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The Book of Obadiah
Edom . . . destruction; Israel . . . restoration
I will do the Obadiah
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
Key Verse: Obadiah 1:6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! (KJV)
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament . . . just twenty-one verses. There are many people who feel that this book is not worth reading. They are wrong! It is in the Bible for a reason! Just because the message is brief, does not mean that it is less important or should be passed over. Like the other Minor Prophets, the message has logical and precise relevance to the matter at hand, it is practical, and it is piercing and deeply affecting. It is certainly a message that can be geared to this day in which we are living.
None of the so-called Minor Prophets are volcanoes, no longer active . . . instead, they all bring words that should make us sit up and pay attention! There is NO cold, dead ash in ANY of them; instead they spew out hot lava. Obadiah's prophecy is of devastating judgment against the little kingdom of Edom.
Who was this prophet? Where was he born? Of what country? When did he prophesy? Who were his parents? When and where did he die? These questions have no answers worth recording.
All that is known is, he prophesied about the destruction of Edom, he lived a little before or after, the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, which happened about 580 B.C., and the destruction of Idumea by the same king, which took place a short time later; probably between 588 B.C. and 575 B.C., in the interval of the thirteen years which Nebuchadnezzar employed in the siege of Tyre, which he undertook immediately after the capture of Jerusalem.
Obadiah foretells the destruction of the Idumeans by the Chaldeans, and finally by the Jews, whom the Edomites had used most cruelly when brought low by other enemies. These prophecies have been literally fulfilled, because the Idumeans, as a nation, are totally extinct.
This short prophecy goes hand in hand with the 49th chapter of Jeremiah. There is a remarkable similarity, in the sentiments and words. In this chapter Jeremiah predicts the destruction of the Idumeans. Whether he copied Obadiah, or Obadiah copied him, cannot be known for certain, but it would be very strange if two prophets, unacquainted with each other, should speak of the same event precisely in the same terms.
When comparing Ob. 5 with Jer. 49:9; Ob.6 with Jer. 49:10; Ob.8 with Jer. 49:7; it seems that Jeremiah embodied in his prophecies part of Obadiah's, as he had done in the case of other prophets also. Compare Isa. 15:1-16:14 with Jer. 48:1-47.
The reason for the present position of Obadiah before other of the minor prophets ahead in date is, Amos at the close of his prophecies foretells the subjugation (bringing under control; conquering) of Edom by the Jews (Am. 1:11). The date of Obadiah's prophecies was probably immediately after the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, 588 B.C. Five years afterwards (583 B.C.) Edom was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah must have incorporated part of Obadiah's prophecies with his own immediately after they were uttered.
This book could be divided into two parts:
#1. Ob.1:1-6 set forth Edom's violence toward his brother Israel in the day of the latter's distress, and his coming destruction with the rest of the foes of Judah;
#2. Ob.1:17-21, the coming re-establishment of the Jews in their own possessions, to which shall be added those of the neighboring peoples, and especially those of Edom.
The Edomites were descendants of Esau: Gen.36:9,43; Num.20:18; Deut.2:4; 23:7; Jud.11:17; 1 Sam.14:47; 21:7; 2 Sam.8:14; 1 Kings 11:1; 1 Chron.18:12; 2 Chron.21:8; 28:17; Ps.83:6; 137:7; Jer.49:7; Eze.25:12; 32:29; Dan.11:41; Amos 1:11; Ob.1:1; Mal.1:4.
The ruin of Edom came about because of their pride, confidence and security. Their allies would deceive them; the wisdom of their wise men would be destroyed; and the strength of their mighty men would be dismayed. This would come upon them, mainly because of the terrible way they treated the Jews at the time of Jerusalem's destruction. This would be when all the nations round about them would be destroyed, and then deliverance is promised to the Jews, who would not only then enjoy their own possessions, but also the land of the Edomites, wasted by them. The book is concluded with a glorious prophecy of the kingdom of the Messiah.
See other prophecies against Edom (Isa.34:5-17; Jer. 49:17-22; Eze. 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Joel 3:19).
