on Obadiah 1 :10
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob - By this term the Israelites in general are understood; for the two brothers, - Jacob, from whom sprang the Jews, and Esau, from whom sprang the Idumeans or Edomites, - are here put for the whole people or descendants of both. We need not look for particular cases of the violence of the Edomites against the Jews. Esau, their founder, was not more inimical to his brother Jacob, who deprived him of his birthright, than the Edomites uniformly were to the Jews. See 2 Chronicles 28:17, 2 Chronicles 28:18. They had even stimulated the Chaldeans, when they took Jerusalem, to destroy the temple, and level it with the ground. See Psalm 137:7.
on Obadiah 1 :10
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob - To Israel God had commanded: (Deuteronomy 23:7-8 (Deuteronomy 23:8, Deuteronomy 23:9 in the Hebrew text)), "Thou shalt not abbor an Edomite, for he is thy brother. The children that are begotten of them shall enter into the congregation of the Lord in their third generation." Edom did the contrary to all this. "Violence" includes all sorts of ill treatment, from one with whom "might is right," "because it is in the power of their hand" Micah 2:2. to do it. This they had done to the descendants of their brother, and him, their twin brother, Jacob. They helped the Chaldaeans in his overthrow, rejoiced in his calamity, thought that, by this cooperation, they had secured themselves. What, when from those same Chaldees, those same calamities, which they had aided to inflict on their brother, came on themselves, when, as they had betrayed him, they were themselves betrayed; as they had exulted in his overthrow, so their allies exulted in their's! The "shame" of which the prophet spoke, is not the healthful distress at the evil of sin, but at its evils and disappointments. Shame at the evil which sin is, works repentance and turns aside the anger of God. Shame at the evils which sin brings, in itself leads to further sins, and endless, fruitless, shame. Edom had laid his plans, had succeeded; the wheel, in God's Providence, turned around and he was crushed.
So Hosea said Hosea 10:6, "they shall be ashamed through their own counsels;" and Jeremiah Jer 3:25, "we lie down in our shame and our confusion covereth us;" and David Psalm 109:29, "let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion as with a mantle." As one, covered and involved in a cloak, can find no way to emerge; as one, whom the waters cover Exodus 15:10, is buried under them inextricably, so, wherever they went, whatever they did, shame covered them. So the lost shall "rise to shame and everlasting contempt" Daniel 12:2.
Thou shalt be cut off forever - One word expressed the sin, "violence;" four words, over against it, express the sentence; shame encompassing, everlasting excision. God's sentences are not completed at once in this life. The branches are lopped off; the tree decays; the axe is laid to the root; at last it is cut down. As the sentence on Adam, "in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was fulfilled, although Adam did not die, until he had completed 930 years Genesis 5:5, so was this on Edom, although fulfilled in stages and by degrees. Adam bore the sentence of death about him. The 930 years wore out at last that frame, which, but for sin, had been immortal. So Edom received this sentence of excision, which was, on his final impenitence, completed, although centuries witnessed the first earnest only of its execution. Judah and Edom stood over against each other, Edom ever bent on the extirpation of Judah. At that first destruction of Jerusalem, Edom triumphed, "Raze her! Raze her, even to the ground!" Yet, though it tarried long, the sentence was fulfilled. Judah, the banished, survived; Edom, the triumphant, was, in God's time and after repeated trials, "cut off forever." Do we marvel at the slowness of God's sentence? Rather, marvel we, with wondering thankfulness, that His sentences, on nations or individuals, are slow, yet, stand we in awe, because, if unrepealed, they are sure. Centuries, to Edom, abated not their force or certainty; length of life changes not the sinner's doom.
on Obadiah 1 :10