24 Dec. Obadiah foretells the punishment of Edom
“This is the vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord GOD says about Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD. A messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, “Attack! Let’s go and attack Edom!’”
“’Soon I will make you the smallest of nations. You will be greatly hated by everyone. Your pride has fooled you, you who live in the hollow places of the cliff. Your home is up high, you who say to yourself, “No one can bring me down to the ground.”’”
“’Even if you fly high like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, I will bring you down from there,’ says the LORD. ‘You will really be ruined! If thieves came to you, if robbers came by night, they would steal only enough for themselves. If workers came and picked the grapes from your vines, they would leave a few behind.’”
“’But you, Edom, will really lose everything! People will find all your hidden treasures! All the people who are your friends will force you out of the land. The people who are at peace with you will trick you and defeat you. Those who eat your bread with you now are planning a trap for you, and you will not notice it.’”
“The LORD says, ‘On that day I will surely destroy the wise people from Edom, and those with understanding from the mountains of Edom.’”
“’Then, city of Teman, your best warriors will be afraid and everyone from the mountains of Edom will be killed. You did violence to your relatives, the Israelites, so you will be covered with shame and destroyed for ever.’”
“’You stood aside without helping while strangers carried Israel’s treasures away. When foreigners entered Israel’s city gate and threw lots to decide what part of Jerusalem they would take, you were like one of them.’”
The Book of Obadiah was written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC when the neighbouring people of Edom took advantage of Judah’s troubles to loot the city and assist the invaders. Obadiah (meaning ‘servant of the LORD’) prophesied that Edom would be punished for its actions:
“You did violence to your relatives, the Israelites, so you will be covered with shame and destroyed for ever. You stood aside without helping while strangers carried Israel’s treasures away. When foreigners entered Israel's city gate and threw lots to decide what part of Jerusalem they would take, you were like one of them.” (Obadiah 1:10-11)
This prophesy was fulfilled a few years later when Nebuchadnezzar’s army swept south and conquered the territory of Edom, to the south east of Judah (see also Ezekiel 35:1-15).
Obadiah went on to berate Edom for its treatment of Israel and Judah:
"Edom, do not laugh at your brother Israel in his time of trouble or be happy about the people of Judah when they are destroyed. Do not boast when cruel things are done to them. Do not enter the city gate of my people in their time of trouble or laugh at their problems ... Do not take their treasures ... Do not capture those who escape alive and turn them over to their enemy." (Obadiah 1:12-14)
Obadiah then prophesied that Israel would eventually be restored and her people would go on to occupy Edom, Philistia (on the coastal plain), Ephraim and Samaria (the central highlands and the west bank of the Jordan) (see Obadiah 1:17-21).
The photo (by Uri Juda) shows the site of Sela (meaning ‘the rock of Edom’), the capital city of Edom in the mountains of Edom.
You can read more about the history of Edom @ The Bible Journey | Obadiah prophesies the resurgence of Israel