OBADIAH - Judgment on the Spirits of Esau and Edom


Tuesday Morning Bible Study

January 30, 2024, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 Mahesh Chavda: “When Israel is on the move, the church is on the move.   

It has been on my mind to teach from Obadiah for the past couple of weeks.  The heart of Obadiah’s prophecy is aimed at the Edomites who stand under the judgment of God for their inhumanity to Israel.  Most of ancient Edom is present day Jordan, but overlaps into Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Obadiah is prophesying to the spirit of Edom and Esau which hates Israel.

Iran attacked our military base this week in present day Jordan.  Obadiah lists Edom’s crimes in their ascending horror.  However, Obadiah moves from the general to the particular; from God’s judgment upon Edom to the “day of the Lord,” which will mean his judgment upon all nations.                           

“The US operates at least 30 military bases in the Middle East.  These bases range from small outposts in Syria and military encampments shared with host nations to airbases under full US control.  Some are large and visible while others remain highly secretive, likely managed by a combination of CIA or US special forces personnel.  The US has bases in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Jordan, and Oman.” (Wikipedia).

Obadiah’s prophecy is a vision.  The date is disputed, but for the purpose of applying it to the situation around Israel today, I chose the date 853-841 BC when Jerusalem was invaded by the Philistines and Arabs during the reign of Jehoram of Judah (2 Kings 8L 20-22; 2 Chron. 21: 8-20). As I have discovered, the Word of God has no shadow of turning.  The Lord’s judgments in past centuries are just as true for the present.  This is also true of His blessings.

Obadiah's  name means, “Servant of Yahweh.” 

The Talmud says he was an Edomite proselyte and a descendant of Eliphaz, the friend of Job. He is identified with the Obadiah who was the servant of Ahab.   Obadiah is supposedly to have received the gift of prophecy for having hidden the “hundred prophets” from the persecution of Jezebel.  He was very rich, but all his wealth was expended in feeding the poor prophets.  He borrowed money at interest from Ahab’s son, Jehoram.  Obadiah’s fear of God was one degree higher than that of Abraham.” (Wikipedia).

Obadiah 1:1: The vision of Obadiah:   Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom (a type of all the enemies of Jesus and His Kingdom); we have heard a rumor from the Lord, and a messenger has been  sent among the nations, saying, arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle (NKJV).  

On October 7, 2023, terror again struck the land of Israel.  This was the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.  The enemy entered Israel by sea, and by air, from the Gaza Strip. Thousands of rockets fired into the dwellings of the Israelis.  They entered into towns, streets, young families in their beds. The murdered infants and children.  They took hundreds captive.  Palestinians rejoiced all over the world.

The messengers. an envoy. (Herald angels). are sent to the nations to call them to war against Edom.  God’s word is against a proud nation.  The people who think they are so great will be brought low.  Edom’s self-assurance is a false one even if it were able to ascend high above its fortified cities like the eagle, to nest among the stars (Vs. 4), it would be unable to evade God’s judgment. 

That is a message to our nation and other nations, that even as we are now able to fly to the stars, there will be no escaping the judgment of God except through the saving Blood of Jesus Christ. 

The plunderers of Edom are compared to thieves and grape pickers who come in the night  (vs 5).   Thieves normally take only what they want, and gatherers of grapes leave a residue for the poor (Lev. 19:10), but the nations of armies sent to Edom to avenge Judah will leave nothing. 


Obadiah 1:6: Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!  How his hidden treasures will be sought after.  

Esau:  The use of the name of an individual represents a larger group, a way of thinking, a corporate personality, a culture of people, a principality.   Mountains of Esau (vs 8) represents the mountainous region inhabited by the Edomites in contrast to Mount Zion.  Teman (vs.9) (modern Tawila) was the chief Edomite city  and was protected by the nearby fortress-city of Sela.  Its inhabitants were renowned for their wisdom (Jer. 49:7).


Obadiah 1:10: For the violence against your brother, Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. 


Edom stood aloof from Judah and failed to help their brothers when they were attacked. It is as much a sin to do nothing when we are attacked as it is to be the attacker. The Edomites looked on with malicious satisfaction in the day of Israel’s misfortune.  We are seeing this today as the American Palestinians are chanting and protesting the war with Hamas.


