King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Obadiah 1

Destruction 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)

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Destruction to come upon Edom. Their offences against Jacob

1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

3 The 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 the ground?

4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

5 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?

6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

7 All the men of thy confederacy 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 bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11 In the day that thou stoodest 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.

12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became 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.

13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

15 For the day 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.

16 For as ye have 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 as though they had not been.

The restoration of the Jews, and their flourishing state in the latter times

17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess 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 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.

19 And they of the south shall possess the 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.

20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Edom. The Jews understand this of the Romans; others apply it to themselves; but it seems to speak of the Idumeans. — Ambassador, prophet, or angel; or God has suffered the passions of men to act. All is here animated. God appears leading on the various nations. C. — He directed their thoughts to unite against Edom. W. — Yet he did not approve of their ambition. H.

Ver. 2. Contemptible. The nations of Chaldea, &c. were far more potent. Yet Edom must be brought still lower.

Ver. 3. Rocks. Heb. “Selah,” or Petra, the capital. C. — People dwell in caverns from Eleutheropolis to Ailath. S. Jer.

Ver. 4. Down. Job xx. 6. How vain is all human power!

Ver. 5. Cluster. Jer. xlix. 9. The Chaldeans take all, and remove the people. v. 7.

Ver. 7. Peace. The enemy had used their services against the Jews; but now they invade their confederates. C. — Of this the Idumeans were not aware. H.

Ver. 8. Esau. Job and Eliphaz were both from this country.

Ver. 9. South. Heb. “Theman,” (C.) where the Romans kept a garrison, fifteen miles south of Petra. S. Jer.

Ver. 10. Slaughter. They invaded the dominions of Achaz, and incited the enemy to destroy all. 2 Par. xxviii. 17. Ps. cxxxvi. 7.

Ver. 11. Captive. He alludes to the taking of Sedecias. — Lots, for the booty, or whether they should burn the city or not. All was regulated by lots. C.

Ver. 12. Thou shalt not look, &c. or thou shouldst not, &c. It is a reprehension for what they had done, and at the same time a declaration that these things should not pass unpunished. Ch. — God admonishes, and at the same time insinuates that the Idumeans would act quite the reverse. W. — Magnify. Literally, thou shalt not speak arrogantly against the children of Juda, as insulting them in their distress, (Ch.) like people mocking. When they shall be themselves afflicted, they shall cease to upbraid the Jews. C.

Ver. 13. Army. Heb. also, “goods.” Sept. “thou wilt not join their army in the day of ruin.” H. — Thou wilt have other things to think about.

Ver. 14. Flee. The Idumeans might easily have concealed the fugitives. But they were so inhuman as to fall upon them, (C.) or drive them back.

Ver. 15. Nations around. H. — Josephus (x. 11.) does not specify Edom. But the prophets had announced their destruction, effected by Nabuchodonosor, while the main part of his army besieged Tyre. C.

Ver. 16. Drink. They shall rejoice at your fall, as you did at that of Juda; (S. Jer.) or, as my people has not been spared, can you expect to escape? Jer. xlix. 12. — Not. These nations and the Chaldeans themselves were brought low, while the Jews regained the regal power. The cup denotes vengeance. Ps. lxxiv. 9. Plautus uses the same expression: ut senex hoc eodem poculo, quo ego bibi, biberet. Casina. C.

Ver. 17. Sion. This prosperity, in the historical sense, was promised to the Jews, after their return; and they enjoyed as much of it as their sins did not hinder; the rest was fulfilled in Christ. S. Jer. ad Dard. W. — Holy. Providence watched over the Jews in a particular manner, while the neighbouring nations fell a prey to the Persians, to Alexander, &c. The persecution of Epiphanes was sharp, but of short duration; and it gave occasion to the Jews to regain their liberty, and to have kings C.) little (H.) inferior to those of old. — Them. Heb. “its goods.” The Jews obtained all Palestine. C. — Christ extends his dominion over the world. Theod.

Ver. 18. Stubble. The Jews often attacked Edom, and at last forced them to submit to the law of circumcision. — Remains. Sept. cop. vary; “corn fire or carrier.” H. — Those who escaped alone from battle had the former title. Hesyc. purphoros. C. — Priests went with fire before the armies engaged. If they were slain, it was a sign, that no quarter was given, as these were accounted sacred. Grabe. Prol. H.

Ver. 19. Plains. Sephala. Jos. x. 40. — Samaria, which the Cutheans had occupied, till Alexander subjected them to the Jews, and Hircan asserted his authority. Jos. Ant. xiii. 18. — Galaad, east of the Jordan. Benjamin alone did not occupy this country.

Ver. 20. Sarepta. This was accomplished after the persecution of Epiphanes. — Bosphorus. So S. Jerom’s master interpreted Bispharad. But it seems rather to mean a part of Mesopotamia. Sippara stands above, where the Euphrates divides its streams.

Ver. 21. Saviours, the Machabees, as figures of Christ. The temporal power of the Jews ended thirty-seven years after his resurrection. C. — The rest of this prophecy (v. 19.) regards Christ’s kingdom over all nations, which believe in him, and receive the remission of their sins. Acts x. 43. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. xviii. 31. W.