Obadiah - Chapter 1
Translation and Transliteration of
Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1The prophecy of Ovadya. We have received tidings from Hashem, And an envoy has been sent out among the nations: “Up! Let us rise up against her for battle.” Thus said my God concerning Edom:
kha-ZON o-va-DY-a, ko-a-MAR a-do-NAI y'-ho-VAH le-e-DOm, she-mu-AH sha-ma-NU may-AYT y'-ho-VAH, v'-tziR ba-go-YIM shu-LAKH, koo-MU v'-na-KU-ma AL-y'-HA la-mil-kha-MAH
אחֲז֖וֹן עֹֽבַדְיָ֑ה כֹּֽה־אָמַר֩ אֲדֹנָ֨י יֱהֹוִ֜ה לֶאֱד֗וֹם שְׁמוּעָ֨ה שָׁמַ֜עְנוּ מֵאֵ֤ת יְהֹוָה֙ וְצִיר֙ בַּגּוֹיִ֣ם שֻׁלָּ֔ח ק֛וּמוּ וְנָק֥וּמָה עָלֶ֖יהָ לַמִּלְחָמָֽה׃
2I will make you least among nations, You shall be most despised.
hi-NEH ka-TON n'-ta-TI-kha ba-go-YIM ba-ZU-ee a-TAH m'-OD
בהִנֵּ֥ה קָטֹ֛ן נְתַתִּ֖יךָ בַּגּוֹיִ֑ם בָּז֥וּי אַתָּ֖ה מְאֹֽד׃
3Your arrogant heart has seduced you, You who dwell in clefts of the rock, In your lofty abode. You think in your heart, “Who can pull me down to earth?”
Z'-DON li-B'-KHA hi-SHI-e-KHA, shokh-NEE v'-kha-g'vei-SE-lah, m'-ROM shiv-TO, o-MER b'-li-VO, mee yo-ri-DE-ni a-RETZ.
גזְד֤וֹן לִבְּךָ֙ הִשִּׁיאֶ֔ךָ שֹׁכְנִ֥י בְחַגְוֵי־סֶ֖לַע מְר֣וֹם שִׁבְתּ֑וֹ אֹמֵ֣ר בְּלִבּ֔וֹ מִ֥י יוֹרִדֵ֖נִי אָֽרֶץ׃
4Should you nest as high as the eagle, Should your eyrie be lodged 'mong the stars, Even from there I will pull you down —declares Hashem.
im-ta-G'BI-ha ka-NE-sher v'-im-BAYN ko-KHA-veem SIM ki-NE-kha mi-SHAM o-ri-D'KHA n'-UM-a-do-NAI
דאִם־תַּגְבִּ֣יהַּ כַּנֶּ֔שֶׁר וְאִם־בֵּ֥ין כּֽוֹכָבִ֖ים שִׂ֣ים קִנֶּ֑ךָ מִשָּׁ֥ם אוֹרִֽידְךָ֖ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה׃
5If thieves were to come to you, Marauders by night, They would steal no more than they needed. If vintagers came to you, They would surely leave some gleanings. How utterly you are destroyed!
im-ga-NA-vim ba-u-l'-KHA, im-sho-d'-DEI la-Y'-LA, aykh nid-MAY-ta, ha-LO yig-NE-vu da-YAM, im-bo-tz'-REEM ba-U-l'-KHA, ha-LO yash-i-RO-LOT.
האִם־גַּנָּבִ֤ים בָּאֽוּ־לְךָ֙ אִם־שׁ֣וֹדְדֵי לַ֔יְלָה אֵ֣יךְ נִדְמֵ֔יתָה הֲל֥וֹא יִגְנְב֖וּ דַּיָּ֑ם אִם־בֹּֽצְרִים֙ בָּ֣אוּ לָ֔ךְ הֲל֖וֹא יַשְׁאִ֥ירוּ עֹלֵלֽוֹת׃
6How thoroughly rifled is Esau, How ransacked his hoards!
