Posted by: mattcolvin | November 25, 2011

Obadiah: With the Measure that You Use…

Saturday of the 22nd week after Trinity: Obadiah.

Just one chapter long, the book of Obadiah, YHWH’s denunciation of judgment against Edom. We can recall similar judgments against nations who took advantage of Israel’s distress in the past: Amalek, for instance, or Moab.

8 “I will destroy the wise…” This commentary notes that “Wisdom was in some respects a national commody in Edom (Jer 49:7; Is 19:11). Job’s friend Eliphaz was from Teman (Job 2:11), a southern city in Edom mentioned in Ob 9.”

19-20 “The south shall possess” Edom. Because the word for “south” is Negev, which can also mean “desert”, it seems likely that Obadiah is predicting the eventual desolation and abandonment of Edom — which in fact happened, as is attested by the ruins of its capital, Petra, to this day. (Picture of the theatre in Petra, from Wikipedia):


This fate of desertification also overtook Assyria in accordance with the prophecies of Obadiah’s fellow minor prophet, Nahum.

Moral of the story: Do not gloat when your enemy falls. In all, a very sober reminder that the kingdoms of this world belong to the Lord, and He does in them whatever He chooses.


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