Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Obadiah 1:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They of the south - The Jews who possessed the southern part of Palestine, should render themselves masters of the mountains of Idumea which were contiguous to them.

They of the plain - From Eleutheropolis to the Mediterranean Sea. In this and the following verse the prophet shows the different districts which should be occupied by the Israelites after their return from Babylon.

The fields of Samaria - Alexander the Great gave Samaria to the Jews; and John Hyrcanus subdued the same country after his wars with the Syrians. See Josephus, contra. App. lib, ii., and Antiq. lib. xiii., c. 18.

Benjamin shall possess Gilead - Edom lay to the south; the Philistines to the west, Ephraim to the north; and Gilead to the east. Those who returned from Babylon were to extend themselves everywhere. See Newcome; and see, for the fulfillment, 1 Maccabees 5:9, 35, 45; 9:35, 36.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And they of the South shall possess the mount of Esau - The Church was now hemmed in within Judah and Benjamin. They too were to go into captivity. The prophet looks beyond the captivity and the return, and tells how that original promise to Jacob Genesis 28:14 should be fulfilled; “Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt break North to the West, and to the East, and to the North, and to the South; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. Hosea and Amos had, at this time, prophesied the final destruction of the kingdom of Israel. Obadiah describes Judah, as expanded to its former bounds including Edom and Philistia, and occupying the territory of the ten tribes. “The South”, i. e., they of the “hot” and “dry” country to the South of Judah bordering on Edom, “shall possess the mountains of Esau,” i. e., his mountain country, on which they bordered. And “the plain,” they on the West, in the great maritime plain, the “shephelah,” should spread over the country of the Philistines, so that the sea should be their boundary; and on the North, over the country of the ten tribes, “the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria.” The territory of “Benjamin” being thus included in Judah, to it is assigned the country on the other side Jordan; “and Benjamin, Gilead.”

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.