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Tuesday, January 19 2016

Obadiah 1: Thus Saith The LORD God Concerning Edom

"How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!"

The English-language rendering of "Obadiah" is from the Hebrew name pronounced oh-bawd-yah (or oh-bawd-yaw-hoo), meaning servant of the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour). He was a prophet of the LORD primarily to Edom, the nation named after Esau, the fraternal-twin brother of Jacob (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Second Twin).

Jacob and Esau

"25:21 And Isaac [see A Biography Of Abraham: Isaac] entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived [see also Who Chose Rebekah?]. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb [see A Biography Of Jacob: The Second Twin]. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them." (Genesis 25:20-26 KJV)

Esau came to be called "Edom" as a result of the famous incident involving a bowl of stew (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Birthright and A Biography Of Jacob: The Blessing; also A Biography Of Jacob: Peace With Esau):

"25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:27-34 KJV)

In Obadiah's time, the kingdom of Edom, which was located to the southeast of the land of Israel, had allied itself with the Babylonians against their cousins of Israel and Judah (as documented in the Scriptures quoted above, the people of Edom/Esau are as much descended from Abraham and Isaac as the people of Israel are).

Isaac and Esau

"1:1 The vision of Obadiah.

Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. 1:2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 1:4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD." (Obadiah 1:1-4 KJV)

Edom was going to bring upon themselves, from foreign armies, what they had conspired with foreign armies to do to Israel.

"1:6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up! 1:7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

1:8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? 1:9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. 1:10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

1:11 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. 1:12 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. 1:13 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; 1:14 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 1:6-14 KJV)

The prophecy to Edom was actually a lesson to all nations of all time to not take opportunistic advantage of something that does not involve them i.e. "neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction" (verse 12 above). The LORD was soon to bring about the destruction of Judah by the Babylonians, because of Judah's corruption (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Kingdom Of Judah), but Edom was "riding the coat tails" of the Babylonians for their own spite against Israel (perhaps going all the way back to the "stew" incident with Jacob and Esau).

Obadiah concluded his prophecy with a view of the time after the return of Jesus Christ when "Zion" will be secure from attack or conspiracy (see What And When Is The Day Of The LORD? and What Happens After The Day Of The LORD?).

"1:15 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.

1:16 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. 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 1:18 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.

1:19 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. 1:20 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. 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S." (Obadiah 1:15-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: Where is the "valley of decision"?
See Where Is The Valley Of Decision?


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This Day In History, January 19

379: Roman Emperor Gratian promoted Flavius Theodosius to "Augustus" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars), thereby giving him authority over all the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire (see a map of the Roman Empire in Israel In History and Prophecy: Aelia Capitolina).

1419: In the Hundred Years War between England and France, the French city of Rouen surrendered to Henry V, completing his conquest of Normandy.

1493: The First Treaty of Barcelona; Charles VIII of France ceded Roussillon and Cerdagne to Spain in order to gain its neutrality while he invaded Italy.

Miles Coverdale 1523: In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli published his 67 Articles, the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation which attacked the authority of the Pope.

1563: The Heidelberg Catechism was first published in Germany. Written by Peter Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus, it comprised a balanced statement of Calvinist tradition, and was soon after accepted by nearly all of the Reformed churches in Europe.

1569: Miles (or Myles) Coverdale died at age 80. The Church of England reformer published the first complete printed English-language Bible. He completed the translation of The Old Testament which William Tyndale had left unfinished at his death in 1536.

1783: William Pitt became the youngest-ever Prime Minister of England at age 24.

1889: The Salvation Army split, as one faction within the denomination renounced allegiance to founder William Booth. Booth's son Ballington and his wife Maud led the U.S. splinter group, which in 1896 incorporated itself as a separate denomination known as the "Volunteers of America" (regardless of its self-proclaimed all-inclusive name, the new organization actually only involved the United States of America; the Salvation Army continued in Canada and the numerous other countries that also exist throughout the vast continents of North and South America).

1899: Britain and Egypt established joint control over Sudan.

1915: The first casualties to result from an air raid over Britain occurred when a Zeppelin dropped 6 bombs on Yarmouth. 2 people died and 3 were injured.

1921: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador signed the Pact of Union.

1943: Crown Princess Juliana, later to become Queen of the Netherlands, gave birth in Ottawa to Princess Margriet. The Princess and her family took refuge in Canada to escape the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. The Government of Canada temporarily extended the Netherlands embassy status in Ottawa to include the Queen's private hospital maternity room so that the moment of the birth was in Netherlands sovereign territory.

1966: Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India in succession to Lal Shastri who had died on January 11. Shastri had succeeded Gandhi's father, Jawaharlal Nehru.

1975: 20 people were injured at the airport in Paris, France, after Arab terrorists attempted a grenade attack on an El Al jumbo jet and then seized three hostages.

1983: Klaus Barbie, notorious SS chief of Lyon in Nazi-occupied France, was arrested in Bolivia.

1983: The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple to have a graphical user interface and a computer mouse, was introduced.

1986: The first computer "virus" was released into the public; a boot-sector virus was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan, reportedly to prevent piracy of their software products.

1991: During the (first) Kuwait War (to liberate Kuwait from Iraq's invasion and occupation of the country), Iraq's Saddam Hussein began launching "Scud" missiles on Haifa and Tel Aviv the day after U.S. forces began bombing Iraq. Hussein's intention was to provoke an Israeli entry into the war and thereby cause the Arab allied forces to quit the war against Iraq. The Israelis did not respond, even after suffering 13 dead, 200 wounded, and 4,000 buildings damaged.

1997: Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat returned to Hebron for the first time in more than 30 years and joined 60,000 celebrating Palestinians after Israel handed over 80% of the city to Palestinian control. There remained 500 Jewish settlers in Hebron (where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel, along with their wives Sarah, Rebekah and Leah, are buried in a family tomb; see A Biography Of Abraham: Mamre in Hebron) along with 130,000 Palestinians.



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