AYKH nekh-PSU e-SAV, niv-U matz-PU-na-YAV
ואֵ֚יךְ נֶחְפְּשׂ֣וּ עֵשָׂ֔ו נִבְע֖וּ מַצְפֻּנָֽיו׃
7All your allies turned you back At the frontier; Your own confederates Have duped and overcome you; [Those who ate] your bread Have planted snares under you. He is bereft of understanding.
ad-ha-ge-VUL shi-le-KHU-kha kol an-SHEI b'-ree-TE-kha hi-SHI-u-KHA yak-LU l'-KHA an-SHEI sh'-LO-me-KHA lach-M'-KHA ya-see-MU ma-ZOR tach-TEI-kha AYN t'-vu-NAH BO
זעַֽד־הַגְּב֣וּל שִׁלְּח֗וּךָ כֹּ֚ל אַנְשֵׁ֣י בְרִיתֶ֔ךָ הִשִּׁיא֛וּךָ יָכְל֥וּ לְךָ֖ אַנְשֵׁ֣י שְׁלֹמֶ֑ךָ לַחְמְךָ֗ יָשִׂ֤ימוּ מָזוֹר֙ תַּחְתֶּ֔יךָ אֵ֥ין תְּבוּנָ֖ה בּֽוֹ׃
8In that day —declares Hashem— I will make the wise vanish from Edom, Understanding from Esau's mount.
ha-LO ba-YOM ha-HU n'-UM a-do-NAI v'-ha-a-va-D'-tee cha-ka-MEEM me-e-DOM u-t'-vu-NAH me-har E-sav
חהֲל֛וֹא בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא נְאֻם־יְהֹוָ֑ה וְהַאֲבַדְתִּ֤י חֲכָמִים֙ מֵֽאֱד֔וֹם וּתְבוּנָ֖ה מֵהַ֥ר עֵשָֽׂו׃
9Your warriors shall lose heart, O Teman, And not a man on Esau's mount Shall survive the slaughter.
v'-kha-TU gi-bo-RE-kha tay-MAN l'-MA-an yi-KA-ret eesh may-HAR ay-SAV mi-KA-tel
טוְחַתּ֥וּ גִבּוֹרֶ֖יךָ תֵּימָ֑ן לְמַ֧עַן יִכָּֽרֶת־אִ֛ישׁ מֵהַ֥ר עֵשָׂ֖ו מִקָּֽטֶל׃
1:9 Cut off from the Mountain of Esau
In the conclusion of Ovadya’s description of Edom’s downfall, two mountains face off against each other: Mount Tzion, the symbol of justice and peace, and the Mountain of Esau or Mount Seir, which is the symbol of Esau’s treachery and greed. When Tzion defeats Seir, God’s rule over the world will be complete. The end of this prophecy is reminiscent of other verses in the Bible that foretell Hashem’s dominion over the world in future times, with Tzion the seat of His reign. For example, King David writes: “Hashem shall reign forever, your God, O Tzion, for all generations” (Psalms 146:10). Zecharya prophesies: “Hashem shall be King over all the earth” (Zecharya 14:9), and Yeshayahu and Micha envision a time when “Many peoples shall go and say: ‘Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, to the House of the God of Yaakov, that He may instruct us in His ways, and that we may walk in His paths; for instruction shall come forth from Tzion, the word of Hashem from Yerushalayim” (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2).
10For the outrage to your brother Yaakov, Disgrace shall engulf you, And you shall perish forever
m'-kha-MAS a-KHE-kha ya-a-KOV t'-ka-S'-kha BU-sha v'-nikh-RA-ta l'-o-LAM
ימֵחֲמַ֛ס אָחִ֥יךָ יַעֲקֹ֖ב תְּכַסְּךָ֣ בוּשָׁ֑ה וְנִכְרַ֖תָּ לְעוֹלָֽם׃
11On that day when you stood aloof, When aliens carried off his goods, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Yerushalayim, You were as one of them.
b'-YOM a-mo-D'-KHA mi-NE-ged, b'-YOM sh'-VOT za-REEM kha-YLO, v'-no-KH'-REEM BA-u sh'-a-RAV v'-al y'-ru-sha-LA-im ya-DU go-RAL gam-a-TAH k'-a-KHAD may-HEM
יאבְּיוֹם֙ עֲמׇֽדְךָ֣ מִנֶּ֔גֶד בְּי֛וֹם שְׁב֥וֹת זָרִ֖ים חֵיל֑וֹ וְנׇכְרִ֞ים בָּ֣אוּ שְׁעָרָ֗ו וְעַל־יְרוּשָׁלַ֙͏ִם֙ יַדּ֣וּ גוֹרָ֔ל גַּם־אַתָּ֖ה כְּאַחַ֥ד מֵהֶֽם׃
12How could you gaze with glee On your brother that day, On his day of calamity! How could you gloat Over the people of Yehuda On that day of ruin! How could you loudly jeer On a day of anguish!
