Scriptures and Footnotes....

Obadiah 1:1-4
Edom's Arrogance Which Led To Its Downfall

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" --

"Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you are greatly despised. The arrogance[1] of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock[2], in the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, 'Who will bring me down to earth?' Though you build high like the eagle, though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down[3]," declares the Lord.


[1] The Bible has much to say about the sin of pride: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling" (Prov. 16:18). "Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished" (Prov. 16:5). "...God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:7).

[2] The pride of the Edomites was due to a couple factors: 1) their lofty dwelling, which they thought made them invincible, for they dwelt in a mountainous strip of territory with peaks as high as 5,700 feet near Teman. Petra, their capital, had just one narrow mountain pass leading into it -- so narrow that not many people could walk through it abreast -- and which made it very easy for the people of Petra to defend their city and to have an over-confidence toward doing so. 2) And as Homer Hailey points out, Edom also took pride "in his wealth. Possessing great ore deposits and being located as he was on the crossroads of caravan traffic, he had grown wealthy through trade, through duty charged the caravans that traversed his land, and through his disposition to plunder weak caravans that passed through" (A Commentary on the Minor Prophets, p. 33) It appears, therefore, that the Edomites' complete trust was in only themselves, their wealth, and the strategic location of their lofty, natural fortress-type dwelling rather than in God!

[3] Yes, the Edomites eventually were brought down; and as God has often used other peoples or nations to do this, even so, He did for the destruction of the Edomites. Homer Hailey writes: "Historically, Edom's destruction began with the Chaldean invasion under Nebuchadnezzar but was not completed by that nation. Between the sixth and the end of the fourth centuries, Edom was invaded by Arabs known as the Nabataeans, a highly gifted people who drove the Edomites out of their land into a region south of Judea. The Maccabees brought them under subjection in the second century when Judas Maccabeus slew some twenty thousand of them. John Hyrcanus (134-104 B.C.) subjugated the remnant of the nation, forcing them to accept circumcision and nominally to accept the Jewish religion. Under the Romans some time during the first century after Christ the remaining Edomites were absorbed by the Arabs and their identity was lost completely" (ibid., pp. 37,38).