Obadiah 1
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1  The 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:

א  חֲזוֹן עֹבַדְיָה כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה לֶאֱדוֹם שְׁמוּעָה שָׁמַעְנוּ מֵאֵת יְהוָה וְצִיר בַּגּוֹיִם שֻׁלָּח קוּמוּ וְנָקוּמָה עָלֶיהָ לַמִּלְחָמָה׃

2  I will make you least among nations, You shall be most despised.

ב  הִנֵּה קָטֹן נְתַתִּיךָ בַּגּוֹיִם בָּזוּי אַתָּה מְאֹד׃

3  Your 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?”

ג  זְדוֹן לִבְּךָ הִשִּׁיאֶךָ שֹׁכְנִי בְחַגְוֵי־סֶּלַע מְרוֹם שִׁבְתּוֹ אֹמֵר בְּלִבּוֹ מִי יוֹרִדֵנִי אָרֶץ׃

4  Should 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.

ד  אִם־תַּגְבִּיהַּ כַּנֶּשֶׁר וְאִם־בֵּין כּוֹכָבִים שִׂים קִנֶּךָ מִשָּׁם אוֹרִידְךָ נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

5  If 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!

ה  אִם־גַּנָּבִים בָּאוּ־לְךָ אִם־שׁוֹדְדֵי לַיְלָה אֵיךְ נִדְמֵיתָה הֲלוֹא יִגְנְבוּ דַּיָּם אִם־בֹּצְרִים בָּאוּ לָךְ הֲלוֹא יַשְׁאִירוּ עֹלֵלוֹת׃

6  How thoroughly rifled is Esau, How ransacked his hoards!

ו  אֵיךְ נֶחְפְּשׂוּ עֵשָׂו נִבְעוּ מַצְפֻּנָיו׃

7  All 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.

ז  עַד־הַגְּבוּל שִׁלְּחוּךָ כֹּל אַנְשֵׁי בְרִיתֶךָ הִשִּׁיאוּךָ יָכְלוּ לְךָ אַנְשֵׁי שְׁלֹמֶךָ לַחְמְךָ יָשִׂימוּ מָזוֹר תַּחְתֶּיךָ אֵין תְּבוּנָה בּוֹ׃

8  In that day —declares Hashem— I will make the wise vanish from Edom, Understanding from Esau’s mount.

ח  הֲלוֹא בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהוָה וְהַאֲבַדְתִּי חֲכָמִים מֵאֱדוֹם וּתְבוּנָה מֵהַר עֵשָׂו׃

9  Your 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

ט  וְחַתּוּ גִבּוֹרֶיךָ תֵּימָן לְמַעַן יִכָּרֶת־אִישׁ מֵהַר עֵשָׂו מִקָּטֶל׃

1:9  Cut off from the Mountain of Esau

In the conclusion of Ovadya’s description of Edom’s downfall, two mountains   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 that happens, 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). Zecharyprophesies: “ Hashem shall be King over all the earth” (Zecharya 14:9), while 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).Comment

10  For the outrage to your brother Yaakov, Disgrace shall engulf you, And you shall perish forever

י  מֵחֲמַס אָחִיךָ יַעֲקֹב תְּכַסְּךָ בוּשָׁה וְנִכְרַתָּ לְעוֹלָם׃

11  On 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.

יא  בְּיוֹם עֲמָדְךָ מִנֶּגֶד בְּיוֹם שְׁבוֹת זָרִים חֵילוֹ וְנָכְרִים בָּאוּ שערו [שְׁעָרָיו] וְעַל־יְרוּשָׁלִַם יַדּוּ גוֹרָל גַּם־אַתָּה כְּאַחַד מֵהֶם׃

12  How 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!

יב  וְאַל־תֵּרֶא בְיוֹם־אָחִיךָ בְּיוֹם נָכְרוֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׂמַח לִבְנֵי־יְהוּדָה בְּיוֹם אָבְדָם וְאַל־תַּגְדֵּל פִּיךָ בְּיוֹם צָרָה׃

13  How 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!

יג  אַל־תָּבוֹא בְשַׁעַר־עַמִּי בְּיוֹם אֵידָם אַל־תֵּרֶא גַם־אַתָּה בְּרָעָתוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידוֹ וְאַל־תִּשְׁלַחְנָה בְחֵילוֹ בְּיוֹם אֵידוֹ׃

14  How could you stand at the passes To cut down its fugitives! How could you betray those who fled On that day of anguish!

יד  וְאַל־תַּעֲמֹד עַל־הַפֶּרֶק לְהַכְרִית אֶת־פְּלִיטָיו וְאַל־תַּסְגֵּר שְׂרִידָיו בְּיוֹם צָרָה׃

15  As 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.

טו  כִּי־קָרוֹב יוֹם־יְהוָה עַל־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִם כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָ יֵעָשֶׂה לָּךְ גְּמֻלְךָ יָשׁוּב בְּרֹאשֶׁךָ׃

16  That 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.

טז  כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר שְׁתִיתֶם עַל־הַר קָדְשִׁי יִשְׁתּוּ כָל־הַגּוֹיִם תָּמִיד וְשָׁתוּ וְלָעוּ וְהָיוּ כְּלוֹא הָיוּ׃

17  But 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

יז  וּבְהַר צִיּוֹן תִּהְיֶה פְלֵיטָה וְהָיָה קֹדֶשׁ וְיָרְשׁוּ בֵּית יַעֲקֹב אֵת מוֹרָשֵׁיהֶם׃

 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. Ovadyis 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 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 Zion is the only refuge from persecution and the wrath of Esau.Comment

18  The 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.

יח  וְהָיָה בֵית־יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ וְדָלְקוּ בָהֶם וַאֲכָלוּם וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה שָׂרִיד לְבֵית עֵשָׂו כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר׃

19  Thus they shall possess the Negev and Mount Esau as well, the Shephelah and Philistia. They shall possess the Efraimite country and the district of Shomron, and Binyamin along with Gilad.

יט  וְיָרְשׁוּ הַנֶּגֶב אֶת־הַר עֵשָׂו וְהַשְּׁפֵלָה אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וְיָרְשׁוּ אֶת־שְׂדֵה אֶפְרַיִם וְאֵת שְׂדֵה שֹׁמְרוֹן וּבִנְיָמִן אֶת־הַגִּלְעָד׃

20  And 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.

כ  וְגָלֻת הַחֵל־הַזֶּה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר־כְּנַעֲנִים עַד־צָרְפַת וְגָלֻת יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֲשֶׁר בִּסְפָרַד יִרְשׁוּ אֵת עָרֵי הַנֶּגֶב׃

21  For 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

כא  וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת־הַר עֵשָׂו וְהָיְתָה לַיהוָה הַמְּלוּכָה׃

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 RadakMalbim 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.”1 comment

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The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bibleā„¢.

  • “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations; as thou hast done it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head.”
    Can these words be any less true in this day and time? When will the nations learn not to mess around with Y’rushalyem and Y’srael?
    As we read the Scriptures, sadly, we learn that they will never learn until their destruction shall come upon them suddenly.
    Baruch Hashem.

    • Suejean you are so right. Today is Election Day and no matter what the out come in America the LORD still reigns. He is in control. We just wait for that day when everyone, every nation will say Baruch HaShem, He is in control.

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Obadiah 1

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