou shouldest not have looked.’ … We must not, on any principle of interpretation, in a single instance, ascribe to a common idiom a meaning which it has not, because the meaning which it has does not suit us.” Minor Prophets, p228. He accordingly translates: “And look not on the day of thy brother,” etc, as though the prophet were simply dehorting the Edomites, near two hundred years in advance, from cruelty to their brethren, the Jews, at the destruction of their city by Nebuchadnezzar! Maurer translates to the same purport: “Ne spectes,” etc, but for an opposite reason. He supposes the prophet to be speaking at a time subsequent to the destruction of the city, to prohibit further outrages, which were likely to be continued and repeated, long after the main calamity. Zunz also renders in the same sense: “Thou shouldest not (again) feast thy eyes,” etc. (Aber du solltst dich nicht (wieder) weiden, etc.). Kleinert, while justifying, in the exegetical notes, the view expressed in the Eng. Vers, adopts a rendering midway between that and Dr. Pusey’s: “Thou shouldest not” (apparently as a general deprecation) “feast upon the day,” etc. This is probably very near the grammatical sense, yet does not seem to give the true spirit of the passage so well as the version with which we are familiar. And, grammatically, although אַל, with the fut, every where else meant deprecation of what was in prospect, still it can hardly be denied that, whatever was the prophet’s actual relation to the outrages which he forbids, he views them in Obadiah 1:11 c, and in Obadiah 1:15 b, as already past; and what is the spirit of deprecation of anything thought of as past but a declaration that it ought not to have I been done. “Thou shouldest not do (or do not) what thou hast done,” is in effect, “thou shouldst not have done it.”—Tr.]

Obadiah 1:12. And yet thou shouldest not feast thy eyes (ראה with ב, behold with pleasure) on the day (i.e., evil day, Job 18:20) of thy brother, even because the sufferer was thy brother; on the day of his calamity [נכרו], of his fate, strange and proceeding from the estrangement of God ( Isaiah 28:21); and shouldest not rejoice over the sons of Judah in the day of their destruction, and shouldest not make great thy mouth, to utter mockeries ( Job 19:5), in the day of distress; ( Obadiah 1:13) shouldest not enter into the door of my people in the day of their destruction; shouldest not feast thy eyes, even thou, on his misfortune in the day of his destruction; and shouldest not reach (properly, stretch out the hand; יד is omitted, as in Psalm 18:12; 2 Samuel 6:6;) after his treasures, in the day of his destruction.—The form תשׁלחגה, a much ventilated crux interpretum, is as Ew. pp435, 537 f. rightly remarks, not to be regarded as a 3 d fem, according to Judges 5:26; Isaiah 27:11; Isaiah 28:3; and he has also rightly given up the punctation—channah previously proposed by him, after the Arab, modus energicus. We find the ending, נָה, as a cohortative strengthening appended to the imperat. sing. also ( Isaiah 32:9), where the daughters of Jerusalem, as representing the whole people, are addressed in the singular. Whether the נָה, as in אָנָּה, 2 Kings 20:3 (= נָה—אָהּ), is identical with the cohort. נָא, which can also follow the verb with negative applications ( Judges 19:23), or whether it is a He paragogicum strengthened by the nasal (in the 2 d pers, also Job 11:17), must remain unsettled. Aben Ezra (cf. Drusius, Hitzig) holds an omitted יָדֶיךָ to be the subj, and the form a 3 d pers. plur. used reflexively; both equally improbable. Not less so Caspari’s recourse to the Arab, ending na, of the 2 d pers. sing. fut.; Olsh, § 226 c, cuts the knot, and reads תשׁלח יד.

Obadiah 1:14. And thou shouldest not stand at the fork of the road, where, close by the gate, the ways part, which the fleeing Jews would take, to out off his fugitives; and shouldest not deliver (others: “shut in,” but cf. Deuteronomy 23:16) those that remained of his in the day of distress.“Hoc gravissimum est et summam malevolentiam arguit, miseros ac aerumnosos homunciones, qui fuga vitam servare quœrunt, prodere et hostibus ad necandum tradere.” Rosenm, c.f. Amos 1:9. Therefore can the retribution for the failure of fraternal duty not be withheld, and the manner of its accomplishment will be according to the divine jus talionis ( Psalm 18:20 ff.).

Obadiah 1:15-16. For near is the day of Jehovah, which always follows the day of the sinner (cf. Joel 4. with Obadiah 1:1. ff.), upon all the nations. Already now the announcement of the day of God, which in Obadiah 1:8 has entered into the prophecy, extends its compass to that of a universal judgment. As thou hast done, will they do to thee; thy deed will return upon thy head; the deed which goes against God falls back again upon the doer, as an arrow, shot perpendicularly upward, on the head of the archer (Geier on Psalm 7:17).

