New American Bible Revised Edition

* [3] Edom occupied the mountains southeast of Israel and the Dead Sea.

* [5] Something of value may escape the thief, and the grape picker always leaves something for the gleaners, but God’s devastation of Edom will be complete.

* [6] With the past tense in vv. 5–7, the prophet presents a future event as if it had already happened.

* [7] Those who eat your bread: alliances were often established by covenant meals (cf. Gn 31:44–46). When Edom is destroyed, foreigners will replace the Edomites, who were known for wisdom (cf. v. 8; Jer 49:7; Jb 2:11).

* [9] Teman: a synonym for Edom; perhaps the name of a region or a city, the part representing the whole. Mount Esau: whatever its geographic reference, the phrase is an effective representation of Edom’s arrogance.

* [10] Your brother: used with a double meaning referring to the common lineage of Israel and Edom, in which their ancestors were brothers, Jacob and Esau (Gn 25:19–26), and referring also to their political alliance, in which allies were called brothers (cf. Am 1:9, 11).

* [11] In 587 B.C., Edomites joined the invading Babylonian forces (v. 13) and captured escaping Judahites. The destruction of Jerusalem strengthened and expanded Edom’s hold on Judah’s southern territory.

* [12–14] The commands in vv. 12–14 are not to be understood as future prohibitions but as descriptions of crimes Edom in fact already committed on the day of Jerusalem’s fall described in v. 11.

* [16] As you drank: i.e., Judah has suffered the punishment of divine wrath in 587 B.C. The oracle promises a similar fate for the nations, especially Edom (v. 18). The metaphor “drinking the cup of God’s wrath” occurs often in the Bible; cf. Jb 21:20; Is 51:17–23; Jer 25:15–16; Rev 14:10.

* [17–19] The Israelites will be restored and will occupy the lands of those who oppressed them. The survivors of Judah will be rejoined by the returned exiles from northern Israel.

* [19] Negeb: the area south of Judah and west of Edom. Gilead: east of the Jordan River.

* [20] Zarephath: a town in Phoenicia, north of Tyre; cf. 1 Kgs 17:10. Sepharad: perhaps Sardis in western Asia Minor. The later rabbis thought it was Spain.

* [21] Deliverers: the victorious Israelites who will rule over their enemies, as the ancient judges did; cf. Jgs 3:9, 15, 31; 10:1.

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Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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