Understanding The Bible
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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETIC BOOKS
OBADIAH: Introduction and Simple Outline
WRITER AND TIME OF WRITING:
Obadiah, the prophet, whose name means "Servant of Jehovah, " prophesied shortly after the Babylonian invasion of Judah. (Whitcomb does not agree and puts him very early, about 840-830 BC.)
THE THEME OF THE BOOK:
First, the destruction of Edom (9) because of his cruelty (14) to the fleeing remnant of Judah during the Babylonian conquest of Palestine (11). Second, the millennial splendor of restored Judah after the Lord Jesus Christ returns and sets up His kingdom (17-21).
It is the shortest book in the Old Testament.
Petra was the capital of Edom. It was cut out of solid cliffs of rose-colored rock, and its majestic temples and palaces are, even in their ruins today, one of the wonders of the world. Since Petra could be reached only through a narrow ravine, which a handful of soldiers could guard against a great army, the Edomites felt impregnable against all enemies (3-4) and were lifted up in pride (3).
History tells no clear story of how Petra was destroyed, but it stands here written that this was to be done, and the silent ruins have for centuries cried out to the truth of this prophecy. Obadiah made it plain that Petra's fall was to be accomplished through the treachery of allies or internal traitors from within the city (5, 7), as some think.
INTERESTING EVIDENCE AGAINST EVOLUTION:
Evolutionists like to talk much of "cave men" as being slightly more intelligent than their simian ancestors, with crude abilities. Unfortunately for their theory, here is a city of "cave men," the true troglodytes of history, who were noted for their wisdom (8), and who skilfully carved great temples, palaces, and homes out of the solid cliffs--works of art wonderful in their ruins. This degree of civilization utterly explodes the "cave men period" theory of the evolutionists as unhistoric, unscientific, and therefore untrue.
The Title 1a
I. THE THEME: Proud Edom to be humbled 1:1b-4
II. HOW EDOM WILL BE DEFEATED (By treachery) 1:5-9
III. THE REASON FOR EDOM'S PUNISHMENT 1:10-16
IV. THE MILLENNIAL BLESSING UPON ISRAEL 1:17-21
The Title 1a
THE THEME: Proud Edom to be Humbled
v.l "The Lord GOD": not "Jehovah Elohim" but "Adonai Jehovah, " that is, "the covenant-keeping God (of Israel) who is Master" (of the nations and of their destiny).
"heathen": should always be read "(Gentile) nations." So, wherever it occurs in the Old Testament, the word only designates all who were not Jews.
v.2 "dwellest in the clefts of the rock, " etc., refers to Petra, great cliff city (see "Historical Background" above).
HOW EDOM WILL BE DEFEATED (By
v.5 "robbers by night" and "men of thy confederacy.. .have deceived thee" (7), refers to the fact that only treachery on the part of Edom's trusted allies made possible her capture, so impregnable were her natural defenses.
Read v.5: "would they not steal"... "leave some gleaning grapes" (RV)
Read v.7: "lay a snare" (RV)
THE REASON FOR EDOM'S PUNISHMENT 1:10-16
For cruelty to Judah 10-14
v. 14 "day of the LORD (or Jehovah)" means any time when God openly judges and it is unmistakably clear to all, through the pre-announcement of a prophet, that the judgment is from God (see notes on Joel and Zeph. 1:14-18). All such "days of the LORD" are illustrations of that greater final period of judgment, pre-eminently "THE Day of the LORD,' described in Revelation 6-20, which begins with the pouring out of judgments on the earth, and is climaxed by the personal return of Christ to destroy the enemies of God (Rev. 19:11-21) and set up His 1000-year Kingdom reign (Rev. 20:1-6).
The spiritual law of sowing and harvest
One reaps what one sows (Gal. 6:7), whether individually or nationally.
THE MILLENNIAL BLESSING UPON ISRAEL
A believing Jewish remnant will be spared (Esau's territory to be Israel's, Num. 24:17-19).
v. 18 not an Edomite remains in the world today! v.20 "Shepharad" means the Sephardic Jews who dwelt in Spain for centuries.
v.21 "saviours" mean "judges, " who will serve under the Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
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