Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Sovereign LORD says about Edom-- We have heard a message from the LORD: An envoy was sent to the nations to say, "Rise, let us go against her for battle"--
New Living Translation
This is the vision that the Sovereign LORD revealed to Obadiah concerning the land of Edom. We have heard a message from the LORD that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say, "Get ready, everyone! Let's assemble our armies and attack Edom!"
English Standard Version
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard a report from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: “Rise up! Let us rise against her for battle!”
Berean Study Bible
This is the vision of Obadiah: This is what the Lord GOD says about Edom—We have heard a message from the LORD; an envoy has been sent among the nations to say, “Rise up, and let us go to battle against her!”
New American Standard Bible
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom-- We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, "Arise and let us go against her for battle "--
King James Bible
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
Christian Standard Bible
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord GOD has said about Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD; an envoy has been sent among the nations: "Rise up, and let us go to war against her."
Contemporary English Version
The LORD God gave Obadiah a message about Edom, and this is what we heard: "I, the LORD, have sent a messenger with orders for the nations to attack Edom."
Good News Translation
This is the prophecy of Obadiah--what the Sovereign LORD said about the nation of Edom. The LORD has sent his messenger to the nations, and we have heard his message: "Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!"
Holman Christian Standard Bible
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord GOD has said about Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD; a messenger has been sent among the nations:" Rise up, and let us go to war against her."
International Standard Version
Obadiah's vision: This is what the Lord GOD has to say about Edom. We have heard a report from the LORD, and a messenger has been dispatched among the nations to say "Get up! Let us rise up against her to fight!"
The vision that Obadiah saw. The Lord GOD says this concerning Edom: Edom's Approaching Destruction We have heard a report from the LORD. An envoy was sent among the nations, saying, "Arise! Let us make war against Edom!"
New Heart English Bible
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord GOD says about Edom. We have heard news from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let's rise up against her in battle.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is the vision of Obadiah. This is what the Almighty LORD says about Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD. A messenger was sent among the nations to say, "Get ready! Let's go to war against Edom."
JPS Tanakh 1917
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard a message from the LORD, And an ambassador is sent among the nations: 'Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.'
New American Standard 1977
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom— We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”—
Jubilee Bible 2000
The vision of Obadiah. Thus hath the Lord GOD said concerning Edom: We have heard the message from the LORD, and a messenger is sent to the Gentiles, Arise, and let us rise up against her in battle.
King James 2000 Bible
The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a message from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, Arise you, and let us rise up against her in battle.
American King James Version
The vision of Obadiah. Thus said the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise you, and let us rise up against her in battle.
American Standard Version
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations,'saying , Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
The vision of Abdias. Thus saith the Lord God to Edom: We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and he hath sent an ambassador to the nations: Arise, and let us rise up to battle against him.
Darby Bible Translation
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard a report from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations. Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
English Revised Version
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
Webster's Bible Translation
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD, and an embassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.
World English Bible
The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord Yahweh says about Edom. We have heard news from Yahweh, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let's rise up against her in battle.
Young's Literal Translation
Thus said the Lord Jehovah to Edom, A report we have heard from Jehovah, And an ambassador among nations was sent, 'Rise, yea, let us rise against her for battle.'
Study BibleThe Destruction of Edom
1This is the vision of Obadiah: This is what the Lord GOD says about Edom— We have heard a message from the LORD, and an envoy has been sent among the nations to say, “Rise up, let us go to war against her.”— 2“Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you will be deeply despised.…
Remember, O LORD, the sons of Edom on the day Jerusalem fell: "Destroy it," they said, "tear it down to its foundations!"
which sends couriers by sea, in papyrus vessels on the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a people widely feared, to a powerful nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers.
This is an oracle concerning Dumah: One calls to me from Seir, "Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?"
The watchman replies, "Morning has come, but also the night. If you would inquire, then inquire! Come back yet again."
For though their princes are at Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
Come near, O nations, to listen; pay attention, O peoples. Let the earth hear, and all that fills it, the world and all that springs from it.
When My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens, then it will come down upon Edom, on the people I have set apart for destruction.
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah with crimson-stained garments? Who is this robed in splendor, marching in the greatness of His strength? "It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
"Prepare for battle against her; rise up, let us attack at noon. Woe to us, for the daylight is fading; the evening shadows grow long.
Rise up, let us attack by night and destroy her fortresses!"
Concerning Edom, this is what the LORD of Hosts says: "Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed?
I have heard a message from the LORD; An envoy has been sent among the nations to say, "Assemble yourselves to come against her! Rise up for battle!"
This is what the Lord GOD says: 'Because Edom acted vengefully against the house of Judah and in so doing incurred grievous guilt,
As you rejoiced when the inheritance of the house of Israel became desolate, so will I do to you: you will become a desolation, O Mount Seir, and so will all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'
Egypt will become desolate, and Edom a desert wasteland, because of the violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood.
