March 26, 2011

Minor Prophets XLIX: Altitude With Attitude

In Obadiah 1b the oracle from Obadiah is addressed to and against Edom who are the descendants of Esau. This oracle is very similar to Jeremiah 49 and Obadiah may be emphasizing earlier oracles against Israel’s foe. This is not a detraction from Obadiah so much as it strengthens his position because it corroborates and is corroborated by earlier and similar oracles also from God (Myers 153).

Obadiah 3 describes Edom's pride. Any precursory examination of Edom's location on a map is a vivid indicator of the source of their pride. Their altitude determined their attitude.

Edom is arrogant do to their geography and geology. They literally are looking down their nose at Israel. Edom enjoys the security of a strategic mountainous fortress in the area just below Moab on the east side of the Dead Sea. This would’ve been nearly impregnable militarily. But as we already know, nothing is impossible for God and because of the improbability of Edom falling it is all the more evident when they do that it is the hand of God working on Israel’s behalf. Edom would suffer a role reversal and be in the same position that Judah was currently in…small and impotent.
Obadiah 10-14

Judgment is coming due to “the violence done to your brother Jacob”. From days of Jacob and Esau until this point in time there has been feudal strife between these two. This carried on through the descendants of Jacob and Esau. Israel’s history is littered with incidents of infraction from Edom including: Numbers 20:14-21, Judges 11:17, Ezekiel 25:12 and so on. We see the flip side of this in Israel’s retaliations in 1 Samuel 14:47, 2 Samuel 8:13-14, 1 Kings 11:14-16 and so on. Call it bad blood. The crucial aspect that cannot be ignored in all of this is Obadiah’s use of the word אָחִ֙יךָ֙ / achik “brother” in verse 10 when mentioning the violence done to Israel. Edom was standing aloof and allowing their “sibling” to be violated and acted as one of Israel’s foreigners when in reality they were “kin”.

Myers, Jacob Martin. "Obadiah: An Oracle On The Doom of Edom." The Book of Hosea ; The Book of Joel ; The Book of Amos ; The Book of Obadiah ; The Book of Jonah . Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press, 1978. 153. Print
Myers, Jacob Martin. "Obadiah: The Reasons For Edom’s Destruction." The Book of Hosea ; The Book of Joel ; The Book of Amos ; The Book of Obadiah ; The Book of Jonah . Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press, 1978. 155. Print.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...