Obadiah 1

1 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord the LORD says about Edom. We have heard news from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent amongst the nations, saying, “Arise, and let’s rise up against her in battle. 2 Behold, I have made you small amongst the nations. You are greatly despised. 3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, who says in his heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ 4 Though you mount on high as the eagle, and though your nest is set amongst the stars, I will bring you down from there,” says the LORD. 5 “If thieves came to you, if robbers by night—oh, what disaster awaits you—wouldn’t they only steal until they had enough? If grape pickers came to you, wouldn’t they leave some gleaning grapes? 6 How Esau will be ransacked! How his hidden treasures are sought out! 7 All the men of your alliance have brought you on your way, even to the border. The men who were at peace with you have deceived you, and prevailed against you. Friends who eat your bread lay a snare under you. There is no understanding in him.” 8 “Won’t I in that day”, says the LORD, “destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mountain of Esau? 9 Your mighty men, Teman, will be dismayed, to the end that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter. 10 For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you, and you will be cut off forever. 11 In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots for Jerusalem, even you were like one of them. 12 But don’t look down on your brother in the day of his disaster, and don’t rejoice over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction. Don’t speak proudly in the day of distress. 13 Don’t enter into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity. Don’t look down on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither seize their wealth on the day of their calamity. 14 Don’t stand in the crossroads to cut off those of his who escape. Don’t deliver up those of his who remain in the day of distress. 15 For the day of the LORD is near all the nations! As you have done, it will be done to you. Your deeds will return upon your own head. 16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink continually. Yes, they will drink, swallow down, and will be as though they had not been. 17 But in Mount Zion, there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. The house of Jacob will possess their possessions. 18 The house of Jacob will be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble. They will burn amongst them, and devour them. There will not be any remaining to the house of Esau.” Indeed, the LORD has spoken. 19 Those of the South will possess the mountain of Esau, and those of the lowland, the Philistines. They will possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria. Benjamin will possess Gilead. 20 The captives of this army of the children of Israel, who are amongst the Canaanites, will possess even to Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, who are in Sepharad, will possess the cities of the Negev. 21 Saviors will go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be the LORD’s.

Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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