Obadiah 1:1-21 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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The Day of the Lord
Comments for Study 1

Obadiah 1:1-21
Memory Verse: 15

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Verses 3-16 are very similar to Jeremiah 49:7-22 "Concerning Edom: This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed? 8 Turn and flee, hide in deep caves, you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau at the time I punish him. 9 If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes? If thieves came during the night, would they not steal only as much as they wanted? 10 But I will strip Esau bare; I will uncover his hiding places, so that he cannot conceal himself. His children, relatives and neighbors will perish, and he will be no more. 11 Leave your orphans; I will protect their lives. Your widows too can trust in me.” 12 This is what the LORD says: “If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it. 13 I swear by myself,” declares the LORD, “that Bozrah will become a ruin and an object of horror, of reproach and of cursing; and all its towns will be in ruins forever.” 14 I have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!” 15 “Now I will make you small among the nations, despised among men. 16 The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s, from there I will bring you down,” declares the LORD. 17 “Edom will become an object of horror; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 18 As Sodom and Gomorrah were overthrown, along with their neighboring towns,” says the LORD, “so no one will live there; no man will dwell in it. 19 “Like a lion coming up from Jordan’s thickets to a rich pastureland, I will chase Edom from its land in an instant. Who is the chosen one I will appoint for this? Who is like me and who can challenge me? And what shepherd can stand against me?” 20 Therefore, hear what the LORD has planned against Edom, what he has purposed against those who live in Teman: The young of the flock will be dragged away; he will completely destroy their pasture because of them. 21 At the sound of their fall the earth will tremble; their cry will resound to the Red Sea. 22 Look! An eagle will soar and swoop down, spreading its wings over Bozrah. In that day the hearts of Edom’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor."

I. Edom's Destruction Announced (1:1-7)

>1. Who was Obadiah? (1)

* Obadiah 1:1 "The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom-- We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, "Rise, and let us go against her for battle""

* "Obadiah" -Obadiah means "YHWH servant". There are twelve men in the Old Testament who have this name. It is not clear who this Obadiah is. See the introduction for more information.

* "Sovereign Lord" -Sovereign is Adonay in Hebrew. Lord is Yehwih in Hebrew, a variation of YHWH. The combination stresses his honor and majesty.

* "We" -The passage does not make it clear exactly who this "we" was. However, the rest of the sentance says the nations received this message.

* "a message from the LORD" -The LORD is the God of the whole earth. He gave his word to all nations. However in earlier times, as in this case some messages were to specific nations.

* "Rise, and let us go against her for battle" -The message was short and to the point. Many nations were to attack and destroy Edom.

>What is a vision?

* "vision" -Vision is an English word translated from the Hebrew work "hazon". These days vision has many meanings. The use here and in many other places in the Bible has to do with the Lord God's revelation to man. One definition of a vision is, "A prophet's ability to see the revelatory nature in the meaning of a historical event."

* A Vision is "an experience in the life of a person, whereby a special revelation from God was received. The revelation from God had two purposes. First, a vision was given for immediate direction, as with Abram in Genesis 12:1-3; Lot, Genesis 19:15; Balaam, Numbers 22:22-40; and Peter, Acts 12:7. Second, a vision was given to develop the kingdom of God by revealing the moral and spiritual deficiencies of the people of God in light of God’s requirements for maintaining a proper relationship with Him. The vision of prophets such as Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and John are representative of this aspect of revelation. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

>Who is Edom and what was predicted of them? (See the introduction.)

* Obadiah 1:2 "See, I will make you small among the nations; you will be utterly despised."

