English Standard Version
The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might; they shall lay their hands on their mouths; their ears shall be deaf;
King James Bible
The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
American Standard Version
The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might; they shall lay their hand upon their mouth; their ears shall be deaf.
The nations shall see, and shall be confounded at all their strength: they shall put the hand upon the mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
English Revised Version
The nations shall see and be ashamed of all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
Webster's Bible Translation
The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hand upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf.
Micah 7:16 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
After the destruction of its foes the nation of God will take possession of their land, and extend its territory to every region under heaven. Obadiah 1:19. "And those towards the south will take possession of the mountains of Esau; and those in the lowland, of the Philistines: and they will take possession of the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria; and Benjamin (will take possession) of Gilead. Obadiah 1:20. And the captives of this army of the sons of Israel (will take possession) of what Canaanites there are as far as Zarephath; and the prisoners of Jerusalem that are in Sepharad will take possession of the cities of the south." In וירשׁוּ וגו the expression וירשׁוּ בּית י in Obadiah 1:17 is more precisely defined, and the house of Jacob, i.e., the kingdom of Judah, is divided into the Negeb, the Shephelah, and Benjamin, to each of which a special district is assigned, of which it will take possession, the countries being mentioned in the place of their inhabitants. The negebh, or southern land of Judah (see the comm. on Joshua 15:21), i.e., the inhabitants thereof, will take possession of the mountains of Esau, and therefore extend their territory eastwards; whilst those of the lowland (shephēlâh; see at Joshua 15:33), on the Mediterranean, will seize upon the Philistines, that is to say, upon their land, and therefore spread out towards the west. The subject to the second וירשׁוּ is not mentioned, and must be determined from the context: viz., the men of Judah, with the exception of the inhabitants of the Negeb and Shephelah already mentioned, that is to say, strictly speaking, those of the mountains of Judah, and original stock of the land of Judah (Joshua 15:48-60). Others would leave hannegebh and hasshephēlâh still in force as subjects; so that the thought expressed would be this: The inhabitants of the south land and of the lowland will also take possession in addition to this of the fields of Ephraim and Samaria. But not only is the parallelism of the clauses, according to which one particular portion of territory is assigned to each part, utterly destroyed, but according to this view the principal part of Judah is entirely passed over without any perceptible reason. Sâdeh, fields, used rhetorically for land or territory. Along with Ephraim the land, Samaria the capital is especially mentioned, just as we frequently find Jerusalem along with Judah. In the last clause ירשׁוּ (shall take possession of) is to be repeated after Benjamin. From the taking of the territories of the kingdom of the ten tribes by Judah and Benjamin, we are not to infer that the territory of the ten tribes was either compared to an enemy's land, or thought of as depopulated; but the thought is simply this: Judah and Benjamin, the two tribes, which formed the kingdom of God in the time of Obadiah will extend their territory to all the four quarters of the globe, and take possession of all Canaan beyond its former boundaries. Hengstenberg has rightly shown that we have here simply an individualizing description of the promise in Genesis 28:14, "thy seed will be as the dust of the ground; and thou breakest out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south," etc.; i.e., that on the ground of this promise Obadiah predicts the future restoration of the kingdom of God, and its extension beyond the borders of Canaan. In this he looks away from the ten tribes, because in his esteem the kingdom of Judah alone constituted the kingdom or people of God. But he has shown clearly enough in Obadiah 1:18 that he does not regard them as enemies of Judah, or as separated from the kingdom of God, but as being once more united to Judah as the people of God. And being thus incorporated again into the people of God, he thinks of them as dwelling with them upon the soil of Judah, so that they are included in the population of the four districts of this kingdom. For this reason, no other places of abode are assigned to the Ephraimites and Gileadites. The idea that they are to be transplanted altogether to heathen territory, rests upon a misapprehension of the true facts of the case, and has no support whatever in Obadiah 1:20. "The sons of Israel" in Obadiah 1:20 cannot be the ten tribes, as Hengstenberg supposes, because the other portion of the covenant nation mentioned along with them would in that case be described as Judah, not as Jerusalem. "The sons of Israel" answer to the "Jacob" in Obadiah 1:10, and the "house of Jacob" in Obadiah 1:17, in connection with which special prominence is given to Jerusalem in Obadiah 1:11, and to Mount Zion in Obadiah 1:17; so that it is the Judaeans who are referred to, - not, however, as distinguished from the ten tribes, but as the people of God, with whom the house of Jacob is once more united. In connection with the gâluth (captivity) of the sons of Israel, the gâluth of Jerusalem is also mentioned, like the sons of Judah and the sons of Jerusalem in Joel 3:6, of whom Joel affirms, with a glance at Obadiah, that the Phoenicians and Philistines have sold them to the sons of Javan. These citizens of Judah and Jerusalem, who have been taken prisoners in war, are called by Obadiah the gâluth of the sons of Israel and Jerusalem, the people of God being here designated by the name of their tribe-father Jacob or Israel. That we should understand by the "sons of Israel" Judah, as the tribe or kernel of the covenant nation, is required by the actual progress apparent in v.20 in relation to Obadiah 1:19.
