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Edom’s sin (1-14)
The Edomites thought their land was unconquerable because of the defence system that they had built throughout their rocky mountains. Obadiah warns them that no matter how high up the mountains they go or how strong they make their defences, nothing will save them from the coming destruction. Already the enemy armies are preparing to attack Edom (1-4).
A house burglar steals only what he wants, and leaves the remainder of the goods in the house; a vineyard worker picks the grapes that are ripe and leaves the rest; but when the enemy soldiers plunder Edom they will take everything. They will seize even the treasures that the Edomites have hidden in caves in the mountains (5-6).
Edom prided itself in its political skill and military strategy. Its leaders thought they were cleverer than the leaders of neighbouring nations, and often used their cunning to cheat their allies. Their shame in defeat will therefore be the greater when they discover that some of these neighbouring nations, who they thought were trusted allies, have betrayed them and helped bring about their downfall (7-9).
Obadiah now gives the reason why God will punish Edom so severely. When the Babylonian armies attacked and plundered Jerusalem, Edom did nothing to help its brother nation. Rather the opposite; it gladly helped the attackers (10-11). The Edomites were glad to see Jerusalem plundered, and even joined in the plundering. Worse than that, they helped the Babylonians capture the Jerusalemites by cutting off the escape route of those who tried to flee (12-14).
The day of the Lord (15-21)
In the day of the Lord, God will intervene in human affairs and punish sinners according to their sins. The Edomites celebrated their plunder of Jerusalem by holding wild drinking parties among the ruins of the temple on Mt Zion. They, as well as Jerusalem’s other enemies, will now be drunk in a different way. They will drink the cup of God’s wrath until, unable to stand any longer, they will stagger and fall (15-16).
Having punished Jerusalem’s enemies, God will release his people from captivity and bring them back to their homeland. He will restore holiness to Mt Zion, but send a fitting judgment upon Edom. He will destroy Edom as a fire burns up a field of dry grass (17-18).
From Jerusalem the re-established Israelite nation will expand south into Edomite territory, west over Philistine territory, north over its own territory that the Philistines had seized, and east across Jordan to retake former territory there (19; cf. Amos 9:12). Captives will be taken from various camps in foreign countries and resettled permanently in their own land, from Phoenicia in the north to the Negeb in the south (20). Israel will then rule over former enemies, showing clearly to everyone that God controls all history. Sovereign rule belongs to him (21).
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Obadiah 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany