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Obadiah’s ominous message to Edom continues in verse 15,
15 For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.
God’s complaint against Edom in the previous verses was that they had rejoiced when Israel and Judah were taken into captivity. These two nations were obstacles to Edom’s desire to claim the land for itself. God then tells Edom, “As you have done, it will be done to you.” The law demands equal justice, which is the principle behind Exodus 21:23-25,
23 But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
In other words, the judgment must be in direct proportion to the crime. Those involved in a dispute, of course, could come to a satisfactory monetary arrangement, but if they cannot agree on a penalty, then the judge—as a last resort—could impose a literal judgment as described here.
Such equal justice is based on the law of equal weights and measures in Leviticus 19:34-36,
34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. 35 You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measurement of weight, or capacity. 36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin…
Jesus said that this is the second of the two great commandments that summarize the entire law and show that it is based on love and equality. Yet when men fail to love their neighbors—including foreigner neighbors—they fall under divine judgment equal to the offense. Jesus warned us in Matthew 7:1, 2,
1 Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
God judges men by their own standard of measure. If they show mercy to others, God shows mercy to them, for “blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy” (Matthew 5:7). Further, God often allows sinners to judge themselves, as we see in the case of David himself. The story is told in 2 Samuel 12:1-15, where the prophet Nathan posed a scenario where a rich man butchered the lamb of a poor man. David judged this rich man, not knowing that he was passing judgment upon himself.
So in Obadiah 15 we see that God warned Edom that He would judge them according to their own standard of measure in the case of their Zionist policy toward Jacob. In this case, Jacob was represented by the British and their flag, “Union Jack.” The Father of Jewish Terrorism was Vladimir Jabotinsky, who founded an organization known as Betar in 1923. During the 1930’s and 1940’s, Jewish terrorist organizations were established. Menachem Begin was the head of the Irgun Zvai Leumi (“National Military Organization”). Yitzhak Shamir was the head of the Stern Gang, named for its founder, Avraham Stern. Begin and Shamir would eventually serve as Israeli prime ministers.
These are all well documented in their own biographies: The Revolt: Story of the Irgun, by Menachem Begin, and Summing Up, by Yitzhak Shamir.
When Shamir decided to assassinate Britain’s Lord Moyne on November 6, 1944, he did not ask himself how best to show love. When Begin blew up the King David Hotel on July 22, 1946, it was certainly not an act of love. When the two organizations teamed up to massacre the peaceful Arab village of Deir Yassin (just outside of Jerusalem) on April 9, 1947, they blamed the people themselves for not evacuating the town before the massacre. When a few fought back, the Israelis then claimed the right of self defense, as if the people of Deir Yassin had been the ones attacking the Israelis!
This murder was so diabolical that even the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem excommunicated those who participated in the massacre. Ami Isseroff, of the Peace Middle East Dialog Group, wrote,
“It is long past time for Israeli Zionists, like myself, to apologize. The Israeli government has never apologized for the massacre of Deir Yassin… The perpetrators of the massacre at Deir Yassin were never punished.” (See The Struggle for the Birthright, page 146)
According to Alfred Lilienthal, the purpose of this bloodbath was because the Israelis wanted that land for a future airfield (The Zionist Connection II, page 154).
The Israeli state showed no love toward the existing population in Palestine but sought to displace them and kill anyone who stood in their way. In 2023, little has changed. The Israelis are divided in their opinions, but the government itself remains unrepentant. In fact, the same tactic is now being used in Gaza. The Israelis have warned all inhabitants of Gaza City to evacuate south, and if they refuse and are killed in the bombings, it is supposedly their own fault.
God foresaw all of this when He inspired Obadiah to write his warning to Edom about equal justice that was to come: “As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head.” God thus vows to bring equal justice to those motivated by the spirit of Edom in Zionism.
I suspect that the Gaza War is Edom’s final chance to repent before being found unworthy of the birthright. Even now, world opinion is quickly turning against the Israelis. The world might have sympathized with them when Hamas launched their attack on October 7, but that sympathy quickly evaporated when the Israelis used it as an excuse to kill thousands of Palestinians, the majority of whom were women and children.
Obadiah 16 continues,
16 Because just as you [Edom] drank on My holy mountain, all the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow [lua, “swallow, gulp, act rashly, stagger”] and become as if they had never existed.
Edom and “all the nations” are pictured drinking at (or around) God’s “holy mountain.” It is a picture of the judgment of nations at the end of the age. The “cup” metaphor has to do with divine judgment, as we see in Psalm 75: 7, 8,
7 But God is the judge; He puts down one and exalts another. 8 For a cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams; it is well mixed, and He pours out of this; surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.
Again, we read in Jeremiah 25:27, 28,
27 You shall say to them [the nations], “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.’ 28 And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “You shall surely drink!”
Finally, we read in Lamentations 4:21,
21 Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, who dwells in the land of Uz; but the cup will come around to you as well, you will become drunk and make yourself naked. 22 … He will punish your iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will expose your sins!
Obadiah tells us that Edom will drink from this cup; other prophets give us the context of judgment upon all the nations. This suggests that such judgment is an end-time prophecy, applicable to our own time and to the current situation. The spirit of Edom in Zionism is being exposed for the whole world to see, and the time is soon coming when they will have no choice but to drink the cup of divine judgment.