The smallest book in the Old Testament may also be one of the least known prophecies. Obadiah was sent to declare God’s judgment on Edom—the descendants of Esau. The Edomites are accused of cruelty and supporting Israel’s enemies. Because of this they will suffer God’s wrath at the “day of the LORD” that comes on all nations. To understand this future judgment on the Edomites we need to recount the history between Israel and the Edomites and the future events that will culminate in the coming of the Messiah.
[Gary Petty] Good evening everyone. Nice to have you here. This is our… I believe this is the last Bible study in the minor prophets. No. Is there any left? I think this is it. I don’t know. I know that I didn’t want to do Obadiah because I said I don’t know anything about Obadiah. So the other two guys kept scheduling so that eventually I had to do Obadiah, so. I have no say-so in any of these things. If you bow your heads please, we’ll…
Father, we thank You for all that You give to us. We thank You for the freedom to come together on your beautiful night, and a nice hall, air-conditioning. I mean, we take these things for granted, and You know, these are all things that many people on this earth today don’t have the simple things that we take for granted. And one of them is that we have freedom of religion. We thank You, Father, for letting us be here to worship You. We ask for Your Spirit to be poured out upon us, that we can come to a deeper understanding of this little book of the Old Testament, what it really means. And help us understand that You are the God of history and You are the God of prophecy and that You foretell things before they happen. So guide us, direct us. We ask all this in our Savior’s name and the head of the Church, Jesus Christ, amen.
Obadiah is the smallest book of the Old Testament. And many people have never read Obadiah. I can honestly say that most of you have probably, very seldom, heard any verse in Obadiah quoted in a sermon. Every once in a while you might hear something, but it’s not something we usually go to. It is a book of prophecy about Edom. Edom was a nation that comprised the descendants of Esau, and they became known as the Edomites. When we look at the book of Obadiah, we don’t know anything about the writer. In fact, Obadiah… there’s a couple of Obadiahs in the Old Testament, but you’ll find no real, good argument of which one was him or if he was any of them. No one even knows when the book was actually written, and there’s two major theories behind it.
One, it was in the 800 B.C. because Israel was in a confrontation with different tribes, different nations, and the Edomites actually threw in with their enemies. But then if you read through the Bible, you see that the Edomites were throwing in with the enemies of Israel and Judah all the time. The other theory is that it’s at the time when the Babylonians actually came in and destroyed Jerusalem, that that’s when this took place. And like I said, you will find both of those argued. I’ve been in the church long enough that I’ve heard both of those argued, you know, which time period it was.
Usually, the support for the fact that it took place at the time of the Babylonian captivity is found in verse 10 of the book. So, let’s go to Obadiah. I’ll read this little section here. We have lost Obadiah. I told you it was a small book. I had to go right past it. Yeah, I just went right past it. Look at verse 10. Here’s what God says He’s going to punish them for. And Obadiah is one of the strongest books in the Bible as far as punishment from God. I was reading one commentator on this, and he said, “Boy, you read through this and you think, ‘How could God be so harsh on these people?’” until you realize what they actually did, not one time, but throughout history, they have done this.
In verse 10 it says, “For violence against your brother Jacob,…” And of course, we know that Jacob and Esau were brothers. So, there’s a… Esau was not… or the Edomites were not a descendant of Ishmael. They’re not Ishmaelites. They’re a different tribe of what we would call the Arab peoples, but they are a different tribe. And in the Arab world and throughout history, they would have been known as a different tribe, because the Arab world tends to be very sensitive about what tribe you came from. So, as “For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side – in the day that the strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem – when you were” one… “were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of their distress.”
So, these verses are the main verses that are used to say well Obadiah was probably prophesying at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem. Whether it’s in the, you know… the 800s, or whether it’s in the 500s, around 586 somewhere in there, it really doesn’t matter, because any time you study the history of the Edomites, it’s sort of the same history. They are at war with the Israelites, and when the northern part of the country is gone, when the Israelites are gone, they’re at war with the Jews. So, we now have to look at why God said this about these people. And what’s very interesting about the book of Obadiah is that it is… the last part of the book when we get to it we’ll see, it is about the time of the end when the Messiah comes to set up the Kingdom of God on this earth. So, Obadiah isn’t just about the past.
So even if verses 10 through 12 just happen to be about, you know, when Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 or some other time in history, it’s more than that. And when we get to the end of the book you’ll see that it has to be more than that. This book encompasses a history of relationship between the Edomites and the Israelites and will culminate in God’s terrible wrath on these people because of the way they have treated the Israelites, and specifically, we’ll see the Jews. When we look at this history, we have to go clear back to Genesis 25. So, let’s start there and go through a little bit of the history.
