Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Obadiah 1:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance - Here is a promise of the return from the Babylonish captivity. They shall come to Zion, and there they shall find safety; and it is remarkable that after their return they were greatly befriended by the Persian kings, and by Alexander the Great and his successors; so that, whilst they ravaged the neighboring nations, the Jews were unmolested. See Calmet.

And there shall be holiness - They shall return to God, separate themselves from their idols, and become a better people than they were when God permitted them to be carried into captivity.

The house of Jacob shall possess - They were restored to their former possessions. But this may refer also to their future restoration under the Gospel, when they shall be truly converted, and become holiness to the Lord; for salvation and holiness shall be the characteristics of Zion - the Christian Church, for ever.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But (And) upon (in) Mount Zion, shall be deliverance, or, an escaped remnant, and there (and it) shall be holiness - The sifting times of the Church are the triumph of the world; the judgment of the world is the restoration of the Church. In the triumph of the world, the lot was cast on Jerusalem, her sons were carried captive and slain, her holy places were desecrated. On the destruction of the nations, Mount Zion rises in calm majesty, as before; “a remnant” is replaced there, after its sifting; it is again “holiness;” not holy only, but a channel of holiness; “and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions (literally inherit their inheritances)”; either their own former possessions, receiving and “inheriting” from the enemy, what they had lost; or the “inheritances” of the nations. For the whole world is the inheritance of the Church, as Jesus said to the apostles, sons of Zion Matthew 28:19, “Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” and Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Holiness is its title-deeds to the inheritance of the world, that holiness, which was in the “upper chamber” in “Mount Zion,” the presence of God the Holy Spirit, issuing in holy teaching, holy Scriptures, holy institutions, holy sacraments, holy lives.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
There should be deliverance and holiness at Jerusalem, and the house of Jacob would again occupy their possessions. Much of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to their own land. But the salvation and holiness of the gospel, its spread, and the conversion of the Gentiles, seem also to be intended, especially the restoration of Israel, the destruction of antichrist, and the prosperous state of the church, to which all the prophets bear witness. When Christ is come, and not till then, shall the kingdom be the Lord's in the full sense of the term. As none that exalt themselves against the Lord shall prosper, and all shall be brought down; so none that wait upon the Lord, and put their trust in him, shall ever be dismayed. Blessed be the Divine Saviour and Judge on Mount Zion! His word shall be a savour of life unto life unto numbers, while it judges and condemns obstinate unbelievers.