Charge Against Edom, Obadiah 1:1-9
Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. (KJV)
Obadiah tells us that this is a vision given to him by God Himself. So, WHO was Obadiah? He is one of the minor prophets, and we know absolutely nothing about him for certain.
Obadiah, means servant of Jehovah. There are 13 men named 'Obadiah' in the Bible:
- #1. The prophet to Judah (Obadiah 1:1)
- #2. A Judahite (1 Chron. 3:21)
- #3. A man of Issachar (1 Chron. 7:3)
- #4. A Benjamite (1 Chron. 8:38; 1 Chron. 9:44)
- #5. A Levite (1 Chron. 9:16)
- #6. A Gadite (1 Chron. 12:9)
- #7. A Zebulunite (1 Chron. 27:19)
- #8. A prince of Judah (2 Chron. 17:7)
- #9. A Levite (2 Chron. 34:12)
- #10. A returning exile (Ezra 8:9)
- #11. A priest (Neh. 10:3)
- #12. A Levite of the exile (Neh. 12:24)
- #13. Governor of Ahab's house (1 Kings 18:3-16)
"Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom" . . . Edom is the key to this little book, and so we shall have to go back to Genesis to see the identity of EDOM. In Genesis, where we have the record of the generations of Esau, notice this comment: "Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom" (Gen. 36:1). Also this: "Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir" (Gen. 36:8-9).
Esau is Edom and Edom is Esau. The Edomites were those who were descended from Esau, just as the Israelites are those who are descended from Jacob.
The story of Esau starts with twin brothers, sons of Isaac and Rebekah. The boys were not identical, they were opposites. The record given back in Genesis 25 begins as Rebekah is about to give birth to these twins: "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger" (Gen. 25:22-23). From the very beginning these two brothers struggled against each other. Esau was an outdoor man who loved to hunt. Jacob would rather stay in the house and cook. Jacob was mamma's boy, but he had a spiritual discernment that Esau did not have.
Esau was a man of the flesh and did not care about spiritual things, like millions today. He discounted his birthright so, that he traded it to Jacob for a bowl of pottage! "And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright" (Gen. 25:30-34).
Esau did NOT sell his birthright because he was so hungry that he was about to perish, and NOT because there wasn't anything else to eat in the home of Isaac, but because his carnal desire was willing to trade all of his spiritual heritage for a moment to fill his belly. Phil. 3:18-19 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) (KJV)
Jacob was a man who had the birthright of kings and was in contact with God. He was the priest of his family. He was the man who had a covenant from God. He was the man who had a relationship with God. Whereas Esau, of the SAME birthright, said, "I would rather have a bowl of soup than have a relationship with God."
This reveals a great truth for believers today. It is a picture of Christians. A believer has two natures within him, and they are struggling with each other and against each other. Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (KJV) . . . These are the two natures of the believer, the new nature and the old nature. They are opposed to each other. They war with each other. Esau pictures the flesh, the old nature, and Jacob pictures the spirit, the new nature.
The name Edom means red or sunburned. The light of Heaven will either save you or burn you. You will either absorb it, or you will be burned by it. This is always true. Esau represented the flesh. He became Edom. Jacob, who became Israel, a prince with God, represents the spirit.
Let us now look at the last book of the Old Testament. Malachi 1:2-3 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (KJV)
Is this not a strange thing for God to say? "I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau." Do you think that it present a problem?
The little Book of Obadiah is the only place in the entire Word of God where we find the explanation of WHY God hated Esau. God never said that He hated Esau or loved Jacob UNTIL He came to the last Book in the Old Testament. Both men have now become nations, Edom and Israel.
Israel has been mightily used of God through the centuries. Israel produced men like Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, Ezra, etc. . . . BUT . . . the nation that came from Esau became a godless nation. Edom turned its back on God, and THAT was what caused God to hate Esau and to hate the nation! This is a lesson for us today!
Obadiah 1:2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. (KJV)
They were a great people, as shall see in this book . . . but now are now going to be brought down. Pro.16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (KJV) . . . Pride was Edom's sin, as we shall see.