This is what The LORD says: "For three transgressions of Edom, even four, I will not revoke My judgment, because he pursued his brother with the sword and stifled all compassion; his anger raged continually, and his fury flamed incessantly.
So I will send fire upon Teman to consume the citadels of Bozrah."
Though Edom may say, "We have been devastated, but we will rebuild the ruins," this is what the LORD of Hosts says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Land of Wickedness, and a people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever.
Treasury of Scripture
The vision of Obadiah. Thus said the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise you, and let us rise up against her in battle.
.--THE DIVINE HOSTILITY AGAINST EDOM PROCLAIMED.
(1) The vision of Obadiah.--Properly, vision of Obadiah, without the article. There are three recognised headings to prophetical books--word, burden (i.e., oracle), and vision--and all are used without the article, and in a general way, for the contents of the books, without any intention to distinguish between different kinds or modes of prophecy. Thus Nahum combines burden and vision: "Burden of Nineveh. Book of vision of Nahum the Elkoshite." Amos speaks of the "words which he saw;" Isaiah (Isaiah 13:1) of the "burden which he did see;' and Obadiah, after the word vision, instantly proceeds, "Thus saith," &c. The word vision (Heb., chazon, from the same verb as "seer"), appears, from 1Samuel 3:1; 1Samuel 9:9, to have acquired this general sense at a very early time. It is not necessary from the use of the word to suppose that the future was unfolded to Obadiah "in the form of sights spread out before his mind, . . . a succession of pictures which he may have seen" (Pusey). Vision here = revelation, however supplied. The question of authorship is discussed in the Excursus.
Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom.--After these words we should expect the words of the message, not the statement that a message had come. Among the attempts at explanation, the two most plausible are: (1) The two-fold heading is due to a later hand than Obadiah, who only prefixed the first part, "vision," &c., to his work; (2) These words are merely a mode of stating generally that the seer of the vision was divinely inspired. The view taken of the authorship and composition must decide between these two. If an earlier oracle is incorporated in the book, it is more natural to conclude that the second part of the double title, which in a slightly different form occurs also in Jeremiah 49:7, was introduced in order to bring the prophecy into closer similarity to the circle of oracles against foreign nations which is contained in Jeremiah.
Arise ye . . .--Now at length we have the Divine message. Long ago, in the mysterious oracle of Dumah (Isaiah 21:11), the foreboding of a pending chastisement of Seir found a voice, and now, as in consequence of a signal from heaven, or as if brought by an angel, goes forth the summons to the nations to begin the movement against Edom. The cup of iniquity was full. There is a suggestiveness even in the vagueness of the summons. The nations, without distinction of good or bad, must become the instruments of the Divine chastisement of overweening pride. Edom becomes the type of wickedness that has reached a head, and against which all the sounder elements of the world unite with God. For the full picture, here suggested only in a word, see Isaiah 13:1-17, and comp. Joel 2:11; Jeremiah 51:11.
(2-9) Edom's pride and consequent humiliation. A general statement of the reason of the Divine wrath against Edom. Particular offences will be enumerated presently (Obadiah 1:10-14).
(2) Small among the heathen.--In comparison with the giant empires of Egypt and Assyria, a mere speck on the map. Edom proper is not to be confounded with the later kingdom of Idumaea, which extended over the wilderness of Et Tih, and even to within the southern borders of Palestine. The original Mount Seir (Genesis 32:3), or, as our prophet calls it, Mount Esau, was a narrow tract of country on the east of Wady Arabah, extending from Elath to the brook Zered (probably the Wady-el-Ahsy; see Deuteronomy 2:8; Deuteronomy 2:13-14), about 100 miles in length, and nowhere more than twenty miles broad. One of the larger English counties would cover as much territory. In the corresponding passages (Jeremiah 49:15) our version has the future instead of the past, where also, instead of "greatly despised," is the reading, "despised among men." The past is better. The contrast between the size of the nation and its overbearing pride, created by the consciousness of the natural strength of its position, is lost if we give the verse a future sense.