* "Edom" -Edom was a kingdom and state to the south-east of Judah (between the Salt Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah, part of the Red Sea). Most of the area is now part of Jordan, though some of Edom's territory is also in modern southern Israel. Edom territory is now part of Jordan. Edom is Idumea in Greek. Edom consisted of decendants of Esau, Jacob's twin brother. See their history in the following verses: Ge. 27:41-45, 32:1-21, 33, 36; Ex. 15:15; Nu. 20:14-21; Dt. 2:1-6, 23:7; 1 Sa. 22 w/ Ps. 52; 2 Sa. 8:13-14; 2 Ki. 8:20-22, 14:7; Ps. 83; Eze 35; Joel 3:18-19; Am. 1:11-12, 9-12. The Edomites may have been connected with the Shasu and Shutu, nomadic raiders mentioned in Egyptian sources. The last unambiguous reference to Edom is an Assyrian inscription of 667 BC; it has thus been unclear when, how and why Edom ceased to exist as a state, although many scholars point to scriptural references in the Bible, specifically the Book of Obadiah, to explain this fact. After the conquest of Judah by the Babylonians, Edomites settled in the region of Hebron. They prospered in this new country, called by the Greeks and Romans "Idumaea" or "Idumea", for more than four centuries. Strabo, writing around the time of Christ, held that the Idumaeans, whom he identified as of Nabataean origin, constituted the majority of the population of Western Judea, where they commingled with the Judaeans and adopted their customs. Judas Maccabeus conquered their territory for a time in around 163 BC. They were again subdued by John Hyrcanus (c. 125 BC), who forcibly converted them to Judaism and incorporated them into the Jewish nation, despite the opposition of the Pharisees. Antipater the Idumaean, the progenitor of the Herodian Dynasty that ruled Judea after the Roman conquest, was of Edomite origin. Under Herod the Great Idumaea was ruled for him by a series of governors, among whom were his brother Joseph ben Antipater and his brother-in-law Costobarus. After the Jewish Wars the Idumaean people are no longer mentioned in history though the area retained their name. (See below for more information on Edom.)

* Romans 9:13 "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

* Malachi 1:2-4 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob's brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.” But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD—even beyond the borders of Israel!’”

* Genesis 25:34 "Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright."

* "I will make you small among the nations" -Not completely destroyed, but the power they once had was removed.

* "you will be utterly despised" -The Lord has at times caused people to like and/or dislike someone and some nation as he sees fit.

Petra

>2. What was the source of their pride? (3)

* Obadiah 1:3 "The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'"

* "pride of the heart" -Pride is a self destructive sin. Pride concentrates on the self and ignores God.

* "you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights" -The Hebrew here echoes Edom's mountain fortress Sela. Later the city of Petra was built up there. See picture to the right showing some of Petra.

* "say to yourself" -We often justify our sins rather than facing the truth. This is remaining in the dark and not coming into the light. (John 3:19-21)

* "Who can bring me down to the ground?" -The only true security is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus used a parable about building a house on sand or on rock to illustrate who and what we should build our life on. (Matt. 7:24-27) Those, like the Edomites who trust in what they have and can do build on sand that will not hold up when trouble comes. Those who hear Jesus words, believe them and obey them are the ones who have trusted on something that will cause them to last. Often even those who claim to be followers of Jesus trust in themselves and really do not trust in Jesus. Jesus used the parable of seeds planted on rocky soil to illustrate these people. He taught, "Since it has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." (Matt. 13:21) In the same parable he said, "The one who received the seed (his word) that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful." (Matt. 13:22)

>Where they as safe as they believed? (4)

* Obadiah 1:4 "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD."

* Edom believed the rocky mountains all around them was a natural fortress. They lived in natural and man made caves. They knew where each crevice and valley went. When attached they could disappear in the mountains.

* The area would go through seasonal cycles. Sometimes the area would be subject to floods. Through the centuries they build dams, channels, and cisterns that held secret stores of water.

* The area was in between busy trade routes which they used for profit by force.

* The combination of the above facts made them believe they were invincible. In fact since the time of Esau the area was their homeland.

* Isaiah 2:12 "The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),"

* James 4:6 "But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."

>What does this say about pride?

* "The pride of your heart has deceived you" -Pride blocks us from the Spirit of God. Pride is the opposite of Christ "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!" (Phil. 2:6-8)

* Deuteronomy 8:10-14 "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."