Genesis 25. If you want to do an interesting Bible study, because it would take a long time to go through all of it, look up all the places where you see Esau or Edom or the Edomites in the Old Testament, and do a study of what it was like… the relationship between these people and their cousins, right? These people are cousins with the Israelites. Now, this isn’t just an… They are descendants of Abraham through Jacob. And they are actually given some promises by God, as we’ll see in a minute. But look at verse 19 of Genesis 25. “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and the wife Rebekah conceived. But the children struggled together…”
So there’s twins, “Together within her; and she said: ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So, she went to inquire of the Lord.” And here is what God said to her, verse 23. “ ‘Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.’ So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. And the first came out red. He was hairy like a garment all over; so they called his name Esau.” Which is red. All right. I’ve known some people in my life that had red hair, and very hairy, and everybody called them “Red” too. It’s a common thing.
So, Esau is very hairy and he’s red, and so he becomes known as “Red”. That’s what his name is. “Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau’s heel; so his name was called Jacob. And Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them. So the boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, man of the field; but Isaac was a mild man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, and Rebekah loved Jacob.” We see the beginning of this problem. God said, “This isn’t going to come out like you think, because in this case, you know, usually it is the younger that serves the older son. This is going to get reversed in history.” And we see at the very beginning that one parent favored one of the boys, and another parent favored the other one.
Now, if you’ve ever seen a family where parents favored one of the children, the result on the other children is bitterness and competition. So, bitterness and competition was part of this family from the very beginning. And one was, you know, the man’s man that Dad looked up to, and he was out, he was working in the field, and he was a hunter. This guy was a man’s man. The other one, he liked taking care of sheep and he liked being around the house. He liked doing the things that needed to get done, and his mother was really attached to him. But we know the story of how Esau sold his birthright although he, at the time, did not think… At the time, he said he was doing it but we know later he showed up to receive the birthright, so he figured he would just… he must have figured he would just tricking Jacob, you know, “I’ll trick him. But he can’t take the birthright it’s mine. It’s mine through family lineage. It’s mine because God gives it to me.”
What’s interesting in Genesis 27:41 Genesis 27:41And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.
American King James Version×, it says that “Esau hated Jacob.” Esau hated Jacob. And of course, we do know… and if you read it in Genesis 36, Esau became the father of the Edomites, okay? The Edomites were the father… or the children, descendants of Esau. So, we have hatred within this family right from the very beginning. Now, there’s another group of people we have to sort of throw in here because they’re on the periphery of the story but they’re part of the story, and that is in Exodus 17. So, we have these two branches of the family, and as generations would go on, they would become… that competition between them would continue. Exodus 17:14 Exodus 17:14And the LORD said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
American King James Version×.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.’ And Moses built an altar and called its name, for The-Lord-Is-My-Banner; for he said, ‘Because the Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war with Amalek for generation to generations.’” Now, Amalek, who in the Bible you see was the father of the Amalekites, was a descendant of Esau. So, you have another tribe of people. The Amalekites were very nomadic. The Edomites were too, but not as much as the Amalekites. And what you will see is constant war between the Amalekites and the Israelites. They’re just another branch of the family. Remember, these are all cousins of each other.
It is very interesting. The Amalekites sort of disappear from history. And there’s a point in the Bible where the Amalekites are fighting the Israelites and they’re fighting them in the land of Edom. And it says they’re destroyed. So, the Amalekites, the descendants of the Amalekites must’ve been absorbed then into the Edomites, because they’re in Edom, the land of Edom, and they basically get destroyed by Israel. And by the… Generation after generation, there’s this warfare between them. So where were the Edomites? Where did they live?
Obadiah writes about how they live in the rocks, and in the mountains. When you go through the Old Testament, you’ll see that the Edomites lived in a very desolate, mountain range, Mount Seir. It’s where Petra is. Or Petra. Petra is a city that they actually helped found, although they didn’t finish it. Some of the carvings in the buildings you see today actually the Edomites did not build. We’ll talk about that in a minute. But Petra was one of their major cities. They had a great pride in the fact that who’s going to come take us out of our mountains, okay? Who’s going to take us out of our mountains? Where Edom is in the Old Testament is the southern part of Jordan today. In fact, if you look at this map, you would see that Edom… If you went north of Edom there right beside Judah, just to the west of Judah, that would be Moab. Just the north of that would be the people of Ammon. Ammon, Moab, and Edom, were all together. That’s Jordan today. So much of that part of Edom is in Jordan today. Not all of it.