Obadiah 1:16. For as ye have drunk (taken part in the wild revelry of the destroyers ( Joel 4:3)) on the mountain of my holiness, which I have made my holy possession ( Psalm 74:2; Psalm 2:6), and the desecration of which I must accordingly avenge, so shall all the nations—the discourse applies now, as the plural שׁתיתם has already indicated an extension of the field of vision, to all the enemies of God, including those who have served the special purpose of chastisement to Edom ( Obadiah 1:1)—drink, namely, the cup of wrath and trembling from the hand of God, which He will, in the final judgment, extend to them before the walls of Jerusalem ( Zechariah 12:2; Isaiah 19:17; Isaiah 29:9 f.; Isaiah 51:17; Isaiah 51:22; Psalm 60:4; Psalm 75:9). Thus also the Chald. paraphrase: As ye have rejoiced over the blow which has fallen on my holy mountain, all the peoples will drink the cup of punishment from me, continually; yea, they shall drink and swallow down, with full draught, “and that not because they desire it, for the drink is very bitter, but because they must.” Casp. And win be as if they had not been;καὶ ἐσονται καθὼς οὐχ ὑπάρχοντες. LXX.; shall be completely destroyed. “Cocceius illud esse quasi non fuissent, exponit per gentium conversiones, quœ specialius declarantur in ediis prophetiis, imprimis in Daniele et Apocalypsi ( Numbers 24:24). Sed clarum Esther, in prioribus jam memorari gentium pœnam et spectare hoc quasi non fuissent ad ipsam bibitionem tanquam ejus proprium e.ffectum, non autem merum consequens.” Marck.

III. Obadiah 1:17-21. Messianic Application: the final salvation of Israel. Where in this storm-flood of the final judgment will the ark be? Obadiah 1:17. But upon mount Zion will be deliverance ( Jeremiah 23:35; others: a company of rescued ones; Isaiah 4:2), and it shall be holy, God’s sanctuary, fenced about by God ( Zechariah 2:9), as once Sinai ( Exodus 19:12 f), unapproachable to the strangers ( Joel 4:17) who have profaned it ( Obadiah 1:16), a sure place for those who belong to God ( Joel 3:5). And the house of Jacob, the Jews, those over whom the lot had been cast by their destroyers, shall possess their possessions:ירשׁ מורשׁ chosen for the play upon the name Jerusalem[FN22]=ירושׁ שׁלם, “peaceful possession.” That this has no reference to the occupation of hostile territory (Jäger), the suff. plur. being referable to בית rather, and Moraschim the hereditary possessions of Israel, especially of Jerusalem, is shown by the whole syntax of the verse, and by the context.

Then when Israel sits unassailed in his land again, he will arise against his enemies for the divine judgment. Obadiah 1:18. And the house of Jacob,i.e., Judah who stands in the most directly hostile opposition to the unbrotherly Esau (cf. Obadiah 1:10 with11), will be a fire, namely, through the burning zeal of God who is in him ( Isaiah 10:17); and the house of Joseph, the now severed kingdom of the ten tribes ( Zechariah 10:6), whose head is the Josephide Ephraim, and which at the time of the deliverance will have returned to the unity of the government ( Hosea 2:2), a flame; and the house of Esau stubble ( Isaiah 5:24), which, as the vital force has forsaken it, will blaze at the first touch of fire; and they will kindle upon them and devour them, and there will be none left remaining to the house of Esau; as it also did not spare even the escaped [ Obadiah 1:14]. Contrast to the case of Judah, Obadiah 1:17. Whence all this? For Jehovah hath spoken it ( Obadiah 1:1). The execution of the judgment will restore Israel to his former extent of territory.

Obadiah 1:19. And the south shall possess—cf. LXX, οἱ ἐν Νεγέβ, the inhabitants of the Negeb, the southern portion of Judah, extending to Idumæa ( Genesis 20:1; Joshua 10:40; Joshua 15:26)—the mountain of Esau, and the inhabitants of the lowland, which stretches in the west of Judah toward the Philistines ( Joshua 10:40; Joshua 15:33; Jeremiah 33:13), the Philistines; the people put. for the land. Israel will thus not merely receive his moraschim, his hereditary lands ( Obadiah 1:17), but also the adjacent country which belonged to him under David (cf. Psalm 60). And they, the same to whom the south and the lowlands belong, the men of Judah, will possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; so that, after the union of the tribes presupposed in18 a, the dominion returns to Judah ( Genesis 49:10), and Benjamin will possess Gilead. The whole land is brought back to the house of David by the two tribes which have remained true to it ( Jeremiah 32:44).

