Obadiah probably wrote after the year 500 and before the conquest of Edom in 312. His work is filled with calls for revenge which, deep down, shows his faith in God’s justice.
1The Vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord Yahweh says about Edom:
We have heard news from Yahweh, and a messenger has been sent out to the nations to say, “Rise, let us go against Esau.”
2The day has come: you now are small among the nations; you are utterly despised.
3Your arrogance has led you astray,
you who live in the clefts of the rock,
you who make the heights your home,
you who say to yourself:
Who can bring me down to the ground?
4Though you soar like the eagle, though you make your nests among the stars,
I will bring you down again.
5If thieves or plunderers come at night,
what a disaster awaits you then!
Would they not ransack till they had enough? If grape gatherers worked in your vineyard, would they not leave only gleanings? 6See how Esau has been looted,
even his hidden treasures pillaged!
7You have been driven to the frontiers:
and those were your very friends!
Those who partook of your bread
set for you a trap in secret.
8Yahweh declares: Shall I not destroy
the wise men of Edom on that day,
and deprive of sages the mountain of Esau?
9Your warriors, O Teman, will be afraid,
and all from Mount Esau will be slaughtered.
10For the violence done to Jacob, your brother,
you will be disgraced and destroyed forever.
11You stood aloof in waiting
when strangers carried off his wealth,
when foreigners entered his gates
and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you were as guilty as the rest of them.
12Do not come to see and gloat
over the misfortune of your brother.
Do not exult over Judah’s ruin,
nor brag on the day of her destruction.
13Do not go through the gate of my people
on the day of their disgrace,
nor gloat over them in their misfortune
on the day of their adversity,
nor lay your hands upon their possessions
on the day of their destruction.
14Do not wait at the crossroad
to slay their stragglers,
nor betray their survivors
on the day of their disaster.
15For the day of Yahweh is near
for every nation.
As you have done to another,
so to you will it be done.
Whatever you have done
will come back upon your head.
16For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
so will the surrounding nation drink,
drink and drink up to the brim…
Then they shall be as if they had never been.
17But there will be survivors on Mount Zion
—a holy remnant.
The house of Jacob will take possession
of its own inheritance.
18The nation of Jacob will be a fire,
the nation of Joseph a flame;
but those of Esau will be a stubble,
and they will burn and consume them.
And of Esau’s house none will remain, for it is Yahweh who has spoken.
19People from the Negeb
will occupy Esau’s mountains;
those from the plains,
the land of the Philistines;
they will occupy Ephraim and Samaria,
and Benjamin will possess Gilead.
20The Israelite exiles who are in Canaan
will possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephtah;
the exiles from Jerusalem now in Sepharad
will possess the towns of the Negeb.
21Deliverers will ascend Mount Zion
to rule over the mountains of Esau,
—then Yahweh will reign.