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Imagine the scene: The Edomites have come with other nations to rob and betray Israel; it looks as though God has allowed Israel’s cousins, the descendants of Isaac through Esau, to steal from His temple and holy city. The Israelites are convinced they have kept Abraham’s covenant with God while the Edomites have forsaken the Lord and His people Israel. Their prayer is for God to provide refuge for those who seek and trust in Him, and to judge their enemies.

This is the vision that came to Obadiah:

Listen carefully to what the Eternal Lord says about the nation of Edom.
    Learn from their fate.
We have been put on notice through the Eternal’s representative
    who was sent to everyone among the nations saying,
“Get up. Get ready to charge against Edom in battle.”

Eternal One (to Edom): See how insignificant I will make you compared to other nations;
        you will be completely despised by the rest of the world.
    Your deep pride has blinded you to the truth,
        tucked securely in the clefts of the rocks, safely out of reach.
    You say to yourself,
        “Whose attack can reach up here and bring me down to the ground?”

Edom named its capital city “Rock,” and many of the people there were cave dwellers, virtually unreachable.

    Even if you fly high as the eagle, believing yourselves strong and free,
        and put your nest among the stars,
    I will have no trouble bringing you down.

This is declared by the Eternal One.

Consider how thoroughly you will be wiped out.
    If thieves come to steal from you
And robbers arrive under cover of night,
    won’t they take only what they want?
If the grape harvesters arrive,
    doesn’t their hasty picking usually leave some fruit in the field for the poor?
But Esau, your nation will be ransacked;
    there will be nothing left.
Every last treasure you had carefully hidden will be taken.
Your supposed allies—every last one—will turn against you;
    they will run you out of your own town.
And those who promised you peace
    will lie to your face and conquer you.
Even those who shared your bread will ambush you.
    You won’t understand what is happening until it is too late.

Eternal One: When this day comes,
        won’t I destroy the wisest citizens of Edom,
    Make all insight vanish from Mount Esau,
        and leave all helpless?
    As for your warriors, great Edomite city of Teman,
        they will be routed, shattered.
    Their slaughtered bodies will cut off everyone’s path to Mount Esau
10         because of your violent history against your brother Jacob.
    Shame will envelop you,
        and your nation will be destroyed forever.
11     You just stood there, doing nothing,
        while strangers ransacked their city,
    While invaders rushed through the gates and divided up Jerusalem for themselves.
        You might as well have been one of them.
12     You should never have gloated over your brother’s tragedy that day
        or been secretly happy about all their misfortune.
    You should never have celebrated the people of Judah’s decimation.
    You should never have acted so arrogantly
        on the day they suffered so much.
13     You should never have walked through the city gates of My people
        on the day of this disaster.
    You should never have gloated at their difficulties
        on the day of this disaster.
    You should never have taken advantage of them and their wealth
        on the day of this disaster.
14     You should never have lain in wait along the crossroads
        to cut off those trying to escape;
    You should never have handed over the handful of survivors to Babylonian captivity
        on the day of their great distress.

15 The day of the Eternal’s judgment for all the nations is near.
    Whatever evil you have done will be done to you;
Your deeds will come crashing back on your head.

16 Eternal One: Just as you drank to the defeat of My people on My holy mountain,
        now you and all the nations around you will always drink excessively.
    They will be forced to drink and guzzle a mouthful of suffering,
        and it will be as if they never existed.

17 But on Mount Zion will be a place of safety.
    Some will escape to that holy hill,
And the people of Jacob will conquer and possess
    those who conquered and dispossessed them.
18 The people of Jacob will become a fire
    and the family of Joseph a flame.
They will ignite and consume the people of Esau as they execute divine punishment
    until only dry stubble remains.
No one from the people of Esau will survive the conflagration.

So declares the Eternal One.

19 Eternal One: The people from the southern desert[a] will take over Mount Esau,
        and those from the foothills[b] will flood into the Philistines’ coastal plain.
    They will possess the fertile lands of Ephraim and Samaria,
        and Benjamin’s people will inhabit Gilead.
20     The army of exiled sons and daughters of Israel will stream back home
        and live along the coast and possess the Canaanites as far as Zarephath.
    And the exiles of Jerusalem who live in Sepharad
        will settle down in the cities and villages of the South.[c]
21     These deliverers will go up to Mount Zion, My holy hill,
        and justly rule Mount Esau from there.
    And the kingdom they establish will belong to the Eternal One alone.


  1. Verse 19 Hebrew, Negev
  2. Verse 19 Hebrew, Shephelah
  3. Verse 20 Hebrew, Negev

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