The Crucial Prophecy of Obadiah
Harold E. Lafferty
Obadiah is the fifth shortest book in the Bible, with one chapter, 21 verses, and 670 words in English. He is believed to have been a contemporary of Jeremiah, in part. The prophet presumes his readers’ familiarity with the history of Israel in his revelation to us. And of course, he utilizes the ancient names of nations and peoples in his inspired work.
As do all the other prophets, he knows that in the end time (when much of his prophecy takes place) we will be able to decipher the areas of today to which he is referring.
His work is far more extensive than it might at first appear, covering as it does, Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, their Babylonian captivity, their 70 AD dispersion to all nations, their troublesome years of dispersion to the ends of the earth, their re-gathering to their Land, and their end time conflicts. All this in 670 words!
Our detailed study will reveal these connections.
Along with Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 35, Obadiah becomes one of the key records left to Believers who live in the end time, and who are seeking information about the final tribulations – assaults – upon God’s people, Israel, and their ultimate triumph.
Without its benefit, every scholar would know less about Psalm 83, one of the most informative prophecies of the end time, than he otherwise would know. He also would lack important details relating to Isaiah 63 and others.
We see in all these accounts the prosecution of the curse-for-curse clause of the foreign policy elaborated by the Almighty to Abram long before his people became a nation. That text is found in Genesis 12:
Genesis 12:1-3 – Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Unfortunately for Esau, there is no blessing-for-blessing benefit in Obadiah’s account, for Esau never blesses his brother Jacob! When Jacob returned to Canaan with his wives and family, Esau did treat Jacob civilly. But beyond that instance, there was only animosity, threats and hatred.
We see that the promise also has another infinite aspect: in thee (Abram) shall ALL families of the earth be blessed … a long-term prophecy which Abraham should realize only after his resurrection from the dead.
This ancient law concerning the blessing and cursing of Israel still stands; it is of much longer standing than Israel itself, for it impends upon Abram’s seed from that early time in Ur. It has never been vacated or revoked.
So let us examine the prophecy of Obadiah …
Obadiah 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
Several points of discussion arise:
The “we” of this verse who have heard “a rumour from the LORD” are Obadiah and Jeremiah, as evidenced below.
But who are “the nations (heathen)?” They are Edom itself, for one (verse 2). But additionally, these are referred to as “all the men of thy confederacy” in Obadiah 1:7.
So the enemy here is a compound one.
Therefore, several other nations are to be involved with Edom in a compact against Israel. Their identity is affirmed by other inspired prophecies.
Those who rise up against her (Israel) in battle indicate all the heathen (nations) which shall confederate against Israel in this narrative. These are limited in number in this initial conflict but are clearly identified, as we shall see with further investigation.
All these are to be summarily destroyed!
Testimony of the Prophet Jeremiah
This dire message is repeated by Obadiah’s contemporary Jeremiah, projecting even broader implications: he employs some of the same terminology ...
Jeremiah 49:14 I have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together (form a confederation), and come against her (Israel), and rise up to the battle. 15 For, lo, I will make thee (Edom) small among the heathen, and despised among men. 16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD. 17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.
This destruction is decreed by Jeremiah to come by the hand of one Power – Israel.
Further, it is decreed to fall upon all the nations of the conspiracy against Israel.
Obadiah 1: 10-14 pinpoints Israel as the nation which Edom and its confederates confront. Bear in mind that this possibility exists only after the formation of the State of Israel in May, 1948.
Just as the Prophet Amos states in Amos 3:7 – Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but (except) he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
By these words of Obadiah and Jeremiah, He has served adequate notice upon Edom and his confederates. They are now without excuse.
It is not the responsibility of the Almighty to warn them further, although the likelihood of their heeding His warning is infinitesimal – for their “holy book,” the Koran – does not contain this warning!
But who ARE these confederates?
We can easily determine their specific identities by reference to the companion text – Psalm 83, which names them explicitly as Egypt, Assyria (Syria/Iraq), Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the South of Israel (Bedouin) including the Sinai Peninsula (Salafists). Psalm 83: 6-8.
