The twelve Minor Prophets

The twelve minor writing prophets have shorter books than the major prophets.  These writing prophets range from the 8th to the 5th century BCE.  These include Hosea from the 8th century BCE, Joel from the 8th -5th century BCE, Amos from the 8th century BCE, Obadiah and Jonah from the 6th century BCE, Micah and Nahum from the 8th century BCE, Habakkuk and Zephaniah from the 7th century BCE, Haggai and Zechariah from the 6th century BCE, and Malachi from the 5th century BCE.  Some of these prophets had an influence on New Testament Christian writers.

The Israelites will possess the neighboring lands (Ob 1:19-1:21)

“Those of the Negeb

Shall possess

Mount Esau.

Those of the Shephelah,

The land of the Philistines,

Shall possess

The land of Ephraim

With the land of Samaria.

Benjamin

Shall possess Gilead.

The exiles

Of the Israelites

Who are in Halah,

Shall possess

Phoenicia

As far as Zarephath.

The exiles of Jerusalem

Who are in Sepharad

Shall possess

The towns

Of the Negeb.

Those who have been saved

Shall go up

To Mount Zion

To rule Mount Esau.

The kingdom

Shall be Yahweh’s.”

This short chapter and book ends and a new larger Israel, as their long standing enemy neighbors will no longer exist.  Israel shall rule them.  The area of the Negeb was the arid southern land that would change from the land of Edom or Mount Esau into Israel.  Israel was going to possess the Shephelah, the western area along the Mediterranean coast where the Philistines lived.  They were also going to have the land of Samaria and the territory of Ephraim, north of Judah.  The territory of Benjamin would include land on the east side of the Jordan River, the Gilead.  The exiled Israelites in Halah in the upper Mesopotamia region and those in the Phoenician town of Zarephath, as well as the exiles in Asia Minor in Shephard would all return to live in the arid southern Negeb region.  All the saved Israelites would return to Mount Zion, as Mount Esau and all of Edom would go away and be under the Israelites.

The fire (Ob 1:18-1:18)

“‘The house of Jacob

Shall be a fire.

The house of Joseph

Shall be a flame.

The house of Esau

Shall be stubble.

They shall burn them.

They shall consume them.

There shall be

No survivor

Of the house of Esau.’

Yahweh has spoken.”

The house of Jacob and the house of Joseph would be like a fire or a flame.  They were going to turn Esau into a stubble, since these fiery flames would burn and consume them.  Thus, there would be no survivors in the house of Esau or Edom.  Yahweh, according to Obadiah, had spoken very clearly.

Drinking on the mountain (Ob 1:16-1:16)

“As you have drunk

On my holy mountain,

All the nations

Around you

Shall drink.

They shall drink.

They shall gulp it down.

They shall be

As though

They had not been.”

Just as the Israelites had drunk wine on the holy mountain, other countries would drink wine, just as they did.  In fact, they would gulp down their drinks.  However, they would become as if they had never existed.

The day of Yahweh (Ob 1:15-1:15)

“The day of Yahweh

Is near

Against all the nations.

As you have done,

It shall be done

To you.

Your deeds

Shall return

On your own head.”

Obadiah warned that the day of Yahweh, as in the prophet Amos, was coming to all the countries, since it was near.  As they have done, so it shall be done to them, since their deeds would return to their own head.

The indictment of Edom (Ob 1:12-1:14)

“You should not

Have gloated

Over your brother

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have rejoiced

Over the people of Judah

On the day of his misfortune!

You should not

Have boasted

On the day of distress!

You should not

Have entered

The gate of my people

On the day of their calamity!

You should not

Have joined in the gloating

Over Judah’s disaster

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have looted his goods

On the day of his calamity!

You should not

Have stood at crossings

To cut off his fugitives!

You should not

Have handed over

His survivors

On the day of distress!”

Yahweh, via Obadiah, listed the various things that Edom did on the day of the invasion of Jerusalem.  First, they gloated over their brother Judah.  Then they rejoiced at the problems of the people of Judah.  These Edomites even boasted and entered the gates of Jerusalem.  They joined with the others, as they looted the goods of the people in Jerusalem.  They kept others from escaping.  They even handed over the survivors to the foreign attackers.  They were really complicit in this attack on Jerusalem.