Obadiah 1:20. And, to crown the triumph, captives unto this army (גּלה and חל in the archaic style, without vowel letters, Olsh. § 39 d.) of the sons of Israel, the twelve tribes united under the leadership of Judah, will become the Phœnicians which there are even to Zarephath (Sarepta); the Phœnicians who have taken part in the shameful attempt of Edom against Jerusalem, by the sale of Jewish captives into slavery (hence called by the equivocal name כּנענים, Joel 4:6; Amos 1:9), will now themselves become prisoners, so that the whole district as far as Sarepta, to which point the word of prophecy was carried by Elijah ( 1 Kings 17:9-10), will be cleared of the heathen. And the captivity of Jerusalem,i.e., the captives from Judah, who are in Sepharad, will possess the cities of the south, whose inhabitants meanwhile have seized the mountain of Esau ( Obadiah 1:19). Sepharad is a region in the west which is mentioned also in the cuneiform inscriptions; by the ancients supposed to be Spain, but rather, perhaps, Sardis (Lassen, Hitzig), or Sparta (Delitzsch). The last supposition is favored by the fact that Joel names the Ionians, the Greeks in general, as the people to whom the Phœnicians have sold the captive Jews; as also on the cuneiform inscriptions at Bisutun, Sparad and Ionia are mentioned in immediate connection.[FN23] Among the translations hitherto proposed of this variously interpreted verse, two principally deserve notice; (1.) “The captives of this army of the sons of Israel (namely, those who are now ‘carried away’) shall possess what Canaanites there are unto Sarepta.” Hitzig. But then אה ought to stand before אשׁד (2.) “The captives of this army who dwell among the Canaanites (or, are Canaanites) unto Sarepta, and the captives of Jerusalem,” etc. Caspari, Umbreit. But כנענים without a verb cannot, like מסךְ, in Psalm 120:6, be an accus, and to take it as a predicate results in nonsense.[FN24]

Obadiah 1:21. And there will come up saviors, not divine beings, for these would descend from above, but the heroes who, through the deeds spoken of in Obadiah 1:17 ff, have gained for the people their rights (cf. Micah 5:4-5; Nehemiah 9:27), on mount Zion, to judge the mount of Esau. שׁפט is the usual expression for the dispensation of justice in the name of Jehovah; the judges are called interchangeably, שׁפְטִים and מוֹשִׁיעִים ( Judges 3:9; Judges 3:15; Judges 1:16; Judges 1:18). The accus. stands here not, as usually ( Psalm 43:1), for that to which right is secured, but for that in which an example of justice is exhibited. And the kingdom shall be Jehovah’s. Chald.: And the kingdom of Jehovah will be manifested over all the lands of the earth. Psalm 22:29; Isaiah 24:23.

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

The judgment of the world presupposes the separation between God’s congregation and the world, and Isaiah, as an objective crisis, the final consequence and manifestation of this inner discrimination already experienced (cf. John 3:18 f.). The world-power is the necessary complement to the community of the saved. It is not given by an original antithesis to the kingdom of God, but has developed itself with the latter from the same natural ground, and at the first stood in a fraternal relation with it. Now, however, it stands in an independent isolation over against it; and, as lies in the very nature of the case, the original connection, like a sting cleaving to the conscience, has served only to increase the alienation. The opposition has in all points amounted to polarization: the kingdom of God in prostration, the world-power in secure defiance; the kingdom of God in humility, this in pride; this in possession on the earth, that without possessions on earth, but having a refuge in the heavenly Jerusalem; this only an object of the divine decrees, but that possessing the knowledge of these decrees through the information of the prophets. God’s decree is the completion of his kingdom, and so the removal of its enemies. Hence the necessity for the judgment on the world which takes place in the legal form of the talio, the penalty exactly adequate to the crime: the punishment of the world-power corresponds to its sins, and its conduct towards the congregation of God. If the harmony in the order of the world is to be restored, a revolution of the existing most unreasonable relation must take place; the world-power is stripped of its possessions, the congregation acquires them,—that despised, this highly esteemed. This judgment is already indicated in the nature of sin; it executes itself so soon as God once allows it development to its final result; and his saviors on Zion establish what has been actually given. What is true they establish in continuance; what is naught, because it is against God, they cast into annihilation. In prophecy, this plurality of saviors, compared with the one Saviour, represents the same preliminary stage as is signified in the history by the previous period of the Judges, compared with the monarchy.

Obadiah (comp. the Introd.) occupies chronologically the first place among the prophetic writers, and at once fits into the total organism of recorded prophecy. For in this we may distinguish, according to the relation between God and the world-power, four periods: that in which the world is represented by the neighboring nations ( Obadiah,, Joel, Amos); the Assyrian ( Hosea,, Isaiah,, Micah, Nahum); the Babylonian ( Habakkuk, Jer.); the universal, eschatological ( Ezekiel,, Haggai,, Zechariah, Daniel). In each of those stages the preceding is included anew, as Edom by Isaiah; and thus Assyria can appear still to Zachariah as representative of the world. Egypt goes from the patriarchal age through all the periods as type of the world, and in allusion to the primitive history ( Genesis 11) Babylon appears as such, in connection with Assyria, even in Isaiah’s time. That in the first period, among the neighboring peoples, Edom, in particular, stands forth energetically in the foreground, has its reason (apart from the special historical occasions stated in the Introd.) in the entire scheme of the national history. Edom, as is manifest from the evidences before given, is exactly fitted, as the brother nation of Israel, to appear by preference as representing the attitude of the world toward the kingdom of God; and in the relation of the patriarchs Esau and Jacob is given the prototype of the historical development which ends in the remarkable situation where the Edomite, Herod, through his malicious mockery of the true Israel, Jesus, invokes the judgment on his own head and race.