* 2 Chronicles 32:24-26 "In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah's heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the LORD's wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the LORD's wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah."

* Psalm 31:23 "Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full."

* Proverbs 18:12 "Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor."

>3. What are the obvious answers to the questions in verse 5?

* Obadiah 1:5 "If thieves came to you, if robbers in the night-- Oh, what a disaster awaits you-- would they not steal only as much as they wanted? If grape pickers came to you, would they not leave a few grapes?"

* "Oh, what a disaster awaits you" -Inserted in the middle of a question.

* "thieves" -The answer to the first question is, "Yes." Thieves only steal what they want and quickly leave before they are caught. They live in fear of being caught and learn quickly that they are either cautious or caught.

* "grape pickers" -The answer to the second question is, "Yes". Grape pickers in those days left some for the poor.

>Will this be true of Esau's descendants? (6)

* Obadiah 1:6 "But how Esau will be ransacked, his hidden treasures pillaged!"

* When Edom was attached almost nothing was left of their kingdom. As stated above when Babylon attached them it was destroyed and never referred to again in writings of the nations that surrounded them.

* "hidden treasures" -Being made up of mostly thieves and highway robbers they were afraid of someone stealing their treasures. so they hide them.

* "Esau" -Often one person is used to represent a whole group of people in Semitic writings often called "corporate personality". This book also uses Jacob to represent all of Israel. But this is looking at the present (from Obadiah's viewpoint) and looking back in time. Now let's put ourselves even further in the past and look forward. Put yourself in Jacob and Esau's time and look forward. Look at Esau and look forward. The sins of the father followed him. The blessings of the father followed him. The lives we live has consequences to our children. Now look beyond this life into the resurrection and the judgement seat of Christ. The actions we do now and our thoughts now affect our eternity.

* "!" -Ancient writer pressed hard when they wanted to express high emotions, thus making the text darker than the rest.

>Are all possible human preparations enough to protect us? (7, Luke 12:18-21)

* Obadiah 1:7 "All your allies will force you to the border; your friends will deceive and overpower you; those who eat your bread will set a trap for you, but you will not detect it."

* "allies... friends... those who eat your bread" -The people Esau trusted in would betray them to obtain their wealth. Human loyalty is often failing. In this world the relationships mentioned here are fleeting because they are based on self and not selflessness.

* "won't detect it" -Betrayal is hard to detect. The betrayer hides until the time is right. The betrayer knows so much about his or her victim that they can easily hide their motives.

* "trap" -Something that cannot be escaped.

* Luke 12:18-21 "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

II. Edom's Destruction Reaffirmed (1:8-14)

>4. What does "in that day" mean?

* Obadiah 1:8a "In that day," declares the LORD,"

* "in that day" -In that day does not necessarily mean a specific day when concerning prophecy fulfilment. It may refer to weeks, months, or even years. It may also refer to more than one occurrence of an event. Specific prophecies have often been fulfilled several times before a final most important occurrence of the event. An example is Daniel prophecy of "the abomination that causes desolation." Such may be the case here since Edom's fall due to pride is the destiny of "the nations" in a future event.

* "in that day" -Here "in that day" refers to the coming destruction of the kingdom of Edom.

>Can we trust in our wisdom to save us? (8b-9)

* Obadiah 1:8b-9 "will I not destroy the wise men of Edom, men of understanding in the mountains of Esau? Your warriors, O Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter."

* "the wise men of Edom" -Edom was known to be the home of many wise men. (Jer. 49:7; Job 2:11) Job's friend, Eliphaz was a Temanite. (Job 4:1) Teman is believed to be the capital city of Edom though Teman could also refer to an greater part of Edom where the city was located. A fortress mountain region called Seir protected it which was originally occupied by the Horites. Esau's descendents defeated the Horites (Gen. 36:8, 20; Deut. 2:12; Josh. 24:4) Petra was built on the site. (See picture above.) The area was always known to be home of wise men.

* "mountains of Esau" -The Hebrew word here is a play on the capital city of Edom, Teman. Teman was protected by the natural fortress called Seir.

