The Book Of Obadiah
"A Brief Commentary"

J. Deering,

2 Kings 17:13-20 (NASB) (Key to the Minor Prophets of Israel)

"Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah, through all His prophets and every seer, saying, "Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets."

However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers, and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them. And they forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him.

So the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced. And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight."

I. The Doom of Edom vs. 1-9
A. The Certainty of it vs. 1-4
Obadiah opens up with his revelation from the Lord that He has called upon the nations to rise up against Edom. These people who came, like the Israelites, through the loins of Abraham and Isaac, but through Esau instead of Jacob, had thought of themselves as high and mighty. Not only had they hid themselves away from the world in the red rocks of the desert, but also from the Lord.

They had fortified their cities and trained their armies and expected that no nation or force could raise up against them because of their might and because of their fortifications. The would go out against Israel and plunder and steal from her. They were first in line to offer help to any army who went against Israel. But they did not take into consideration The Lord God of Israel.

Obadiah's words in verse four bring forth the anger and fury of God spurned, "I will bring you down." In just a few years they would be taken captive, and in just a few hundred years - they would disappear from the face of the earth altogether.

B. The Completeness of it vs. 5-9
The Lord's revelation through Obadiah tells the people of Israel that the manner in which He will come upon Edom will be unforeseen, cunning, devastating, and complete.

Robbers who come as thieves in the night would only take what they wanted - but not so with the Lord. Stealers of grapes would leave some fruit on the vines - but no so with the Lord.

Edom's friends and neighbors have been called to join in against him and they will do it with deception. Those who come for dinner will be setting traps against him.

The Lord will not spare the wise of Edom, nor his best warriors. The Lord says, "everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter." Why?

II. The Denunciation of Edom vs. 10-14
A. For Un-brotherliness vs. 10
Because of your violence against your brother Jacob.

When the Assyrians, headed by Nebuchadnezzar, took Jerusalem and turned it into a pile of rubble, Edom was there. They were not there helping and supporting their brothers, the Israelites, but instead they were there helping and supporting the Assyrians.

B. For Aloofness vs. 11-12
Once into Jerusalem Edom stood aside and allowed the Assyrians to plunder the people, the city, and the Temple. Edom was glad that Israel had been invaded. Edom rejoiced when the people were put to death or carried off in slavery. Edom boasted that they had made this possible.

C. For Aggressiveness vs. 13-14
The Lord gives Edom a list of "Thou Shouldst Not:"

A terrible picture of conquering war is painted here. How very terrible it is that the ones perpetrating these un-Godly acts of plunder, murder, and slavery are the very cousins of the Israelites, the Edomites.

III. The Destruction of Edom vs. 15-21
A. The Time of the Destruction vs. 15
The Lord warns that the "Day of the Lord" is near for all nations. The plan of Almighty God does not leave out the punishment of those who entered into His holy land, who plundered His holy Temple, or sent His holy people into slavery and captivity. He says, "As you have done, it will be done to you."

B. The Nature of the Destruction vs. 16-21

The Lord promises Edom that she will be drained by all the other nations until she is no more.

In this time Jerusalem will be delivered and "the house of Jacob," as opposed to "the house of Esau," will possess its inheritance. The illustration here is that Jacob and Joseph will burn Esau (Edom) until there is nothing left but stubble. "There will be no survivors," says the Lord.

Complete and utter destruction is promised. Others will replace the nation of Edom. Jerusalem will be delivered and "the kingdom will be the Lord's."

Last Update May 2, 2003