on Obadiah 1 :7
All the men of thy confederacy - The Chaldeans are here intended, to whom the Idumeans were attached, and whose agents they became in exercising cruelties upon the Jews.
Have brought thee even to the border - Have hemmed thee in on every side, and reduced thee to distress. Or, they have driven thee to thy border; cast thee out of thy own land into the hands of thine enemies.
The men that were at peace with thee - The men of thy covenant, with whom thou hadst made a league.
That eat thy bread - That professed to be thy firmest friends, have all joined together to destroy thee.
Have laid a wound - Placed a snare or trap under thee. See Newcome.
There is none understanding in him - Private counsels and public plans are all in operation against thee; and yet thou art so foolish and infatuated as not to discern thy own danger.
on Obadiah 1 :7
All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border - Destruction is more bitter, when friends aid in it. Edom had all along with unnatural hatred persecuted his brother, Jacob. So, in God's just judgment, its friends should be among its destroyers. Those confederates were probably Moab and Ammon, Tyre and Zidon, with whom they united to resist Nebuchadnezzar Jeremiah 27:3, and seduced Zedekiah to rebel, although Moab, Ammon, and Edom turned against him Zephaniah 2:8; Ezekiel 25. These then, he says, sent them "to the border." "So will they take the adversary's part, that, with him, they will drive thee forth from the borders, thrusting thee into captivity, to gain favor with the enemy." This they would do, he adds, through mingled treachery and violence. "The men of thy peace have deceived, have prevailed against thee." As Edom turned peace with Judah into war, so those at peace with Edom should use deceit and violence against them, being admitted, perhaps, as allies within their borders, and then betraying the secret of their fastnesses to the enemy, as the Thessalians dealt toward the Greeks at Thermopylae. It was to be no common deceit, no mere failure to help them.
The men of "thy bread have laid a wound" (better, a snare) "under thee." Perhaps Obadiah thought of David's words Psalm 41:9, "mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." As they had done, so should it be done to them. "They that take the sword," our Lord says Matthew 26:52, "shall perish by the sword;" so they who show bad faith, are the objects of bad faith, as Isaiah says . The proverb which says, "there is honor among thieves," attests how limited such mutual faith is. It lasts, while it seems useful. Obadiah's description relates to one and the same class, the allies of Edom; but it heightens as it goes on; not confederates only, but those confederates, friends; not friends only, but friends indebted to them, familiar friends; those joined to them through that tie, so respected in the East, in that they had eaten of their bread. Those banded with them should, with signs of friendship, conduct them to their border, in order to expel them; those at peace should prevail against them in war; those who ate their bread should requite them with a snare.
There is none understanding in him - The brief words comprise both cause and effect. Had Edom not been without understanding, he had not been thus betrayed; and when betrayed in his security, be was as one stupefied. Pride and self-confidence betray man to his fall; when he is fallen, self-confidence betrayed passes readily into despair. In the sudden shock, the mind collapses. People do not use the resources which they yet have, because what they had overvalued, fails them. Undue confidence is the parent of undue fear. The Jewish historian relates, how, in the last dreadful siege, when the outer wall began to give way , "fear fell on the tyrants, more vehement than the occasion called for. For, before the enemy had mounted, they were paralyzed, and ready to flee. You might see men, aforetime stouthearted and insolent in their impiety, crouching and trembling, so that, wicked as they were, the change was pitiable in the extreme. Here, especially, one might learn the power of God upon the ungodly. For the tyrants bared themselves of all security, and, of their own accord, came down from the towers, where no force, but famine alone, could have taken them: For those three towers were stronger than any engines."
on Obadiah 1 :7
1:7 Thy confederacy - Thy confederates have marched with thee until thou wert come to the borders of thy country. Deceived thee - Proved treacherous. Prevailed - Treacherously. A wound - A snare armed with sharp points. No understanding - Thou wast not aware of it.