Commentary of the Old and New Testaments


By Joseph Benson


The Prophet. His name means "servant of the Lord," but we know nothing of him except what we can gather from his prophecy.

The Time. It was doubtless written after the fall of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, 587 B. C. and before the destruction of Edom, five years later, which would make the date about 585 B. C. This would make him a contemporary of Jeremiah.

The Occasion of the prophecy is the cruelty of the Edomites in rejoicing over the fall of Judah.

The Jews. It is said to be a favorite book with the Jews because of the vengeance which it pronounces upon Edom, their brother. Its chief importance lies in its predictions of doom upon Edom the descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob and the type of the unchangeable hostility of the flesh to that which is born of the spirit.

The Teachings. (1) Jehovah is especially interested in Israel. (2) He will establish a new kingdom, with Judea and Jerusalem as the center and with holiness as the chief characteristic.


I. Edom's punishment, 1-9.

  1. She must fall, 1-4.
  2. Her allies will desert her, 5-7.
  3. Her wisdom will fail her, 8-9.

II. Edom's sin, 10-14

III. Guilt of the nations, 15-16.

IV. Judah shall be restored,

For Study and Discussion. (1) The sin of pride. (2) The sin of rejoicing in another's misfortune. (3) Punishment according to our sin and of the same kind as was our sin.