on Obadiah 1 :21
And saviours shall come up - Certain persons whom God may choose to be deliverers of his people; such as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Maccabees.
Some think these saviours, מושיעים moshiim, mean the apostles of our Lord. Several MSS. have מושעים mushaim, the preserved; those that are saved, i.e., they who were delivered from the captivity; and those of Mount Zion shall judge, that is, shall execute judgment on the Edomites. And as the Asmonean princes joined the priesthood to the state, it might be what the prophet means when he says, "the kingdom shall be the Lord's," the high priest having both the civil and ecclesiastical power in his own hands. And these actually were masters of Edom, and judged and governed the mountain of Esau. And thus this prophecy appears to have had a very literal fulfillment.
But if we take the whole as referring to the times of the Gospel, which I believe is not its primary sense, it may signify the conversion and restoration of the Jews, and that under Jesus Christ the original theocracy shall be restored; and thus, once more, in the promised land, it may be said: -
המלוכה ליהוה והיתה hammeluchah laihovah vehayethah
"And the kingdom shall belong to Jehovah"
on Obadiah 1 :21
And saviors shall ascend on Mount Zion - The body should not be without its head; saviours there should be, and those, successively. The title was familiar to them of old Judges 3:9, Judges 3:15. "The children of Israel cried unto the Lord, Who raised them up a savior, and he saved them. And the Lord gave unto Israel a savior" 2 Kings 13:5, in the time of Jehoahaz. Nehemiah says to God, Nehemiah 9:27. "According to Thy manifold mercies, Thou gavest them saviours, who should save them from the hands of their enemies." So there should be thereafter. Such were Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, and Hyrcanus, Alexander, Aristobulus. They are said to "ascend" as to a place of dignity, to "ascend on Mount Zion;" not to go up thither "ward," but to dwell and abide "in" it, which aforetime was defiled, which now was to be holy.
He ends, as he began, with Mount Zion, the "holy hill," where God was pleased to dwell Psalm 2:6; Psalm 68:16, to reveal Himself. In both, is the judgment of Esau. Mount Zion stands over against Mount Esau, God's holy mount against the mountains of human pride, the Church against the world. And with this agrees the office assigned, which is almost more than that of man. He began his prophecy of the deliverance of God's people, "In Mount Zion shall be an escaped remnant;" he ends, "saviors shall ascend on Mount Zion:" he began, "it shall be" holiness;" he closes, "and the kingdom shall be the Lord's. To judge the mount of Esau." Judges, appointed by God, judge His people; saviours, raised up by God, deliver them. But once only does Ezekiel speak of man's judging another nation, as the instrument of God Ezekiel 24:14. "I, the Lord, have spoken it - and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways and according to thy doings shall they judge thee, saith the Lord God." But it is the prerogative of God. And so, while the word "saviours" includes those who, before and afterward, were the instruments of God in saving His Church and people, yet, all saviours shadowed forth or back the one Saviour, who alone has the office of Judge, in whose kingdom, and associated by Him with Him 1 Corinthians 6:2, "the saints shall judge the world," as He said to His Apostles Mat 19:28, "ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." And the last words must at all times have recalled that great prophecy of the Passion, and of its fruits in the conversion of the Pagan, from which it is taken - Psalm 22.
The outward incorporation of Edom in Judah through Hyrcanus was but a shadow of that inward union, when the kingdom of God was established upon earth, and Edom was enfolded in the one kingdom of Christ, and its cities, from where had issued the wasters and deadly foes of Judah, became the sees of Christian Bishops. And in this way too Edom was but the representative of others, aliens from and enemies to God, to whom His kingdom came, in whom He reigns and will reign, glorified forever in His saints, whom He has redeemed with His most precious Blood.
And the kingdom shall be the Lord's - Majestic, comprehensive simplicity of prophecy! All time and eternity, the struggles of time and the rest of eternity, are summed up in those three words ; Zion and Edom retire from sight; both are comprehended in that one kingdom, and God is "all in all" 1 Corinthians 15:28. The strife is ended; not that ancient strife only between the evil and the good, the oppressor and the oppressed, the subduer and the subdued; but the whole strife and disobedience of the creature toward the Creator, man against his God. Outward prosperity had passed away, since David had said the great words Psalm 22:28, "the kingdom is the Lord's." Dark days had come. Obadiah saw on and beyond to darker yet, but knits up all his prophecy in this; "the kingdom shall be the Lord's." Daniel saw what Obadiah foresaw, the kingdom of Judah also broken; yet, as a captive, he repeated the same to the then monarch of the world Jeremiah 50:28, "the hammer of the whole earth," which had broken in pieces the petty kingdom of Judah, and carried captive its people (Daniel 2:44, add Daniel 7:14, Daniel 7:27); "the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed."
Zechariah saw the poor fragments which returned from the captivity and their poor estate, yet said the same;" Zechariah 14:9, "The Lord shall be king over all the earth." All at once that kingdom came; the fishermen, the tax gatherer and the tentmaker were its captains; the scourge, the claw, thongs, rack, hooks, sword, fire, torture, the red-hot iron seat, the cross, the wild-beast, not employed, but endured, were its arms; the dungeon and the mine, its palaces; fiery words of truth, its Psalm 45:5, "sharp arrows in the hearts of the King's enemies;" for One spake by them, whose word "is with power." The strong sense of the Roman, the acuteness of the Greek, and the simplicity of the Barbarian, cast away their unbelief or their misbelief, and joined in the one song Revelation 19:6, "The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth." The imposture of Mohammed, however awfully it rent off countless numbers from the faith of Christ, still was forced to spread the worship of the One God, who, when the prophets spake, seemed to be the God of the Jews only.
Who could foretell such a kingdom, but He who alone could found it, who alone has for these 18 centuries preserved, and now is anew enlarging it, God Omnipotent and Omniscient, who waked the hearts which He had made, to believe in Him and to love Him? Blessed peaceful kingdom even here, in this valley of tears and of strife, where God rules the soul, freeing it from the tyranny of the world and Satan and its own passions, inspiring it to know Himself, the Highest Truth, and to love Him who is love, and to adore Him who is infinite majesty! Blessed kingdom, in which God reigns in us by grace, that He may bring us to His heavenly kingdom, where is the manifest vision of Himself, and perfect love of Him, blissful society, eternal fruition of Himself ; "where is supreme and certain security, secure tranquility, tranquil security, joyous happiness, happy eternity, eternal blessedness, blessed vision of God forever, where is perfect love, fear none, eternal day and One Spirit in all!"
on Obadiah 1 :21