After Obadiah had foretold to the house of Jacob in Obadiah 1:17-19 that it would take possession of the land of their enemies, and spread beyond the borders of Canaan, the question still remained to be answered, What would become of the prisoners, and those who had been carried away captive, according to Obadiah 1:11 and Obadiah 1:14? This is explained in Obadiah 1:20. The carrying away of the sons of Israel is restricted to a portion of the nation by the words, "the captivity of this host" (hachēl-hazzeh); no such carrying away of the nation as such had taken place at that time as that which afterwards occurred at the destruction of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The enemies who had conquered Jerusalem had contented themselves with carrying away those who fell into their hands. The expression hachēl-hazzeh points to this host which had been carried away captive. חל, which the lxx and some of the Rabbins have taken as a verbal noun, ἡ ἀρχή, initium, is a defective form of חיל, an army (2 Kings 18:7; Isaiah 36:2), like חק for חיק in Proverbs 5:20; Proverbs 17:23; Proverbs 21:14, and is not to be identified with חל, the trench of a fortification. The two clauses in Obadiah 1:20 have only one verb, which renders the meaning of צרפת ... אשׁר כ ambiguous. The Chaldee (according to our editions, though not according to Kimchi's account) and the Masoretes (by placing athnach under sephârâd), also Rashi and others, take אשׁר כּנענים as in apposition to the subject: those prisoners of the sons of Israel who are among the Canaanites to Zarephath. And the parallelism to אשׁר בּספרד appears to favour this; but it is decidedly negatived by the absence of ב before כנענים. אשׁר כן can only mean, "who are Canaanites." But this, when taken as in apposition to בּני ישׂ, gives no sustainable meaning. For the sons of Israel could only be called Canaanites when they had adopted the nature of Canaan. And any who had done this could look for no share in the salvation of the Lord, and no return to the land of the Lord. We must therefore take אשׁר כנענים as the object, and supply the verb ירשׁוּ from the first clauses of the preceding verse. Obadiah first of all expresses the verb twice, then omits it in the next two clauses (Obadiah 1:19 and Obadiah 1:20), and inserts it again in the last clause (Obadiah 1:20). The meaning is, that the army of these sons of Israel, who have been carried away captive, will take possession of what Canaanites there are as far as Zarephath, i.e., the Phoenician city of Sarepta, the present Surafend, between Tyre and Sidon on the sea-coast (see comm. on 1 Kings 17:9). The capture of the land of the enemy presupposes a return to the fatherland. The exiles of Jerusalem shall take possession of the south country, the inhabitants of which have pushed forward into Edom. בּספרד (in Sepharad) is difficult, and has never yet been satisfactorily explained, as the word does not occur again. The rendering Spain, which we find in the Chaldee and Syriac, is probably only an inference drawn from Joel 3:6; and the Jewish rendering Bosphorus, which is cited by Jerome, is simply founded upon the similarity in the name. The supposed connection between this name and the PaRaD, or parda, mentioned in the great arrow-headed inscription of Nakshi Rustam in a list of names of tribes between Katpadhuka (Cappadocia) and Yun (Ionia), in which Sylv. de Sacy imagined that he had found our Sepharad, has apparently more to favour it, since the resemblance is very great. But if parda is the Persian form for Sardis (Σάρδις or Σάρδεις), which was written varda in the native (Lydian) tongue, as Lassen maintains, Sepharad cannot be the same as parda, inasmuch as the Hebrews did not receive the name ספרד through the Persians; and the native varda, apart from the fact that it is merely postulated, would be written סורד in Hebrew. To this we may add, that the impossibility of proving that Sardis was ever used for Lydia, precludes our rendering parda by Sardis. It is much more natural to connect the name with Σπάρτη (Sparta) and Σπαρτιάαι (1 Maccabees 14:16, 20, 23; 12:2, 5, 6), and assume that the Hebrews had heard the name from the Phoenicians in connection with Javan, as the name of a land in the far west.