When Obadiah gave this as a prophecy, it looked to the future, but from where we stand today, we see that it has been fulfilled.
Behold . . . listen, consider this, God says . . . God speaks to the Edomites through Obadiah . . . listen and consider it well; be not secure amidst such dangers. God said through Obadiah: I have made thee small; not many in number, and among the heathen, thou art greatly despised. Edomites were hated by all those that heard of them.
Whatever these Edomites HAD been, now they are greatly despised, and before long, they would be more despicable, when, as Jer. 49:20 states, the least of Nebuchadnezzar's army would pull them out of their caves, houses, and strong holds. Jeremiah 49:20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them. (KJV)
WHAT was the great SIN of Edom which brought about God's wrath and judgment upon her?
Obadiah 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? (KJV)
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee . . . what was it for which God hated Edom? PRIDE! Some are going to say, "Is that all? Pride is bad, but it's not that bad, is it?" YES! It is bad. God has said that He hates pride, and if that was Edom's problem, God is perfectly in His right to say, "Esau have I hated because of his pride."
WHAT does the writer of the Proverbs say? "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him." And then he gives us the list: #1. "A proud look"; #2. "a lying tongue"; #3. "hands that shed innocent blood"; #4. "an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations"; #5. "feet that be swift in running to mischief"; #6. "a false witness that speaketh lies"; and #7. "and he that soweth discord among brethren" (Pro. 6:16-19). WHAT is it that tops this list? PRIDE!
This is not all that God has to say about pride. God says that He resists the proud, but He is always on the side of the humble.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (KJV)
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (KJV)
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (KJV)
From WHERE does the pride of life come? If there is anything that comes from the Devil, PRIDE is it! Pride was the sin of Satan.
Isaiah 14:13-14 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV)
Pride was also the actual cause of Nebuchadnezzar's insanity. He strutted around like a peacock in his palace in Babylon.
Daniel 4:28-33 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. 30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. (KJV) . . . Do you see what happened to Nebuchadnezzar? WOW! The awesome power of Almighty God!
Do you think that this was a freak accident? It was NO accident, my friend. This man did not know who he was, and he went out and acted like an animal of the field. WHY? Because, when a man is lifted up with pride, he is NOT lifted up but has dropped down to the level of animals. God debased Nebuchadnezzar . . . from king of a great land . . . and brought him down to the level of the beasts of the field, for 7 years!
What is pride? Pride is simply saying that you are able to live without God. We find here in the tiny Book of Obadiah that pride of heart had lifted up the nation of Edom just like Esau who had despised his birthright. Even in the home of Isaac, where there was an abundance of food, Esau chose that bowl of soup over his birthright. He did not care for God at all. When anyone despises God, the end is NOT good!
Esau had become the great nation of Edom, a proud nation that declared it could do just fine without God.
Thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? . . . The Edomites lived in a very unique place, in the rock-hewn city of Petra. It is still in existence today. It is protected by the entrance way which is very narrow in places. It was, therefore, a city which could easily be defended. Everything was secure OR so they thought!
The Edomites dwelt "in the clefts of the rock." They were living in great buildings which were hewn out of solid rock inside this great canyon. They were perfectly secure . . . at least they thought they were. The Edomites declared their independence. They had a false sense of security and had severed all relationship with God. They seceded from the government of God. They had revolted and rebelled against Him.
Obadiah 1:4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD. (KJV)
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle . . . the eagle is used in Scripture as a symbol of deity. The Edomites were going to overthrow God, just as Satan had tried to do, and they were going to become deity.
And though thou set thy nest among the stars . . . this was the sin of Satan, he wanted to exalt his throne above the stars (see Isa.14:13-14 above). BUT, God says, "Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell" (Isa.14:15).
SO many people today TRY to run their lives as if they were God? They feel that they do not need God, and they live without Him.
The teaching of evolution as a fact of science is the greatest deception and delusion of the twentieth century . . . WHY? Because people have disregarded God and His Word. This horrendous falsehood has been accepted by the average person as truth because he has been brainwashed through radio, TV, schools and publications to believe that evolution is a proven fact. When you do not know the Truth, you will fall for lie! My friend, do NOT fall for this GARBAGE! It is absolutely NOT the truth! Open the Bible and start reading in Genesis 1:1.
