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Commentary On Joel Amos Obadiah by Jean Calvin

Obadiah 9

9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

9 Et deficient (vel, frangentur) fortes tui, Theman, ut excidatur vir e monte Esau prae occisione (vel, quia excidetur; lmn enim postest duobis modis exponi.)

The Prophet, after having spoken of one kind of God's vengeance, adds another, -- that he would break whatever there was of strength in Idumea: and thus he shows that the courage and strength of men, no less than their understanding, are in the hand of God. As then God dissipates and destroys, whenever it pleases him, whatever wisdom there may be in men, so also he enervates and breaks down their hearts: in a word, he deprives them of all strength, so that they fail and come to nothing of themselves. Were they who are proud of their strength and counsels rightly to consider this, they would at length learn to submit themselves in true humility to God. But this truth is what the world cannot be made to believe: yet God shows to us here, as in a picture, that however men may flourish for a time, they would immediately vanish, were not he to sustain them, and to support his gifts in them, and keep them entire; and, especially, that empty smoke is everything, that seems to be understanding and strength in men; for the Lord can easily take away both, whensoever it may please him.

We ought therefore carefully to observe what he says here, Broken down shall be thy brave men, O Teman. Some think that a particular country is here pointed out; for Teman is the south, that is, with regard to Judea. But as Teman, we know, was one of the grandsons of Esau, (Genesis 36:15,) and as a part of Arabia was called by this name, it is the more probable, that the Prophet turns here his discourse to Idumea. But as to the word Teman, it is, a part taken for the whole.

For cut off, he says, shall be man: by saying, cut off shall man, he means, that all to a man would be destroyed. How? |by slaughter| . But qtl kothel means a slaughter in which no one remains alive. We hence see what the Prophet means, -- that all the Idumeans would be so broken down, that all would fall, for there would be no heart nor strength to resist. It now follows --

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