(Note: The appellative rendering ἐν διασπορᾶ (Hendewerk and Maurer) is certainly to be rejected; and Ewald's conjecture, ספרם, "a place three hours' journey from Acco," in support of which he refers to Niebuhr, R. iii. p. 269, is a very thoughtless one. For Niebuhr there mentions the village of Serfati as the abode of the prophet Elijah, and refers to Maundrell, who calls the village Sarphan, Serephat, and Serepta, in which every thoughtful reader must recognise the biblical Zarephath, and the present village of Surafend.)
The cities of the south country stand in antithesis to the Canaanites as far as Zarephath in the north; and these two regions are mentioned synecdochically for all the countries round about Canaan, like "the breaking forth of Israel on the right hand and on the left, that its seed may inherit the Gentiles," which is promised in Isaiah 54:3. The description is rounded off by the closing reference to the south country, in which it returns to the point whence it started.
With the taking of the lands of the Gentiles, the full display of salvation begins in Zion. Obadiah 1:21. "And saviours go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau; and the kingdom will be Jehovah's." עלה followed by ב does not mean to go up to a place, but to climb to the top of (Deuteronomy 5:5; Psalm 24:3; Jeremiah 4:29; Jeremiah 5:10), or into (Jeremiah 9:20). Consequently there is no allusion in ועלוּ to the return from exile. Going up to the top of Mount Zion simply means, that at the time when Israel captures the possessions of the heathen, Mount Zion will receive and have saviours who will judge Edom. And as the mountains of Esau represent the heathen world, so Mount Zion, as the seat of the Old Testament kingdom of God, is the type of the kingdom of God in its fully developed form. מושׁיעים, which is written defectively מושׁעים in some of the ancient mss, and has consequently been rendered incorrectly σεσωσμένοι and ἀνασωζόμενοι by the lxx, Aq., Theod., and the Syriac, signifies salvatores, deliverers, saviours. The expression is selected with an allusion to the olden time, in which Jehovah saved His people by judges out of the power of their enemies (Judges 2:16; Judges 3:9, Judges 3:15, etc.). "מושׁיעים are heroes, resembling the judges, who are to defend and deliver Mount Zion and its inhabitants, when they are threatened and oppressed by enemies" (Caspari). The object of their activity, however, is not Israel, but Edom, the representative of all the enemies of Israel. The mountains of Esau are mentioned instead of the people, partly on account of the antithesis to the mountain of Zion, and partly also to express the thought of supremacy not only over the people, but over the land of the heathen also. Shâphat is not to be restricted in this case to the judging or settling of disputes, but includes the conduct of the government, the exercise of dominion in its fullest extent, so that the "judging of the mountains of Esau" expresses the dominion of the people of God over the heathen world. Under the saviours, as Hengstenberg has correctly observed, the Saviour par excellence is concealed. This is not brought prominently out, nor is it even distinctly affirmed; but it is assumed as self-evident, from the history of the olden time, that the saviours are raised up by Jehovah for His people. The following and concluding thought, that the kingdom will be Jehovah's, i.e., that Jehovah will show Himself to the whole world as King of the world, and Ruler in His kingdom, and will be acknowledged by the nations of the earth, either voluntarily or by constraint, rests upon this assumption. God was indeed Kings already, not as the Almighty Ruler of the universe, for this is not referred to here, but as King in Israel, over which His kingdom did extend. But this His royal sway was not acknowledged by the heathen world, and could not be, more especially when He had to deliver Israel up to the power of its enemies, on account of its sins. This acknowledgment, however, He would secure for Himself, by the destruction of the heathen power in the overthrow of Edom, and by the exaltation of His people to dominion over all nations. Through this mighty saving act He will establish His kingdom over the whole earth (cf. Joel 3:21; Micah 4:7; Isaiah 24:23). "The coming of this kingdom began with Christ, and looks for its complete fulfilment in Him" (Hengstenberg).