It lies in the nature of the case, that the historico-dogmatical intimations in Obadiah were of fundamental importance for the later development. Leaving out of view numerous, perhaps accidental, allusions, we still find an extension of the ideas of Obadiah in Isaiah 34:13; Jeremiah 49:7 ff.; Ezekiel 25:12 ff, Ezekiel 25:35, in all which passages the prophecy concerning Edom, reaching beyond the simple historical framework, gains more and more of an eschatological character, and Edom becomes a type of arrogant defiance against God. Hence the further coincidences: the judgment upon pride ( Obadiah 1:2, comp. with Isaiah 2:12 ff; Isaiah 14:2 ff); the impossibility of escape from God ( Obadiah 1:4, comp. with Amos 9:2 ff); the completeness of his judgment ( Obadiah 1:6 comp. with Micah 6:14 ff.; Jeremiah 42:15 ff); the destruction of wisdom out of a people which God judges ( Obadiah 1:8, comp. with Isaiah 19:11 ff.; Jeremiah 2:36). The denunciation: for near is the day of Jehovah ( Obadiah 1:15, in Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1; Joel 4:15; Isaiah 13:6; Zephaniah 1:7; Ezekiel 32:30). The accurately corresponding penalty ( Obadiah 1:15 comp. with Jeremiah 1:15, 29; Joel 4:4, 7). The cup of trembling ( Obadiah 1:16 from Psalm 60:5 comp. with Isaiah 1:17 ff.; Jeremiah 25:26 ff.; Zechariah 12:2 ff). The deliverance on Mount Zion ( Obadiah 1:17, comp. with Joel 3:5; Joel 4:17). Israel a consuming fire ( Obadiah 1:18, comp. with Amos 5:6). The summons: for Jehovah hath spoken ( Obadiah 1:18, in Joel,, Isaiah, and Micah, nine times).

Hofmann: All people shall succeed in capturing and misusing Zion, but they shall also be all made to taste the bitterness of their iniquity, and become drunk with their intoxicating wine.

Hengstenberg: The nature of Edom is hatred against the kingdom of God, whereby their calling upon the Lord and the Lord’s calling them is excluded. The individual, however, can leave the community of his people, and so pass over into the domain of saving grace, as the example of Rahab shows. The prophet is to call out to the people of the covenant: θαρσεῖτε· ἐγὼ νενίκηκα τὸν κόσμον. The flagrant discrepancy between the idea, according to which the kingdom of God should be universal, and the reality, where it is thrust into a corner, will be even aggravated hereafter. From this corner also will the people of God be thrust. But death is the passage to life, the extremity of persecution is the precursor of redemption. The people of God shall not merely experience restoration; they shall possess the dominion of the world. For the ungodly heathen world, on the contrary, their exaltation is the precursor of destruction. The kingdom will be the Lord’s, i.e., his previously hidden dominion will now come plainly to light; voluntarily or by compulsion the people of the earth will acknowledge it.

Of the fulfillment: Hieronymus: The Assyrians and Babylonians have held subject everything as far as the Propontis, and to the Scythian and Ægean seas. If we read the historians of the Greeks and the barbarians, we shall say that this word of God ( Obadiah 1:15) was fulfilled under the Assyrians and Babylonians.

Keil: The fulfillment of the ruin threatened to the Edomites began in the Chaldæan period. The devastation of Edom by the Chaldæans appears indisputably from Jeremiah 49:7 ff.; Ezekiel 35. comp. with Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 25:21; Malachi 1:3. The destruction of the Edomites as a people was prepared for through the Maccabees ( 1 Maccabees 5:3; 1 Maccabees 5:65; Joseph, Ant, xii18, 1; 13:9, 1; 13:15, 4). Having thus already lost their national independence, they experienced their total ruin at the hands of the Romans. As regards the rest of our prophecy, Edom filled up the measure of his iniquity against Israel, the people of wonders, at the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldæans ( Ezekiel 35:5; Ezekiel 35:10; Psalm 137:7; Sam4:22). But the fulfillment of the threatening Keil cannot find, with Caspari and others, in the subjugation of the Edomites through the Maccabees, and the destructive expeditions of Simon the Gerasene (Joseph. De Bell. Jud. iv9, 7). For the destruction of Edom and the occupation of Seir by Israel must, according to Numbers 24:18, proceed from the Ruler that shall arise out of Jacob, the Messiah; according to Amos 9:11 f, not until the setting up of the tabernacles of Judah that have fallen down, and according to Obadiah, on the day of Jehovah, at and after the judgment upon all peoples, will it follow. According to this view, the fulfillment of Obadiah 1:17-21 can belong only to the Messianic period, so that it began with the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth, proceeds with its extension among the peoples, and will be fully accomplished with its final completion at the second coming of our Lord.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

The judgment of the world

Introduction: God has announced it through his servants the prophets ( Obadiah 1:1).

