As mentioned in the concluding remarks of Part One, we have In the Old Testament 83rd Psalm a unique prayer petition recorded which many, myself included, is more than just a prayer, but a prophecy of a future conflict that Israel is going to face. It is one of several prophecies that predict a specific conflict with Israel’s enemies, distinct from other conflicts in the fact that it is not necessarily connected to the more familiar Gog / Magog war foretold by the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38-39 of his Old Testament book. God also provided specific details of this end of days war to several other prophets in the Scriptures. Although Asaph’s psalm is written in the form of a prayer, the scriptures contain prophecies that detail Asaph’s prayer petition being fulfilled as a physical reality very near the time frame of the onset of the much expected Day of the Lord.
One of these prophecies was written by the prophet Obadiah in his curious and short one chapter book in the Old Testament. Another prophet who appears to have been a contemporary of Obadiah and was given prophetic information that coincides with what Obadiah saw was the prophet Jeremiah. Much of what Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 49:7-22 is found confirmed by Obadiah. For the sake of time, I won’t go through every verse of Obadiah’s prophecy but will take a brief look at some of the basics of what God showed him.
It is important first of all to understand the introductory verse of Obadiah’s prophecy. This is how it is worded::
The vision of the Lord GOD concerning Edom (We have heard a report from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle) verse 1
Questions needing answering are:
- Who is Edom?
- What is the message that is being sent out to the nations, and who is sending it?
- Who is hearing the report that is being sent out?
- Who is the source of the report of the message being sent?
- Who are the nations the report is being sent to?
- Who is it that is going to be attacked?
- The answer to the first question has actually been addressed in detail in Part One of “All Eyes On Israel”. Historically, it is Esau who is the father of all of the Edomites. Remnants of the Edomites are today represented within the Palestinian populations located within Israel, Jordan, and other mideast nations. I find it quite telling, in light of the hundreds of thousands who live in in mideast tent cities today, that the Bible refers to one of Israel’s enemies at the end of the age as a mideast population group as “The Tents of Edom”, One example is found in Psalm 83:6. These are the modern-day Palestinians, descendants of their patriarch, Esau.
- The message in the report is easy to determine. “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle.” In Jeremiah 49:14, we find another detail, An envoy was sent to the nations to say, “Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!” We are given the detail that it is an envoy who is spreading this message. Whether this envoy is a human person of authority gathering a coalition is not specifically stated. One source for this message for sure is demonic. Throughout history, the forces of hell have repeatedly attempted and intended to annihilate the Jewish people but have failed.
- The answer to question three is the two prophets, Jeremiah and Obadiah. They have both heard this report and by inspiration of God’s Spirit are acting on the information given to them..
- Who is it that is sending this report out in question number three? It is God who is sending this report out. Although He is not the source of the message itself that is being sent out to the nations, He is the one reporting the information to His prophets.
- Question five asks who the nations are that the message is being sent to. Throughout Obadiah’s prophecy, it becomes clear that the Edomites are part of the coalition that is being gathered together. One hint is in verse two when it describes an enemy that God intends to make small among the nations and greatly despised. More will be said later to aid in identifying the present day Edomites / Palestinians. The identities of the coalition will also be addressed.
- Lastly, the one that is going to be attacked is Israel. Later in Obadiah’s prophecy we find that in response to God’s accusations against the Edomites, one nation will be used to level judgment against them. Israel.
Although the main object of God’s anger in Obadiah’s prophecy are the Edomites, as is clear by the details later in the prophecy. The coalition being gathered however, is also going to face the fury of God’s wrath. The Scriptures even provide us with the tool God is going to use in dealing– not only with the remnant of the Edomites, but also their allies. Although God steps in with His own raw power later in the Gog / Magog conflict as He so often had in the Old Testament, for this judgment on Israel’s enemies within and on their borders, He appears to use Israel’s powerful military.
What is it that this coalition of Israel’s enemies are guilty of? We find the answer in Psalm 83:4: “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” Once again, that demonic spirit raises its ugly head. But, not without God’s notice. At this point, we’ll take a brief look at Asaph’s petition to the Lord and identify who is included in this coalition. We’ll begin where verse four above leaves off.
…For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You; the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. (Psalm 83:5-8)
Realizing that nations throughout history come and go and national boundaries are redrawn by those who happen to be in power at the time, we will identify the entities in Asaph’s list of Israel’s enemies in Psalm 83 to their modern-day counterparts.
- Edom: Southern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Ishmaelites: Saudi Arabia
- Moab: Central Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Hagrites: Egypt
- Gebal: Northern Lebanon
- Ammon: Northern Jordan and Palestinian refugees
- Amalek: The Negev and Sinai Peninsula areas
- Philistia: The Gaza Strip and Hamas
- Tyre: Southern Lebanon and Hezbollah
- Assyria: Syria and Northern Iraq
Now that we know who Edom (Palestinians) is allied with, let’s take a closer look at specifically God has to say to the Edomites.
