1. Why was shame going to cover the Edomites?
“For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever” (Obadiah 1:10).
- If you will recall, Jacob [Israel] long ago wronged his brother Esau multiple times (Genesis 25:27-34 and Genesis 27:1-46).
- Though Jacob and Esau reconciled (Genesis 33:1-16), the decedents of Esau (Edom) didn’t let that go.
- The Edomites had an ancient anger (Amos 1:11-12 and Ezekiel 25:12).
- Because of that perpetual hatred, bloodshed continued many generations and caused God to punish those guilty (Ezekiel 35:1-9).
- When given the opportunity, Esau’s decedents attacked the decedents of Jacob (Numbers 20:14-21 and II Chronicles 28:17).
- The Lord decided to cut them off (Malachi 1:3-4).
2. What did the Edomites do when Israel was carried away captive?
They stood and watched it happen, rejoiced over it, looted, and delivered escapees up: “(11) In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. (12) But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. (13) Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; (14) Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress” (Obadiah 1:11-14).
- They watched their brethren be taken. This has to be in reference to Jerusalem being taken by the armies of Babylon (II Kings 25:1-11).
- They wanted Jerusalem to suffer (Psalms 137:7).
- Apparently, they were among the nations that cast lots for God’s people (Joel 3:1-3).
- It is foolish to rejoice when one’s enemy falls (Proverbs 24:17-18).
- This is God’s people they were happy about the fall of. Think about Micah’s words on that (Micah 7:8-20).
- We discussed their pride in this book already (Obadiah 1:1-4). “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:19).
- Think about the boldness of a nation that knows the God of Israel, and yet enters into the holy city when it is under attack to loot, etc. (Isaiah 31:5).
- God says that afflicting His people is afflicting the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8).
- Think about how Jesus perceived the persecution of His people as persecution against Himself (Acts 9:1-4).
3. As the Lord says His day is near upon all the heathen, what was going to be returned upon their own heads?
What they have done to others: “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head” (Obadiah 1:15).
- This is a very, very familiar principle of God’s judgment (Proverbs 1:31, Proverbs 12:14, Proverbs 14:14, Isaiah 3:10-11, Jeremiah 2:19, Ezekiel 11:21, Ezekiel 22:31, Hosea 12:2, John 5:28-29, etc.).
- Think about Matthew 7:12 in light of that.
4. Since they had drunk upon the mountain of the Lord, what was the heathen going to do to them?
Drink upon them: “For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been” (Obadiah 1:16).
- Concerning Edom (Jeremiah 49:7), they had thought they would go unpunished (Jeremiah 49:12).
- They took advantage of Jerusalem’s downfall (Joel 3:3).
- The tables were going to be turned (Isaiah 29:7-8).
5. When deliverance came to the house of Jacob, what happened to the house of Esau?
They were consumed as stubble in a fire: “(17) But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. (18) And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it” (Obadiah 1:17-18).
- But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance (Psalms 69:35, Psalms 87:2, Psalms 132:13, and Micah 4:6-10). This even was true looking forward to the New Covenant (Joel 2:28-32; cf. Acts 2:14-21).
- In Zion shall be holiness [Zion shall be holy] (Isaiah 4:3 and Joel 3:17).
- The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions (Amos 9:11-15).
- Israel was going to be the fire that consumed the house of Esau (Micah 5:8 and Zechariah 12:1-6).
6. As possessions of land changed, what happened to the kingdom?
It was the Lord’s: “(19) And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. (20) And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south. (21) And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S” (Obadiah 1:19-21).
- The land of the oppressors was to change hands as Israel was exalted and those other nations reduced (Zephaniah 2:4-7 and Zechariah 10:5-10).
- “Saviours” is hanging me up a bit. Down the road this could apply to the rising up of Israel against Greece (Zechariah 9:11-17) and other possible things too. However, saviours to judge and the mention of the kingdom being the Lord’s COULD BE [let me stress “could be”] forward looking into the times of the New Covenant.
- If this is forward looking into the first century, the application of the context could be entirely different. Both the physical and the future spiritual did happen.
- If this is forward to the first century… The sending forth into the world and judges on Mt. Zion can easily be established (Luke 24:47). The kingdom being the Lord’s can easily be established as well (Colossians 1:12-13).
- Yet, let me say again, this could very easily just be an Old Testament fulfilled prophesy as well (Psalms 149:1-9 and Zechariah 14:12-21).
© 2021 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.