Obadiah 1:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and Jacob will possess his inheritance.

New Living Translation
"But Jerusalem will become a refuge for those who escape; it will be a holy place. And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance.

English Standard Version
But in Mount Zion there shall be those who escape, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.

New American Standard Bible
"But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

King James Bible
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But there will be a deliverance on Mount Zion, and it will be holy; the house of Jacob will dispossess those who dispossessed them.

International Standard Version
"But there will be a delivered remnant on Mount Zion. There will be holiness, and the house of Jacob will take back their possessions.

NET Bible
But on Mount Zion there will be a remnant of those who escape, and it will be a holy place once again. The descendants of Jacob will conquer those who had conquered them.

New Heart English Bible
But in Mount Zion, there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. The house of Jacob will possess those who dispossessed them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"But refugees will live on Mount Zion. It will be holy. The descendants of Jacob will get back their possessions.

JPS Tanakh 1917
But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, And it shall be holy; And the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

New American Standard 1977
“But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape,
            And it will be holy.
            And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But in Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and it shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

King James 2000 Bible
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

American King James Version
But on mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

American Standard Version
But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And in mount Sion shall be salvation, and it shall be holy, and the house of Jacob shall possess those that possessed them.

Darby Bible Translation
But upon mount Zion shall there be deliverance, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

English Revised Version
But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

Webster's Bible Translation
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

World English Bible
But in Mount Zion, there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. The house of Jacob will possess their possessions.

Young's Literal Translation
And in mount Zion there is an escape, And it hath been holy, And the house of Jacob have possessed their possessions.
Study Bible
The Deliverance of Israel
16"Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow And become as if they had never existed. 17"But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions. 18"Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau," For the LORD has spoken.…
Cross References
Psalm 69:35
For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, That they may dwell there and possess it.

Isaiah 4:2
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel.

Isaiah 4:3
It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy-- everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 14:1
When the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.

Isaiah 14:2
The peoples will take them along and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them as an inheritance in the land of the LORD as male servants and female servants; and they will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors.

Joel 2:32
"And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

Joel 3:17
Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, Dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. So Jerusalem will be holy, And strangers will pass through it no more.

Amos 9:8
"Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob," Declares the LORD.

Amos 9:11
"In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old;

Zechariah 8:12
For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things.
Treasury of Scripture

But on mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.


Isaiah 46:13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation …

Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of …

shall be.

Jeremiah 46:28 Fear you not, O Jacob my servant, said the LORD: for I am with you…

Amos 9:8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I …

deliverance. or, they that escape.

Jeremiah 44:14,28 So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the land …

Ezekiel 7:16 But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains …

there shall be holiness. or, it shall be holy.

Isaiah 1:27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Isaiah 4:3,4 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that …

Isaiah 60:21 Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land …

Joel 3:17 So shall you know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my …

Zechariah 8:3 Thus said the LORD; I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the …

Zechariah 14:20,21 In that day shall there be on the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD…

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, …


Isaiah 14:1,2 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, …

Joel 3:19-21 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, …

Amos 9:11-15 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, …


(17) Deliverance.--Better, as in margin, the fugitives of Israel who have survived the recent calamity. This is clear from Isaiah 10:20, where phelytah is in parallelism with shear=remnant, as well as Joel 2:32; Hebrews 3:5, where it is parallel to serdm, also remnant. (Comp. also Judges 21:17; 2Chronicles 20:24.) While the judgment is falling upon all the heathen nations, Mount Zion will be an asylum for all the Israelites who had fled for safety, and been scattered and dispersed.

Holiness.--See margin. Zion was once more to become a sanctuary, and those who inhabited it holy. (Comp. Isaiah 6:13.)

Their possessions.--Whose--their own that had been lost, or those of the nations? The Vulgate, following the LXX., read "those who had possessed them," indicating subjugation of the heathen tribes. But the parallelism is undoubtedly in favour of the other view--the remnant of Israel would be saved, and regain their old possessions. Having stated this, the prophet goes on to describe what would happen to Edom and its possessions.

(18) Though, in the preceding verse, "house of Jacob" would seem to embrace all the restored Israel, without any reference to the distinction of the two kingdoms, in this verse, being opposed to "house of Joseph," it requires to be taken as synonymous with Judah; as in Isaiah 46:3 : "Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel." (Comp. Psalm 77:15; Psalm 80:1; Psalm 81:4-5.)