Obadiah 1:5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes? (KJV)
Obadiah is saying that if a thief came to rob them, he would take only what he wanted . . . he would not take everything. He would just grab and go. That would also be true of a grape gatherer . . . he would not take every single grape, but leave some grapes (Isa.17:6; 24:13; Jer.49:9). BUT . . . God tells Edom, "When I judge you, the destruction will be complete." The prophet states that other people will completely destroy Edom. Nobody and nothing will remain there. Jeremiah 49:10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbours, and he is not. (KJV)
Obadiah 1:6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! (KJV)
This is the key verse to the Book of Obadiah. "How are the things of Esau searched out!" Why does God hate him? Because of his pride of life. He has turned his back on God and has declared he is well able to live without God.
How are his hidden things sought up! . . . When some read the story of Esau in the Book of Genesis, they do not quite understand Esau's sin. But, it is impossible to miss it here. You can now go back and look at Esau and see why he wanted to trade his birthright for a bowl of soup. It was because that birthright meant he would be the priest in the family and that meant a relationship with God. Esau did NOT want that. Esau would rather have a bowl of soup than to have a relationship with God. When anyone reaches that place, they have sunk to the level of a pig that gets stuck in the gutter.
Hidden things . . . or "places." Edom had an abundance of such hiding-places, as caves and clefts in the rock. And, NONE of these would be left unexplored by the enemy. How are the things of Esau searched out! . . . By enemy soldiers seeking booty.
Obadiah 1:7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him. (KJV)
Edom was a nation which all the enemies of that day just passed by. They just could not be bothered with him because he was safely holed up in the rock-hewn city of Petra. BUT . . . Nebuchadnezzar was able to get the city. Just as God used Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem, the city of Jacob's sons who had turned from God (Jer.39), He used Nebuchadnezzar also to reach in and take Edom, the nation of Esau's sons (Jer.49:7-22).
Obadiah 1:8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? (KJV)
Not only was Edom noted for the fact that they were well protected in their rocky mountain fortitude, in the beautiful city of Petra, but they also had developed a worldly wisdom, learning and superstition. Petra was a pagan center where there were many "pillar cults." Expeditions have excavated the great high place on top of the mountains round about Petra where bloody human sacrifices had been offered. Also Edom was famous for its wisdom. Job's friend, Eliphaz, was a Temanite (Job 4:1). People traveled from afar to hear the wisdom of its wise men (Jer.49:7). God says that He will destroy the wise men out of Edom and understanding out of the mount of Esau.
Obadiah 1:9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. (KJV)
"Teman" takes its name from a grandson of Esau and is located in the southern part of Edom. The Temanites were noted for their courage.
Crime Of Edom, Obadiah 1:10-14
Obadiah 1:10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. (KJV)
Two things would happen to the Edomites.
- #1. "Shame shall cover thee." Babylon was finally able to capture the city of Petra and take its inhabitants captive. There was a period in which they were a captive people.
- #2. "Thou shalt be cut off for ever." Edom as a nation would be utterly destroyed. It is interesting that in our day we hear a great deal about Israel but nothing whatsoever about Edom.
Edom was a nation that attempted to live without God, and they were a violent, warlike people. Violence is not God's method. History tells us that very little can be settled by war and violence. It really does not settle any matter at all.
Besides their pride, the second charge against Edom is that they joined the enemies against Israel.
Obadiah 1:11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. (KJV)
In the day . . . during the war which the Babylonians made upon Judea, or in the day of battle when Jews fought with Chaldeans.
That thou stoodest on the other side . . . Edom took their stand against Israel, watching with delight how they were trodden down, slaughtered and running scared. They set themselves in against their brother Jacob, joining the Babylonians.
Carried away captive . . . they first mastered the Jews, and then made them captives, sending them away out of their own land, a sight which should have moved them to compassion.
His forces . . . his strength, his troops, the multitudes that survived and were taken, along with their wealth and riches too.