Even though all these are long-standing enemies of the LORD, these specific areas have never coalesced to become united enemies of Israel in all history; but they are primed to do so this day – to confirm their disastrously ill-fated intent to cut them (Israel) off from being a nation that the name of Israel be no more in remembrance. (Psalm 83:4; cf. also Obadiah 1:18)
Obadiah now repeats the sentence of the Almighty upon Edom:
Oba 1:2 Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.
Two points are evident in these words: Esau is to be greatly diminished in importance among the coalition, and he is to become greatly despised.
We believe that both these conditions are in effect today.
The “Palestinians” have been greatly diminished by having killed each and by having been killed in internecine warfare and/or terrorist attacks upon Israel.
They have also become greatly despised by their neighboring Arab (host) countries as clearly expressed by their having been detained in squalid, overcrowded refugee camps after either being dispelled from Israel or fleeing from the warfare that was impending, especially in 1948 and 1967.
This was a time when their “leaders” in the surrounding countries advised them to leave their homes for a little time until the mighty Arab armies vanquished the pitiful Jews. They were mistakenly promised that after the (expected) great Arab victory they would be permitted to return to their homes and claim the property of the slain Israelis as well.
That never came about. Those who fled to nearby countries are mostly still housed there more than sixty-five years later as squalid tenants in vast encampments of tents in the “West Bank,” in Jordan, in Lebanon and in Syria. These literally currently inhabit the “curtains” (tents) of Habakkuk 3:7 - I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains (tents) of the land of Midian did tremble.
They are thus despised and rejected by their hosts – and utilized as pawns by their more numerous Arab kinsmen – the cause d’être of the continuing conflict. And they largely camp near the border of Israel as if they were a continuing threat, as in Obadiah 1:7.
Author Bill Salus, in his book, Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed [La Quinta (CA), Prophecy Depot Publ. Co., 2013], p. 187, well summarizes the Edomites’ diminution: “They [the Edomites] gave what help they could to Nebuchadnezzar, and exulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, stirring the bitterest indignation in the hearts of the Jews (Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 25:12; 35:3 et seq; Obadiah 1:10 et seq).
“The Edomites pressed into the then evacuated lands in the South of Judah. In 300 BC, Mt. Seir with its capital Petra, fell into the hands of the Nabateans. West of the Arabah the country they occupied came to be known by the Greek name of Idumaea, and the people as Idumeans. Hebron, their chief city, was taken by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC (I Maccabees 4:29, 61; 5:65). In 126 BC, the country was subdued by John Hyrcanus, who compelled the people to become Jews and to submit to circumcision. Antipas, governor of Idumaea, was made procurator of Judea, Samaria and Galilee by Julius Caesar. He paved the way to the throne for his son Herod the Great. With the fall of Judah under the Romans, Idumaea disappears from history.”
A few of these peoples had migrated further northward into Judea and Samaria, and remain there today as “Palestinians.” There is a distinct remnant of Edom within this group.
Oba 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
Oba 1:4 Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.
The designation of “pride” here is superbly appropriate. They are possessed with the firm Islamic conviction that they are greatly superior to the Jews, and unconquerable by them in the long run.
They spuriously claim long-prior habitation of the Land of Promise, some claiming to have been residents since 5,000 BC! Their actual decline is seen indicated in verse 2, where they are diminished, and in verse 4, where they are to be brought down by the LORD Himself!
A sure mark of their “pride” is their fanatic slogan of “Allahu Akbar,” which is shouted loudly whenever any of them sets off a suicide bomb vest to kill Israelis. The phrase means, “Allah is greater” – meaning greater than the God of the Jews or any other god.
Pride, of course, begets hatred. The residual hatred of Israel can be seen readily in the press releases and verbal boasts of the “Palestinians” every day. Their latest proclamation matches their claim, since 1967, that they will never recognize the Jewish State. This determination festers and infects their idealism to the point of tiresomeness; soon their hatred will have an end in these irrevocable words of Obadiah!
Oba 1:5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?
Oba 1:6 How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!
Esau is about to disappear from history altogether! These words illustrate the thoroughness with which Edom shall be destroyed. He is “searched out … sought up” to the last man, as verse 18 will declare: … there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. Obadiah 1:18.
