And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau;
for the LORD has spoken it.
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Cyril of Alexandria
The foolish Edomites thought that they alone were about to possess the house of Jacob. Instead the land was divided with them and with the Chaldeans. That very unforseen thing was turned against them, it says. They would be possessed by the house of Jacob and likewise be consumed like chaff or stubble by a flame. And the house of Jacob will be a fire, but the house of Joseph will be only a flame, and thus not as strong. And they will be devoured internally so that among all the tribes Jacob and Joseph will be unable to come together as one. But the other side of this fiery trope should also be seen, for the house of Jacob is called a fire and the house of Joseph a flame. It is not unreasonable to understand in the literal sense the house of Jacob as those from Judah and Benjamin. It is just as true that the house of Joseph represents Samaria, specifically, the ten tribes who were sometimes kings of the Ephraimites, since Manasseh and Ephraim were born from Joseph. Israel will possess t...
The Hebrews, like a fire, will consume the Edomites like stubble. If anything remains, they will scatter it. What David and Amaziah had begun was accomplished by the Jews after their return, when many Israelites who came back from Persia joined them, and the Edomites were deprived of any form of domination and were forced to change their religion and to embrace the Jewish rituals. .
Stubble. The Jews often attacked Edom, and at last forced them to submit to the law of circumcision.
Remains. Septuagint copies vary; "corn fire, or carrier. "(Haydock)
Those who escaped alone from battle had the former title. (Hesyc. purphoros.) (Calmet)
Priests went with fire before the armies engaged. If they were slain, it was a sign, that no quarter was given, as these were accounted sacred. (Grabe, Prol.) (Haydock)
The spiritual interpretation is as follows: Through destruction of the works of the flesh and the desolation of earthly kingdoms, there will be salvation in the church for those who do not go out from their mother church. And the saints who die inside her—concerning whom it is said in Isaiah, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabbaoth,” because it refers to those whom he sanctifies as well as those who are sanctified—all are from one and the same church. And the house of Jacob the supplanter will occupy that which they possess by heredity from those who persecuted the Christians. And Edom itself will be received by faith into the church…. The house of Esau will not survive, for when the wise men [who came from Edom] come to see Jesus, they will be turned into nothing, that is, they will be absorbed into his salvation near the same place where, in blessing, Isaac said to Esau, “I have given him your master, all your sons I have given to him as servants.” And there will be no remnant of the...
Edom is subjugated and will be devoured by the hostile nations with whom it formerly was in league against Jacob. The remnant, however, will be on Mount Zion, where there will be salvation and holiness. The interpretation here is, either it is that the Lord himself will return to the temple which he left because of sin, or there will be absolute holiness, that is, the Holy of Holies will once again be established. And the house of Jacob will occupy it under the rule of Zerubbabel and Ezra and Nehemiah, who occupied it as Jacob’s descendants. And the house of Jacob (that is, Judah) will be a fire, the house of Joseph (that is, the ten tribes of Samaria) a flame. But the house of Esau, that is, the Edomites, who nevertheless raged and cruelly stood against their brother, will be turned into stubble. And as fire and flames devour stubble, so the two kingdoms in union with one another will destroy Edom and devour it. And there will be nothing left of the people of Edom that might be able t...