We saw in Obadiah verse two that God said, “I will make you small among the nations, you shall be greatly despised.” Among all of the confederated “nations” above, by the time the call for battle comes, “Edom” will be “small among the nations” The Palestinians are identified as tent dwellers, likely referring to them as a population that is out of place and has no permanent home. In the Scriptures “the tents of” speaks of refugees, military encampments, or both.” This is certainly true of the Palestinians today.
A study of Edomite history reveals that the Edomites were invaded and defeated by Israel’s King Saul and then later by King David. The Edomites allied with King Nebuchadnezzar in his invasion of Jerusalem. Their brutality towards the people of Jerusalem and their cruelty during the destruction of the First Temple caused much bitterness among the Jews and it brought the Edomites criticism from prophets in later times. According to history they fought with the Jews many times. According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, the Edomites were first defeated by the Nabateans, which is when Mt. Seir with its capital city Petra fell. The historical record also shows that the territory west of the Arabah became known by the Greek name Idumea and the people as Idumeans. The Idumeans main city, Hebron, was taken by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC. Later in 126 BC, the country was subdued by John Hyrcanus who forced circumcision on all the men and the following of Jewish laws was strictly enforced. Continuing with information from the International Standard Bible, we find that Antipater, governor of Idumaea, was made procurator of Judea, Samaria and Galilee by Julius Caesar. He paved the way to the throne for his son Herod the Great. With the fall of Judah under the Romans, Idumaea disappears from history…but, did they totally disappear? Evidence seems to show differently.
Today, we find a group of displaced Arabs in the same area fighting for their own homeland. They have become a state within a state, and are known internationally as the Palestinians. The international community over the past century has encouraged them to resettle into their ancestral Arab lands away from what today is known as Israel, but, to this date the Palestinians, for the most part, still live as refugees and either don’t want to, or can’t resettle in other Arab nations.
Obadiah said this about the Edomites in verse 3-4:
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; you who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, and through you set your next among the start, from there I will bring you down”, says the LORD.
As we can see by the very brief historical account above, the Edomites and their national pride have been greatly reduced, just as God foretold through his prophets. Though they are now the least among the confederated nations against Israel, they are still deceived into thinking that they are invincible and can’t lose..because, as they so often say, “Allahu Akbar”, (Allah is greatest). But, it is not Allah who is greatest. Allah is not the Creator, nor is he who sustains the universe so that you and I can breathe and live. Jehovah GOD is Creator and it was He who approached the patriarch Abram (later Abraham) in order to make a covenant with him and his descendants. These descendants are the Jewish people who were chosen to be the vehicle through which the Messiah would come. Although Jesus Christ’s own people rejected Him as Messiah, through the ministry of Jesus’ apostles after Pentecost, multiplied millions if not billions of Gentiles have accepted him as their Lord and Saviour. But, in spite of their unbelief and blindness, God has promised that He will yet open the eyes of His people, the Jews, just prior to His second coming when He will set up His throne in Jerusalem and rule the entire planet as God-King. This means that no one…NO ONE will be able to destroy the Jewish people. God has a covenant with them that will be fulfilled.!
Having already spent more time on the Edomites / Palestinians than intended in this writing, I do need to address a bit more of what the Old Testament prophet had to say about those with the identity of The Tents of Edom, because it has such a strong bearing on current events we are witnessing unfold today..
So far in Obadiah’s prophecy God addressed the fact that Edom would be made small among the nations, and greatly despised. In verses 5-6 however, the prophet goes one step further in what God is going to do. Let’s take a look at these two verses:
If thieves had come to you, if robbers by night—Oh, how you will be cut off!—Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, would they not have left some gleanings? Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
There comes a time when judgment cannot, nor will it be delayed. This is what we find in the prophet’s words in these verses. Esau / Edom will be greatly humiliated and brought down, but eventually totally found out and utterly cut off. In our own modern self-righteous soft western minds, we may be appalled at such a judgment, but as the patriarch Abraham once questioned God just prior the total destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah…
Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked, far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25
As we know from this story in Genesis, God did allow for the saving of any righteous that may be in Sodom, but only four people left the cities of the plain, Abraham’s nephew, Lot, his wife, and two daughters. His sons-in-law laughed at God’s warning and died along with the rest of those in destruction of the entire plain. Even Lot’s wife couldn’t let go of her life in Sodom and, in spite of God’s warning not to look back, lost her life on the spot where she turned around to take a last glimpse. There comes a point when God will judge, and His judgments are always righteous. He has all the facts. I am reminded of a conversation between Job, one of Abraham’s contemporaries, and God. In answer to some frustrations by Job, God made this response, “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?…Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?” Job 42:2,8. I am afraid we are sometimes guilty of just that.
We find a verse written by the Old Testament prophet Amos that sheds some light on this judgment that might seem so harsh to us.
Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because he pursued his brother (Israel) with the sword, and cast off all pity; his anger tore perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever.” (Amos 1:11)
In his well researched book, Isralestine, which has a great deal more documented material than this short article, and which I in fact have come to rely on repeatedly as an excellent resource, the author, Bill Salus, makes the observation below:
“Amos alludes to the historical hatred of the Jews by their Edomite brothers with ‘His anger tore perpetually,’ and informs us that it continued through the ages: ‘And he kept his wrath forever.’ From generation to generation, an enmity toward the Jews tore at the very core of Edomite existence. They never abandoned this feeling, which perpetuates even today through the Edomite remnant contingency residing within the modern-day Palestinians.
“It is important to note that God does not levy punishment upon Gentile nations randomly. He judges Edom specifically for their continual assaults against the Jews. As such, they will provoke upon themselves the Genesis 12:3 clause contained within the Abrahamic Covenant, i.e., the curse-for-curse-in-kind. ‘I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the Earth shall be blessed.’ (Genesis 12:3, NKJV; emphasis added).
“The ‘him’ that curses you has individual, national, and international applications. All who individually or collectively come against Israel beyond that point determined by God as acceptable will provoke the curse-for-curse-in-kind clause upon themselves. There is a point whereby God used Gentile nations, such as in the Babylonian captivity, to serve out judgment against the Jews, and in these instances, those nations were ‘in exempt.’ However, the minute those nations crossed beyond the acceptable point and persecuted the Jews, they were determined to be operating ‘in contempt’ or ‘n excess,’ and they provoked this clause upon themselves.” (end of Salus quote)
As we go one verse further in Obadiah’s prophecy, we find some stunning statements made:
All the men in your confederacy shall force you to the border; the men at peace with you shall deceive you and prevail against you, those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it. (verse 7)
The Arab nations around Israel have learned to use the Palestinians and the “Palestinian Cause” as useful tools in their own agenda, which has always been the complete and utter destruction and removal of Israel—not just from the Middle East, but from human memory! The Palestinians are convinced of their own religious invincibility due to their belief that their false god, Allah, commands them to attack and eliminate as many Jews as possible. This deception encourages them continually toward the borders of Israel proper. What they don’t realize is that they are being used as pawns. This has become even more clear as the riots have continued now for several months at the border between Gaza and Israel. The terrorist group Hamas has repeatedly encouraged the Palestinians, not to fear giving their lives for the cause as martyrs. The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, provides $3,000 per month for life to the family of any Palestinian martyr. With the possibility of gainful employment slim, especially in the Gaza Strip, and with the false belief that martyrdom will be an automatic passage to paradise, the incentive for the Palestinians to offer themselves is very high.
As the Muslim nations around Israel use deceived Palestinians as pawns in their campaign of terror, they can keep their hands clean while disrupting and bleeding Israel—not yet with a major war, but with a thousand little cuts, here and there, month after month, year after year—until the Muslim world has all their ducks in a row for an all-out attack on Israel.
It is interesting to note that it is the displaced peoples being used within the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and other refugee camps are all near the border of Israel. These people make good foot soldiers and human land mines. Yet, the blood of the Jews attacked and or killed, are not on the national hands. This way, the Palestinian propaganda within the international community can be continued and there is no stain of the dirty work is visible to the world. As has been mentioned earlier in this article, the nations around Israel have made it very difficult if not absolutely impossible for the Arab refugees to be assimilated into their lands. This is because of the ongoing agenda to confederate and eventually try and destroy the nation Israel. This is the reason for God’s report to the prophets of the message being sent out to Israel’s enemies in Obadiah 1:1. The final outcome for the Edomites or Palestinians has been foretold in verses 8-9:
“Will I not in that day,” says the LORD, “even destroy the wise men from Edom, and understanding from the mountains of Esau? Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.” Obadiah 1:8-9
In the last few verses of Obadiah’s prophecy, details are given for the complete destruction of the Edomites. I will print the verses below but will not make commentary at this time, other than to say that history shows the underhanded manner in which the Edomites treated their brother, Jacob. They stabbed them in the back, stole their possessions and property, and turned the few who escaped their enemies onslaught in to their enemies, including the Babylonians. God did not miss any of their actions and now the judgment time has arrived.
For the violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side—in the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity, nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity, indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction. In the day of their calamity, nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress. Obadiah 1:10-14
In the two verses below, we find Obadiah putting a time reference on when this will unfold. He says this will happen just prior to the beginning of the Day of the LORD, the Great Tribulation. We are presently right on the very knife’s edge of this beginning.
For the day of the LORD upon all nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head. For as you drank on My holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been. Obadiah 1:15-16
As we continue in Part 3 we will look closely at how this will likely unfold in the days or weeks ahead. We will also look at the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning the soon total destruction of the city of Damascus..