Foreigners entered into his gates . . . those that invaded, slew the inhabitants, and forced the besieged places to open their gates; or took the fortresses by assault.
Cast lots . . . the robbers divided their prey and the people conquered (Pro. 1:13-14; Joel 3:3).
Upon Jerusalem . . . upon the citizens and all they owned, which were found in Jerusalem when it was taken by the Chaldeans.
Even thou wast as one of them . . . Edom was a neighbour who was not molested by Israel when they marched through other nations from Egypt to Canaan, and who was a 'brother' by descent (Ob. 1:10); but was as one of them, as merciless and brazen as any of those barbarous foreigners.
Instead of trying to befriend and help the people of Israel, to whom they were related by blood, they went over to the side of the brutal enemy which had invaded the land.
Obadiah 1:12 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. (KJV)
Thou shouldest not have looked . . . with secret joy and satisfaction they looked on Israel's troubles, but should have looked on them instead with tears and grief, NOT with joy and gladness at the sight (Ps. 37:1-40; 44:7; Pro. 29:16).
On the day . . . when affliction and misery fell upon their brother Jacob (Ps. 37:13; Mic. 7:4).
Became a stranger . . . by the misery of war, Israel had been made a captive, and lost his former right and liberty in his own country, was now looked upon as a stranger, one who had no more right to anything in the land.
Neither shouldest thou have rejoiced . . . this very clearly explains the the problem. The Edomites should NEVER have rejoiced over Israel's disaster.
Children of Judah . . . this explains brother.
The day of their destruction . . . tells us what day meant . . . judgment.
Neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly . . . rejoicing over the Jews destruction, reproaching them with strong and hateful words in the day of distress, when Jerusalem was taken. This shows a malicious, wicked heart to rejoice in the miseries of Israel. The Edomites triumphed when they saw the judgments of God fall upon the Jews.
If someone has acted cruelly towards us, and God punishes him for this cruelty . . . and we rejoice in it, we make his crime our own. This points out the part the Edomites took against the Jews when the Chaldeans besieged and took Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, and divided the spoils.
Obadiah 1:13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; (KJV)
Thou shouldest not have entered . . . as an enemy, a conqueror, into the gate; city is meant by the gate. The Edomites warring among the Babylonians, joined with them to enter the gates of conquered Jerusalem, showed themselves a proud, insulting enemy of Judah.
My people . . . Edom should have remembered that the Jews, their brethren were God's people, His peculiar people (Ex.19:5; Deut.14:2; 26:18; Ps.135:4).
In the day of their calamity . . . when their city was broken up, their king was imprisoned with his nobles and other subjects.
Thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction . . . again, repeating as before, verse 12. They did what they should NOT have done.
Nor have laid hands on their substance . . . in a greedy and hateful manner, Edom seized the Jews, and made them prisoners, plundering the city, seizing the goods of the citizens. This they did with great delight . . . but God will punish them for it.
Obadiah 1:14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress. (KJV)
Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway . . . when the city was taken, some tried to escape from the enemy. But Edom did what they should not have done, spitefully and cruelly keeping watch at such places to stop their flight, and seize fleeing Jews.
To cut off those of his that did escape . . . they would either kill the Jews if they would not yield, or cut off their hopes of escape by making them prisoners.
Neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress . . . Edom should not have kept them prisoners, nor brought them back into the hands of the Chaldeans. When Israel could no longer defend their city, nor had any hope except to flee through secret ways they knew; Edom kept close watch on these ways, cutting off many who tried to flee through them.
Catastrophe To Edom, Obadiah 1:15-16
Obadiah 1:15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. (KJV)
For the day of the Lord is near . . . the "day of the Lord," covers the time beginning with the Great Tribulation. We, today, are living in the day of grace or the day of Christ (Rom.6:14), in which the Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ and shows them to us. After the removal of TRUE believers at the Rapture (1 Thes.4:13-18), the Day of the Lord will begin, and it will begin with the darkness and judgment of the Great Tribulation period (Joel 2:2,30-31; Am.5:18-20; 8:9; Zep.1:15-18; Mal.4:5; Mat.24:29; Luke 21:25-27). Following that terrible time, the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings (Mal.4:2-3), which will be the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Earth (Zec.14:1-4; Rev.19:11-21) to establish His Kingdom here.