* Genesis 36: 9-11 "This is the account of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath. The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz"

* Genesis 36:31-34 "These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned : Bela son of Beor became king of Edom. His city was named Dinhabah. When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king. When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king."

* "Teman" -Teman is believed to be the capital city of Edom though Teman could also refer to an greater part of Edom where the city was located. A fortress mountain region called Seir protected it which was originally occupied by the Horites. Esau's descendent defeated the Horites (Gen. 36:8, 20; Deut. 2:12; Josh. 24:4) Petra was built on the site. (See picture above.)

* "will be cut down to the slaughter" -Edom thought they were wise. They trusted in themselves. They were proud and arrogant. Their trust was misplaced. All who trust in themselves are under God's wrath.

>What or who should we trust in? (John 14:1-4)

* John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

>5. What would be the cause of Edom's destruction? (10)

* Obadiah 1:10 "Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever."

* "Because" -God's judgment always has a reason. He is just.

* "the violence against your brother Jacob" -Despite treaty ties the Edomites, along with others, they had failed to come to Judah's aid and had even helped Babylon by looting Jerusalem and handing over refugees. Moreover, the Edomites filled the vacuum caused by Judah's exile by moving west and annexing the Negev to the south of Judah and even its southern territory (compare v. 19).

* Judah (Jacob) under went violence as described in these verses twice during the kings of Judah; by the Philistines and Arabs in Jerhoram's reign and by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. when they burned it down. The later seems more likely to be the event that Obadiah is referring to.

* "you will be destroyed forever" -The kingdom of Edom was destroyed by the Babylonians sometime after 667 BC. The exact year is not known. Those who excaped settled in southern Judah which was recently vacated when Babylon attached the Jews living there.

>When their "brothers" who lived next to them were in need did they help them? (11)

* Obadiah 1:11 "On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them."

* Edom did not help the inhabitants of Jerusalem, their neighbors and close relatives when they were in need. It may have been a risk to come out of their mountain fortress to aid Judah and its capital Jerusalem, but it would have been honored by God. Proud people are selfish to the point of being cowards even though they may boast of thier superiority.

>Instead what did they do?

* Obadiah 1:12 "You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble."

* "look down" -They judged that Judah deserved what she got and used it to justify their lack of concern. Although God was judging Jerusalem and announced it to the world Edom still could have helped the refugees.

* "rejoice" -Edom and Judah did not always have good relations. Some Edomites even hated the Jews. So when they saw them fall they rejoiced.

* Jesus taught us, "You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)

>What can be learned?

* Sinful man does not know or understand God's way.

* Without the Spirit we cannot follow Jesus' command and example to love and pray for those who are our enemy.

>6. What three sins are mentioned in verse 13?

* Obadiah 1:13 "You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster."

* "march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster"

* "look down on them in their calamity in the day of their disaster"

* "seize their wealth in the day of their disaster"

>What two more sins are mentioned in verse 14?

* Obadiah 1:14 "You should not wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives, nor hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble."

* "wait at the crossroads to cut down their fugitives"

* "hand over their survivors in the day of their trouble"

>Why are these true?

* Similar to these Jesus taught, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." (Luke 6:27-36)

III. The Day of the Lord (1:15-21)

>7. What is "the day of the LORD"?

* Obadiah 1:15 "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head."

* "The day of the Lord" is the time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence.

* The Old Testament prophets used a term familiar to their audience, a term by which the audience expected light and salvation (Amos 5:18), but the prophets painted it as a day of darkness and judgment (Isa. 2:10-22; 13:6,9; Joel 1:15; 2:1-11,31; 3:14-15; Amos 5:20; Zeph. 1:7-8,14-18; Mal. 4:5). The Old Testament language of the day of the Lord is thus aimed at warning sinners among God’s people of the danger of trust in traditional religion without commitment to God and to His way of life. It is language that could be aimed at judging Israel or that could be used to promise deliverance from evil enemies (Isa. 13:6,9; Ezek. 30:3; Obad. 15). The day of the Lord is thus a point in time in which God displays His sovereign initiative to reveal His control of history, of time, of His people, and of all people.

