Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Obadiah 1:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Zarephath - Sarepta, a city of the Sidonians, 1 Kings 17:9. That is, they should possess the whole city of Phoenicia, called here that of the Canaanites.

Which is in Sepharad - This is a difficult word. Some think the Bosphorus is meant; others, Spain; others, France; others, the Euphrates; others, some district in Chaldea; for there was a city called Siphora, in Mesopotamia, above the division of the Euphrates. Dr. Lightfoot says it was a part of Edom. Those who were captives among the Canaanites should possess the country of the Canaanites; and those whom the Edomites had enslaved should possess the cities of their masters. See Newcome and Lowth.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel - , (it must, I believe, be rendered,) “which are among the Canaanites, as far as Zarephath, and the captivity of Jerusalem which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South.” Obadiah had described how the two tribes, whose were the promises to the house of David, should spread abroad on all sides. Here he represents how Judah should, in its turn, receive into its bosom those now carried away from them; so should all again be one fold.

Zarephath - (probably “smelting-house,” and so a place of slave-labor, pronounced Sarepta in Luke) Luke 4:26. belonged to Sidon 1 Kings 17:9, lying on the sea about halfway between it and Tyre.. These were then, probably, captives, placed by Tyrians for the time in safe keeping in the narrow plain between Lebanon and the sea, intercepted by Tyre itself from their home, and awaiting to be transported to a more distant slavery. These, with those already sold to the Grecians and in slavery at Sardis, formed one whole. They stand as representatives of all who, whatever their lot, had been rent off from the Lord‘s land, and had been outwardly severed from His heritage.

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.