v'-al TE-ray b'-YOM a-KHEE-kha b'-YOM no-KH'-ro v'-al tis-MAKH liv-NAY y'-hu-DAH b'-YOM o-VDAM v'-al TAG-del PEE-kha b'-YOM tza-RAH
יבוְאַל־תֵּ֤רֶא בְיוֹם־אָחִ֙יךָ֙ בְּי֣וֹם נׇכְר֔וֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׂמַ֥ח לִבְנֵֽי־יְהוּדָ֖ה בְּי֣וֹם אׇבְדָ֑ם וְאַל־תַּגְדֵּ֥ל פִּ֖יךָ בְּי֥וֹם צָרָֽה׃
13How could you enter the gate of My people On its day of disaster, Gaze in glee with the others On its misfortune On its day of disaster, And lay hands on its wealth On its day of disaster!
al-ta-VO b'-sha-ar a-MEE b'-YOM ay-DAM, al-TE-retz gam-a-TAH b'-ra-A-to b'-YOM ay-DO, v'-al-tish-LA-kh'-NA b'-kha-YLO b'-YOM ay-DO.
יגאַל־תָּב֤וֹא בְשַֽׁעַר־עַמִּי֙ בְּי֣וֹם אֵידָ֔ם אַל־תֵּ֧רֶא גַם־אַתָּ֛ה בְּרָעָת֖וֹ בְּי֣וֹם אֵיד֑וֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׁלַ֥חְנָה בְחֵיל֖וֹ בְּי֥וֹם אֵידֽוֹ׃
14How could you stand at the passes To cut down its fugitives! How could you betray those who fled On that day of anguish!
v'-al-ta-a-MOD al ha-PE-rek l'-hakh-REET et p'-lee-TAV v'-al-tas-GAYR s'-ree-DAV b'-YOM tza-RAH
ידוְאַֽל־תַּעֲמֹד֙ עַל־הַפֶּ֔רֶק לְהַכְרִ֖ית אֶת־פְּלִיטָ֑יו וְאַל־תַּסְגֵּ֥ר שְׂרִידָ֖יו בְּי֥וֹם צָרָֽה׃
15As you did, so shall it be done to you; Your conduct shall be requited. Yea, against all nations The day of Hashem is at hand.
ki-KAR-ov yom-a-do-NAI al-KOL ha-go-YIM ka-a-SHER a-SEE-ta ye-a-SEH LAKH g'-mul-KHA ya-SHU-v b'-ro-SHE-kha
טוכִּֽי־קָר֥וֹב יוֹם־יְהֹוָ֖ה עַל־כׇּל־הַגּוֹיִ֑ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר עָשִׂ֙יתָ֙ יֵעָ֣שֶׂה לָּ֔ךְ גְּמֻלְךָ֖ יָשׁ֥וּב בְּרֹאשֶֽׁךָ׃
16That same cup that you drank on My Holy Mount Shall all nations drink evermore, Drink till their speech grows thick, And they become as though they had never been.
ki ka-a-SHER sh'-TEE-tem al ha-RA k'-DOSHi yish-TOO kol ha-go-YIM ta-MEED, va-sha-TOO v'-la-U v'-ha-YU k'-LO ha-YU
טזכִּ֗י כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר שְׁתִיתֶם֙ עַל־הַ֣ר קׇדְשִׁ֔י יִשְׁתּ֥וּ כׇֽל־הַגּוֹיִ֖ם תָּמִ֑יד וְשָׁת֣וּ וְלָע֔וּ וְהָי֖וּ כְּל֥וֹא הָיֽוּ׃
17But on Tzion's mount a remnant shall survive, And it shall be holy. The House of Yaakov shall dispossess Those who dispossessed them.
uv-HAR tzi-YON tih-YEH f'-lay-TAH v'-HA-yah KO-desh v'-ya-r'-SHU BAYT ya-a-KOV AYT mo-ra-shay-HEM
יזוּבְהַ֥ר צִיּ֛וֹן תִּהְיֶ֥ה פְלֵיטָ֖ה וְהָ֣יָה קֹ֑דֶשׁ וְיָֽרְשׁוּ֙ בֵּ֣ית יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב אֵ֖ת מוֹרָֽשֵׁיהֶֽם׃
1:17 But on Tzion’s mount a remnant shall survive.
Ovadya uses the same Hebrew word, playta (פליטה), ‘remnant,’ that Yaakov originally used to describe his confrontation with his brother: “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, the other camp may yet escape (playta)” (Genesis 32:9). When the same Hebrew word is used to describe unrelated events, this means that the Tanakh is alluding to a deep connection between them. Ovadya is invoking the great confrontation between Yaakov and Esau to describe the final encounter between the Jews and their enemies, and teaching us the ultimate secret to the survival of Yaakov’s descendants, the Jewish people. When the European Jewish community realized the grave danger Hitler posed, they found solace in the words of the Tanakh and recognized that “on Tzion’s mount a remnant shall survive.” The saintly Rabbi Israel Meir Kagen (1839-1933), known as the Chofetz Chaim, told his students that the survival of the Jewish people would be through the Land of Israel. In fact, the great Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, one of the largest centers of Torah study in the world, has this verse etched on its front wall, reminding its students never to forget that Tzion is the only refuge from persecution and the wrath of Esau.
