Ezekiel 25:12
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah.—The reason of Edom’s hostility to Israel is expressly said to be revenge. Descended from the elder son, they had never looked complacently on the spiritual superiority given to the descendants of the younger. They showed their hostility from the first in refusing, with a show of violence, a passage to the Israelites through their territory (Numbers 20:18-21); and although they were subdued and made tributary under David and Solomon (2Samuel 8:14; 1Kings 9:26), yet in the decline of the Jewish power they availed themselves of every opportunity for hostility (2Chronicles 28:17, &c). At this time they not only joined the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, but appear to have urged on the conqueror to greater cruelty, and to have themselves waylaid the fugitives to cut them off (Ezekiel 35:5; Psalm 137:7; Amos 1:11; Obadiah 1:11). They also, during the Captivity, took possession of many towns of Judea, including Hebron (Jos., Antt., xii. 8, § 6; B. J., 4:9, § 7), which were re-conquered in the time of the Maccabees. Other prophecies against Edom may be found in Numbers 24:18-19; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:7-12; Joel 3:19, besides the extended prophecy of Ezekiel in Ezekiel 35.

Ezekiel 25:12-14. Because that Edom, &c. — “The Idumeans, being the posterity of Esau, bore an ancient grudge against the Jews, upon the account of their ancestor’s losing his right of primogeniture, and the subduing of Edom by David afterward, 2 Samuel 8:14. Upon both of these accounts they took hold of all opportunities of venting their spite against the Jewish nation: see particularly 2 Chronicles 28:17. For this their behaviour they were in former times reproved by Amos 1:11, and afterward by Obadiah, Ezekiel 25:10, and by Ezekiel, here and Ezekiel 35:5. The ill will that they showed toward them at the time of their captivity was very remarkable, as appears by those pathetical words of Psalm 137:7, Remember the children of Edom, O Lord, in the day of Jerusalem, when they said, Down with it, down with it, even to the ground.” I will lay my vengeance upon Edom, by Israel — My people Israel themselves, whom the Edomites have so often insulted, shall be the instruments of my vengeance upon Edom, and shall requite the wrongs they have received by subduing Idumea; this they did under the conduct of Judas Maccabæus. And afterward the high-priest Hyrcanus made an entire conquest of this country: see Prideaux, part 2. p. 307.

25:8-17 Though one event seem to the righteous and wicked, it is vastly different. Those who glory in any other defence and protection than the Divine power, providence, and promise, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of their glorying. Those who will not leave it to God to take vengeance for them, may expect that he will take vengeance on them. The equity of the Lord's judgments is to be observed, when he not only avenges injuries upon those that did them, but by those against whom they were done. Those who treasure up old hatred, and watch for the opportunity of manifesting it, are treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath.Edom, so named from Esau, consisted of various tribes enumerated in Genesis 36. The Edomites became a powerful nation before the Israelites came out of Egypt. David conquered them, but in the reign of Joram they rebelled and were not again subdued 2 Kings 8:20. Under the name of Idumea the land was conquered by John Hyrcanus (compare Ezekiel 25:14), when many of the people adopted the religion of the Jews. In later times the Idumean Herod became king of Palestine, reckoning himself as a Jew. Mount Seir, deserted by its original inhabitants, was occupied by a tribe of Arabians (the Nabatheans), under whelm Petra rose and continued a flourishing city under Roman dominion, until the tide of Mahometan conquest brought it to that ruin in which Edom at last found the complete fulfillment of the prophecies uttered against it Ezekiel 35:1-15.

Taking vengeance - Referring to the wrong done by Jacob to Esau Genesis 27:36.

12. taking vengeance—literally, "revenging with revengement," that is, the most unrelenting vengeance. It was not simple hatred, but deep-brooding, implacable revenge. The grudge of Edom or Esau was originally for Jacob's robbing him of Isaac's blessing (Ge 25:23; 27:27-41). This purpose of revenge yielded to the extraordinary kindness of Jacob, through the blessing of Him with whom Jacob wrestled in prayer; but it was revived as an hereditary grudge in the posterity of Esau when they saw the younger branch rising to the pre-eminence which they thought of right belonged to themselves. More recently, for David's subjugation of Edom to Israel (2Sa 8:14). They therefore gave vent to their spite by joining the Chaldeans in destroying Jerusalem (Ps 137:7; La 4:22; Ob 10-14), and then intercepting and killing the fugitive Jews (Am 1:11) and occupying part of the Jewish land as far as Hebron. Edom; the Idumeans, children of Esau.