And so, if you just think of modern-day Jordan, and you got Ammon to the north, Moab of the middle, Edom at the bottom. And that part there was a very mountainous region, very desert region. It took a tough group of people to live there, and they lived there for centuries. So, they were very warlike, somewhat nomadic although they did have some… Teman was a city, or Teman was a city, as was Bozrah was a city that was in that part that they… the excavated part of it. When the Israelites came out of Egypt… Okay. Let’s get back a bit. When the Israelites came out of Egypt and they’re coming up through the Sinai, God gives them some very interesting instructions. Let’s go to Deuteronomy 2. Deuteronomy 2. I want to actually leave time to go through the book of Obadiah, but I want to set this up first so, I’m going to be going through it… some of it rather quickly.
Deuteronomy 2. Because this is the history that’s going back almost 4,000 years. And we really have to understand the history to understand the hatred that the Edomites today would have for Jews. Deuteronomy 2, chapter 2, verse 1. “Then we turned and journeyed into the wilderness of the Way of the Red Sea, as the Lord spoke to me, and we skirted Mount Seir for many days.” Now, remember Mount Seir is that mountain range that was sort of the center of Edom. That was where their major cities were. That’s where they had some water. That’s where they had very defensible positions. “And the Lord spoke to me…” Remember this is Moses, “…saying, ‘You have skirted this mountain long enough; turn northward. And command the people, saying, “You are about to pass through the territory of your brethren, the descendants of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. Therefore watch yourselves carefully. Do not meddle with them, for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as one footstep, because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession. You shall buy food from them with money that you may eat. You may also buy water from them with money that you may drink.”’”
Now, notice that land is theirs. God said, “I gave it to them.” And so, as Israel moved up that way, they did have some trouble with the Edomites because they said, “Well, you can’t get close to us,” you know, and they were they were afraid of them. But they did skirt around them and try to avoid direct confrontation, because God said, “You can’t have that part of this land. That is theirs.” Now, what constitutes the land of Edom and the land of Judah are still being argued about today. It’s the same battle that’s been going on today. And we’ll see why God holds the Edomites in such contempt.
So, you start through the history of Israel, from the time of Moses, through the time of the judges. And, you know, Edom’s always there and there’s always some trouble, and then you get to the time of Saul, and there’s war. And the time of David, and there’s war. And the time of Solomon and there’s war. In fact, one of the things that’s very interesting in the time of David, Joab who was David’s general went into Edom. They conquered Edom. He went into Edom and spent some time there and tried to kill every male. He figured the only way to stop the war was to kill every male. So, Israel, under Joab, tried to commit genocide against Edom. Kill all the males, because they conquered Sier. They went in and…
But the king and a lot of the males escaped and went to Egypt. And as time went on, their population grew and then the Egyptian king gave them help and they came back and said, “We’re taking our land back,” and the war started all over again. So, I mean, you literally see massacres taking place on both sides of this as these cousins fight over who gets the control over their land. Look at… well, Psalm 137. This is written… This wasn’t written by David. Psalm 137 was written after the Jews went into Babylonian captivity. And remember, one of the theories of the date of this book is that it was written at the time of that captivity. Psalm 137. Now you know the first part of this because we sing it in our songbook. It’s a song that we sing.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yes, there we wept when we remembered Zion.” So, this is when they went into the Babylonian captivity. It’s a song they sang. And look at verse 7. “Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, ‘Raze it. Raze it, to its very foundations!’” So here we have this song about how we have been brought into this Babylonian captivity, and there’s a little verse in this song that says, “God, please remember the Edomites.” They stood there and cheered. They stood there and cheered, and supported the Babylonians as they destroyed Jerusalem. And so once again, like I said, it’s a fascinating study because of the hatred.
The sons of Esau would not accept the sons of Jacob because it wasn’t their birthright, it was theirs. They came from the firstborn. I’m not even sure over the centuries why they even knew they hated them anymore. But it all went back to who got the birthright. When you go through the prophets of the Old Testament, what’s amazing is how many prophets have prophecies against the Edomites: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, and Malachi. All have prophecies and many of them are about the end time when the Messiah comes, about Edom. Because God says He was going to punish them greatly and obviously, they’re doing something at the end before Christ comes back that is so horrible. And once again, it’s an attempt to destroy the Jewish people.