I. It strikes the haughty ones who despise God (2 a, c) and trust, (a.) to fleshly supports, earthly reserves, which will not stand before God, but be destroyed utterly ( Obadiah 1:2-6); (b.) to human helps which on account of the selfishness of sinners are converted into their opposite ( Obadiah 1:7); (c.) to human wisdom which, as opposed to God, becomes folly ( Obadiah 1:8-9).

II. It is awarded because of the iniquity perpetrated against the people of God: (a.) of the malignant joy ( Obadiah 1:12); (b.) of robbery and outrageous violence ( Obadiah 1:15); (c.) of hatred so much the more fanatical as it was more causeless ( Obadiah 1:14); (d.) of the stifling of conscience through intemperate appetites ( Obadiah 1:16).

III. It ends with the salvation of the people of God: (a.) Holy Zion becomes the gathering point of the saved ( Obadiah 1:17). (b.) On earth a fire is kindled in the hearts of the faithful, which burns over the whole earth ( Obadiah 1:18). (c.) The meek will possess the kingdom of the earth ( Obadiah 1:19). (d.) The inhabitants of the earth become the possession of God’s people ( Obadiah 1:20 a), (e.) On the whole earth the children of God are gathered to the congregation of God ( Obadiah 1:20 b). (f.) Great gifts are bestowed on God’s congregation for the guidance and deliverance of the congregation ( Obadiah 1:21 a.), (g.) There comes to be one flock under one invisible Shepherd ( Obadiah 1:21 b).

Obadiah 1:1. The people of God have knowledge of his counsels, even concerning the heathen nations (cf. Amos 3:3-8). Hence prophecy and the holy word embrace the whole world.

Obadiah 1:2. The cause of the divine judgment Isaiah, from the beginning, the pride which sets itself against God ( Genesis 11:4; cf. Genesis 10:8-10).

Obadiah 1:3. This has for its root the practical denial of God, the opinion that there is none above it ( Psalm 17:14).

Obadiah 1:4. Sin is the severance of humanity; selfishness makes sinners the most hurtful enemies to each other. God needs only to let them do as they please, and they fulfill upon each other his judicial will.

Obadiah 1:8. Wisdom of Solomon, which sets itself against God, confounds itself; those who rage against Him, He makes blind ( Genesis 19).

Obadiah 1:10. The judgment increases in severity, in proportion as the special sins against the congregation are more aggravated in their quality. Edom, as Jacob’s brother, has greater guilt than other nations; Judaism has greater guilt through unbelief than the heathen, because Christ was born a Jew.

Obadiah 1:11 ff. The judgment will tear away the veil from the deeds which man palliates to his own view, and show them in their bare nakedness.

Obadiah 1:15. God’s sentence individualizes: the special tendencies of the perverted life reach their respectively corresponding ends. For believers the judgment day is always near.

Obadiah 1:16. The law rests on this: I am the Lord thy God; prophecy expands the view over the whole world. In face of the law, every one has to take heed to himself; in the judgment, the relations of the congregation to the whole world will become evident; it alone can be God’s affair. Sin, in its extreme exaggeration, is itself judgment; his own sin becomes to the sinner, in its enjoyment, a loathing, and yet will hold him with inevitable fetters, to remain in it, till it destroys him.

Obadiah 1:17. Zion, the place of deliverance; but only as a sanctuary, not for those who after carnal birth, but those only who through God’s grace, have a claim to it. In them is ( Obadiah 1:18) the flame which consumes everything finite; from Israel proceeds the judgment. Land and dominion of the true Israel must become his, because it is promised him.

Obadiah 1:20. He who belongs to the house of God is in the world as a captive, and will return. ( Isaiah 43).

Obadiah 1:21. God’s heroes are saviors, not destroyers. To Him belongs the kingdom always. No one may presume to become his visible substitute in the kingdom of God on earth.

Starke: The circumstances of Obadiah’s country and family are designedly passed over, that we may not rest and depend on the outward respectability of men, but derive the authority of such prophecy, and the certainty of its issues, from God alone. Preachers must be, not in name alone, but also in fact, Obadiahs, i.e., servants of God ( 1 Corinthians 4:1). No one should take to himself the power to teach in the church, unless he be called in an orderly manner. Although it may appear to human eyes that war arises out of accidental causes, God is at work therein.

Obadiah 1:2. As authority and respect are a gift of God, so is contempt a singular punishment.

Obadiah 1:5. Those who knowingly wage unjust wars are no whit better than thieves and murderers.

Obadiah 1:6 ff. True friends have always been rare in the world. It commonly happens that God brings up those very ones with whom men have entered into alliance against his people, that they, out of God’s just judgment, may be compelled to avenge the iniquity which has been committed against God’s people.