For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen . . . meaning ALL the Gentile nations. When the Lord Jesus Christ has come to Earth to establish His Kingdom, there will be a judgment of the nations, described by our Lord Himself in Matthew 25:31-46.
It is not clear whether the ancient nations of the past, which have long since disappeared from view, will be raised for this judgment or if their judgment will be in the final judgment at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:11-15). Commentators differ on this. Some Bible students believe that Edom will experience the full wrath of God when the Lord Jesus Himself executes the judgment of God upon Edom and her allies (Isa. 63:1-6).
As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head . . . Edom was destroyed just as Obadiah had predicted. First it was captured by Babylon some time after Jerusalem was destroyed. That was accomplished by getting spies inside the capital, Petra, the impregnable fortress-city. Later, the Maccabees stepped in and finally, the Romans destroyed Edom when they destroyed Jerusalem in B.C. 70. After that time, Edom as a nation disappeared from the world scene and has not been heard of since. Whether or not Edom will live again as a nation is debatable and it really makes no difference to you and me.
Thy reward shall return . . . the punishment or retribution of evil for the evil Edom had done to Jacob, shall return by God's just Hand, and by the enemy's cruel hand.
Upon thine own head . . . their chief men, head of all the cruelty, shall be chief in suffering, for the measure thou hast measured shall be measured to thee (Ps. 137:8; Eze 35:15; Joel 3:7-8).
Obadiah 1:16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been. (KJV)
What God says to Edom is, "As you have done, it is going to be done to you. You will be rewarded in the same way." This is what we call today poetic justice. The Lord Jesus said: Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (KJV) . . . The apostle Paul said: Gal.6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV) . . . Edom would suffer in the same ways that she caused others to suffer.
- Implacable enemies of Israel - Eze.35:5
- Refused Israel a passage - Num.20:21; Jud.11:17
- Slaughter of, by Joab and Abishai - 1Ki. 11:16; 1 Chron.18:12
- Confederated with enemies of Israel against Jehoshaphat - 2Chron.20:10; Ps.83:4-6
- Miraculous overthrow of - 2Chron.20:22
- The Jews ensnared by the idols of Edom, and punished - 2Chron.25:14-15,20
- Aided Babylon against Judah - Ps.137:7; Ob.1:11
What about other nations? The United States was the first to drop an atom bomb and, we have been a warlike nation. What do you think that God shall do about that? The Biblical history of ALL nations confirms that as they have dealt it out, it has come back to them. Something to think about.
It is very interesting, that every person, no matter who you are, God thought of you. You would not be here if He had not done so. Have you ever considered this fact? YOU were in the mind of God. BUT . . . the question is: Do you love, trust and obey Him? Are you one day going to move into eternity with Him? Or will you go to that other place? His plan and program SHALL be carried out, and you will benefit greatly to be on His side.
Condition Of Israel, Obadiah 1:17
Verses 17 through 21 concerns the nation Israel. Edom was destroyed, but Israel shall be restored. The little nation of Israel fits into the program of Almighty God. My friend, keep your eyes on Israel!
Although God judged Israel, they were NOT destroyed as a nation.
Obadiah 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. (KJV)
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance . . . salvation shall be offered on Mount Zion to the entire world. That is where it is offered to you and me today. The Lord Jesus came and died at Calvary's hill on the cross, for you and me. He is coming back to this Earth again, but we do not know exactly when. Although we are told that at that time His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives (Zec.14:4), He will come into Jerusalem, and He will, I believe, rule from the top of Mount Zion (Ps 2:6-8; 14:16-21; Isa.2:2-4; Jer.3:17; Eze. 34:23-24; Zec. 2:10-11; Rev.15:4; 21:24-26; 22:2-3).
And there shall be holiness . . . there is NO holiness there today, BUT there shall be holiness when the Lord Jesus reigns.