Who are the Edomites today? Well, there’s a lot of contention about this because of… we have certain problems of what happened to them. When the Babylonians came into Judah and took them off, and the Edomites helped them, and the Edomites, you know, were excited about it, the Edomites supported them. There are historians who believe that some Edomites ended up being carted off too, which wouldn’t be surprising. We know they were nomadic, so they would leave their borders and they would move around. This is why there are some pretty strong arguments that there are Edomites that live in maybe one of the tribes that live in Iraq. We don’t think in tribal condition… ways.
If you lived in Iraq today, there are people who very much want a descendant of Saddam Hussein to be back in power. You know why? They’re part of his tribe. When he was in power, his family, his tribe, got all kinds of benefits that other people didn’t get. I mean, you hear about the Iraqis hating the Kurds. Well, the Kurds is one tribe they don’t get because they’re not related the way they are. All the other tribes are related, but the Kurds aren’t. So, the Kurds don’t fit in. That’s why the Kurds want their own nation. The other tribes in Iraq just want their tribe to be in charge. Now, I say that democracy is breaking down… or the sort of pseudo-democracy they have there is breaking down tribal borders. But it’s still a way of thinking.
So, it’s hard for us to totally understand that. But it is quite possible even with the name of Bozrah which is the name of one of the capital cities of the Edomites when they lived in Seir when they’re in the mountain range, a possible tie in there. There’s also some tie ends that show that some of them may have been pulled as far north as what is modern day Turkey. Now, remember Turkey is a conglomeration of different peoples too. So, it’s quite possible. Teman… there’s a whole area of Turkey and I think it’s you… One the stands, you know, southern Russia that Teman… there’s like a valley of Teman, and they tie it in. So that was probably some descendants because Teman was a descendant of Esau. So, it’s possible that they ended up that far north.
So, they were scattered. We even see where they were scattered by the Romans, but there were still lots of Edomites left inside Edom. After the Babylonians left the majority of Edomites were still there. What’s very interesting is we know from history is that the Nabateans, which was an Arab tribe, came out of the sort of, the desert down there, and started pushing them out of the mountains which they thought could never happen. And as they pushed them out of the mountains, the Edomites flooded over into what had been southern Judah. Remember the Babylonians had taken the Jews out. Much of Judah was uninhabited at the time. And so the Edomites are being pushed into this area, and they’re filling up, you know, more and more of them are leaving what would now be Southern Jordan, and flooding into that area.
What we do know is that when… and we know this from Josephus, we know this for the Maccabees. When the Jews came out of captivity and they came back into Judah… the Persians let them come back, right? They come back and they’re still under Persian rule. Guess what? The southern part of what had been Judah is full of Edomites. They can’t move them out, so they’re there. So they sort of get along with each other, right? Until the Maccabees come along. The Maccabees was the family that overthrew the Greek rule and gave Judah a little bit of freedom before the Romans came along. What’s really interesting is after the Maccabean revolt, the Jews conquered Southern Judah and forced all the Edomites to convert to Judaism. Josephus talks about it. The Maccabees talk about it. They forced them to convert.
So you have tens of thousands… we know they were tens of thousands at least, maybe even more, maybe hundreds of thousands of Edomites that are now forced to convert to Judaism. Now, just to show you the impact that had. The temple at the time of Jesus wasn’t Zerubbabel’s temple. Remember it was remodeled, rebuilt, made greater by Herod. Herod was not a Jew. He was a builder of the temple, but he was not a Jew. He was what the Romans called an “Edomian.” Edomian is just another word for Edomite. It’s just the Roman word for Edomite. So, in other words they knew he wasn’t a Jew like the Jews, but he was a Jew because he practiced the religion.
In fact, when you go through the book of Acts, you know, there’s all these Agrippas and Herods. You try to make some kind of family tree out of all these people. They’re all Edomites. The rulers over many of the segments of what was Judea weren’t even Jews. They’re Edomites, and you look they’re all practicing the Jewish religion because they had all had been… now, they’ve gone through numerous generations of being converted to Judaism. So that’s the way the Jews stopped the wars. They stopped the wars between them and Edom as they conquered them, and then converted them all to Judaism. And that lasted, and that’s why you see all during the… in the New Testament, you don’t see any Edomite-Jewish fighting going on during the New Testament. But there’s lots of Edomites there, including leaders in very important places around the Judea, Galilee, there’s leaders that are Edomites.
