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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).
"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.
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.
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).
"1:1 The vision of Obadiah.
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.
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.
Fact Finder: Where is the "valley of decision"?
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.
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.