Oba 1:7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee (you “Palestinians”) even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee (your confederates) have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.
The men of their confederacy in our opinion include themselves as a constituent of the ten entities so concisely designated in Psalm 83: 6 The tabernacles of Edom (South Jordan), and the Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia); of Moab (Jordan), and the Hagarenes (Saudi Arabia); 7 Gebal (Lebanon), and Ammon (Jordan), and Amalek (the Negev); the Philistines (Gaza) with the inhabitants of Tyre (Lebanon); 8 Assur (Assyria, or Syria/Iraq) also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot (Jordan).
The list is startlingly current and replete with the names of every enemy which is now in hot conflict (or potentially so) with Israel; and this particular alignment has never occurred in prior history!
The correlation with Obadiah is undisputable. And this is especially so when one considers the narrative of Isaiah 63: 1-6, which gives intimate details of their final conquest – of Edom’s bloody destruction by Messiah, Who treads them down as grapes in a winepress.
The deceit and prevalence of Edom’s confederates is obvious today. The “Palestinians” are being used by their “friends” of the Islamic world. People without a state – contrived as they may be – are vulnerable to nearly any assault upon them. That is one reason that they are pushing for the world to award them a state of their own – and for Israel to make impossible concessions to them in that pursuit. Yet, anachronistically, when offered almost every demand they have made (as at Shepherdstown, and later at Camp David in the ‘90s), their leaders have refused to accept Israel’s offers – because the “Palestinians” do not want a part of Israel; they want ALL of it for themselves.
Oba 1:8 Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding (their mistaken convictions) out of the mount of Esau? 9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. 10 For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
The words in that day indicate the approaching day of the final existence of Edom – the end times that we are now experiencing.
Note the surety of their destruction, stated in two phrases of this single verse: “destroy the wise men ... every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter)!
Surely the words wise men … of Edom are said in irony, for the remainder of the record proves that there are NONE wise in Edom.
Their “wisdom” is the “understanding” of Islam – an entirely spurious, pagan view of things by the world of Idumea as to its pride, its superiority, its invincibility – all of which are false!
Yes, their leaders DO think of themselves as “mighty men,” but that, too, is ironic. They are the “weak” who, in the 3rd chapter of Joel, the prophet, relating his words to this same era, says of their preparation for war, Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.
Note the specific reason given for Esau’s being cut off; it is for thy violence against thy brother Jacob (that) shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.
The sentence is one of obliteration – of Esau’s complete loss of the patience and mercy of the Almighty, having divested himself of the gracious offer of His salvation, freely given to all men.
Therefore, Esau’s violence against his brother Jacob will be repaid in kind – by violence being done to Esau. Those who curse you (Israel) I will curse. A curse for a curse, indeed!
The next portion of Obadiah’s prophetic narrative names the specific transgressions marking Esau’s historic violence against his brother Jacob:
Oba 1:11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. 12 But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. 13 Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; 14 Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.
This scathing list of “thou shouldest nots” is comprehensive, and extremely condemnatory of Esau! In so refusing to assist Judah’s children, they were “as one of them” by militant association.
· Esau stood back when the invading strangers (Babylon) carried away captives of Judah … and did not try to help Israel resist Babylon’s army or its people to escape captivity. This response was considered to be a dire transgression by the Almighty, even though those armies came down upon Judah at the Father’s behest. Esau stepped over the acceptable line in “standing back” and not assisting Judah – a decision based upon its long-standing hatred of and jealousy of Esau’s brother.
· And when those same strangers appropriated the substance of Jerusalem to themselves … entering the vacated City and helping themselves to the abandoned loot.
· And approved of Judah’s captivity, and their being made a stranger to their land … for their approval of Judah’s captivity was proven by Esau’s failure to assist his brother.
· And blatantly rejoiced over the misfortune of Judah in the day of her destruction … their glee reflecting their delight with the oppression of Judah – not sorrowing, as they should have done.
· And spoke proudly, rejoicing, vaunting themselves over Judah in the day of her destruction … a response which illustrated their joy at Judah’s great calamity – always a forbidden attitude.