The cousins got along so much so, that when the Romans invaded and surrounded Jerusalem in 70 A.D. the Edomites sent 20,000 soldiers into Jerusalem to help them. They helped the zealots fight. So, when Jerusalem falls, guess what happens to the Edomites? A lot of them get taken off by the Romans into captivity with the Jews, but not all of them. They let them stay because not all the Edomites fought with the Romans. And the Romans say, “Okay. We can tell the difference between a Jew that’s a practicing Jew, but also is ethnically a Jew, and this Edomite who is not. You’re related, but you’re not the same.” So, “I’m an Edomite.” “Okay.” Looking at them, you couldn’t tell they’re different, but okay, “I’m an Edomite,” “Okay.” Then you know…. I don’t know. I mean, unless they were all red haired and hairy, but they weren’t, okay? There didn’t seem to be a major trait that was sent out through their family.
Understand this history. You have century after century of warfare between cousins until what you had… Judah is eventually absorbed. And as Judah is absorbed, what you have is Edomites left, small amount in southern Jordan, and southern Judea. Now remember that. They’re in southern Judea and Jordan. Now, they’re scattered too. They’re scattered throughout the Middle East, but it’s those two groups in southern Judea and southern Jordan that I think is real important if we’re going to study them in the book of Obadiah.
So I’ve gone a long ways here to fill in all this. I told Steve Myers, “I can cover Obadiah in 20 minutes.” So I have to give the history for the first half hour. But I have just scratched the surface of the history that’s in the Bible about these peoples. And like I said, you start to read through the New Testament, you see these Edomians that are in charge of so many things, how did they get in charge? Well, they had forced them to convert. And after generations, they were just acting Jews trying to prove sometimes that they were as good as the other Jews. You know, “Okay, we’re cousins. We know we’re sort of second level Jews, but we’re just as good as you.” And that’s an interesting study of the Herod family too. So let’s go now to the book of Obadiah.
We have the history. The thing about Obadiah is to remember as we go through it we will see that… I lost it again. I know it’s between Amos and, you know, the next book, but… We will see some things in here that become very important especially in place names. It will give us a little bit of understanding, at least a general understanding of the book. Okay. Verse 1. “The Coming Judgment on Edom – The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom (We have heard a report from the Lord, and a messenger has been sent among the nations saying, ‘Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle.’)” So this is a time of major warfare going on.
“Behold, I will make you small among the nations; and you shall be greatly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock…” Remember what they’re famous for, Mount Seir, that desolate mountain range. And Petra, and Teman, and you know, the places that they had there, Bozrah, that were their fortresses. “Whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and though you set your nest among the stars, then from there I will bring you down, says the Lord.” He says, “You think because you’re up on high mountains, I can’t get you?” As we go through this, we’ll start to see a whole list of things of why God is so upset with them.
Now, before we say, “Wow, God is being so unjust to be this harsh on the Edomites,” remember, He was just as harsh on the Israelites, and just as harsh on the Jews. He let their nations be destroyed. What are the big differences though? He said, “I will send the Messiah and I will bring you back to your land.” Why? “Because I promised Abraham. Because I promised Abraham.” Now, we know that the descendants of Esau were promised Mount Seir. Moses was told that “Don’t take their land.” We’re going to see that God is going to destroy the Edomites when Christ comes back. It doesn’t mean every Edomite’s going to die, just like when He destroyed Israel, not every Israelite died, but it does mean that as a people, they’re going to suffer greatly.
Verse 5. “If thieves have come to you, if robbers by night – oh, how will you be cut off! – would they have not let not stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, would they have not left some gleanings?” He’s saying to the Edomites, “You know, even if someone breaks into your house, they don’t take everything. And even people who go through would glean the grapes, they always leave some the poor people could come and get. You took everything. You tried to take everything. You literally tried to destroy my people. You tried to kill all of them.” The hatred that Esau had was passed down.
Esau and Jacob came together for a short period of time when Jacob came back into the Promised Land and after being away for a long time. And he and Esau reconciled, but that reconciliation never took away that hatred that was passed on in Esau’s family. By the way, when the Ishmaelites, the Edomites, the Moabites are all descendants of Abraham. One of the things that drew them to Islam is that the core of Islam is one thing, and that is the promises God made to Abraham are real. Just like the Old Testament is based on what? The promises God made to Abraham. But those promises were given to Ishmael. Therefore, “Your cousin stole them, and you must do whatever you must so that God’s will can be brought back and take it away from the thieves.”
If you’re an Edomite, if you are an Ishmaelite, because you know, if you talk to most Arabs believe they are descendants of Abraham. They know they’re descendants of Abraham. And their point is, “Yes, and our cousins stole what God gave to us.” And Islam is a religion built entirely on that, promises made to Abraham. But the other side of the family gets them. So, it’s a whole religion. They believe, Muslims believe, they have re-established the religion of Abraham. They follow the religion… They are the true followers of the faith of Abraham. So, Christians come along and say, “What? Well, if you’re a follower of Christ, you have the faith of Abraham.” Right? And they say, “Well… but now you’ve got another group of people stealing what’s ours. Where is that bad enough our cousins steal it, a bunch of people that aren’t even related to the family now are trying to steal it?
