1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning
Edom; a We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an
ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and b let
us rise up against her in battle.
The Argument - The Idumeans, who came from Esau, were mortal
enemies always to the Israelites, who came from Jacob, and
therefore did not only vex them continually with various
types of cruelty, but also stirred up others to fight
against them. Therefore when they were now in their
greatest prosperity, and did most triumph against Israel,
which was in great affliction and misery, God raised up his
Prophet to comfort the Israelites. For God had now
determined to destroy their adversaries, who did so severely
vex them, and to send them those who would deliver them, and
set up the kingdom of the Messiah which he had promised.
(a) God has certainly revealed to his prophets, that he will
raise up the heathen to destroy the Edomites, concerning
which the rumour is now proclaimed; (Jer 49:14).
(b) Thus the heathen encourage themselves to rise against
1:3 The c pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that
dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation [is]
high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to
(c) Which despises all others in respect of yourself, and
yet you are but a handful in comparison with others, and
you are shut up among the hills as separate from the
rest of the world.
1:5d If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art
thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had
enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not
leave [some] grapes?
(d) God will so destroy them that he will leave none, even
though thieves when they come take but until they have
enough, and they that gather grapes always leave some
behind them. )See Geneva "Jer 49:9")
1:7 All the men of thy confederacy e have brought thee [even]
to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have
deceived thee, [and] prevailed against thee; [they that eat]
thy f bread have laid a wound under thee: [there is] none
understanding in him.
(e) Those in whom you trusted to have help and friendship,
will be your enemies and destroy you.
(f) That is, your familiar friends and guests have by secret
practices destroyed you.
1:10 For [thy] violence against thy g brother Jacob shame
shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
(g) He shows the reason why the Edomites were so severely
punished: that is, because they were enemies to his
Church, whom he now comforts by punishing their
1:11 In the day that thou stoodest h on the other side, in the
day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and
foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon
Jerusalem, even thou [wast] as one of them.
(h) When Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem, you joined
with him, and had part of the spoil, and so rejoiced
when my people (that is, your brother), were afflicted,
whereas you should have pitied and helped your brother.
1:12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy
brother in the day that he became i a stranger; neither
shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in
the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have
spoken proudly in the day of distress.
(i) When the Lord deprived them of their former dignity,
and delivered them to be carried into captivity.
1:15 For the day k of the LORD [is] near upon all the heathen:
as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward
shall return upon thine own head.
(k) When he will summon all the heathen, and send them to
1:16 For as ye have l drunk upon my holy mountain, [so] shall
all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink,
and they shall swallow down, and they shall be m as
though they had not been.
(l) That is, rejoiced and triumphed.
(m) The Edomites will be utterly destroyed, and yet in
spite of all the enemies I will reserve my Church and
1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be n a fire, and the house
of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and
they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall
not be [any] remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD
hath spoken [it].
(n) God attributes this power to consume his enemies to his
Church, which power properly belongs only to himself;
(Isa 10:17, De 4:24, He 12:29).
1:19 And [they of] the south shall possess the o mount of
Esau; and [they of] the plain the Philistines: and they
shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of
Samaria: and Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead.
(o) He describes how the Church will be enlarged and have
great possessions: but this is mainly accomplished under
Christ, when that faithful are made heirs and lords of
all things by him who is their head.
1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel
[shall possess] that of the p Canaanites, [even] unto
Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which [is] in
Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
(p) By the Canaanites, the Jews mean the Dutchmen, and by
Zarephath, France, and by Sepharad, Spain.
1:21 And q saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the
mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.
(q) Meaning that God will raise up in his Church those who
will rule and govern for the defence of it, and for the
destruction of his enemies under the Messiah, whom the
Prophet here calls the Lord and head of this kingdom.