· Should not have occupied the vacated, ruined City within Jerusalem’s gates … as the conquered City and the Jews’ properties which were left behind were not open to scavengers and looters as the people of Esau proved themselves.
· Should not have looked favorably on Judah’s affliction in the day of their calamity … in the doing of which Esau agreed with the aggressors, Babylon, that Judah was getting its just dues. But they were not suitable judges of Judah’s just dues.
· Nor have laid claim to Judah’s substance as spoil in the day of their calamity … rapaciously looting the vacated Jewish properties, taking everything that was valuable as if they were the conquerors and exactors of justice for Judah – and as being justly due the spoils of war; they were not.
· Nor have stood capturing those who fled away, striving to escape … actively and willingly assisting the Babylonian forces to capture and imprison and enslave the children of Judah.
· And should not have delivered captives to the invaders in Judah’s day of distress … even actively intercepting the fleeing children of Judah, and delivering them up to the Babylonians, likely for a monetary reward.
This all-inclusive indictment clearly illustrates the perpetual animosity and hatred of Esau for Jacob. It is no wonder that it is recalled that, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated,” as pronounced by the Almighty in the words of Paul in Romans 9:13. The just basis for this judgment is that Esau despised his birthright so thoroughly that he sold it to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
Verse 11 most likely refers to the request of the Children of Israel asking permission to pass through the land of Edom with promised great discipline and high demeanor as they made their way toward Canaan during the Exodus from Egypt, but were refused by Esau from doing so.
The account is in Numbers 20: 14-21, and illustrates the heartless treatment of the Israelites by Esau on that occasion, when they “stood on the other side” of their boundary and refused to allow Israel to pass through their land.
Num 20:20 And he (the king of Edom) said, Thou (Israel) shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.
That was one of Esau’s most notable affronts to the people of God, for it made their journey more arduous as they were then required to circle around Edom to enter the Land further north.
Verse 12 of this series contains an hidden recognition of the three waves of destruction suffered by Judah as noted by commentator Bill Salus (ibid., p. 193).
1. “The day of his captivity:” memorializes the first Babylonian attack in 606 BC. At this time Daniel and some intellectuals, as well as Judah’s king and many courtiers were deported to Babylon at this time.
2. “The day of his destruction:” speaks to the second wave of the captivity of more Jews, and the catastrophic destruction of the Temple of Solomon on Tisha b’Av of 586 BC.
3. “The day of distress:” was the third and last deportation in 582 BC. In this way a large Jewish population was shifted to Babylon, and many of them did not elect to return to Judea at the edict of return under Cyrus.
These Jews were recovered from Iraq primarily between August, 1949, and the end of 1952 – at a time when the Iraqi government allowed its Jews to leave the country, and nearly every Iraqi Jew made Aliyah to Israel! (cf., Isaiah 11: 11 – “Elam and Shinar” being the operative loci of the Iraqi Diaspora.
It is notable that the researcher E. W. Bullinger (Companion Bible) points out that each of these three waves of deportation and associated exile lasted 70 years, and that at the end of each period a contingency of Jews returned to the land of Israel on a perfect schedule, each contingent having been exiled for 70 years in a staggered fashion beginning and ending at the exact various appropriate times!
Could these be the three specific occasions when the doomed kingdom of Judah was to be overturned, overturned, overturned … with the effects of those three upheavals which ended the kingdom of God on the earth lasting until He come Whose right it is to reclaim the throne of David?
We believe this understanding is feasible and applicable, for the kingdom never has existed since that time so as to be available once, and again, and yet again for overturning.
All told, three final kings were placed on the throne of Judah by Babylon during these phases, and all three proved unacceptable and were overthrown by the Babylonian overlords and taken into captivity.
In the finality, this era was the final, serial destruction of the kingdom of Judah; it would not be restored until the end time when David My Servant should restore the throne of His father David, and resume the Kingship of Israel; cf., Isaiah 37:35; Ezekiel 34:23, 24; 37:25.
The passage relating the details of this threefold upheaval is presumably found in Ezekiel 21:25 - And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel (Zedekiah), whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, 26 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it (the throne and kingdom): and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
Verse 13 is also interesting. How did this occasion arise?
Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
The account probably refers to the terrible time of calamity during the Roman occupation of Judea just prior to the birth of Christ until the destruction of 70 AD. The Edomites “entered the gate of My people” by having one of their number placed upon the throne over Israel, first in the person of Antipater in 47 BC – a mandatory and unilateral action by Caesar.
He was followed by Herod the Great – an Edomite/Nabatean. Herod re-worked the Temple of Nehemiah which had fallen into disrepair to please the restive Jews. His rapacious life is best epitomized by the slaughter of all male children in Bethlehem up to the age of two years in his desperate attempt to slay the infant Jesus. His successors likewise were mixtures of Edomite and Nabatean blood who had been given control over Judah, much to their delight and satisfaction.
But what of “laying hands on their (the Jews’) substance?” The ham-fisted taxation system of the Romans did indeed “lay hands on” the Jews’ riches, often reducing them to poverty and even committing them to prison. The Publicans were tax-farmers of the first water and were hated throughout the country. Such an one was Matthew before his calling!
For all these atrocities, Esau earned the condemnation of YHVH, the God of Israel. That sentence has not been applied as yet … but it shall be soon. Ezekiel details their punishment:
Ezekiel 25:12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; 13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they (Edom) shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.
So, again, there is evidence that Israel shall be the instrument by which Esau is deprived of his “birthright” in its final iteration, being erased from being a people by the people of God.
Here is laid before us the stark contrast between Mount Esau, and Mount Zion of the following narrative. The curse-for-a-curse principle here turns full circle upon Esau and his confederates.
Oba 1:15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.
The prophet Isaiah had delivered a dire message related to the cup that the nations have forced upon the people “upon My holy mountain,” in the words below.
He is here addressing His people of Zion, and the cup from which they have been forced to drink for millennia. However, his message is one of hope and compassion; the cup of His fury shall be taken away from His people and passed to their oppressors – those who had forced the cup of His fury upon Israel since time immemorial.
The curse-for-a-curse principle is faithfully operative!
At that time, His people are relieved of that cup and its deadly poisonous contents; it is given to their enemies where its contents are fatal.
Isaiah 51:22 I have taken out of thine hand (Israel’s hand) the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
The depraved treatment that they have meted out upon Israel shall now be served upon themselves in a deadly landslide of ill circumstances and dire punishments, as fatal to them as Socrates’ hemlock. And there is no antidote …
The catastrophic end is that, for those enemies, they shall be as though they had not been.
There can be no fuller expression of either certainty or extent of execution!
Like Judas Iscariot, it would have been better for the descendants of Esau if they had not been born. We see in this scenario the extreme challenge – the fatal consequences – of the inbred philosophy of Radical Islam, which even mothers inculcate into their youngest children – urging them to grow up to be jihadists … to give up their lives as suicide bombers.
This culture of death shall give them their just deserts – which is everlasting death in Sheol. It is a fitting end for the despicable people who hate God and His righteousness, and who despise His people. These words of firm condemnation are not our, but are from the mouth of the Almighty Himself!
The scourge of Islam in the entire world in our day is such that only a Divine solution is possible.
Their culture of death and destruction is impossible for human forces to combat successfully, reinforced as it is by millions of fanatical Jihadists bent upon the utter destruction of all things which are not “Islamic.”
The contrast with the children of God is marked, their deliverance standing out in stark relief against the backdrop of the oblivion of Esau.
The next words of Obadiah foretell the end of the matter.
Oba 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions (i.e., the former possessions of Esau and his confederates).
Oba 1:18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they (Israel) shall kindle in them, and devour them (Esau); and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.
Deliverance from evil, and oppression – and godlessness. In contrast, the forces of deliverance from the oppression of those nations and peoples round about the nation of Israel, and instruction in holiness shall emanate from Zion.
The wealth of these Gentiles shall accrue to God’s people and kingdom, just as the spoils of Esau, Edom and Moab did during the time of King Jehoshaphat as accounted in 2Chronicles 20, where all these enemies destroyed each other in the desolate wastes of the Judean wilderness, each by his brothers’ sword well before the army of Israel came upon the scene.