Obadiah 1:8 f. The children of the world are indeed wiser than the children of light, in their generation, but when they suppose they are wisest of all, God pours contempt on their endeavors. It is also a gift of God, when those who are at the head of land and people are brave and prudent.

Obadiah 1:10. God is ill pleased when one rejoices in another’s affliction; still more so when one heaps upon the suffering more trouble and sorrow. Men should not mock the miserable.

Obadiah 1:11. An old, deep-rooted enmity is not easily allayed: Nescit metam inveteratum odium

Obadiah 1:15. The retaliation which is administered by our dear God is a strong and comfortable evidence of his presence.

Obadiah 1:16. The holy mountain is the Church of the true believers. To carouse upon this, is to pursue revelry in sinning against Christ’s members. God’s judgment begins at the house of God; i.e., God seeks first his children with the cup of affliction; but the enemy must swallow the dregs, and be destroyed.

Obadiah 1:18. The power of the holy gospel is like a fire, and God’s word sweeps like flames, before which the stubble of hypocrisy and human ordinances cannot stand.

Pfaff: Obadiah 1:6. No punishment comes alone when God attacks men with his might. In war many judgments come together, as the spirit of God here relates; murder, robbery, infidelity of friends, treachery, unwise and futile counsels, despondency of the soldiery, etc.

Obadiah 1:15. The Lord’s vengeance measures with the same measure; take heed that thou measure not with an evil measure.

Ch. B. Michaels: Obadiah 1:1. It is no empty report, but the most certain of all, for we have heard it from God.

Obadiah 1:4. God makes possible what to men is impossible.

Obadiah 1:15. God has, in punishment, as well as in kindness, his horas et moras.

F. Lambert: If any one thinks the book of Obadiah too small, let him, nevertheless, not despise it. Often, the less showy the vessel, the more precious the contents.—On v21. Now may ministers of God’s word take notice who they are, and what they ought to do. It would be most appropriate for them to live and act conformably to their name (“Savior”), and that can take place only by pure, true preaching of the word of God with fear and trembling; for through that alone have we salvation in faith. Hence they should see well to it, that they add not their own petty, carnal inventions, lest they be found corrupters rather than saviors of the faithful. Would that the hour were come when, instead of destroyers, there should be nothing but saviors in all the world. For where such are received and supported, there is nothing but blessing. For they; gather all the elect in the holy congregation, on Zion, so that the dominion and all glory belongs to the Lord and his annointed.

Burk: On Obadiah 1:13. In an evil time every one robs, as he finds opportunity, and then throws the blame of it on the times.

Schlier: On Obadiah 1:10 ff. Judah had deeply fallen, and little good was to be found in him, and he richly deserved his chastisement. And yet God allows not haughtiness to have its way upon even a deeply fallen people; He causes them to be chastised, and sends nations as his scourge; yet when they exceed the proper bounds, and practice iniquity, He undertakes for his people; He remains faithful even amid the unfaithfulness of men, and visits Edom’s wickedness upon him, even though Judah deserved the chastisement.

Rieger.—On Obadiah 1:2 ff.: How is he whom his heart has once deceived and seduced to haughtiness thus exposed to much other deceptions; for all the vanity with which he supports his high thoughts will betray him, and cannot save him against God, who resists the proud.—On Obadiah 1:17 ff. What has the Lord Jesus yet to accomplish in heaven before all will be brought back and restored, so as God has graciously predicted to his servants, the prophets! With great sorrow must one see the confusion which now appears on the earth, and how nothing but judgments seem to await us; but amid it all, the promise of his kingdom is our trust.

[Matt. Henry.—On Obadiah 1:2 : Those that think well of themselves, are apt to fancy that others think well of them too; but when they come to make trial of them, they will find themselves mistaken, and thus their pride deceives them, and by it slays them.

Obadiah 1:3-4 : Carnal security is a sin that most easily besets men in the day of their pomp, power, and prosperity; and does as much as anything both to ripen men for ruin and aggravate it when it comes.

Obadiah 1:6 : Treasures on earth, though ever so fast locked up, and ever so artfully hidden, 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.

Obadiah 1:7 : Those that make flesh their arm. arm it against them. Those show they have no understanding in them, who, when they are encouraged to trust in the Creator, put a cheat upon themselves by reposing a confidence in the creature.

Obadiah 1:8 : God will justly deny those understanding to keep out of the way of danger, that will not use their understanding to keep out of the way of sin. He that will be foolish, let him be foolish still.—A nation is then marked for ruin, when God hides the things that belong to its peace from the eyes of those that are intrusted with its counsels. Quos Deus vult perdere, eos dementat: God infatuates those He designs to destroy.

Obadiah 1:9 : The death or disuniting of the mighty often proves the death and destruction of the many; and it is in vain to depend upon mighty men for our protection, if we have not an almighty God for us, much less if we have an almighty God against us.