The house of Judah; the kingdom of David after the division of the tribes, when but two remained constant to the house of David.

By taking vengeance for the old quarrel, because Jacob got the blessing from Esau, or rather in revenging a later quarrel, which they had against Judah for the slaughter, spoil, and captivity they suffered by David’s conquering sword.

Hath greatly offended; both in the thing itself, for vengeance belongs to God; and in the manner and measures of executing it, as appears both from Psalm 137:7, and the prophecy of Obadiah 1:10-15, which see, and consider.

Thus saith the Lord God,.... Concerning Seir or the Edomites, the prophecy concerning the Moabites being finished:

because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance: or, "revenging a revenge" (w); the Edomites bore an old grudge against the Jews, not only because their father Jacob had got the birthright and blessing from their father Esau; but because they were made tributaries to them in David's time, and afterwards severely chastised by Amaziah; these things they laid up in their minds, and vowed revenge whenever they had an opportunity; and now one offered at the destruction of Jerusalem, which they took:

and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them: not only by rejoicing at the destruction of the Jews, but by encouraging the Babylonians in it; assisting them therein, joining with them in plundering the city, and in cutting off those with the sword who endeavoured to make their escape; see Psalm 137:7.

(w) "in ulciscendo ultionem", Montanus, Starckius.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. hath greatly offended] Israel as the people of the true God was inviolable (Jeremiah 2:3), except when Jehovah employed the nations to chastise it. Too often the nations exceeded their commission, cherishing purposes of their own (Isaiah 10:6 seq.), and themselves incurred guilt by their excess (Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15).

12–14. Prophecy against Edom

The relations of Edom to Israel were changeful. Subdued by David it shook off the yoke under Jehoram (2 Kings 8:20). Reconquered by Amaziah and Uzziah (2 Kings 14:7; 2 Kings 14:22), it rebelled under Ahaz (2 Kings 16:6; 2 Chronicles 28:17), and from this time was probably independent. Edomites seem to have taken part in the capture of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, or at least to have been active in cutting off the fugitives (Ob. Ezekiel 25:10-14), and for their part in this they incurred the lasting hatred of Israel (Obad., Lamentations 4:21; Isaiah 34:5 seq., Isaiah 63:1-6; Joel 3:19; Psalm 137:7; Malachi 1:2. Cf. Jeremiah 49:7 seq.). During the exile the Edomites took possession of part of the land of Israel (Ezekiel 35:10); and in the time of the Maccabean war of independence, like the Ammonites, they shewed their hereditary enmity to Israel (1Ma 5:3; 1Ma 5:35). John Hyrcanus finally subdued them and incorporated them in the state of Israel. Ultimately, like Moab and Ammon, the name of Edom disappears from history, all the three peoples being known by the general name of Arabs,—Children of the East—as Ezek. had prophesied.

Verses 12, 13. - Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah, etc. The statement receives many illustrations, notably in Psalm 137:7, and at an earlier date in Amos 1:11; Obadiah 1:11. What had been malicious exultation (the ἐπιχαιρεκακία, which Aristotle describes as the extremest type of evil) passed in the case of Edom into overt acts of hostility. The moment of Judah's weakness was seized on as an opportunity for gratifying what Ezekiel elsewhere (Ezekiel 35:5) calls the "perpetual hatred" of the people against Israel, for taking vengeance for the primal wrong which Esau had suffered at the hand of Jacob (Genesis 27:36). (For other prophecies against Edom, see Numbers 24:18, 19; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:7-12; Joel 3:19.) Teman. The name, which signifies "South," was probably applied to a district - twice, here and in Jeremiah 49:7, 8, coupled with Dedan. In Jeremiah 49:20, 21 the cry of the inhabitants of Teman is said to have been "heard in the Red Sea," and this determines its geographical position, as being, in accordance with its name, the southern region of Edom. In Job 2:11 we have Eliphaz the Temanite as one of the patriarch's friends, and the same name appears as that of a son of Esau (Genesis 36:11). In Jeremiah (loc. cit.) Teman is named as famous for its wisdom. Dedan is named as a grandson of Cash in Genesis 10:7, and of Abraham by Keturah in Genesis 25:3. It has been inferred from this that there were two branches of the nation, one on the shores of the Persian Gulf, nomadic and trading, as in the "travelling companies" of Dedanim (Isaiah 21:13; Ezekiel 27:15, 20); the other settled in the territory of the Edomites ('Dict. Bible'). The latter is that to which Ezekiel refers. A various punctuation gives, with a better sense, "From Teman even unto Dedan they shall fall by the sword." Ezekiel 25:12Against the Edomites

