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Judgement is pronounced.

Obadiah''s oracle against Edom as sentenced by Yahweh Himself is severe and

without hope for future restoration of this people. Edom''s crime and reason for judgement is explained by Obadiah in this sense, ''you stood by on the day of your brother''s captivity; and rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction .'' Edom has displeased God by their consistent violence and hatred for their brother Jacob. Now Yahweh''s judgement is passed, and there is no hope of restoration. This seems very contrary to the promise God gave Abraham in Genesis 17:7-9. Would God destroy the entire Edomite people from the face of the earth?

The Bible portrays the Edomites as descendants of Esau (Gen 36:1,9). They occupied the land of Edom also called Seir (Gen 32:3; 36:20-21, 30: Num 24:18). Through it passed two major traffic routes, the King''s Highway and the road along the Arabah. After the Exodus, Israel was denied passage through Edom via these major routes. Shortly thereafter the Edomites, in confederation with the Moabites and Ammonites, raided Judah during Jehoshaphat''s reign (2 Chr 20:1-2). For these actions, as well as others Edom finds itself at the words of Obadiah as he prophesies their judgement.

Although Obadiah is not related to as a ''prophet'' of God (Obad 1:1) his purpose is clearly established as God''s mouth piece against Edom, and later confirmed by his contemporary, Jeremiah (Jer 49:7-22). Obadiah''s name means ''servant/worshipper of Yahweh''. Thus giving him the known title many of God''s prophets operated under ''servant''. The fact also that there is no mention of a father for God''s servant is interesting, in a time where most prophets were identified either by a notice of the period in which they prophesied, their hometown (or at least where the prophecies took place), and their father, or any combination of these leaves little for one to pin point Obadiah''s time.

A suggested date for Obadiah''s prophecy is shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC, when refugees were captured. Although Edom is not explicitly linked with Jerusalem''s downfall biblically, its satisfaction at the outcome would have matched that of other nations who had opposed Judah in the past.

''If thieves had come to you, if robbers by night, oh how you will be cut off! Would they not have stolen till they had enough?'' (Obad 1:5). Obadiah''s words are clear and without dilution, God''s intent and final sentence is released. Edom''s future is sure, no remnant will be left on the face of the earth. A realization of these actions is more abruptly felt as Obadiah gives the Edomites the practical events to come in there hearing.

Esau you will be searched out! How you''re hidden treasures shall be sought after! This prophetic pronouncement of plunder and treachery is like none ever seen by the Edomites.

It has the same ramifications as a prize not only taken but also taken and it''s owner destroyed!

Obadiah only hints upon Edom''s fate in vss 1-5. Obadiah later goes on to express God''s displeasure and direct judgement on the Edomites in vs. 7. I thought it noteworthy to point out that the words you and yours are used seven (7) times in verse 7.

This would to me indicate a direct offence and unmistakable identity of the Edomites.

Obadiah now begins the next phase of his theme to the Edomites as he prophesies the torture and destruction of Edom by those who were once trusted allies.

Obadiah''s message in many ways could be directed towards not only Edom''s unwillingness to help her brother in times of calamity, destruction, and captivity, but also at her pride. Obadiah exclaims in verse 3 ''the pride of your heart has deceived you''. Now one must understand the place of the Edomites, there homes where in the clefts of the rocks. They possessed some of the most sought after territory for trade embargo and commerce passage, and were allies with a number of reputable armies. I can''t help but to stop here and pose the thought, ''why would God use this illustration with this people in this way''? Micah 6:8 says ''He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God''?

''Though ...

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