For the expressive imagery, comp. Nahum 1:10; Isaiah 27:4; Isaiah 10:17.

Any remaining.--Heb., sard, a fugitive. The LXX. must have had a different text, as they read here ?????????, i.e., wheat-bearer, apparently (as the various reading shows) a mistake for ????????, fire-bearer.

(19) After the destruction of the heathen the new kingdom of Zion will be restored, at least as far as the ancient territories which are at present held by the Idumans, to the north and west of the original Edom, are concerned. Three divisions are enumerated of the house of Jacob (i.e., Judah; see Note, Obadiah 1:18), and separate mention made of Benjamin.

They of the south.--Those at present occupying the south--Heb., negev--i.e., the dry parched country forming the southern portion of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:21), are to inhabit Mount Esau: i.e., are to extend their territory to its extreme south-eastern limit; they of the Shephelah, i.e., the western lowland on the Mediterranean, are to seize on the neighbouring Philistia, at present Iduman; while they at present confined to the hill-country in the north and centre of Judah are to spread themselves over Ephraim and Samaria. Our present Hebrew text leaves the subject of this latter clause uncertain, as it is in the Authorised Version "they." But the LXX., ?? ???? indicates that hahor=the mountain, has dropped out, a conjecture which is abundantly borne out by the geographical arrangement of the localities in the passage. Benjamin, for which no room is left on the west of Jordan, is to push across it into Gilead instead. This prophetic vision recalls Genesis 28:14.

(20) But there are still others of the restored Israel, besides those comprised within the ancient territory of Judah. The prophetic survey proceeds northwards, and we get a general idea from this verse that there were exiles, who had found refuge on the north-western and northern boundaries of ancient Palestine, who would settle themselves partly on the sea-coast of Tyre and Sidon, partly in the south country, whose inhabitants had pushed downwards into Edom. But while this is plainly its general drift, the text is full of difficulties.

It is difficult to attach an intelligible meaning to "the captivity (i.e., exiles, galuth; comp. Isaiah 20:4; Isaiah 45:13) of this host of (literally, to) the sons of Israel."

The prophet seems to allude to some body of exiles, including himself, who had escaped from the army. But there is a difference of opinion among grammarians as to the identification of chl with chayil = host. Ewald takes it to be a dialectic variety of chol = sand, generally of the sea-coast; and so here "the banished ones of this coast," where the prophet was at the time. The rendering chl=trench, or fortification, which some adopt, is out of the question. The LXX. have ??? ??????????? ? ????, but whether ???? = power, or beginning, with allusion to the first dispersion of exiles, cannot be determined. Another difficulty arises with respect to the words that of the Canaanites--asher Khenaanm (literally, which Canaanites). To make it an object, as in our version, the particle eth is wanted, and Ewald, instead of asher, reads eth-ari = the cities of. That some change has taken place in the text appears from the LXX., who have ??, the land (Heb., erets). Keil, keeping the present reading, renders, "And the captives of this army of the sons of Israel (will take possession) of what Canaanites there are as far as Zarephath . . ." Pusey: "And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel which are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath," making it joint subject with "the captives of Jerusalem" to "shall possess the cities of the south," which is in accordance with the construction of the LXX. and the Syriac. But the absence of the preposition be before Khenaanim seems to make this rendering impossible. The Hebrew as it stands can only mean "which are Canaanites." The choice lies between Ewald's emendation of the text and Keil's interpretation. The Jews understand by Zarephath the country of France.

The last clause is better in the text than in the margin: "The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall take possession of the cities of the south." The only difficulty is in the name Sepharad, a place never mentioned elsewhere, and which has not yet been satisfactorily identified. The various conjectures have been--

1. That of the LXX., ??? ?????? followed by the Arabic translation, probably from reading Sepharath. Jerome, in his Commentary on Obadiah, appears to have understood this reading as pointing to the Hebrew Phrath, since he translates, Transmigratio Jerusalem usque Euphratem.

2. The reading of the Vulg., qu in Bosphoro est, was derived by Jerome from a Jewish instructor, who treated the particle in Bisparad as part of the name, and rejected the final d altogether.

3. The Targum Jonathan, the Peshito-Syriac, and from them the modern Jews, interpret Sepharad as Spain (Ispamia or Ispania); hence Sephardim, a name for the Spanish Jews.

