God’s Message about Edom

About this book

The book called Obadiah is in the Old Testament. The events in the Old Testament happened during a long time. All that time, there were many wars between the Israelites and the people from Edom. Genesis chapter 27 and Numbers 20:14-21 tell us why these wars happened.

God gives to Obadiah a message for the Israelites. He does this just after people from Babylon have destroyed Jerusalem. People from Edom helped those people from Babylon. So God is angry with the people from Edom. And he warns them that he is angry. He warns them in this message that God gives to Obadiah. In the message, God also tells the Israelites that he remembers them. And he remembers what the people from Edom did. God tells the Israelites that he will punish the people from Edom.

Chapter 1

God will punish Edom’s people

1 God, who is the LORD, gave a message to Obadiah. The message is about Edom.

This is the message from the LORD to the Israelites.

We have heard what God said.

And someone has taken a message to the countries.

‘Stand up and fight against Edom.’

2 God said to Edom,

‘I will make you small among other people.

They will think that you are not worth anything.

3 You think that you are better than other people. And so you believe something that is not true.

You live in a place that is difficult to reach.

Your home is high up in a place among rocks.

You say to yourself,

“Nobody can reach us up here.”

4 You may like a strong bird that flies high.

And you may make your home in the highest places among the stars.

But I will bring you down from there,’ says the LORD.

5 God says,

‘Men might come in the night

to take away what is yours.

(Oh, what a very bad thing will happen to you!)

But they would not take everything.

If people came to take fruit from your trees,

they would leave some fruit on the tree.

6 But people will take everything from Esau’s people (also called Edom).

They will even take the valuable things that you hide.

7 People who have helped you to fight

will push you out from your country.

They will tell you what is not true. You will believe them.

They will be stronger than you

because you will believe their words.

They will make a trap for you.’

8 The LORD says,

‘Some men in Edom know what is right. But, at that time, I will kill them.

Some men in the mountains know what is good. (These are the mountains where Esau’s people live.) But I will kill those men.

9 There are men from Teman city that fight. But I will make them afraid.

Esau’s people live in the mountains. And everyone there will die.

10 This will happen because you were cruel to your brother Jacob (the people in Israel).

God will make you ashamed because of this and you will die.

Verse 10 The people in Edom were born from Esau. The Israelites were born from Jacob. Jacob and Esau were brothers.

11 Men from other countries came into Jerusalem. They took away all the good things from Jerusalem. They played a game for the best things. You were as bad as they were. You did not help the Jews.

12 Your brothers in Judah were in great trouble.

You thought that you were better than they. But you were wrong to think that.

You should not have been happy when the people in Judah were dying.

You should not have been happy when they were in trouble.

13 You should not have walked like soldiers through my people’s gates.

You did that at the time when they were in trouble.

You should not have thought that you were better than they.

You thought it at the time when they were in trouble.

You should not have taken what was theirs.

14 You waited at the place where the roads joined each other.

You wanted to kill those that ran away from the enemy.

That is why you waited there.

You should not have done that.

Some Jews were still alive, but they were in trouble.

You should not have taken them to the enemy.

The Day of the LORD and what will happen then

15 The Day of the LORD will come soon for all the world’s people.

God will do to you what you did to other people.

God will be angry with you because you did those things to them.

The Day of the LORD is the time when God kills all his people’s enemies. It is when he makes his people strong again.

16 You drank on my special hill.

In the same way, people from all countries will drink and they will not stop.

They will drink until God has killed them.

17 But on the mountain called Zion, people will be free.

It will be special to me.

Jacob’s family will have the country that is theirs.

I will give it to them.

18 The people in Jacob’s and Joseph’s family will kill all the people that belong to Esau’s family.’

This is what the LORD said.

In verses 16-18, God is not speaking to the Jews. He is speaking to the people from Edom.

The people from Edom had drunk alcohol in a special place. And they danced there. It was where the Jews prayed to God. It was in Jerusalem city. Another name for Jerusalem was ‘the mountain called Zion’. God is saying that he will punish them. It will be like when people drink poison. It will be like a drink that contains God’s anger. But they will not be able to stop drinking. They will drink until God’s anger has killed them all.

19 People will come from the Negev. They will come to live in the mountains where Esau’s people (the people in Edom) lived.

People will come from the small hills near the mountain. And they will get the Philistines’ country.

They will live in the fields in Ephraim and Samaria.

Benjamin’s people will get Gilead.

20 Some people lived in Israel,

but they now have to live with the Canaanites.

They will get the country as far as Zarephath.

Some people lived in Jerusalem, but now they have to be in Sepharad.

They will get the towns in the Negev.

21 Men will come to make Jerusalem free

and they will rule over Edom.

And that country will belong to the LORD.

End note

God says that he will give to Judah’s people the country that belonged to their enemies. God does not forget his people. He does not forget what their enemies did. And he will kill all their enemies. God says that he will save his people and he will make them strong again.

Word List

what you feel when you are angry.
people that lived in Israel before the Jews did. The country was called Canaan then.
the group of people that were from Esau’s family; the country where those people lived; another name that people gave to Esau.
people from Israel; people from Jacob’s family (his children, grandchildren and so on); Jews.
people that are born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (their children, grandchildren and so on).
a special name for God that his people use. It means that he does not change. He is always God. He will do what he has promised to do. That is what this name means.
Old Testament
the first part in the Bible. The writers wrote that part before Jesus lived on earth.
people that lived in a country next to Israel.
to hurt someone because of wrong things that they have done.
something that people use to catch an animal by surprise; or something that makes things difficult for a person by surprise.
to tell someone that something is dangerous; to say that something (usually something bad) will happen.
another name for Jerusalem; or a special hill at Jerusalem.

Book List

Dr. J. I. Packer & Derek Williams ~ The Bible Application Handbook ~ Eagle Publishing

The Spirit filled Life Bible ~ NKJV

The NIV Study Bible ~ NIV


© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2012

This version published February 2012

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.