Obadiah 1:3 MEANING

Obadiah 1:3
Verses 3, 4. - Edom had prided herself in the strength of her position; but this shall not secure her from destruction when the Lord wars against her. Verse 3. - Hath deceived; Septuagint, ἐπῆρε, "elated;" Vulgate, extulit. The pointing varies. In ver. 7 Jerome translates the word by illudere. The clefts; Septuagint, ὀπαῖς: Vulgate, scissuris. The word occurs in the parallel passage, Jeremiah 49:16, and in Song of Solomon 2:14, where it has the meaning of "refuge." Of the rook. This may be Sela, or Petra, as 2 Kings 14:7. The country inhabited by the Edomites lay on the eastern side of the Arabah, and extended from the south end of the Dead Sea to the Elanitic Gulf. It was a region of mountain and valley, difficult, and in many parts inaccessible from the west. Rock-hewn dwellings are found everywhere in those hills, the Edomites, when they expelled the aboriginal Troglodytes (Deuteronomy 2:12, 22), having adopted their habitations and excavated new ones on the same model throughout the whole district. These were useful, not only as being secure from hostile attack, but as cool retreats in the summer of that scorching tract, and offering a warm shelter in winter when fuel was scarce. Petra, the capital, lay completely hidden at the end of a rocky defile some two miles long, and could easily be defended against an enemy by a handful of men. (For a description of this remarkable place, see the Introduction, § I.) Verse 4. - Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle. The Hebrew gives "nest" as the subject of both clauses, thus: "Though thou exaltest... and settest thy nest." Job (Job 39:27, 28) speaks of the eagle making its nest in the highest rocks. The metaphor is found in Numbers 24:21; Habakkuk 2:9. Will I bring thee down (Amos 9:3). The seizure of Petra by the Nabathaeans is the judgment referred to in this part of the prophecy; the complete ruin is mentioned later (vers. 18, etc.).

1:1-16 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.The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee,.... The Edomites were proud of their wealth and riches, which they had by robberies amassed together; and of their military skill and courage, and of their friends and allies; and especially of their fortresses and fastnesses, both natural and artificial; and therefore thought themselves secure, and that no enemy could come at them to hurt them, and this deceived them:

thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock; their country was called Arabia Petraea, the rocky; and their metropolis Petra, the rock: Jerom says that they that inhabited the southern part of the country dwelt in caves cut out of the rock, to screen them from the heat of the sun: or, "thou that dwellest in the circumferences of the rock" (p); round about it, on the top of it, in a tower built there, as Kimchi and Ben Melech. Aben Ezra thinks that "caph", the note of similitude, is wanting; and that the sense is, thou thoughtest that Mount Seir could secure thee, as they that dwell in the clefts of a rock:

whose habitation is high; upon high rocks and mountains, such as Mount Seir was, where Esau dwelt, and his posterity after, him. The Targum is,

"thou art like to an eagle that dwells in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is in a high place;''

this they were proud of, thinking themselves safe, which deceived them; hence it follows:

that saith in his heart, who shall bring me down to the ground? what enemy, ever so warlike and powerful, will venture to invade my land, or besiege me in my strong hold? or, if he should, he can never take it, or take me from hence, conquer and subdue me. Of the pride, confidence, and security of mystical Edom or antichrist, see Revelation 18:7.

(p) "in gyris, sive circuitionibus petrae", so some in Vatablus.

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