15. For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men.
15. Quia ecce parvum posui to inter gentes, contemptum inter homines.
Interpreters for the most part give this exposition, that the people of Edom would be contemptible, because God had determined to cast them down from their dignity, which they for a time possessed: and then they connect the next verse, in which the reason for this is given, "Thy terror deceived thee, the pride of thy heart," etc. But this passage may be taken otherwise, -- that God derides the pride of that nation, which ought to have restrained itself, because it contended against nature, when it wished to elate itself so much. And it seems to me that this is the real meaning of the Prophet. I do not, indeed, pronounce the other view wrong, yet it behooves me to state what I prefer. I then think that there is to be understood here an implied comparison between the Israelites and the children of Edom, which is more clearly expressed by Malachi, (Malachi 1:2, 3;) for God there extols his kindness towards the Israelites, because he gave them a rich and fruitful land, and sent away the posterity of Esau, and confined them within rough mountains. As then the Idumeans, ejected from so pleasant and desirable an inheritance as had been given to the children of Abraham, were confined as it were to rugged mountains, the Prophet derides their pride, because they tried in a way contrary and repugnant to nature to elevate themselves:
But if the other exposition be preferred, the meaning would be as follows, "Behold, I will make thee small and contemptible among the nations, because thou hast been very proud." But I have stated what I approve, even that God here brings against the Idumeans their folly, because they ought not to have boasted without reason, "Behold," he says; he shews, as by the finger, how mean and abject their condition was;
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