And Israel spent three entire days collecting the wealth and booty from the dead.
The forces of the Almighty shall be as a consuming flame of fire; Esau’s fate is to become mere stubble before them, as the mighty army of Israel devours them to the last man! Stubble burns nearly completely, leaving almost no residue (ash); such shall their destruction be.
For this is decreed by the LORD of hosts, and by His zeal, He shall perform it!
The end result is solemnly related in the next two verses, outlining the physical consequences of the animus evoked by God’s Spirit, as the Israel Defense Force applies its most expert offensive against the ungodly heathen both among their countrymen and round about their borders.
We refer to the stated (and literal) landmarks indicated in these verses as the “borders of Obadiah,” but in reality this adventure is only a small but significant portion of the end time wars of Israel, in which the Promised Inheritance of Abraham and His Seed (Christ) is destined to be cleared of the squatters and interlopers who have illicitly moved into and laid claim to the Blessed Land from every point of the compass.
These have no part in the “first dominion of the kingdom” which Christ the Messiah shall establish there. His primary borders are predetermined to be “from the River Nile to the great River Euphrates – and from sea (the Mediterranean) to sea” (the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean?) – a vast land which at present is largely windswept, intensely hot and dry, forlorn and barren desert, but which in His day, shall blossom as the rose, and be productive as the Garden of Eden.
Oba 1:19 And they of the south (of Israel) shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
Oba 1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
These areas of conquest are today approximately 90% occupied by the “Palestinians” and their ilk. After this conquest, the area shall know rest which it has not known for over a century in these end times. But even that shall be a partial “rest” – a period of respite prior to the time when “the rest of the story” resumes. Their confederates are likewise fated to conquest by the new Power from the South, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s, as it is then depicted in these certain words:
Oba 1:21 And saviours (the Redeemed Saints of God and their Master, Jesus Christ) shall come up on mount Zion (in Jerusalem) to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.
The Prophet Ezekiel addresses this timely event in his 25th chapter. It is notable that the inspired word here utilizes the term “My people Israel,” indicating that their status has changed in God’s eyes – from that of “not My people” to “My people Israel,” as explained and discussed by five key references: Hosea 1:9, 10; Hosea 2:23; Romans 9:23, 26 q.v. These words of Hosea and Paul illustrate the metamorphosis of Israel back to their earlier status of loving approval of their Father.
Eze 25:14 And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel: and they shall do in Edom according to mine anger and according to my fury; and they shall know my vengeance, saith the Lord GOD.
The divine seal of approval upon Israel is evident as His people spread forth, inspired by the strength and motivation of the LORD, as the prophet Ezekiel foretells in 37:10: So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath (Hebrew, Ruach) came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
Israel today has re-gathered into its Land from the dreary valley of dry bones; its muscles and sinews are now stretched upon its skeleton. But it is not yet energized by the Spirit (the Ruach, or breath) of God, as it surely shall be soon.
Its exceeding great army will execute His vengeance speedily upon Esau and his collaborators in devastating combat – swiftly bringing their utter end.
It shall not be the result which had been confidently expected by Esau and his confederacy, the “Palestinians,” Hamas, Hezbollah, and others such as Islamic Jihad, who never once suspected the enormous might and power of the Entity against which they were struggling.
Their entire holdings – their considerable wealth – are thus turned unto the Christ of the Second Advent, including His Saints and His people, whose sovereignty shall then extend far beyond the paltry occupancy formerly held by Esau and his kind.
Valuable lands which include Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, and Kuwait, the aggregate of whom already contain nearly half the known oil reserves of the earth in this day.
Over and above that, Jordan’s deposits of oil shales is thought to exceed the value of those in Israel – a resource which can now be safely and profitable exploited … and almost certainly shall be during the initial phases of His kingdom.
For what it’s worth, the wealth of Greater Israel shall be enormous when fully acquired from these vile enemies.
With this development, the Kingdom of God upon the earth shall have begun.
Just as were Ba’al and Chemosh of old, the vaporous idol named “Allah” was never any match for YHVH – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the people of the Living God!
<HEL 2N> ~ 6,200 words.