Edom had been deceived (Ob 1:5-1:7)

“If thieves

Came to you,

How you would have been

Destroyed!

If plunderers

Came by night,

How you have been

Destroyed!

Would they not steal

Only what they wanted?

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

How Esau has been pillaged!

His treasures have been

Sought out!

All your allies

Have deceived you.

They have driven you

To the border.

Your confederates

Have prevailed

Against you.

Those who ate your bread

Have set a trap

For you.

There is no understanding of it.”

Edom has suffered like as if thieves had come to them at night.  However, these robbers would only take what they wanted.  Unlike grape-gatherers who leave gleanings for the poor, these attackers have pillaged Edom and taken its treasures.  It was their own allies that deceived Edom.  They drove them out of their own country to the border.  Their former friends had prevailed against them.  The very people, who they used to sit down to break bread with, were the ones who set the trap for them.  Who could understand such a thing?

The questions for Edom (Jer 49:7-49:9)

“Concerning Edom!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

‘Is there no longer wisdom

In Teman?

Has counsel perished

From the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?

Flee!

Turn back!

Get down low!

O inhabitants of Dedan!

I will bring

The calamity of Esau

Upon him,

Like the time

When I punished him.

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

If thieves came

By night,

Would they not pillage

Only what they wanted?”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. Yahweh has a series of questions for Edom. What happened to their wisdom, especially at Teman, perhaps a tribal group in Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. One of Job’s friends Eliphaz was a Temanite. Obadiah, an almost unknown minor prophet, seemed to take some of this diatribe against Edom into most of his work. Something has happened to the counsel and prudence of Edom. Has all their wisdom vanished? Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce. Both grape gatherers and thieves would leave something behind. They would not take everything. Thus the grape pickers would leave some grapes for the later gleaners to come along and get some of these overlooked grapes. The same is true about nightly thieves who would only take what they needed.