If now, in conclusion, we cast another glance at the fulfilment of our whole prophecy; the fulfilment of that destruction by the nations, with which the Edomites are threatened (Obadiah 1:1-9), commenced in the Chaldean period. For although no express historical evidence exists as to the subjugation of the Edomites by Nebuchadnezzar, since Josephus (Ant. x. 9, 7) says nothing about the Edomites, who dwelt between the Moabites and Egypt, in the account which he gives of Nebuchadnezzar's expedition against Egypt, five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, in which he subdued the Ammonites and Moabites; the devastation of Edom by the Chaldeans may unquestionably be inferred from Jeremiah 49:7. and Ezekiel 35:1-15, when compared with Jeremiah 25:9, Jeremiah 25:21, and Malachi 1:3. In Jeremiah 25:21 the Edomites are mentioned among the nations round about Judah, whom the Lord would deliver up into the hand of His servant Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:9), and to whom Jeremiah was to present the cup of the wine of wrath from the hand of Jehovah; and they are placed between the Philistines and the Moabites. And according to Malachi 1:3, Jehovah made the mountains of Esau into a wilderness; and this can only refer to the desolation of the land of Edom by the Chaldeans (see at Malachi 1:3). It is true, that at that time the Edomites could still think of rebuilding their ruins; but the threat of Malachi, "If they build, I shall pull down, saith the Lord," was subsequently fulfilled, although no accounts have been handed down as to the fate of Edom in the time of Alexander the Great and his successors. The destruction of the Edomites as a nation was commenced by the Maccabees. After Judas Maccabaeus had defeated them several times (1 Maccabees 5:3 and 65; Jos. Ant. xii. 18, 1), John Hyrcanus subdued them entirely about 129 b.c., and compelled them to submit to circumcision, and observe the Mosaic law (Jos. Ant. xiii. 9, 1), whilst Alexander Jannaeus also subjugated the last of the Edomites (xiii. 15, 4). And the loss of their national independence, which they thereby sustained, was followed by utter destruction at the hands of the Romans. To punish them for the cruelties which they had practised in Jerusalem in connection with the Zelots, immediately before the siege of that city by the Romans (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, iv. 5, 1, 2), Simon the Gerasene devastated their land in a fearful manner (Wars of the Jews, iv. 9, 7); whilst the Idumaeans in Jerusalem, who took the side of Simon (v. 6, 1), were slain by the Romans along with the Jews. The few Edomites who still remained were lost among the Arabs; so that the Edomitish people was "cut off for ever" (Obadiah 1:10) by the Romans, and its very name disappeared from the earth. Passing on to the rest of the prophecy, Edom filled up the measure of its sins against its brother nation Israel, against which Obadiah warns it in Obadiah 1:12-14, at the taking and destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (vid., Ezekiel 35:5, Ezekiel 35:10; Psalm 137:7; Lamentations 4:22). The fulfilment of the threat in Obadiah 1:18 we cannot find, however, in the subjugation of the Edomites by the Maccabeans, and the devastating expedition of Simon the Gerasene, as Caspari and others do, although it is apparently favoured by the statement in Ezekiel 25:14, that Jehovah would fulfil His vengeance upon Edom by the hand of His people Israel. For even if this prophecy of Ezekiel may have been fulfilled in the events just mentioned, we are precluded from understanding Obadiah 1:18, and the parallel passages, Amos 9:11-12, and Numbers 24:18, as referring to the same events, by the fact that the destruction of Edom, and the capture of Seir by Israel, are to proceed, according to Numbers 24:18, from the Ruler to arise out of Jacob (the Messiah), and that they were to take place, according to Amos 9:11-12, in connection with the raising up of the fallen hut of David, and according to Obadiah, in the day of Jehovah, along with and after the judgment upon all nations. Consequently the fulfilment of Obadiah 1:17-21 can only belong to the Messianic times, and that in such a way that it commenced with the founding of the kingdom of Christ on the earth, advances with its extension among all nations, and will terminate in a complete fulfilment at the second coming of our Lord.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand on your mouth.
O LORD, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see it. Let them see your zeal for your people, and be ashamed. Let the fire for your adversaries consume them.
the seers shall be disgraced, and the diviners put to shame; they shall all cover their lips, for there is no answer from God.
and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.