(3) Clefts of the rock.--The word chagavim, clefts, is of doubtful derivation. It only occurs in the corresponding passage to this (Jeremiah 49:16) and in Song of Solomon 2:14, and always with selah--rock. But whether its etymological meaning be refuges or fissures does not matter, since the actual thing signified is still to be seen. The cliffs at Petra (Selah, or with the article, ha-Selah), the capital of Edom, and in its neighbourhood, are honeycombed with caves, natural or artificial, which from the earliest times to the present day have served as tombs for the dead, and temporary dwellings or shelters for the living. We read in Deuteronomy 2:12 that the "Horims"--i.e., troglodytes, or dwellers in caves--were the original inhabitants of the land. "The whole southern country of the Edomites," says St. Jerome, "from Eleutheropolis to Petra and Selah (which are the possessions of Esau), had minute dwellings (habitatiunculas) in caves; and on account of the oppressive heat of the sun, as being a southern province, had underground cottages." All more recent travellers confirm this. Robinson (ii. 529) speaks of "an innumerable multitude of excavations along the whole coast of perpendicular rocks adjacent to the main area, and in all the lateral valleys and chasms." But those at present existing are but a remnant of the vast number which must at one time have afforded shelter to the densely populated valleys. "What remains are the mere debris of what the precipices once presented to view . . . The conduits, cisterns, flights of steps scattered over the rocks and among the precipices, indicate a larger number of rock-dwellings than remain now, very great as that number is" (Miss Martineau, Eastern Life, iii. 2). "Wherever your eyes turn along the excavated sides of the rocks, you see steps often leading to nothing, or something which has crumbled away, often with their first steps worn away, so that they are now inaccessible" (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 91). So Miss Martineau speaks of "short and odd staircases twisted hither and thither among the rocks." So, too, E. H. Palmer, Esq., in the Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, January, 1871: "There are many tombs and dwellings which are now inaccessible, but traces of staircases cut in the rock, and now broken away, may be seen everywhere." . . . "At the northern turn in the Wady, as you leave the western acclivities, are three large tombs, with perfect fronts. The first and largest of these . . . was at the time of our entry occupied by several families of the fellahin. Every tomb has its owner, who dwells there with his wives and family during the cold and wet weather." He goes on to speak of one tomb which was said to hold fifteen families.
Whose habitation is high . . .--Literally, loftiness of his habitation. The red sandstone rocks are described as rising "perpendicularly to the height of one, two, or three hundred feet" (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 89). The writer of the article "Selah" in Kitto's Biblical Cyclopaedia says of the caves, "Some of them are apparently not less than from two hundred to three or four hundred feet above the level of the valley." When we think of the power of the conception which could frame a range of mountain rocks into a city, with ravines for streets and caverns for houses, we can understand the prophet's words, "the pride of thine heart hath deceived thee." Nor was it wonderful that the children of Esau should deem themselves invincible in their mountain fastnesses.
Who shall bring me down to the ground?--Prom this eagle's-nest (Obadiah 1:4) Edom might well utter proud defiance against even the strongest foes. All travellers describe Petra as almost impregnable. It is not even visible from the heights in the neighbourhood. "The whole space, rocks and valleys, embedded in the mountains which girt it in, lay invisible even from the summit of Mount Hor." "Petra itself is entirely shut out by the intervening rocks. The great feature of the mountains of Edom is the mass of red bald-headed sandstone rocks, intersected not by valleys, but by deep seams. In the heart of these rocks, itself invisible, lies Petra." And it was as strongly guarded by nature as it was securely hidden. "Two known approaches only, from east and west, enter into it," and these are mere ravines. The most famous of them, the defile from the east, the one which "in ancient times was the chief--the only usual--approach to Petra," is named the Sik, or cleft. "The rocks are almost precipitous, or, rather, they would be if they did not, like their brethren in all this region, overlap, and crumble, and crack, as if they would crash over you. The gorge is about a mile and a half long, and the opening of the cliffs at the top is throughout almost as narrow as the narrowest part of the defile of Pfeffers, which in dimensions and form it more nearly resembles than any other of my acquaintance" (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 89). The other approach, though not so picturesque and striking to the traveller, would have been equally difficult for an attacking army. Miss Martineau describes it as leading amid "wild fantastic mountains," "rocks in towering masses," "over steep and slippery passes," or "winding in recesses below." She continues: "A little further on we stopped in a hollow of the hills; our path, our very narrow path, lay over these whitish hills: now up, now down, and then, and then again, we were slipping and jerking down slopes of gaudy rock. For nearly an hour longer we were descending the pass; down we went, and still down; at length we came upon the platform above the bed of the torrent, near which stands the only edifice in Petra" (quoted from Eastern Life, ii. 319, by Pusey). Such approaches might, it is obvious, be held by a very small force against a great superiority of numbers. The width of the sik "is not more than just sufficient for the passage of two horsemen abreast," and "a few hundred men might defend the entrance against a large army" (Burckhar It, Travels in Syria and the Holy Land, p. 432). Demetrius "the Besieger," at the head of 8,000 men (the 4,000 infantry selected for their swiftness of foot from the whole army), made repeated assaults on the place, but "those within had an easy victory, from its commanding height" (Pusey, from Diod. Sic. xix. 96). Little need of art to strengthen such natural defences, yet Mr. Palmer noticed "a fort at the top of the left-hand ravine, occupying a most commanding position, as it overlooks the entire valley, and defends the only part not protected by some difficult mountain pass" (Quarterly Statement, Palestine Exploration Fund, January, 1871). And Dr. Pusey finely remarks: "But even the entrance gained, what gain besides, unless the people and its wealth were betrayed by a surprise? Striking as the rock-girt Petra was, a gem in its mountain setting, far more marvellous was it when, as in the prophet's time, the rock itself was Petra. Inside the defile, an invader would be outside the city yet. He might himself become the besieged rather than the besieger. In which of these eyries along all these ravines were the eagles to be found? From which of these lairs might not Edom's lion-sons burst out upon them? Multitudes gave the invaders no advantage in scaling those mountains' sides, where, observed themselves by an unseen enemy, they would at last have to fight man to man. What a bivouac were it in that narrow spot, themselves encircled by an enemy everywhere, anywhere, and visibly nowhere, among those thousand caves, each larger cave, maybe, an ambuscade! In man's sight Edom's boast was well founded; but what before God?" With the Edomites' vaunt Pusey aptly compares that of the Bactrian, Oxyartes, who, trusting to the strength of another Petra, defied Alexander the Great, bidding him get wings for his soldiers before attacking his stronghold. (Arrian, Exped. Alex. iv. 18.)