4. Sipphara in Mesopotamia. But this is more probably identified with Sepharvaim.

5. Sardis, from a supposed connection with PaRaD. or (parda, mentioned in the great arrow-headed inscription of Nakshi Rustam, in a list of names of tribes between Cappadocia and Ionia, which De Sacy identified with Sepharad, and Lassen with Sardis.

6. Sparta. Some relations there were between the Jews after the captivity and the Lacedmonians (see 1 Maccabees 12:2, seqq., 14:16, seqq., 15:23). Possibly there was a colony of the exiles in Sparta.

7. Ewald conjectures Sepharam instead of Sepharad, and finds the place in Shefa Amar, a well-known place a few miles south-east of Acco. The general drift of the passage seems to require some place not far distant from, and in the direction of, Zarephath. The only serious objection to this conjecture is the fact that Shefa Amar was within the boundaries of Palestine, and therefore those who had taken refuge there would not strictly be exiles. But it is distinctly stated that these were "of Jerusalem," and they might well be called refugees, since they had had to go so far north to find an asylum.

(21) Saviours.--Comp. Judges 3:9; Judges 3:15; Nehemiah 9:27. The Jewish interpreters understood by "saviours" men like the judges of old, Gideon, Barak, &c., who will chastise the Christians and subdue them. The Mount of Esau is of course, according to this interpretation, Rome.

And the kingdom shall be the Lord's.--See the reference in margin to Zechariah, who gives this anticipation of the pure form of the theocracy in its wider extent. But here, too, the prophetic look over the world seems to extend far beyond Judah and the fortunes of the Jewish race, and as the vision widens Zion and Edom both retire from sight; both are comprehended in the one Divine kingdom, and God is all in all. For the bearing of this conclusion to the prophecy on its date, see Excursus.

Verses 17-21. - Part II. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. Verses 17-20. - § 1. While judgment falls upon heathen nations, the house of Jacob shall be delivered, shall add to its possessions, and spread far and wide. Verse 17. - Upon Mount Zion. Once desecrated by the idolatrous revelry of the Edomites and the other nations, now the seat of Jehovah (Joel 3:17) and the kingdom. Deliverance (peletah); Septuagint, σωτηρία. Abstract for concrete, and to be rendered, "those that escape," or "those that are saved;" i.e. a remnant that shall escape destruction (comp. Joel 2:32; Amos 9:8). There shall be holiness; rather, it (Mount Zion) shall be holy; so Septuagint, καὶ ἔσται ἄγιον: Hebrew, kodesh, "a sanctuary," where the heathen shall not come (Isaiah 52:1; comp. Joel 3:17 [4:17, Hebrew]; Revelation 21:27). The house of Jacob. Judah and Benjamin, the holy seed, in whom the kingdom of the Lord should be established (comp. ver. 18). The northern kingdom is not mentioned. Shall possess their possessions; Septuagint, Κατακληρονομήσουσιν ὁ οϊκος Ἰακὼβ τοὺς κατακληρονομὴσουσιν ὁ αὐτούς, "The house of Jacob shall take for an inheritance those who took them for an inheritance;" Vulgate, Possidebit domus Jacob eos qui se possederant. These versions must have used a different punctuation from that of the Masoretic text - morishehem for morashehom (comp. Numbers 24:18, 19). The Hebrew pronoun is ambiguous, and "their possessions" may mean either those that the Jews themselves had lost, or those of the Edomites. But nothing is said of Israel being carried away captive and losing its country; and, though the prophet may have looked forward to such a catastrophe and to a future restoration, this is not the subject here. The possessions referred to are those of the enemy represented by the Edomites, and those which the Jews had lost since the days of David and Solomon; and "the house of Jacob" signifies, not merely the earthly kingdom of Judah, but "the people of God, who are eventually to obtain the dominion of the world" (Keil); Mark 16:15. But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance,.... Not only by Cyrus, at the end of the seventy years' captivity; and by the Maccabees from the Idumeans, and other enemies; but by the Messiah; for not merely temporal deliverance is here intended, unless as a shadow, type, and figure; but spiritual deliverance from the law, sin, Satan, the world, death, hell, and wrath to come, by Christ; who is the Deliverer that should both come to Zion and out of Zion, and who has wrought the above deliverance for Zion, his church and people; and where it is preached and proclaimed, and where those who are delivered come and dwell: or, "upon Mount Zion shall be an escape"; or, "they that escape" (b); the pollutions of the world, the vengeance of divine justice, the curses of the law, and the damnation of hell, by fleeing to Christ for refuge:

