The book of Obadiah was likely written in the sixth century BC. Its author is the prophet Obadiah, and it is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Nothing is known about the prophet Obadiah except the meaning of his name, “servant or worshipper of God.” This book has one theme—the condemnation of Edom. Obadiah prophesied that Edom would be repaid for mistreating God’s people as this people (who were descendants from Esau) took part in the sacking of Jerusalem with the Babylonians. Obadiah emphasized that God is sovereign over all nations and that the house of Jacob would someday be restored because of God’s covenant love for His people.
Judgment on Edom
The vision of Obadiah.
1Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom
(We have heard a report from the Lord
and a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying:
“Rise up! Let us rise up against it for battle!”):
2See, I will make you small among the nations;
you will be greatly despised.
3The pride of your heart has deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
whose dwelling is high;
you say in your heart,
“Who will bring me down to the ground?”
4Though you ascend high like the eagle,
and though you set your nest among the stars,
I will bring you down from there,
says the Lord.
5If thieves came to you,
if robbers by night—
how you have been destroyed!—
would they not steal only what they want?
If grape gatherers come to you,
would they not leave gleanings?
6How the things of Esau have been ransacked!
How his hidden treasures hunted out!
7All your confederates have driven you to the border;
your allies have deceived and prevailed against you.
Those who eat your bread have set a trap for you.
You will not detect it.
8On that day, says the Lord,
I will destroy the wise out of Edom,
and understanding out of Mount Esau.
9Your mighty men shall be shattered, OTeman,
so that everyone from Mount Esau will be cut off.
Edom’s Violence Against Jacob
10For the slaughter and the violence done to your brother Jacob,
shame shall cover you,
and you shall be cut off forever.
11On the day that you stood aside,
on the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
and foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots on Jerusalem,
you also were like one of them.
12But you should not have gloated
on the day of your brother,
on the day of his misfortune;
you should not have rejoiced over the children of Judah
on the day of their destruction;
you should not have boasted
on the day of distress.
13You should not have entered the gate of My people
on the day of their calamity.
You should not have gloated over the disaster of Judah#Heb. his.
on the day of his calamity;
you should not have seized his wealth
on the day of his calamity.
14You should not have stood at the crossroads
to cut off his fugitives;
you should not have handed over his survivors,
on the day of distress.
The Day of the Lord Is Near
15For the day of the Lord is near
upon all the nations;
as you have done, it shall be done to you;
your deeds shall return on your own head.
16For as you have drunk on My holy mountain,
all the nations shall drink continually;
they shall drink and swallow
and shall be as though they had never been.
17But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,
and it shall be holy;
and the house of Jacob shall possess
those who dispossessed them.#Gk.; Heb. their possessions.
18The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
the house of Joseph a flame,
but the house of Esau stubble;
they shall burn them and consume them,
and there shall be no survivors
from the house of Esau,
for the Lord has spoken.
The Restoration of Israel
19Those of the Negev shall possess
and those of the Shephelah the land
of the Philistines.
They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria,
and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20The exiles of this army of the sons of Israel,
shall inherit the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
shall inherit the cities of the Negev.
21Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion
to rule Mount Esau,
and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.