Oba. 1:11-12: In that day that you stood on the other side--- in the day that strangers carried captive his forces; when foreigners entered his gates, and cast lots for Jerusalem--- Even you were as one of them.  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 distress.  You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity.  Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity.  Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.  


Edom’s treachery toward Judah reached its extremity by refusing to receive refugees from Jerusalem after its destruction.   


The judgment of God upon the spirit of Esau and the Edomites is but one aspect of the approaching day of the Lord, which is a day of judgment upon all nations.  This day will be a day of great reversals:  As you have done, it will be done to you.


1:15-16: For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you.  Your reprisal 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.


The image of drinking a cup filled with stupefying wine is frequently used in the O.T. for the experience of God’s wrath.  We can either drink of the cup of God’s fury, or the cup of His blessing.  A remnant of Israel will be established upon a re-consecrated Mount Zion, the house of Jacob (Judah the southern kingdom) and the house of Joseph (Israel, the northern kingdom).


It is not without prophetic consequence that I preached two messages the past two Sundays on the blessings of the House of Jacob using the Twelve Gates of Pearl and the Twelve Foundations of Precious Stones in New Jerusalem.  This is certainly a reconsecrated House of Jacob with the prayers for blessings sealed in the Gates and foundations of New Jerusalem.


Oba. 1:17-18:  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.  But the house of Esau shall be stubble.  They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain in the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.


The house of Esau will be destroyed.  The restoration of Judah will involve an expansion of its territories.  Israelis from the Negev will inherit the land of Edom (the mountains of Esau). Israelis of the foothills will occupy the coastal plain known as the land of the Philistines: the territory of the former northern kingdom.  Ephraim and Samaria will be re-inhabited by Israelis, as will Gilead in Transjordan.  Exiles will return to possess the land as far north as Zarephath and as far south as the Negev.


Oba. 1: 19-20: The South shall possess the mountains of Esau; and the lowland shall possess Philistia.  They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria.  Benjamin shall possess Gilead. 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.  



Zephaniah 2 confirms a day when Israel will possess the full spectrum of land promised to Abraham.  Some are persuaded this will happen at the Second Coming of Christ.  However, I believe the land will be returned to the Jews as prophesied by Obadiah and other prophets.


In Genesis 13, the Lord promised Abraham an enormous amount of land.  The wars of the ages have been fought over the “promise to Abraham’s seed (Jesus Christ) and the Promised Land.


 God was and is faithful to keep his covenant by giving the land to the seed of Abraham.


Heb. 11:8-9: By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise.


Joshua defeated 31-kings and took a vast amount of the Promised Land.  However, he did not take it all.


The Lord says a strange thing to Joshua which I find sobering, “Joshua was old and stricken in years.  (He was 85 years old when he succeeded Moses.)  The Lord said to him, “You are old and stricken in years; there remains yet very much land to be possessed.”


1.     All the borders of the Philistines.

2.     All Geshuri (a province of Syria).

3.     From Sihor (before Egypt to Ekron)

4.     The 5 lords of the Philistines (Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron).

5.     The Avites

6.     Many others in the south and the north.  (13: 4-6)


About 400 years later King David and King Solomon expanded the Promised Land into an even-greater Israel.  David fought many battles with the Philistines, and subdued them, but never totally defeated them.


1 Ki. 4:21: Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river to the land of the Philistines…


This gives some insight to the Palestinian cry, “from the river to the sea.”


This was as good as the possession of the land ever became.  The Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians,  Greeks, Romans, Germans, etc. have all tried to destroy not only the Jews, but their promise of the Land.  It is the battle of the ages between the Kingdom of God and the kingdoms of this world under the power of the spirit of anti-Christ.


It is given to an obscure prophet by the name of Obadiah to decree “In the Day of the Lord,” there will be a great reversal and all the land promised to Abraham will be given to the House of Jacob. To decree once more the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant --- the promise to bless them that bless and curse them that curse the descendants of Abraham. 


Oba. 1:21:  Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s. (Jehovah, the Existing One).


Leaders anointed by the LORD will be established to govern the land of Edom and the other nations.  The Kingdom of God will be established by the Savior, Jesus Christ.  This is not a human kingdom, but the Lord’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries church

10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX.


Scripture form N.K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, W. Ward Gasque.  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Mr. Gasque.  

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