and there shall be holiness: that is, on Mount Zion, on the church, which is the holy hill of God, and where only holy persons should dwell; and for whomsoever deliverance is wrought out, sooner or later there will be in them holiness, both of heart and life; and indeed, without this, complete deliverance and salvation, which will be in heaven, will not be enjoyed; hence those that are chosen to this salvation are chosen through sanctification of the Spirit; and such as are redeemed and delivered by Christ are purified to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and are, in consequence of such deliverance and redemption, called with a holy calling, and have principles of holiness implanted in them, and live holy lives and conversations; and such kind of holiness, as it appeared in Zion, in the churches of Christ in the first times of the Gospel, so it will be more conspicuous among them in the latter day; see Isaiah 4:3 Zechariah 14:20; or, "there shall be an Holy One", or "thing" (c); the holy Jesus, who is holy in both his natures, in all his offices, works, and words; the Lamb that should, and has been, seen on Mount Zion; and the Holy Spirit of God, who dwells and abides in his church, and among his people, to anoint and assist the ministers of the word; to accompany the word with power, and make it successful; and to sanctify and comfort the Lord's people in Zion; and there are the holy word of God, the doctrines of grace according to godliness preached, and the sacred ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper administered. The Targum is,

"and they shall be holy;''

the Lord's people: and so Kimchi interprets it of Israel being holy to the Lord;

and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions: that is, either the Israelites shall possess the possessions of the Heathens, particularly of the Edomites; so the Targum,

"and they of the house of Jacob shall possess the substance of the people that possessed them;''

see Amos 9:11; which was fulfilled spiritually in the first times of the Gospel, when the apostles, who were of the house of Jacob, and were Israelites indeed, preached the Gospel to the Gentiles, and were the means of converting many of them, and of bringing them into the Gospel church; which may be called the house of Jacob, when they and theirs become their possession, and Christ, the master of this house, had the Heathen given him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, Psalm 2:8; or else the sense is, that the people of God, true Christians, shall in Gospel times possess their own possessions; God himself, who is their portion and inheritance, and shall enjoy communion with him; Christ, and all that are his, all spiritual blessings in him; the Spirit and his graces, as the earnest of a future and eternal inheritance; exceeding great and precious promises they are heirs of, and a kingdom and glory hereafter; of which the possessions in the land of Canaan, restored to the right owners of them in the year of jubilee, were a type. R. Moses says this prophecy has respect to the times of Hezekiah; in which he is followed by Grotius, very wrongly; R. Jeshuah, better, to the times of the second temple; but Japhet, best of all, to time to come, to the times of the Messiah, to which it no doubt belongs: here begin the prophecies concerning Christ, his church, and kingdom.

(b) "erit evasio", Vatablus, Piscator, Mercerus, Liveleus. (c) "erit sanctus", V. L. Liveleus, Drusius. 17. upon … Zion … deliverance—both in the literal sense and spiritual sense (Joe 2:32; Isa 46:13; 59:20; Ro 11:26). Maurer as the Margin explains it, "there shall be a remnant that shall escape." Compare Isa 37:32; to the deliverance from Sennacherib there described Grotius thinks Obadiah here refers. "Jerusalem shall not be taken, and many of the neighboring peoples also shall find deliverance there." Unlike Judah's heathen foes of whom no remnant shall escape (Ob 9, 16), a remnant of Jews shall escape when the rest of the nation has perished, and shall regain their ancient "possessions."

there shall be holiness—that is, Zion shall be sacrosanct or inviolable: no more violated by foreign invaders (Isa 42:1; Joe 3:17).1:17-21 There should be deliverance and holiness at Jerusalem, and the house of Jacob would again occupy their possessions. Much of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to their own land. But the salvation and holiness of the gospel, its spread, and the conversion of the Gentiles, seem also to be intended, especially the restoration of Israel, the destruction of antichrist, and the prosperous state of the church, to which all the prophets bear witness. When Christ is come, and not till then, shall the kingdom be the Lord's in the full sense of the term. As none that exalt themselves against the Lord shall prosper, and all shall be brought down; so none that wait upon the Lord, and put their trust in him, shall ever be dismayed. Blessed be the Divine Saviour and Judge on Mount Zion! His word shall be a savour of life unto life unto numbers, while it judges and condemns obstinate unbelievers.
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