Clarke's Bible Commentary - Obadiah 1:20 Verse 20. Zarephath] Sarepta, a city of the Sidonians, 1 Kings xvii. 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.
John Gill's Bible Commentary Ver. 20. And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel [shall possess] that of the Canaanites, [even] unto Zarephath , etc.] That is, the host or army, the great number of the children of Israel, that have been carried captive, upon their return shall possess that part of the land of Israel which was inhabited formerly by the Canaanites, even as far as to Zarephath, said to belong to Zidon, ( 1 Kings 17:10); and called Sarepta of Sidon; (see Luke 4:26). It is mentioned by Pliny along with Sidon, where glass was made; and perhaps this place might have its name from the melting of glass in it, from Prx , which signifies to melt metals, glass, etc. it is called by Josephus Sarephtha; who says it was not far from Sidon and Tyre, and lay between them: according to an Arabic geographer f34 , it was twenty miles from Tyre, and ten from Sidon. Here the Prophet Elijah dwelt for a time; and in the times of Jerom was shown a little tower, said to be his habitation, which travellers visited. Mr. Maundrell speaks of this place as three hours’ journey from Sidon, and is now called “Sarphan, supposed (he says) to be the ancient Sarephath, or Sarepta, so famous for the residence and miracles of the Prophet Elijah; the place shown us for this city consisted of only a few houses on the tops of the mountains, within about half a mile of the sea; but it is more probable the principal part of, the city stood below, in the space between the hills and the sea, there being ruins still to be seen in that place, of a considerable extent?”
It was once a place very famous for wine; the wine of Sarepta is often made mention of by writers f37 ; perhaps vines might grow upon the hills and mountains about it; and this being a city of Phoenicia, on the northern border of the land of Israel, is very fitly observed as the limit of the possession of the Israelites this way; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which [is] in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south ; the Jews, who were carried captive into Babylon, to Sepharad; some place, though unknown, perhaps in the land of Babylon.
Calmet conjectures it may be Sippara or Sipparat, in Mesopotamia, a little above the division of the Euphrates: and the Septuagint version renders it Ephratha; which perhaps is a corruption, of the Euphrates in the present copies: the Vulgate Latin version translates it Bosphorus; and so Jerom, who says that the Hebrew that taught him assured him that Bosphorus was called Sepharad; whither Adrian is said to carry the Jews captive. Kimchi and Aben Ezra interpret it of the present captivity of theirs by Titus, who upon their return to their land shall possess the, southern part of it, which originally belonged to the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:20,21). If Sepharad, in the Assyrian language, signifies a border, as Jerom says it does, it denotes, as some think, that part of Arabia which borders on the south of Judea, that shall be inhabited by the Jews. Some render the words, “the captivity of Jerusalem shall possess that which is in Sepharad, and the cities of the south”: but this is contrary to the accents, unless the words “shall possess” be repeated, and so two clauses made, “the captivity of Jerusalem [shall possess] that which is in Sepharad; they shall possess the cities of the south”. The Targum and Syriac version, instead of Sepharad, have Spain; and so the Jewish writers generally interpret it. By the Canaanites they think are meant the Germans, and the country of Germany; by Zarephath, France; and by Sepharad, Spain; so Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, fancying that they who are now captives in these countries shall one day possess them: but the prophecy only respects their settlement in their own land, and some parts adjacent to it; or rather the enlargement of the church of Christ in the world. A late learned writer f39 , is of opinion that some respect may be had to this passage in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, in which the former makes mention of “five brethren” that he had, ( Luke 16:28); and are by the said writer thus reckoned: 1. the house of Jacob; 2. the house of Joseph, which are said to possess the south, with the mountains of Esau, and the plain; 3. Benjamin, which shall possess Gilead; 4. the captives from the Assyrian captivity; 5. the captives from the Jerusalem captivity, namely, by Titus Vespasian, who shall possess the cities of the south.
Matthew Henry Commentary Verses 17-21 - There should be deliverance and holiness at Jerusalem, and the house of Jacob would again occupy their possessions. Much of this prophecy wa fulfilled when the Jews returned to their own land. But the salvatio 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 pu their trust in him, shall ever be dismayed. Blessed be the Divin Saviour and Judge on Mount Zion! His word shall be a savour of lif unto life unto numbers, while it judges and condemns obstinat unbelievers __________________________________________________________________
Original Hebrew וגלת 1546 החל 2426 הזה 2088 לבני 1121 ישׂראל 3478 אשׁר 834 כנענים 3669 עד 5704 צרפת 6886 וגלת 1546 ירושׁלם 3389 אשׁר 834 בספרד 5614 ירשׁו 3423 את 853 ערי 5892 הנגב׃ 5045