So if you’re a descendant of Esau, yeah. The wrong side of the family took Abraham’s blessings, and God wants us to take that… We’re commanded by God to take them back because you know, if we take them back then God can come and set up His Kingdom on this earth. So that’s one of the reasons they’re so vehement. Islam is based on a 4,000-year-old fight between brothers and cousins. It’s a new religion and that it’s… maybe not new, it came around in the 600s, but it’s, its roots— are from Mohammed— its roots are from an anger that from, “You stole what God gave to Abraham, and it’s mine.” And it’s a passion I’m not sure we can even understand. The feeling that someone stole something God gave to you, and it has to be taken back. What we see here in the Edomites is a hatred that they have to destroy everything, absolutely everything from the Jews… Jewish people.
Verse 6. “Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! All the men in your confederacy…” So once again, Esau here, we know he did this at the time of ancient Babylon, but he did it throughout his history. The Edomites were always getting together with other people to try to find a way to overthrow the Israelites, or the Jews, or both of them when they were together. It could happen again in the future. “Shall force you to the border; the men at peace with you shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.” In other words, your conspiracy is going to turn back around, and the very people you conspired with are going to turn on you. That happened in the past. I believe it’s going to happen in the future.
“ ‘Will I not in that day,’ says the Lord, ‘even destroy the wise men from Edom, and understanding from the mountains of Esau? Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed.’” Once again, Teman was a city in Mount Seir area, “…shall be dismayed, to the end that… that everyone from the mountains of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.” So the destruction of all the people of Esau. Now once again, we went through verses 10 through 12 before that’s showing where, you know, they helped destroy Jerusalem, and that’s why those verses are even… or used to say, well, this is probably in 586. By the way, another thing that makes this book a little bit difficult is the first few verses are almost verbatim from a passage in Jeremiah.
So there’s always this argument, did he take it from Jeremiah, or Jeremiah take it from him? Or did God just inspire them to say the same thing? Of course, my answer is, who cares? Right? God chose to have those words put in there twice so it must be important. So you know, they’re arguing over, well one has to be before the other because he copied it from him, and he copied it from him. I don’t know. One of them copied it from the other, or God just inspired it to be said twice. Let’s go down to verse 10. Well, let’s get down to verse 13.
“You should not have entered the gate of My people.” We talked about that in the day of calamity. Verse 14 says “You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those of them who were escaping; nor should you have delivered up those among you who remained in the days of distress.” And they know this happened in 586, but it’s happened before. It will probably happen again. Now, the reason I say it will probably happen again because verse 15 now takes… The first 14 verses of this is just the history of Edom and Judah. But verse 15 brings it down to when are they being judged by God? “For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near.” Now, there could be days of the Lord that could happen in a very limited context. God told ancient Israel, “The day of the Lord is upon you,” they got destroyed.
God told Judah, “the day of the Lord is upon you,” they got destroyed. But with the day of the Lord of all nations has to do with the Messiah. So whenever you see “the day of the Lord of all nations”, this is real important. And using what you see the other day of the Lord it’s a former latter fulfillment too. So, it may be partly fulfilled at one time, but completely fulfilled in another. But the day of the Lord of all nations using as one context, and that is the time when the Messiah comes, and the Day of the Lord that we see in the book of Revelation.
Second part of verse 15. “As you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisals shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on My holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been.” That’s an amazing, you know, visual thing. Just like you took My people, you know, it was like water, you just lapped them up and drank them? All these people who are coming just to lap you up until you’re not even there anymore. He needs us to be a very gross, very you know, terrible imagery that we’re supposed to see. “As a people, you’re going to be lapped up, and it’s going to be done by the people you conspired with because of what you’ve done to My people,” God says.
Verse 17. I want to stop here for a minute because if you started to go through this from where we started verse 1 to here, you would see a whole list of the problems at Edom. If you look at it, they are condemned by God for their violence. They are a violent people. Just an angry, unreasoned, hate-filled violence. That’s what drives them. Their hostility, they’re just a hostile people. Nobody can really get along with them. They rejoice in calamity. This is especially against the people of God. So, in this case, He’s specifically talking about the Jews here, because He talks about Jerusalem. So, they rejoice in calamity. They boast during Jacob’s distress. “This is good that it’s happening to them. It’s good that it’s happening to Jacob’s descendants because they took our birthright. They took what belongs to us, it’s ours. And we have been subjugated, and we have been hated, and we have been put down, and we have been abused, and we’ve been victims for centuries, and it’s time for them to get their do.”