* First Obadiah prophesied what would happen to Edom because of their pride. Now he transforms that into a similar judgement of all nations because of the same sin.

>What will happen in it according to verse 15?

* "As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head" -Jesus taught, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt. 7:1-2) Mark 4:24 and Luke 6:38 are similar.

>What does verse 16 mean?

* Obadiah 1:16 "Just as you drank on my holy hill, so all the nations will drink continually; they will drink and drink and be as if they had never been."

* "drank on my holy hill" -The Bible often uses drinking wine to refer to receiving God's wrath. Jesus referred to his coming suffering and crucifixion as he prayed on the mount of Olives as "drink this cup." (Mat. 26:39) So Obadiah's statement here is a reflection of God's judgement on Jerusalem, God's holy hill.

* "so all the nations will drink continually" -All people who are under sin are currently under God's wrath. Paul wrote, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Rom. 1:18-20) Psalm 7:11 and John 3:36 expresses similar words. At the same time during the coming seven years of tribulations God's wrath will be poured out. (Col. 3:6; Rom. 2:5; Rev. 15:1, 16:1)

* Jeremiah 49:12 says, "If those who do not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, why should you go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must drink it."

>Is this news for all nations even today?

* The wrath of God now being poured out will be poured out even more during the seven years.

>8. Where is Mount Zion?

* Obadiah 1:17 "But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance."

* "Mount Zion" -Jerusalem and its temple were built on Mount Zion. Jesus was crucified, died, buried, and rose from the dead on Mount Zion.

* "on Mount Zion will be deliverance" -There is hope! Romans 5:9 states, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him."

* "it will be holy" -Edom's capital was destroyed and lies in ruins. Jerusalem has been rebuilt. When Jesus comes again he and his people will dwell in the new Jerusalem. Jesus is the architect and builder of the new Jerusalem. Since he will dwell there it will be holy. No sin or sinner will enter it's gates. "On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Rev. 21:25-27)

* "house of Jacob" -The house of Jacob refers to Israel. Jacob was remained by God to Israel. Those who have the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are true Israel. Being a physical descendant of Jacob does not make one a member of Israel in God's eyes. (Rom. 9:6)

>How is Jesus deliverance good news to all the nations?

* "will possess its inheritance" -In order for someone to inherit something someone else needed to die. Jesus died for his people and now those who accept him as Savior and Lord have inherited the new Jerusalem to come and the kingdom of God. Jesus promises this.

* "From the Lord comes deliverance" (Psalm 3:8)

* "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress." (Psalm 107:6)

* "The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)

* "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)

* "For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling." (Psalm 116:8)

* "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us" (2 Cor. 1:10)

>Who is the house of Jacob and the house of Joseph? (18)

* Obadiah 1:18 "The house of Jacob will be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau will be stubble, and they will set it on fire and consume it. There will be no survivors from the house of Esau." The LORD has spoken."

* "house of Jacob" -Above I wrote the house of Jacob are those who are Israel by faith. Here Obadiah is using "house of Jacob" and "house of Joseph" to distiguish the two sections of the split nation Israel. Since Joseph is a son of Jacob (as is Judah), Obadiah is using "house of Jacob" to refer to the southern kingdom. The people who lived there were called Jews only after they were taken into captivity in Babylon. They were called Jews to distiguish them from the northern tribes who taken into captivity before the Jews.

* "house of Joseph" -Obadiah is using the phrase "house of Joseph" to refer to the northern kingdom (see note above). When Jacob was dying he saw in Joseph how God was going to keep his promise to Jacob that he would be a community of peoples. Joseph married and Egyptian and had two Egyptian sons. "Jacob said to Joseph, 'God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’ Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.'" (Gen. 48:3-7) Later Paul says that the Gentiles who have faith in Jesus are grafted into Israel. (Rom. 11:13-24) Therefore, Gentiles who have faith in Jesus are in "the house of Joseph".

