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Obadiah: Obadiah 12-Two More Indictments Against Edom Lesson # 12

Obadiah   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:33:11
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Obadiah: Obadiah 12-Two More Indictments Against Edom

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Obadiah 12 But do not gloat over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; do not rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; do not boast in the day of distress. (ESV)
Do not gloat over” is composed of the following: (1) adverb of negation ʾal (אַל), “not” (2) second person masculine singular qal jussive form of the verb rā·ʾā(h) (רָאָה), “do gloat.”
The second person masculine singular qal jussive form of the verb rā·ʾā(h) means “to gloat” since the word pertains to taking pleasure in a particular situation implying taking pleasure over someone’s misfortune.
The verb’s meaning is negated by the adverb of negation ʾal, which means “never” since the word is used as a marker of emphatic negation.
The jussive form of this verb and this adverb of negation form an emphatic prohibition which normally would have the sense of emphatically prohibiting something either not yet begun or something already in process at the time of speaking.
However, here, in Obadiah 12, this emphatic prohibition and the seven which follow it in verses 13-14 refer to a situation in past rather than future time.
The second person singular form of the verb rā·ʾā(h) means “you” and refers to the Edomites as a corporate unit.
Therefore, the idea with this verb is that the Edomites “should not have gloated” over the misfortune the descendants of Jacob suffered at the hands of their enemies.
This verb and the ones to follow in verses 13-14 are being used in a rhetorical fashion, as though the prophet were vividly projecting himself back into the events that he is describing and urging the Edomites not to do what in fact they have already done.[1]
This interpretation is further substantiated by the assertions in verse 10-11, which all serve to condemn the Edomites for their cruel treatment of the descendants of Jacob in the past.
Therefore, these eight verbs coupled with the negative particle ʾal form eight declarations of guilt expressed in the form of a prohibition.
The noun yôm means “day” refers to the period of time in which the Babylonian armies attacked the southern kingdom of Judah in 605, 597 and 586 B.C.
The proper name yĕhûdâ, “Judah” means “I will praise the Lord” and refers to the southern kingdom of Judah in the sixth century B.C.
After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel had a civil war and was divided into a northern kingdom and a southern kingdom.
The latter took the name Judah.
Obadiah 12 “Indeed, you should have never gloated during your relative’s disastrous day. Specifically, you should have never rejoiced over Judah’s citizens during the period when they suffered destruction. Furthermore, you should have never boasted during the period of distress.” (My translation)
Obadiah 12 contains two more declarations of guilt expressed through three emphatic prohibitions, which serve to intensify and advance upon the previous declarations in verses 10-11.
They also serve as further indictments against the nation of Edom which are in addition to the previous ones listed in Obadiah 10 and 11.
If you recall, verses 10-14 present the indictments against the nation of Edom for the cruel treatment of their blood relatives, the kingdom of Judah.
In verse 10, the God of Israel predicts that Edom would be covered with shame because of the sinful violence they committed against their blood relative, who were the descendants of Jacob.
God emphatically asserts that Edom would be cut off from the nations forever.
Then, in verse 11, the God of Israel through the prophet Obadiah asserts that Edom was like Judah’s enemies, which history records were led by Babylon, during the period of time when they stood aloof when these strangers took Judah’s army captive.
Consequently, these foreigners penetrated the gates of Judah’s capital city, Jerusalem so that these enemies of Judah cast lots for this city.
Now, here in verse 12, we have three emphatic prohibitions which refer to past rather than future time which not only serve as declarations of guilt but also serve to intensify and advance upon the indictments against Edom listed in verses 10 and 11.
This interpretation is further substantiated by the assertions in verse 10-11, which all serve to condemn the Edomites for their cruel treatment of the descendants of Jacob in the past.
The statements in verse 11 all serve as declarations of guilt for the people of Edom in relation to their cruel treatment of their blood relatives the citizens of Judah who were descendants of Jacob.
The first declaration is that the Edomites should have never gloated during their relative’s disastrous day while the second specifies for the reader who is being spoken about in the first or in other words, it identifies specifically who is their relative, which is the citizens of Judah.
The second rebukes the Edomites that they should have never rejoiced over Judah’s citizens during the period when they suffered destruction.
Therefore, the first two declarations serve as one indictment since they both speak of the same sin.
The third emphatic prohibition which serves as a declaration of guilt presents an addition to the previous rebuke and asserts that they should have never boasted when the people of Judah suffered distress.
Therefore, the advancement and the intensification is that not only did Edom commit violent acts against the descendants of Jacob and stood aloof while their enemies took her army captive and destroyed her capital city but they also gloated or rejoiced over this defeat and in addition boasted about it during this period of Judah’s distress.
The sinful behavior of the Edomites when their blood relatives were being destroyed by her enemies is in disobedience to the teaching contained in Proverbs 24:17-18.
The sinful behavior of the Edomites during Judah’s destruction described in Obadiah 11 took place in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon destroyed Judah and the city of Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar’s armies attacked Judah three times (605, 597 and 586 B.C.)
During each of these invasions, the people of Judah were deported to Babylon.
During the last invasion, the city of Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed.
Second Chronicles 36:1-21 records the destruction of Judah and the city of Jerusalem and its temple by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon.
Obadiah 11 is describing the day of the Lord in relation to the southern kingdom of Judah.
The day of the Lord or specifically the period in which the Lord judged the kingdom of Judah for their idolatry and rebellion took place in the sixth century B.C.
Notice in Obadiah 11, the mention of Judah rather than Israel which indicates Obadiah was written in the sixth century B.C. since the northern kingdom of Israel had already fallen to the Assyrian Empire in 722 B.C.
The Psalmist implores the God of Israel to remember Edom’s cruel treatment of the people of Judah when they were destroyed by Babylon.
Psalm 137:7 Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites the day of Jerusalem, how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare, down to its foundations!” 8 O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed, blessed shall he be who repays you with what you have done to us! 9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock! (ESV)
In Ezekiel 35, the God of Israel through the prophet Ezekiel promised to destroy the Edomites for their sinful behavior toward the citizens of Judah during the day of their disaster just as He does through Obadiah.
In this passage, “Mount Seir” is a reference to the Edomites since they lived on this mountain.
In Ezekiel 36:1-7, the God of Israel through the prophet Ezekiel asserts that He will destroy Edom for their sinful behavior towards Judah when they were destroyed by Babylon.
The God of Israel used the Babylonian Empire to discipline the kingdom of Judah and the inhabitants of her capital city of Jerusalem.
He also used Babylon to punish Edom as well as many of the nations in the Mediterranean region of the world in the sixth century B.C. according to Jeremiah 27.
The Babylonian empire led by Nebuchadnezzar was serving God in that they were the instrument used to judge Judah and Jerusalem.
In Jeremiah 25:9, and 27:6, the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah describes Nebuchadnezzar as His servant because this king and his empire were the Lord’s instrument in judging Judah and Jerusalem or in other words, God used Nebuchadnezzar to discipline the nation of Israel for their disobedience.
Jeremiah 25:1-11 also teaches that the Lord delivered Judah into Nebuchadnezzar’s power because of their idolatry.
Also, a comparison of Leviticus 25:1-12, 26:32-35, 43, Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10 and 2 Chronicles 26:21 indicates that the Lord delivered Judah into Nebuchadnezzar’s power because they failed to respect the Sabbath Day and the sabbatic year in which every seventh year they were to let the land rest.
[1] Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
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