18The House of Yaakov shall be fire, And the House of Yosef flame, And the House of Esau shall be straw; They shall burn it and devour it, And no survivor shall be left of the House of Esau —for Hashem has spoken.
v'-ha-YA vayt-YA-a-KOV aysh u-vayt yo-SAYF le-ha-VAH u-vayt ay-SAV l'-KASH v'-da-L'-KU va-HEM va-a-KA-luM v'-lo yi-HEH sa-REED l'-vayt ay-SAV kee a-do-NAI dee-BAYR
יחוְהָיָה֩ בֵית־יַעֲקֹ֨ב אֵ֜שׁ וּבֵ֧ית יוֹסֵ֣ף לֶהָבָ֗ה וּבֵ֤ית עֵשָׂו֙ לְקַ֔שׁ וְדָלְק֥וּ בָהֶ֖ם וַאֲכָל֑וּם וְלֹֽא־יִֽהְיֶ֤ה שָׂרִיד֙ לְבֵ֣ית עֵשָׂ֔ו כִּ֥י יְהֹוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר׃
19Thus they shall possess the Negev and Mount Esau as well, the Shephelah and Philistia. They shall possess the Ephraimite country and the district of Shomron, and Binyamin along with Gilad.
v'-ya-RE-shu ha-NE-gev et ha-ER ay-SAV v'-ha-she-FAY-lah et p'-lish-TEEM v'-ya-RE-shu et s'-DE ef-RA-yim v'-ET s'-DE sho-M'-ron u-vi-ya-MEEN et ha-gil-AHD
יטוְיָרְשׁ֨וּ הַנֶּ֜גֶב אֶת־הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֗ו וְהַשְּׁפֵלָה֙ אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים וְיָרְשׁוּ֙ אֶת־שְׂדֵ֣ה אֶפְרַ֔יִם וְאֵ֖ת שְׂדֵ֣ה שֹׁמְר֑וֹן וּבִנְיָמִ֖ן אֶת־הַגִּלְעָֽד׃
20And that exiled force of Israelites [shall possess] what belongs to the Phoenicians as far as Zarephath, while the Jerusalemite exile community of Sepharad shall possess the towns of the Negev.
v'-ga-LUT ha-KHEL-ha-ZEH liv-NAY yis-ra-AYL a-SHER k'-na-a-NEEM ad tza-REF-at v'-ga-LUT ye-ru-sha-LA-im a-SHER bi-sfa-RA-d yir-SHU et a-REI ha-NE-gev
כוְגָלֻ֣ת הַֽחֵל־הַ֠זֶּ֠ה לִבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל אֲשֶֽׁר־כְּנַעֲנִים֙ עַד־צָ֣רְפַ֔ת וְגָלֻ֥ת יְרוּשָׁלַ֖͏ִם אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּסְפָרַ֑ד יִֽרְשׁ֕וּ אֵ֖ת עָרֵ֥י הַנֶּֽגֶב׃
21For liberators shall march up on Mount Tzion to wreak judgment on Mount Esau; and dominion shall be Hashem's.
v'-a-LU mo-shi-EEM b'-HAR tzi-YON lish-POT et HAR ay-SAV v'-ha-y'-TAH la-do-NAI ha-m'-lu-KHAH
כאוְעָל֤וּ מֽוֹשִׁעִים֙ בְּהַ֣ר צִיּ֔וֹן לִשְׁפֹּ֖ט אֶת־הַ֣ר עֵשָׂ֑ו וְהָיְתָ֥ה לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה הַמְּלוּכָֽה׃
1:21 For liberators shall march up on Mount Tzion
Who are the liberators who will march upon Mount Zion and judge the enemies of the Jewish people? Rabbi David Stavsky (1929-2004) quotes several commentators including Radak, Malbim and Mezudat David, who agree that these saviors are the Mashiach and his ministers. He writes that especially in our own times, following the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel, “We must analyze and understand every nuance of this verse, for I believe we are living in a time when Ovadya’s prophecy is at last being realized… These seem to be the days of a Messianic era. If not, how else can we explain the awakening from a coma of millions of Soviet Jews, a resuscitation, a life after spiritual death, a return to a Judaism that they knew of, but could not practice. We feel in the depths of our souls, in the marrow of our bones, that we are living in Messianic times.”