(4) Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle.--"Had, then, the ancient builders of these rock-works wings like the eagles, with which they raised themselves to those perpendicular precipices?" "Who now, even with the feet of the chamois, could climb after them?" (v. Schubert, ii. 429; quoted by Pusey). (Comp. also Miss Martineau, Eastern Life, ii. 320, iii. 20.)
This is one of the passages which identifies the nesher, always translated "eagle" in the Authorised Version, with the griffon-vulture. "While the eagles and other birds are content with lower elevations, and sometimes even with trees, the griffon alone selects the stupendous gorges of Arabia Petraea and of the defiles of Palestine, and there in great communities rears its young, where the most intrepid climber can only with ropes and other appliances reach its nest" (Tristram, Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 175; comp. Job 39:27-28).
And though thou set thy nest among the stars . . .--The image of the eagle nesting among the stars is among the most forcible even in Hebrew poetry. Shakespeare approaches it in "eagle-winged pride of sky - aspiring and ambitious thoughts" (Richard II., i. 3).
Thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.--In the original, more striking," it is Jehovah's declaration." This sentence against pride, not only national, but individual too, is indeed the Divine declaration, uttered in warning voice from one end of Scripture to the other. The doom pronounced against Edom is but one special instance of the universal truth told so powerfully by Isaiah at the end of Isaiah 2 : "The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low." And it was the more than once repeated declaration of the Son of God: "He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Verse 1. - The vision of Obadiah. This is the title of the book, declaring from whom and through whom the revelation comes (Isaiah 1:1). Under the word "vision" in prophetic language is included, not only what the seer saw, the mental picture presented to his inner senses, but also all that he is commissioned to disclose or enunciate. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom. The prophet declares that God speaks through him. One might have expected that the actual words of Jehovah would follow here instead of tidings heard from him. And this difficulty has led some to suppose these introductory words spurious or the insertion of a later hand, others to include them and the rest of the verse in a parenthesis, so as to begin the "vision" with God's words in ver. 2. But these suggestions are unnecessary. The prophet, as the mouthpiece of God, calls his own words the message of the Lord - signifies that what had been revealed to his mind he was bound to communicate to others as a direct warning from God. The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, and bound by ties of blood to the Israelites; but they had always been their most bitter enemies (Amos 1:11). They are regarded as a type of the powers of the world hostile to true religion, whose end is destruction. We have heard. "We" - I myself and other prophets; or the Judaeans, the prophet identifying himself with his countrymen. Septuagint, ἤκουσα, I heard, so Jeremiah 49:14; Arabic, "ye have heard." A rumour; a report (Isaiah 53:1); ἀκοὴν (Septuagint); auditum (Vulgate). It means here "tidings" (comp. Matthew 24:6, ἀκοαί πολέμων: and Romans 10:16, 17). An ambassador; a messenger; as though the prophet saw the minister of God's wrath going forth among the heathen to rouse them to war against Edom. Perowne thinks that there is an allusion to the composite character of Nebuchadnezzar's army with which he attacked the Edomites. The Septuagint renders, περιοχήν: so the Syriac, Chaldee, and Symmachus translate "message." This rendering is explained by the following clause. The heathen (goyim); the nations, as vers. 2, 15. Arise ye, and let us rise. This has been taken as if "arise ye" were the herald's message, and "let us rise" the response of the nations echoing his words; but it is more forcible to consider the whole clause as the message, the ambassador joining himself with the heathen as their leader and comrade in the war of vengeance. Vers. 1-9 are incorporated in Jeremiah 49:7-22. Isaiah 1:1;