Obadiah 1:11-14 : In reflecting upon ourselves, it is good to compare what we have done with what we should have done—our practice with the rule, that we may discover wherein we have done amiss: have done those things which we ought not to have done; we should not have been where we. were at such a time; should not have been in such and such company; should not have said what we said; nor have taken the liberty that we took. Sin thus looked upon in the glass of the commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful.—We must take heed with what eye we look upon the afflictions of our brethren; if we cannot look upon them with a gracious eye of sympathy and tenderness, it is better not to look upon them at all.—He that joins in with evil-doers, and is aiding and abetting in their evil deeds, shall be reckoned, and shall be reckoned with, as one of them.—Those do but impoverish themselves that think to enrich themselves by the ruin of the people of God; and those deceive themselves who think they may call all that substance their own which they can lay their hands on in the day of calamity.

Dr. Pusey.—On Obadiah 1:21 : And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s. Majestic, comprehensive simplicity of prophecy! All time and eternity, the struggle of time, and the rest of eternity are summed up in those three [Heb.] words. Zion and Edom retire from sight; both are comprehended in that one kingdom, and God is all in all. The strife is ended; not that ancient strife only between the evil and the good, the oppressor and the oppressed, the subduer and the subdued; but the whole strife and disobedience of the creature towards the Creator—man against his God.—Blessed, peaceful kingdom, even here in this valley of tears and of strife, where God rules the soul, freeing it from the tyranny of the world and Satan and its own passions, inspiring it to know Himself, the Highest Truth, and to love Him who is Love, and to adore Him who is Infinite Majesty!—Tr.]

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Obadiah 1:1—No decisive reason appears for so unusual a thing as separating this familiar phrase from the following context, and making it a supplementary title. True, it is superficially inconsistent that Jehovah should here be represented as saying that the prophet and people have heard from Jehovah. But this rhetorical difficulty is remedied by the obvious explanation that the meaning of the formula, “thus saith Jehovah,” Isaiah, “moved by Jehovah, I say.” So Maurer, Hitzig, and others.—TR.]

FN#2 - Obadiah 1:1.—Our author takes וְ = “that” or “to wit;” Luther: dass. This may be Song of Solomon, cf. Ges. Lex, p268, 6, but not necessarily. The וְ may be = et jam. “We have heard tidings from Jehovah [that Edom is to be attacked], and already is an ambassador sent forth.” By whom the messenger has been sent is left to our thought; probably by Jehovah.—TR.]

FN#3 - Obadiah 1:1.—Strictly all the גּוֹיִם were heathen to the Jews, and whether the term carries with it a special sense of profaneness and barbarity is not always clear. Here there is no reason for supposing it.—TR.]

FN#4 - Obadiah 1:1.—The language of the messenger to the nations. This seems better than to understand it as spoken by the prophet and his countrymen to each other.—Tr.]

FN#5 - Obadiah 1:3.—מְרוֹם שִׁבִתּוֹ, lit. “height of his habitation,” in apposition with חַגְוֵ־םֶלַע, and dir. obj. of שֹׁכְנִי. The sudden change to the third person of the suf. expresses more strongly the prophet’s scorn.—Tr.]

FN#6 - Obadiah 1:4.—שׂים is dependent on תַּגְבּ׳הַּ in the previous member, so that the latter serves the purpose of an adverb: “make high to place” = “place high,” cf. הַגְבִּיהַּ גּוּף Job 5:7, and Gesen. Gram. § 142, 4, Rem1. Each word may be thought as a complement to the other, in the respective clauses, adding קִנֶּךָ in the first.—Tr.]

FN#7 - Obadiah 1:4.—נְאֻם׳יי. To find an expression for this formula, which shall be rhetorically satisfactory, is not easy, and yet we are bound, in translation, to distinguish, if possible, between it and the nearly equivalent אָמַר יי; cf. Gesen. Lex. s. v. נָאַם—Tr.]

FN#8 -

[ Obadiah 1:5-6.—Dr. Kleinert, as will be seen from the Exeg. notes, connects these verses in one expression, and translates substantially as follows:—

Verily, not thieves have come to thee,

Not robbers of the night;

How art thou brought to nought!

They steal only what they need.

Not grape gatherers have come to thee:

They leave still a gleaning.

But how are they of Esau sought out.

His hid-treasures discovered!

De Wette and Maurer translate interrogatively the first, second, and fifth members above (with differences in other respects) : “Have thieves—have grape gatherers,” etc. As, however, the interrogative use of אִם, and still more its strongly affirmative use (apart from formulæ of swearing), are rare, and since both Maurer and Kleinert admit that the particle may be taken here in its usual (conditional) sense, as in the preceding verse, there seems to be no necessity of changing the expression with which we are familiar in the Eng. Vers. The fifth verse thus represents the condition of Edom as worse than that of a house, or a vineyard, that has been plundered; and the third clause is a parenthetical ejaculation extorted by the view of their wretchedness. Few commentators have perceived any necessity for connecting verses five and six in one stanza.—Tr.]

