But you should not have looked on the day of your brother in the day that he became a stranger…
The commentary on this prophecy is supplied by every traveller who has explored the recesses of the mountain of Esau. Every people that has the privileges of Edom, and like Edom abuses them, is without right to expect a more favourable issue from the hand of God. The general sentiment implied in this prophecy is, that a nation in prosperity abusing its advantages to the injury of less fortunate peoples, or even neglecting them in their distress, incurs by its conduct the displeasure of God. Apply the subject —
1. To the religious character and improvement of England. It is not easy to form an adequate conception of the diffusive and pervading influence of British power. That extraordinary influence is steadily, continually increasing; England is rising to be the great leader of public opinion among the nations. On all great political, commercial, moral, social, and religious questions the world is now looking to Britain. Then we plead with you on behalf of your country. You are the light of your country, and by making it luminous you become, in it, the light of the world.
2. To the conduct of England towards such people as have a peculiar claim upon its regard. The Edomites ought to have assisted, and not oppressed, the Jews. To us the sister island is surely as intimately related as Israel could have been to Edom. As to the colonies, little need be said. As England sows, so shall it reap.
(R. Halley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.