Old Testament

Obadiah is a prophecy announcing judgment against the Edomites, who were the descendants of Jacob's brother Esau, and who were one of Israel's bitterest enemies. Nothing is known about the man Obadiah who wrote this book. Although the vision seems to refer to events connected with the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC, the date of the book's composition is unknown.
The text of Obadiah 1-9 is quite similar to Jeremiah 49:7-16. Compare verses 1–4 with Jeremiah 49:14-16; verses 5-6 with Jeremiah 49:9-10; and verses 8-9 with Jeremiah 49:7.
11The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord God says about[] Edom.
A Message Spreads to the Nations
We have heard news from the Lord, and an envoy has been sent among the nations:
“Get up. Let us rise up against her in battle.”
The Lord's Message to Edom
2Listen, I will make you insignificant among the nations. You will be completely despised.
3You who live in the clefts of the rocky cliff,[] the pride of your heart has deceived you. Your dwelling is so high that you say in your heart, “Who can bring me down to the ground?” 4Even if you would soar as high as an eagle, and even if your nest is set among the stars, I will bring you down from there, declares the Lord.
5If thieves came to you, if robbers came by night—oh, what disaster awaits you!—wouldn't they steal only until they had enough? If grape pickers came to you, wouldn't they leave some grapes for gleaning? 6Oh, how completely Esau will be ransacked! His hidden treasures will be searched out and looted!
7All your allies will push you back to your border.
Those who were at peace with you will deceive you and overpower you.
Those who eat bread with you will lay a trap for you.
There is no understanding left in Edom.[]
8Will I not destroy the wise men of Edom on that day, declares the Lord? Will I not take away those who have understanding from the mountain of Esau? 9Your strong warrior, Teman,[] will be shattered by terror, so that everyone from the mountain of Esau will be cut down by the massacre.
10Because of the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you, and you will be cut off forever. 11On the day when you stood by and watched, on the day when strangers carried away Jacob's wealth[] and foreigners entered his gate and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were just like one of them.
12But do not look down on your brother on the day of his misfortune.
Do not rejoice over the people of Judah on the day when they are destroyed.
Do not speak proudly on the day of distress.
13Do not enter the gate of my people on the day of their disaster.
Do not look down on their affliction on the day of their calamity.
Do not seize their wealth on the day of their disaster.
14Do not stand in the crossroads to cut off those who have escaped.
Do not imprison his survivors on the day of distress.
A Message to All Nations
15Yes, the Day of the Lord is near for all the nations! As you have done, it will be done to you. Your deeds will return upon your own head. 16For just as you Edomites[] have drunk on my holy mountain, so also all the nations will drink continually. Yes, they will drink and guzzle it down, and it will be as though the Edomites never existed.
17But on Mount Zion, there will be some who escape, and it will be holy. The house of Jacob will recapture its territory. 18The house of Jacob will be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame, but the house of Esau will be stubble. The Israelites[] set them on fire and consume them. There will not be any survivors for the house of Esau.
Yes, the Lord has spoken.
19People from the Negev[] will take possession of the mountains of Esau, and those from the Shephelah[] will take possession of the land of the Philistines. They will take possession of the territory[] of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria. Benjamin will take possession of Gilead. 20Those from the army of the people of Israel who have been exiles[] will take possession of the territory of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,[] and the exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad[] will take possession of the cities of the Negev. 21Saviors[] will go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will belong to the Lord.


  • 1:1 Or to
  • 1:3 Hebrew sela, also the name of an Edomite city
  • 1:7 Or, taking the phrase with the preceding sentence, and you will not even realize it
  • 1:9 Teman is a city in Edom.
  • 1:11 Or captured Jacob's army
  • 1:16 The antecedents of the Hebrew pronouns you and they in this verse are uncertain. The translation twice supplies Edomites as the subjects.
  • 1:18 The subject the Israelites is supplied for clarity. The Hebrew text reads they.
  • 1:19 The dry southern wilderness of Judah
  • 1:19 The western foothills of Judah
  • 1:19 Literally fields
  • 1:20 The Hebrew of this verse is difficult.
  • 1:20 A city near the northern border of Israel
  • 1:20 An unknown distant location, perhaps as far away as Spain
  • 1:21 Or, following the ancient versions, those who have been saved