>How are their interaction with Esau and people like them?

* "house of Esau" -Esau was Jacob's elder twin brother. Esau gave up his birthright. Esau was the patriach of Edom. As those who are true followers of Jesus are of Jacob by fiath, so all those who do not follow Jesus are of Esau by lack of faith.

* "a fire... a flame" -Fire consumes as it produces heat and light. Fire is a chemical reation. Fire changes plant materials into ash and releases carbon; it chemically changes the nature of plant life (dead or alive). God's people are used by God to change the world.

* "will be stubble" -The stumps of grain and other stalks left in the ground when the crop is cut.

* "they will set it on fire and consume it" -Jesus said, "I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled," (Luke 12:49) and "Everyone will be salted with fire." (Mark 9:49)

* "no survivors" -Definite result concerning the work of the Lord's people.

>9. Who are the people of the Negev and the foothills? (19)

* Obadiah 1:19 "People from the Negev will occupy the mountains of Esau, and people from the foothills will possess the land of the Philistines. They will occupy the fields of Ephraim and Samaria, and Benjamin will possess Gilead."

* "Negev" -The Negev is a desert and semi-desert region of southern Israel. The region's largest city is Beersheba. According to Genesis chapter 20, Abraham lived for a while in the Negev near Kadesh after being banished from Egypt. Later the Negev was inhabited by the tribe of Judah and pockets in the southern part of the Negev contained cities states consisting of the tribe of Simeon. (Sometime during the time of Israel's kings the tribe of Simeon dwindled so much that they were no longer mentioned.) The Negev was part of the Kingdom of Solomon and then when Israel split when he died it was part of the Kingdom of Judah. The Babylonians carried off all the Jews in the Negev leaving it vacant until the survivors of Edom moved in. See above and introduction for more on this area.

* "mountains of Esau" -The mountains of Esau are east of the Negev. Mount Seir stretches from the Red Sea north to the Salt Sea. See above for more information on Edom.

* "the foothills" -Israel had several mountains especially the area north and south of the Negev.

* "the land of the Philistine" -The Philistines lived west of the Negev. Their land was originally to be in Israel, but because of Israel's sinful habits the Lord told Joshua that the Philistines would remain (along with others). (Josh. 13; Judges 3:1-4)

* "the fields of Ephraim and Samaria" -The northern kingdom of Israel was also known as Ephraim and Samaria after the split when Solomon died.

* "Benjamin will possess Gilead" -Benjamin was given the land around Jerusalem. Gilead is a mountainous region east of the Jordan River.

>What is promised the exiles?

* Obadiah 1:20 "This company of Israelite exiles who are in Canaan will possess [the land] as far as Zarephath; the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad will possess the towns of the Negev."

* "Zarephath" -Zarephath (Sarepta) was a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast between Sidon and Tyre. 1 Kings 17:8-24 describes the city as being subject to Sidon in the time of Ahab, and says that the prophet Elijah, after leaving the brook Cherith, multiplied the meal and oil of the widow of Zarephath (Sarepta) and raised her son from the dead there.

* The Lord is promising in verses 19 and 20 that God's people will occupy all the promised land one day. Even though they were taken into captivity, Israel will return to the land promised them. And when Jesus comes again in glory all who are Israel by faith in him will occupy the land that he promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

>10. Who are the deliverers?

* Obadiah 1:21 "Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's."

* "Deliverers" -The deliverers are those who believe in the Lord Jesus and preach the good news. Jesus is the Great Deliverer and his people are those who follow his example.

>What will they do?

* "govern the mountains of Esau" -Jesus promised that his people will rule with him during the Millennium and on.

>When will this happen?

* Jesus will set up an earthly kingdom when he comes again. Those who have faith, hope and love in him will rule with him.

>What final hope is given?

* "And the kingdom will be the LORD's."

* Jesus will rule from the New Jerusalem all the earth.

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