Obadiah Intro

When Judah’s capital city of Jerusalem fell to the Babylonian army in 587/6 BC, those in the neighboring kingdom of Edom joined in looting the city. They intercepted fleeing Judeans and turned them over to the Babylonians to be executed or enslaved. They showed no compassion even though they were related to the Judeans. Edom was descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob, who was the ancestor of the Israelites.

The prophet Obadiah seems to have been among those who remained behind when the Judeans were taken into exile. His oracle first rebukes the Edomites for their ruthless treatment of their helpless neighbors and foretells their destruction. He then assures the people of his community that God would restore their fortunes. He assures Judah that in the end, the kingdom will be the




Obadiah 1

Obadiah’s Vision

1 The vision of Obadiah.

This is what the SovereignLordsays about Edom—

We have heard a message from theLord:

An envoy was sent to the nations to say,

“Rise, let us go against her for battle”—

2 “See, I will make you small among the nations;

you will be utterly despised.

3 The pride of your heart has deceived you,

you who live in the clefts of the rocks

and make your home on the heights,

you who say to yourself,

‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’

4 Though you soar like the eagle

and make your nest among the stars,

from there I will bring you down,”

declares theLord.

5 “If thieves came to you,

if robbers in the night—

oh, what a disaster awaits you!—

would they not steal only as much as they wanted?

If grape pickers came to you,

would they not leave a few grapes?

6 But how Esau will be ransacked,

his hidden treasures pillaged!

7 All your allies will force you to the border;

your friends will deceive and overpower you;

those who eat your bread will set a trap for you,

but you will not detect it.

8 “In that day,” declares theLord,

“will I not destroy the wise men of Edom,

those of understanding in the mountains of Esau?

9 Your warriors, Teman, will be terrified,

and everyone in Esau’s mountains

will be cut down in the slaughter.

10 Because of the violence against your brother Jacob,

you will be covered with shame;

you will be destroyed forever.

11 On the day you stood aloof

while strangers carried off his wealth

and foreigners entered his gates

and cast lots for Jerusalem,

you were like one of them.

12 You should not gloat over your brother

in the day of his misfortune,

nor rejoice over the people of Judah

in the day of their destruction,

nor boast so much

in the day of their trouble.

13 You should not march through the gates of my people

in the day of their disaster,

nor gloat over them in their calamity

in the day of their disaster,

nor seize their wealth

in the day of their disaster.

14 You should not wait at the crossroads

to cut down their fugitives,

nor hand over their survivors

in the day of their trouble.

15 “The day of theLordis near

for all nations.

As you have done, it will be done to you;

your deeds will return upon your own head.

16 Just as you drank on my holy hill,

so all the nations will drink continually;

they will drink and drink

and be as if they had never been.

17 But on Mount Zion will be deliverance;

it will be holy,

and Jacob will possess his inheritance.

18 Jacob will be a fire

and Joseph a flame;

Esau will be stubble,

and they will set him on fire and destroy him.

There will be no survivors

from Esau.”

TheLordhas spoken.

19 People from the Negev will occupy

the mountains of Esau,

and people from the foothills will possess

the land of the Philistines.

They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria,

and Benjamin will possess Gilead.

20 This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan

will possess the land as far as Zarephath;

the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad

will possess the towns of the Negev.

21 Deliverers will go up onMount Zion

to govern the mountains of Esau.

And the kingdom will be theLord’s.