FN#9 - Obadiah 1:6.—נֶחְפְּשׂוּ. The Plur. shows simply that עֵשָׂו is used in the collective sense.—Tr.]

FN#10 - Obadiah 1:7.—שִׁלְּחוּךָ. Kleinert renders “escorted,” Absagegeleit gegeben.—Tr.]

FN#11 - Obadiah 1:7.—The figurative mention of “bread” here has given the commentators much perplexity. We strongly incline to the expedient of Maurer, who would defer the Athnach, and connect לַחְמְךָ with the preceding, “the men of thy peace, of thy bread.” Otherwise there seems about equal reason for making “bread” the subject of the following verb, as Eng. Vers. Gesen. and many: “thy bread,” q. d. “they who ate thy bread,” “have placed,” etc, and for making it the object of that verb, with Hendewerk, Kleinert, and others: “They have placed thy bread,” q. d. “thy hospitality and confidence,” “a snare under thee.” Kleinert translates, “as thy bread they lay for thee a snare,” which may mean, “as the reward for thy bread.”—Tr]

FN#12 - Obadiah 1:7.—Kleinert refers בּוֹ to the snare, and translates, “To which thou givest no heed.” It is generally understood, more simply, as a sudden, perhaps contemptuous change of person from the second to the third.—Tr.]

FN#13 - Obadiah 1:9.—לְמעַן. Kleinert is singular in translating “until.”—Tr.]

FN#14 - Obadiah 1:9.—מִקָּטֶל is connected with the following verse by most ancient versions, and the מִן here also rendered “for,” “because of.” Maurer, with considerable reason, so translates without changing the position, making מקטל the ground of the preceding threat. Dr. Pusey’s comment is correct: “By slaughter, lit. from slaughter, may mean either the immediate or the distant cause of their being cut off either the means which God employed, that Edom was cut off by one great slaughter by the enemy; or that which moved God to give them over to destruction, their own slaughter of their brethren the Jews.”—Tr.]

FN#15 - Obadiah 1:11.—חֵילוֹ. Kleinert translates “treasures,” which the word in itself may equally well bear; but as “army” seems quite suitable to the context, is probably referred to in Obadiah 1:20, and is here connected with a verb, שָׁבָה, which almost always means, strictly, “take captive,” we adhere to the Eng. vers, with the majority. The same remark applies to the same word in Obadiah 1:13.—Tr.]

FN#16 - Obadiah 1:12.—Kleinert gives תֵּרֶא, here and in the next verse, by “feed upon,” dich weiden, like Eng, “to feast one’s eyes” on anything. Noyes translates, “look with delight.” But this interpretation, if correct, may as naturally be suggested by the simple English equivalent “behold,” or “look upon,” as by the Hebrew.—Tr.]

FN#17 - Obadiah 1:13.—On חֵילוֹ cf. above note15, on Obadiah 1:11. Kleinert renders תִּשְׁלַהְנָה “reach after.”—Tr.]

FN#18 - Obadiah 1:16.—כְּלוֹא הָ וּ, Zunz, happily: wie Niegewesene, = καθὼς οἱ μὴ ὑπάρξαντες: “as those who never were.—Tr.]

FN#19 - Obadiah 1:20.—Kleinert, in this locus vexatus, makes אֶשֶׁר כּ׳, and what follows, the subject, supplying the verb “be come,” and גָּלֻת the predicate, he translates thus: “Captives of this army of the sons of Israel shall the Phœnicians become, as far as Sarepta;” lit. “what Phœnicians there are unto Sarepta.” This keeps close to the Hebrew if it be permitted to supply the two verbs “to become” and “to be,” neither of which is countenanced by the context. Neglecting this (which, besides, leaves us perplexed why Sarepta, in particular, should be the limit of the future conquests), we may either borrow the verb “possess” from the preceding sentences, or from that which follows, thus: “The captivity .… [shall possess] what [belongs to the] Canaanites unto S,” in which case the absence of אֵת to mark the obj, in this sentence alone of the seven before and after, is hard to explain; or we may, supplying, from בּספרד in the parallel member, the prep. בּ with כְּנַצֲנים, make this whole clause a part of the subject of the following “possess,” and translate as is done in the text; so Pusey. Maurer comes near it in the main sense.

FN#20 - Cf. Textual and Grammatical on Obadiah 1:5.—Tr.]

FN#21 - Cf. Textual and Grammatical on Obadiah 1:9.

FN#22 - On the derivation and signification of the name Jerusalem, vide on Joshua 10:1, in this Commentary, and Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, Art. Jerusalem.—Tr.]

FN#23 - See on this name, Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, s. v.—Tr.]

FN#24 - See Textual and Grammatical on this verse.—Tr.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Obadiah 1:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/obadiah-1.html. 1857-84.

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Saturday, May 25th, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
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