And the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions . . . What does this mean? They are in the land, part of it . . . yes! That is true. And yes, they have a nation . . . that is true. And yes, they have returned to the land, BUT they have NOT returned to God . . . and because of this, they do not possess their possessions. There is a lot of difference between having a possession and possessing it.
FIRE In The House Of Esau, Obadiah 1:18
Obadiah 1:18 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 in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. (KJV)
Besides what Nebuchadnezzar would do against Edom, bringing them to an extremely desolate condition, there shall be the quarrel of God for Israel's sake, which the Chaldeans shall avenge. Or possibly, after the return out of captivity, and some settled in their own land, Israel himself shall destroy the remnant of Edom (Joel 3:16, 19; Eze. 25:14).
The house of Jacob . . . either the kingdom of the two tribes, or possibly all twelve tribes, the residue of the ten tribes joined with the two in their return from Babylon.
The house of Joseph . . . the ten tribes, mentioned here to comfort them, and assure them that they would not be cast off, even though they were guilty of idolatry and a long apostasy.
The house of Esau for stubble . . . Edom would be unable to resist or secure themselves, for they would be as stubble trying to resist a raging fire.
They shall kindle in them . . . this was partially fulfilled by Hyrcanus and the Maccabees, but more fully to be accomplished in the spiritual sense, when the Lord shall make His church as a fire to all its enemies, and Jerusalem a burdensome stone to all nations (Zec.12:2-3).
Devour them . . . as fire eats up dry stubble.
There shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau . . . no considerable number or body of them. None shall continue as Edomites, but become Jews, and be circumcised.
See: http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics/edomites.html . . . http://www.netours.com/content/view/158/29/1/1/
For the Lord hath spoken it . . . it shall be done, because the Lord hath spoken it; this assures us of the thing.
Consummation Of All Things, Obadiah 1:19-21
Obadiah 1:19 And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. (KJV)
They of the south . . . the Jews who lived in the south parts of Canaan, which was next to Idumea, shall, after their return and victory over Edom, possess his country, called here the Mount of Esau.
They of the plain the Philistines . . . the Jews who dwelt in the plain country, which was next to Palestina (Jos. 15:33), shall enlarge their borders, and possess the Philistines' country, together with their ancient inheritance.
And they shall possess the fields of Ephraim . . . and all the land which the ten tribes once did possess shall again be possessed by the Jews.
And the fields of Samaria . . . the fields around Samaria that were so greatly wasted, shall be replanted by the Jews.
Benjamin shall possess Gilead . . . The family of Benjamin, Jacob's youngest son, will completely control Gilead. This is the land to the east of the river Jordan.
Obadiah 1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. (KJV)
The captivity of this host of the children of Israel . . . those of the ten tribes that were carried away captive by Shalmaneser, 130 years before Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, shall possess that of the Canaanites; all the country they anciently possessed, with this addition also, that what the Canaanites held by force, and the Israelites could not take from them, shall now be possessed by these returned captives.
Zarephath . . . called Sarepta (Luke 4:26), near Sidon.
The captivity of Jerusalem . . . the two tribes, carried captive when Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar.
In Sepharad . . . the modern Jews call Spain Sepharad, but without any good reason, nor was it so called so in ancient times. Most believe it is a city of Chaldea or Assyria, and toward the northern and farthest bounds of it, but where it was exactly, no one knows for sure.
Shall possess the cities of the south . . . all the cities, which were once their own, in Judea, which lay southward from this Sepharad, where the captives dwelt, and whence they return.
People will free Jerusalem (Mount Zion) and they will rule over Mount Esau. Mount Esau is symbolic of all the nations that oppose God. The Lord will be the King (Rev.19:16).
Obadiah 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S. (KJV)
Saviours . . . is deliverers (Neh.9:27), the governors or leaders of those captive troops, who shall come up from Babylon to their own country, such as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, of whom it was said he came to seek the good of the Jews (Neh. 2:10), and successively after these many others, to the times of Hyrcanus and the Maccabees.
Shall come . . . literally, with leave and commission from the kings of Persia, such as Cyrus (Ezra 4:3) and Darius (Ezra ch.6), to manage the affairs of the returned captives.