It also talks about taking spoils from God’s people. So, they go through and they just take whatever they can get. Preventing refugees from escaping. That’s interesting. We just read that. You kept them from even being able to get away. What will would it harm to let the women and children get out? They couldn’t even do that. And then he turned over refugees to the enemy. So, he’s going to bring this judgement on them. Verse 17. “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,” Mount Zion, of course, is Jerusalem. It is the Kingdom of God. It has imagery of the Kingdom of God and even has the imagery in the Bible of the Church itself, but in the place of Mount Zion, of course, is where the temple is. “But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire. And the house of Joseph a flame.” Now, I will stop there a minute because this is real important. He says, “The house of Jacob… the house of Joseph.”
You know, there is a time in the future when all the different descendants of Abraham that came through Jacob, all the tribes come back together. When is it? Ezekiel talks about it. It’s the time when David reigns on the earth. King David. When Christ comes… And the Messiah… There’s always references to the Messiah. When the Messiah comes, and the Jews today are waiting for this. When the Messiah comes, He gathers all of those descendants of Jacob back together, but not just Jacob, but Joseph. All the descendants of all the tribes, the 10 lost tribes, all the people are brought back together that are still alive, back into Israel and they will populate the land.
There will be Arab peoples and other peoples moved out of their land when Jesus comes back. Now, that’s offensive to a lot of people. But that land wasn’t given to them physically. Other land was given to them. That land was given to the physical descendants of Abraham. Now, that wasn’t given to the Church by the way. We don’t get Jerusalem, physical Jerusalem. We don’t get Galilee… Okay. That’s not what we get. We get the Kingdom of God. I guarantee you it’s a whole lot better than getting Israel, okay? But the physical descendants who weren’t part of the Church that are called back, they don’t have God’s Spirit, who are brought back at the time of the Messiah, they’re brought back and given the land God promised to Jacob and all the tribes including Joseph.
Now, this is interesting. The gathering of those people back to that area, because it shows… you know, in Ezekiel, he said, “Take these two sticks and tie them together, because that’s when Judah and Israel will be brought back together.” Tie back together when David rules over earth. And we know that not only King David himself, but the Messiah is a descendant of David. His house will rule over them. He says, “’The house of Jacob shall be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau.’ for the Lord has spoken.”
Now, this becomes very interesting. He says, “So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to ensure the Edomites, and I’m going to give this land back to Israel.” Even though there are Edomites in Iraq today, others in Turkey, and in southern Russia in these areas, that’s not what this is talking about here. This is talking about very specific places in the terms of this prophecy. “The South shall possess the mountains of Esau,” what are the mountains of Esau? Mount Seir, and shall possess the Lowland… “and the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim, the fields of Samaria, and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.” Now, all these places you can find today. You get each an ancient Bible map and a modern map of Israel, and you will find all these places.
What’s very interesting is that all these places except the mountains of Esau, and the land of Philistia, the Jews occupy today. They didn’t for many, many centuries, but they took it back in ‘48 and ‘67, 1948 and 1967, and they possess all but those two areas. The mountains of Esau is in Jordan. Anyone know what the land of Philistia is? Philistines. The land of the Philistines. Now, the Philistines have pretty much been destroyed from history. There’s probably a few left that are intermingled with the peoples of what is modern day Israel, the Arab tribes, and they… so they all get sort of mingled together. But the land of the Philistines were five cities on the coast of the Mediterranean. The biggest one or the major one was named Gaza.
The land of the Philistines today is called the Gaza Strip. Who lives in the Gaza Strip today? Palestinians. This is why many historians believe that many of the descendants of Edom live in Edom. They lived… Some of those, sort of small little tribes that live in the southern part of… The peoples who live in the southern part of Jordan. They also live in the Gaza Strip. At the end of the scripture, guess where you see the Edomites? Southern Judah, which included the Gaza Strip. That’s the end of the Bible story of them. And at the end of this book, it says, “To aid Edom, Joseph and, you know, the Israelites and Jews will come together and they will possess these lands.” So I made a little speculation here, but I do believe that not all Edomites are Palestinians, and not all Edomites are in Gaza. What this would make me believe they have… Some of them have to be there. They also have to be in the ancient land of Edom which is southern Jordan.
