Exposit The Word Obadiah Biblical Teaching Expository Teaching Verse by Verse Ransom Maggard

Obadiah Overview

The Edomites trace their origin to Esau, the firstborn (twin) son of Isaac and Rebekah (Gen. 25:24–26), who struggled with Jacob even while in the womb (Gen. 25:22). Esau’s name means “hairy,” because “he was like a hairy garment all over” (Gen. 25:25). He is also called Edom, meaning “red,” owing to the sale of his birthright in exchange for some “red stew” (Gen. 25:30). He showed a disregard for the covenant promises by marrying two Canaanite women (Gen. 26:34) and later the daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 28:9). He loved the out-of-doors and, after having his father’s blessing stolen from him by Jacob, was destined to remain a man of the open spaces (Gen. 25:27; 27:38–40). Esau settled in a region of mostly rugged mountains S of the Dead Sea (Gen. 33:16; 36:8,9; Deut. 2:4,5) called Edom (Gr., “Idumea”), the 40 mi. wide area which stretches approximately 100 mi. S to the Gulf of Aqabah. The fabled King’s Highway, an essential caravan route linking North Africa with Europe and Asia, passes along the eastern plateau (Num. 20:17). The struggle and birth of Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25) form the ultimate background to the prophecy of Gen. 25:23, “two nations are in your womb.” Their respective descendants, Israel and Edom, were perpetual enemies. When Israel came out from Egypt, Edom denied their brother Jacob passage through their land, located S of the Dead Sea (Num. 20:14–21). Nevertheless, Israel was instructed by God to be kind to Edom (Deut. 23:7,8). Obadiah, having received a vision from God, was sent to describe their crimes and to pronounce total destruction upon Edom because of their treatment of Israel.

Text used with permission from GTY.org

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