Ezekiel 25:12. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Because Edom acteth revengefully towards the house of Judah, and hath been very guilty in avenging itself upon them, Ezekiel 25:13. Therefore, thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I will stretch out my hand over Edom, and cut off man and beast from it, and make it a desert from Teman, and unto Dedan they shall fall by the sword. Ezekiel 25:14. And I will inflict my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, that they may do to Edom according to my anger and my wrath; and they shall experience my vengeance, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - Whilst the Ammonites and the Moabites are charged with nothing more than malicious pleasure at the fall of Israel, and disregard of its divine calling, the Edomites are reproached with revengeful acts of hostility towards the house of Judah, and threatened with extermination in consequence. The עשׂות, doing or acting of Edom, is more precisely defined as 'בּנקום וגו, i.e., as consisting in the taking of vengeance, and designated as very guilty, ישׁמוּ אשׁום. עשׂה, followed by בּ with an infinitive, as in Ezekiel 17:17. Edom had sought every opportunity of acting thus revengefully towards Israel (vid., Obadiah 1:11; Amos 1:11), so that in Ezekiel 35:5 Ezekiel speaks of the "eternal enmity" of Edom against Israel. For this reason we must not restrict the reproach in Ezekiel 25:12 to particular outbreaks of this revenge at the time of the devastation and destruction of Judah by the Chaldeans, of which the Psalmist complains in Psalm 137:1-9, and for which he invokes the vengeance of God upon Edom. Man and beast are to be cut off from Edom in consequence, and the land to become a desert from Teman to Dedan. These names denote not cities, but districts. Teman is the southern portion of Idumaea (see the comm. on Amos 1:12); and Dedan is therefore the northern district. Dedan is probably not the Cushite tribe mentioned in Genesis 10:7, but the tribe of the same name which sprang from the sons of Abraham by Keturah (Genesis 25:3), and which is also mentioned in Jeremiah 49:8 in connection with Edom. דּדנה has ה local with Seghol instead of Kametz, probably on account of the preceding a (vid., Ewald, 216c). There is no necessity to connect מתּימן with the following clause, as Hitzig and Kliefoth have done, in opposition to the accents. The two geographical names, which are used as a periphrasis for Idumaea as a whole, are distributed equally through the parallelismus membrorum between the two clauses of the sentence, so that they belong to both clauses, so far as the sense is concerned. Edom is to become a desert from Teman to Dedan, and its inhabitants from Teman to Dedan are to fall by the sword. This judgment of vengeance will be executed by God through His people Israel. The fulfilment of this threat, no doubt, commenced with the subjugation of the Edomites by the Maccabees; but it is not to be limited to that event, as Rosenmller, Kliefoth, and others suppose, although the foundation was thereby laid for the disappearance of the national existence of Edom. For it is impossible with this limitation to do justice to the emphatic expression, "my people Israel." On the ground, therefore, of the prophecies in Amos 9:12 and Obadiah 1:17, that the people of God are to take possession of Edom, when the fallen tabernacle of David is raised up again, i.e., in the Messianic times, which prophecies point back to that of Balaam in Numbers 24:18, and have their roots, as this also has, in the promise of God concerning the twin sons of Isaac, "the elder shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23), we must seek for the complete fulfilment in the victories of the people of God over all their foes, among whom Edom from time immemorial had taken the leading place, at the time when the kingdom of God is perfected. For even here Edom is not introduced merely as a single nation that was peculiarly hostile to Judah, but also as a type of the implacable enmity of the heathen world towards the people and kingdom of God, as in Ezekiel 35:1-15, Isaiah 34:63, etc. The vengeance, answering to the anger and wrath of Jehovah, which Israel, as the people of God, is to execute upon Edom, consists not merely in the annihilation of the national existence of Edom, which John Hyrcanus carried into effect by compelling the subjugated Edomites to adopt circumcision (see the comm. on Numbers 24:18), but chiefly in the wrathful judgment which Israel will execute in the person of Christ upon the arch-enemy of the kingdom of God by its complete extinction.

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