21. Rejoice, and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz: the cup also shall pass through unto thee; thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.
21. Guade et laetare, filia Edom quae habitas in terra Uts (
The Prophet in this verse intimates that the Jews were exposed to the reproaches and taunts of all their enemies, but he immediately moderates their sorrow, by adding a consolation; and it was a sorrow that in itself must have been very bitter; for we know that nothing' is harder to bear, in a state of misery, than the petulant insults of enemies; these wound us more than all other evils which we may suffer. The Prophet then intimates, that the Jews had been so reduced, that all the ungodly and malevolent were able, with impunity, to exult over them, and to taunt them with their troubles. This is done in the former clause but its it was a prophecy, or rather a denunciation, extremely bitter, he mitigates the atrocity of the evil, when he says that their enemies would have soon in their turn to undergo punishment.
Some explain the whole verse as spoken ironically, as though the Prophet had said tauntingly, -- "Go now, ye Idumeans, and rejoice; but your joy shall be evanescent." 1 But I rather think that he refers to the very summit of extreme misery, because the Jews had been thus exposed to the taunts of their enemies; but he afterwards adds some alleviation, because all their enemies would at length be punished. There is, in Micah 7:8, a similar mode of speaking, though there is no mention made there of Edom; for there the Prophet speaks generally to all those who envied the people, and were their adversaries: he compares the people, according' to what was usual, to a woman; and we know that in that sex there is much more jealousy than in men; and then, when there is a grudge, they fiercely urge their pleas, that they may have an occasion to speak evil of others. Therefore the Church, after having acknowledged that she had been deservedly chastised, adds, "Rejoice not over me, mine enemy." But I have already fully explained the Prophet's meaning, -- that the Church calls all her enemies an enemy, or an inimical woman, as though there had been some quarrel or jealousy between women. Hence she says,
"Though I have fallen, yet rejoice thou not, my enemy; though I lie in darkness, yet the Lord will be my light -- though then my enemy has rejoiced, yet my eyes shall see when she shall be trodden down." (Micah 7:8, 10.)
The Prophet no doubt meant there to mitigate the sorrow of the godly, who saw that they were insolently taunted by all their neighbors. He then shews the necessity of a patient endurance for a time; for God would at length stretch out his hand, and render to enemies the reward of their barbarity.
But why in this place mention is made of Edom, rather than of other nations, is not evident. The Jews were, indeed, surrounded on every side with enemies, for they had as many enemies as neighbors. But the Idumeans, above others, had manifested hostility to the chosen people. And the indignity was the greater, because they had descended from the same father, for Isaac was their common father; and they derived their origin from two brothers, Esau and Jacob. As, then, the Idumeans were related to the Jews, their cruelty was less tolerable; for they thus forgot their own race, and raged against their brethren and relatives. Hence it is said in Psalm 137:7,
"Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom, who said, in the day of Jerusalem, Down with it, down with it, to the very foundation."
The Prophet, then, after having imprecated God's vengeance on all the ungodly, mentioned especially the Idumeans; and why? because they indulged their cruelty above all others; for they were standard-bearers, as it were, to enemies, and were like falls, by which the fire was more kindled; for this address was no doubt made to the Chaldeans,
"Make bare, make bare; spare not;
let not a stone remain on a stone." (Psalm 137:7.)
As, then, the Idumeans had behaved most cruelly towards their own relatives, the Prophet complains of them, and asks God to render to them what they deserved.
So now in this place our Prophet says,
1 This is the sense that is commonly taken: Gataker, Lowth, Scott, and Blayney, regard the expression as ironical. -- Ed.
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