There’s a lot of Palestinians that live in Jordan. In fact, the Palestinians are scattered all over the world. There’s hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that have migrated into the United States. I think the Edomites are mixed in all those people. Edomites are scattered all over the world just like the Israelites are scattered all over the world. But you see this group there, there may be some Philistines in them, there are some other Arabs. There’s probably Israelite… or Ishmaelites mixed in there with them. Some of them probably even have Jewish blood. You say, “But why would you say that?” Because the… remember the Jews forcibly caused them to convert, which means that they probably intermarried some, they’re cousins.
It’s their land though, right? Why is it their land? Ask any Palestinian. Because God gave it to us through Abraham. Quran tells us that. He gave it to us through Abraham. And they are hostile, and they are violent. And they wish to destroy. I think other Edomites closer to the end, that are scattered all over the world are going to destroy them too. And that’s very interesting if you think of some of the places they may have scattered to, like Turkey or Iraq or other places. The problem is you can’t figure out who they are, just like you can’t always figure out who modern Israel is either. You can just get bits and pieces of it because everybody’s intermarried so much, intermingled so much.
This is very place-sensitive, you understand? This is very place-sensitive. So the end of the book then, “And the captives of this host of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South. Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau,” okay? Whatever remnant that’s left. But the last part of verse 21 is so important, “and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” This has never happened. This is a prophecy about the coming of Christ, the setup of God’s Kingdom on this earth. And the Edomites are involved with an attempt to destroy the people of Judah at that time as they have done historically.
So, like I said, what makes Obadiah so interesting is how much of it you can tie into all kinds of historical things that took place, but once you start there in verse 15, uh-oh, this has jumped ahead. Yeah, it’s jumped ahead to when the Messiah comes. And Edom is still doing it. And strangely enough, knowing what the Muslims believe, they’re going to be doing it for the exact same reason that Esau did it. “I want my birthright back.” Isn’t that amazing when you think about that? Thousands of years later and you have people whose entire religion is based around, “Give us our birthright back, and we’ll do any violence we have to because God allows it because it was stolen. You took it from us.” If you’d understand that, you will understand why they’re such fanatics.
And why they’re such even within… the Palestinians almost… not only an irrational anger, but a sense of inferiority. But you know they do call the Israelis their cousins. The Israelis call them their cousins. They know. They know. Just like they realize that all the other Arab tribes are from Ishmael, or from Lot. Some of the Arab tribes are from Lot, and some are from Esau. So, there’s the little book of 21 verses of Obadiah, and I probably created more questions than I answered. I have four minutes left. So, I’ll only answer questions that I can answer in four minutes or less. Any questions about Obadiah? No. In fact, everybody’s like, “No, because I’ll ask a question and maybe I’ll sound stupid.”
But there is a mystery about Obadiah, we understand that, but it is an end time prophecy. Right? What it does to me is it makes me want to really watch the Middle East. Really watch the Middle East. To watch what’s going to happen between the Palestinians, the other Arab nations. Even much of Egypt today is not populated by ancient Egyptians, it’s populated by Arabs, descendants of probably Ishmael. Although there are Egyptians still there, but remember the Egyptians were not a descendant of Abraham. But many of the people in Egypt today have been married to Arab tribes. So there’s a mixture of people there. So it makes a sort of difficult, you know, it’d be nice if the Amalekites wouldn’t have got wiped out or whatever. I mean, we can’t figure out. We know they got absorbed into Edom, that’s it. What happened to the rest them, we don’t know.
Okay. Well, if there’s no questions, then we will… Oh, we do have a question.
[Man] So verse 8 talks about destroying the wise men of Esau. Do you have anything to say about the wise men of Esau?
[Gary Petty] Yeah. I think what’s… In other words, voices of reason will no longer be there. That’s what I take from that. The voices of reason will no longer be there. There’s not going to be any wisdom on what they do. They’re just driven people. Yeah.
[Man] Okay. In verse 21, the saviors? Is that like the firstfruits or the fishers of men? Or something like that? Who are the saviors exactly?
[Gary Petty] You want to know the truth? This will shock you.
[Man] I would love to know the truth.
[Woman] Can you repeat the question?
[Gary Petty] The saviors of verse 21. Who are the saviors of… The other question was the wise men, who were the wise men? Well, you know, obviously there’s no wisdom left. There’s no reasonable thought in what they’re doing. The question of who are the saviors? And my secret knowledge is I have no idea. There’s theories but I think… the theories, I don’t know. I have not drawn to a conclusion yet, okay?
Ask Mr. McNeely. He’s the one that made me do this. He’s the one who kept saying, ”You have to do Obadiah.” So he knows all the answers. Go ask him. We’re done. Okay. Thanks for being here.