Moreover, Frederick A. There is also scholarly discussion about the captivity of Israelites in Sepharad mentioned in verse twenty.

Intro to Obadiah | Biblica - The International Bible Society

It is believed that, in ancient times, "Sepharad" was a name for the modern day land of Spain. Sepharad is also the name of Spain in Rabbinical and modern Hebrew. The same verse also speaks of Tzarfat which is identified with France and is the name of France in Rabbinical and modern Hebrew. However, it seems more likely that this passage refers to communities in Asia Minor most often Sardis in Lydia Asia Minor.

Despite this, the location of Sepharad remains undetermined.

Where are we?

Although there are no direct parallels from Obadiah found within the New Testament , there are some thematic parallels, as have already been discussed. Elsewhere in scripture, we can note that verses appear with minor changes in the Book of Jeremiah , [16] and that the style and language found in Obadiah is very similar to the Book of Joel.

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Book of Obadiah. Previous Book of Mormon. Next Book of Proverbs. Caspari, Taeger, Hengstenberg, Haevernick and others place him in the reign of Uzziah. Vitringa, Carpzov, and Kueper, in the time of Ahaz. Aben Ezra, Luther, Calovius, Michaelis, Schurrer, Rertheau, Holzapfel, and very many moderns place the date of the prophecy immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. Thus the essential evil which is symbolized everywhere in Scripture by Esau and his descendants is that of the pride of self-sufficiency, the philosophy which feels it has no need of God or of any help outside itself.

This inward pride finds its expression in outward acts of violence and cruelty toward Judah, described in verses 10 through When Jerusalem was under attack and the people of Judah were being carried away by strangers who had invaded the city, Edom looked on with delight and shouted for joy at the news of the overthrow of Jerusalem. Furthermore, they took an active part by delivering up the survivors to the enemies of Judah and cutting off those that escaped. Thus for their evil against their brother nation the Edomites stand condemned, and despite their proud self-sufficiency are to be brought low and humbled in the day of the Lord.

Verses 15 through 21 describe the inevitable end of pride. For the prophet states: "As you have done, it shall be done to you, your deeds shall return on your own head" v. History records that some five years after the fall of Jerusalem, in B.

Origen, one of the early church fathers, spoke of them as a people whose name and language had perished. Obadiah's prophecy closes with a prediction of restoration to come to Judah, here called Mount Zion. Thus is fulfilled the word of Obadiah that "the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions" and also "there shall be no survivor to the house of Esau; for the Lord has spoken" vv.

The deeper meaning of this little prophecy can only be understood when one sees Jacob and Esau as symbols of the antagonistic principles of the flesh and the spirit in man. God hates Esau and loves Jacob because Jacob stood for all that Esau was not. Jacob represents faith in God and a willingness to submit to God's guidance. Though in the personal life of Jacob there was much of failure and of shame, yet through all his record there shines the glory of faith in God's ability to bless.

But Esau hated that ideal. His own attitude was of self-sufficiency and pride and he took every opportunity to assault his brother Jacob whenever he was down. It has been well stated that every human institution is but the lengthened shadow of its founder, and this principle is seen clearly in the nations of Judah and Edom, which descended from Jacob and Esau.

There is a footnote to history in the record of the New Testament which is most remarkable in this regard. In the scenes of Passion Week when Jesus was facing His coming crucifixion, all the Gospels give an account of the time when Jesus of Nazareth stood face to face with King Herod Antipas. Jesus was the son of Jacob, His whole life was lived to express complete and utter faith in God, and in Him was fulfilled the principles of Jacob, but without Jacob's failures and follies. But Herod is an Idumaean, an Edomite, a descendant of Esau.

He is proud and arrogant, watching with cruel satisfaction the mockery of the soldiers as they stripped Jesus and dressed Him in robes of royalty.

Introduction to the prophesy of Obadiah

With an evil smile, he plied Jesus with many questions, but for the son of Esau there was no answer from the son of Jacob. He had nothing to say. The final issue is most remarkable, for the son of Jacob was crucified by the violence of sinful pride but rose a conqueror and is to return to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings, so that, as Obadiah states in his closing words: "the kingdom shall be the Lord's. But what of Herod, the son of Esau?

Tradition tells us that after the crucifixion he returned to Galilee, but soon his pride led him to seek the overthrow of his brother. In appealing his case to the emperor he was dethroned and exiled in Gaul where he died a painful and hideous death. Thus the question which this shortest of the Old Testament prophecies confronts us with is relevant yet today: It is either Jacob or Esau--which do you follow? For permission to use this content, please review RayStedman. Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved.

Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth,.

Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom,. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked,. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders,. As Jesus Himself put it in John "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. God Judges: Amos, Obadiah.


  1. King James Bible Dictionary - Reference List - Obadiah?
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Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, 4 I will send fire upon the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7 I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses.

Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood, 10 I will send fire upon the walls of Tyre that will consume her fortresses. Because he pursued his brother with a sword, stifling all compassion, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked, 12 I will send fire upon Teman that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to extend his borders, 14 I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah that will consume her fortresses amid war cries on the day of battle, amid violent winds on a stormy day.

The Edomites were not the last people deceived by pride. They were a small, relatively poor and insignificant nation.

4. Obadiah

Yet what they could be proud about, they were — they lived in an area of great natural fortifications and strength, so they boasted in the clefts of the rock around them. Though you exalt yourself as high as the eagle : And boast they did!


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  • Sometimes those who have the least reason for pride have the most of it. The Edomites boasted in their natural defenses. The ancient city of Petra — once the capital city of Edom, known as Sela — had amazing defenses. It is a city carved into the rock, accessible by a narrow canyon almost a mile long. At the end of the canyon there is a spectacular city carved in stone, and seemingly incapable of being conquered by any army.

    The Edomites boasted in their wisdom. The men of Edom — especially of the city Teman — were noted for their wisdom. The phrase men of the East in the Old Testament often refers to men from Edom, and passages like 1 Kings declare the great wisdom of the men of the East. As well, Jeremiah says of Edom: Is wisdom no more in Teman?

    Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? This was another source of pride for the Edomites. The Edomites boasted in their alliances and trusted in their allies — their confederacy , the men at peace with you Obadiah They thought that their alliances made them strong, and they were proud because of that strength. From there I will bring you down : The sobering truth about our pride is that God can bring us down anytime. He can shatter our proud deception and bring us low. If grape-gatherers had come to you, Would they not have left some gleanings?

    Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! All the men in your confederacy 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. Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.

    Would they not have stolen till they had enough?