Edom won’t exist anymore
Full battle-rattle1This is the message God gave Obadiah in a vision:
The LORD God has something to say about Edom.
And he chose an ambassador to deliver his message to the world.
“Full battle-rattle. Get your gear ready to go.”
Edom, this message is for you2
Edom, I’m putting you last on the list of nations.
Everyone is going to hate you.
You live protected behind natural barriers,
Walls of sheer rock chiseled into mountains.
You brag about it with a rhetorical question:
“Who could break through our defenses?”
4You live high in those hills, like a soaring eagle.
You’ve built your nest in the stars.
But the higher you fly, the further you’ll fall.
I’m the LORD, and I’m taking you down.
When Edom goes extinct5
When raiders attack in the middle of night,
They won’t take any more than they want.
When thieves steal grapes at harvest,
They leave the vines behind.
But Edom, you’re going to lose it all.
Targeted for treasure,
And picked clean, with nothing left behind.
7Your enemies tricked you.
They convinced you they were on your side.
But they’ll run you out of your own country.
Your allies will conquer you.
They’ll eat your food with you.
They’ll consume your nation when you’re gone.
You won’t realize they’ve set a trap
Until they spring it on you.
8The LORD says when that day comes,
I’ll show your wise advisors how little they know.
Then I’ll flush their wisdom from Esau’s mountains.
9Edom, your army will lose in a shattering defeat.
People of Esau, your nation won’t exist anymore.
God’s charges against Edom10
You’re the people of Esau
Yet you killed the people of your brother, Jacob.
For that, I’m shutting you down forever.
All that will be left of Edom
Is the shame of what you did.
When invaders carried away Jerusalem’s wealth.
Those foreigners threw dice to divide up the city,
Gambling for who would get what.
Your actions were as bad as those of the raiders.
12Why did you cheer when your brother fell?
Why celebrate that disaster?
You shouldn’t have gloated when Judah collapsed.
You had no right to brag while they suffered.
13You shouldn’t have gone into the city, either,
To see what was left in the ruins,
To take what you wanted from the leftovers,
To laugh at what happened to those people.
Arresting the Jewish refugees14
You shouldn’t have posted guards on escape routes,
To arrest Judah’s refugees fleeing for their lives.
And you shouldn’t have turned them over to their enemies.
When God will deal with the nations.
What you’ve done to others will be done to you.
What you gave is what you’ll get.
16You drank your fill of violence on my sacred mountain,
You did whatever you wanted.
Now all the nations will drink themselves drunk
Until they drink themselves gone.
Then it’s as though they never existed.
17Some will survive when Jerusalem falls.
Mount Zion will be holy again.
Jacob’s descendants will reclaim their land
From those who ran them off.
18Jacob’s people will turn into a consuming fire.
Joseph’s family will flame like a torch.
But Esau’s family will be straw and stubble,
Burning to death in the light of the flame.
They’ll die as a nation. Nothing survives.
The LORD has said what he wanted to say. 19This is what’s going to happen to the Jewish people. They’ll retake the Negev pastures and badlands, along with the hills of Edom, the foothills of Judah, and the coastal plains of the Philistines. They’ll take back the heartland—the tribal territory of Ephraim and the region of Samaria. Benjamin’s tribe will take the town of Gilead.
20Israelites who had scattered abroad as refugees will take Phoenician territory as far north as Zarephath. Returning exiles from Jerusalem who lived in the north will take the Negev. 21Survivors of Judah’s tragedy will climb to the hills of Jerusalem. From there, they will rule over the hills of Esau. But the kingdom will belong to the LORD.
Isaac’s son Esau, who was Jacob’s older twin, moved away from Canaan and into the land that became known as Edom, and as Mount Seir or the hills of Seir (Genesis 36:8).
The word in Hebrew is “Teman,” the name of one of Esau’s grandsons. The writer seemed to use it as a nickname, another way of talking about the people of Edom. Esau’s name was also used as a nickname for Edom.
More literally, they drew “lots.” The “lots” may have been stones or animal bones marked in a way that produced random outcomes for “yes” or “no” answers, or for determining who goes first in a group. The idea is like throwing dice, with the high number going first. It’s also a little like “heads” or “tails” from a coin toss. The oldest dice on record from an archaeological dig date back more than 4,000 years. They’re from southern Iran, in 2500 BC or older.
Bible writers talk about a “day of the LORD” or “on that day” or “day of visitation” or “there’s a time coming.” It’s a day that can go in one of two directions. It can be a good day—a day God comes to save his people. It’s something to look forward to. Some scholars trace the idea back to what happened when God came to Egypt and with 10 plagues, he freed the Israelites. But it can also be a fearful day to people at odds with God. To them, it is Judgment Day. But to people on good terms with God, his arrival for Judgment Day or any other reason is welcome. The prophet Joel describes it in graphic terms as a terrible day when invaders destroy sinful Jerusalem (Joel 1:15; 2:11). Obadiah uses the phrase that way as well. But to God’s people, the “day” is the day of salvation (Joel 2:32).
More literally, “drank from the cup.” Many scholars say Obadiah borrowed this metaphor from Jeremiah 25:15-29. Or perhaps both writers borrowed it from another source, some say. In Jeremiah, it’s a cup of wrath among violent nations, a symbol of the insanely violent. It’s followed by a cup of punishment for the violence.
Jerusalem was built on the top of a ridge in the Judean hills between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. Bible writers had many endearing nicknames for the city, including “sacred mountain,” “holy city,” and “Mount Zion.”
It’s “Mount Zion,” in Hebrew, an alternate name for Jerusalem.
The Jewish people were known in the Old Testament as “Hebrews” before Israel became a nation. They were called “Israelites,” from the name of their nation, Israel. That was also the name God gave Jacob (Genesis 32:28). The word “Jew” comes from the name of the tribe of Judah, which, after the return from exile, became a kingdom during the century before the birth of Jesus. After Romans invaded during that century, it eventually became a Roman province called Judea.
A coastal town now called Sarafand, between Tyre and Sidon, in southern Lebanon.
Sepharad, possibly a region in northern Iran, now the city of Bijar. That would have been in the empire of the Medes at the time. Persian cuneiform calls the territory Saparda. It lasted about a generation, from 720-670 BC. Some scholars offer another option. They say it could have been the city of Sardis in the empire of Lydia, in what is now Sart, Turkey. That’s about 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of Ephesus, which is on Turkey’s west coast.
- Sorry, there are currently no questions for this chapter.