Up on Mount Zion . . . in Judea, at Jerusalem and the temple, and whatever might concern them, with their neighbours round about.
To judge . . . to avenge Israel upon Edom, to fight, subdue, and give laws to them, as Hyrcanus did when the Edomites were glad to be circumcised to keep their country.
The Mount of Esau . . . the whole country, so called from the father of that nation, who chose those mountainous countries for his home, for it was most suitable to his wild and rambling nature, which delighted in hunting.
The kingdom shall be the Lord's . . . meaning the Lord Jesus Christ, who is ONE with the Father and Spirit (John 10:30; 2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:2; 1 John 5:7), NOT meaning the government of the world, to which He has a natural right as its Creator (John 1:3,10; Heb.1:2,10; 3:4; 1 Cor.8:6; Eph.3:9; Col.1:16-17; Rev.3:14; 4:11), and which is generally ascribed to God; not the government of the church which is Christ's already, and always was . . . but refers to the government of the Kingdom in the last day, when He will take to Himself His great and awesome power and reign. His Kingdom will be more glorious and extensive, when ALL the kingdoms of this world will become His. He will be King over ALL the Earth! There will be just one Lord and King, whose Kingdom is an everlasting one; it shall NEVER again come into other hands. When His Personal reign takes place, it shall issue in the ultimate glory. Rev. 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)
God is moving forward today toward the accomplishment of His purpose . . . when He shall place His King on Mount Zion (Ps 2:6-8; 14:16-21; Isa.2:2-4; Jer.3:17; Eze. 34:23-24; Zec. 2:10-11; Rev.15:4; 21:24-26; 22:2-3). He says that He will overturn and overturn and overturn the nations until He comes whose right it is to rule (Eze. 21:27). God shall "exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high." (Eze.21:26).
Nothing can discourage, detour or postpone God in His plan and program. NO son of Esau, NO one can stop Him. NO proud, powerful man walking this Earth can cause God to give up or retreat one single inch. And Satan certainly CANNOT slow or stop Almighty God. He is moving today toward victory. The Kingdom is the Lord's!
There is only One who can lift the heads of men and women wailing through life with their heads down like animals (only humans look up as they walk; animals look down). Evolution has not lifted mankind one inch, nor ever shall! Look at our naive world that has been schooled in this ridiculous, godless philosophy. The deadly poison of godless materialism and humanism will bring upon the godless unbelievers the wrath and judgment of God! God says, "Though you be lifted up, I shall bring you down."
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (KJV)
God also says, through His Son, our Saviour: John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (KJV) . . . Which way are you going, my friend? Are you traveling the broad road of eternal destruction: disobedience, pride, pessimism, rebellion and unbelief?
You were made in the likeness of God, and can be restored . . . BUT . . . you will have to cast aside your pride and come in humility to Christ Jesus. Only He can lift you.
Obadiah is a book not easy to understand. But, the message he brings is very important for today. We learn that God will completely defeat His enemies. God says to the Messiah: Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? (KJV)
Punishment came upon Edom's proud people. It is like the punishment that shall come upon Babylon's people. Rev.18:5-6 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. (KJV) . . . God remembers the wicked acts of nations and individuals.
But, you can get right with God! 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (KJV) . . . Admit your sin to God! Repent of it! Turn away from it and go the other way! But friend, do NOT try to pull the wool over God's eyes! He KNOWS if you are sincere!
Obadiah tells us that one day God will let His people (Israel) return. He will be the King over all. There will be a new Jerusalem (Rev.21:1-2). The royal seat of God will be in the city (Ps 2:6-8; 14:16-21; Isa.2:2-4; Jer.3:17; Eze. 34:23-24; Zec. 2:10-11; Rev.15:4; 21:24-26; 22:2-3), which is also the royal seat of the Lamb of God (Rev.22:3). God's servants will serve Him (Rev.22:3). Compare this with Obadiah 1:17,21.
Obadiah 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. (KJV)
Obadiah 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S. (KJV)
Obadiah did not know all that we know, but he did explain quite well.
Book of Obadiah