The first part denounces the destruction of Edom, dwelling
upon the injuries they inflicted upon the Jews. The second
foretells the restoration of the Jews, and the latter glories of
estruction to come upon Edom. Their offences against Jacob.
(1-16) The restoration of the Jews, and their flourishing state
in the latter times. (17-21)
Verses 1-16: This prophecy is against Edom. Its destruction seems to
have been typical, as their father Esau's rejection; and to
refer to the destruction of the enemies of the gospel church.
See the prediction of the success of that war; Edom shall be
spoiled, and brought down. All the enemies of God's church shall
be disappointed in the things they stay themselves on. God can
easily lay those low who magnify and exalt themselves; and will
do it. Carnal security ripens men for ruin, and makes the ruin
worse when it comes. Treasures on earth 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. Those
that make flesh their trust, arm it against themselves. The God
of our covenant will never deceive us: but if we trust men with
whom we join ourselves, it may prove to us a wound and
dishonour. God will justly deny those understanding to keep out
of danger, who will not use their understandings to keep out of
sin. All violence, all unrighteousness, is sin; but it makes the
violence far worse, if it be done against any of God's people.
Their barbarous conduct towards Judah and Jerusalem, is charged
upon them. In reflecting on ourselves, it is good to consider
what we should have done; to compare our practice with the
Scripture rule. Sin, thus looked upon in the glass of the
commandment, will appear exceedingly sinful. Those have a great
deal to answer for, who are idle spectators of the troubles of
their neighbours, when able to be active helpers. Those make
themselves poor, who think to make themselves rich by the ruin
of the people of God; and those deceive themselves, who call all
that their own on which they can lay their hands in a day of
calamity. Though judgment begins at the house of God, it shall
not end there. Let sorrowful believers and insolent oppressors
know, that the troubles of the righteous will soon end, but
those of the wicked will be eternal.
Verses 17-21: There should be deliverance and holiness at Jerusalem,
and the house of Jacob would again occupy their possessions.
Much of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to
their own land. But the salvation and holiness of the gospel,
its spread, and the conversion of the Gentiles, seem also to be
intended, especially the restoration of Israel, the destruction
of antichrist, and the prosperous state of the church, to which
all the prophets bear witness. When Christ is come, and not till
then, shall the kingdom be the Lord's in the full sense of the
term. As none that exalt themselves against the Lord shall
prosper, and all shall be brought down; so none that wait upon
the Lord, and put their trust in him, shall ever be dismayed.
Blessed be the Divine Saviour and Judge on Mount Zion! His word
shall be a savour of life unto life unto numbers, while it
judges and condemns obstinate unbelievers.