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What the Bible says about House of Esau
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 73:1-9

The psalmist, Asaph, mentions pride directly, as well as boasting among men and speaking loftily, arrogantly against the very God of heaven, as evidence of the driving force of the wicked person's life. Pride and wickedness fit together like hand and glove—so much so that he describes pride as the wicked person's ornament, as if it were displayed as a necklace.

In short, pride identifies the wicked; evil people are always proud. They scoff at God's Word, speak against Him, and gossip against fellow man. What we see on the outside is evil attitude and conduct, but what is motivating from the inside is pride. The proud person offends against God by self-exaltation, and he offends others by haughty preoccupation with himself, leading him to rudeness, impatience, and gossip. And all the while, he ignores the instruction from God that would correct him.

All of this is based on a vain delusion of grandeur that, if allowed, can lead to what God prophesies in Obadiah 2-4, 18:

"Behold, I will make you small among the nations; you shall be greatly despised. 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 though you set your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," says the LORD. . . . "The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau. For the LORD has spoken."

He pronounces this against the nation of Edom, but it could be pronounced in principle against anyone who comes to believe and act as though he is invulnerable by ignoring the reality of God and the consequences of sin.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Living By Faith and Human Pride

Obadiah 1:6-7

Even his friends, his allies in the conflict with Israel, know that Edom is not to be trusted. They are acquainted with the character of this ancient people, and thus they will do what needs to be done to keep him from dominating them and getting them involved beyond what they are prepared to do. His allies will secretly plan to destroy him. Any confederacy Esau has with others will be short-lived, and this is especially true knowing the deceitful character of his associates! They, too, are untrustworthy bedfellows.

Yet, they are unified in their hatred of Israel, and particularly of the people of Joseph. However, their united hatred will fail to overcome the descendants of Jacob. Ultimately, says verse 18, "The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame," suggesting that God will direct the nations of Joseph to take the lead in punishing Edom. The result will be that "the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them. And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau." What a dire fate!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
All About Edom (Part Three): Obadiah

Obadiah 1:17-18

The theme for verses 17 and 18 is found in Malachi 1:2-3:

"I have loved you," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?' Was not Esau Jacob's brother? " says the LORD. "Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness."

God's choice is supreme. He made His sovereign choice of Jacob over Esau before either had done anything. They may have struggled in the womb, but He made His choice prior to their developing any character. He chose Jacob, and that is the end of the matter.

Obadiah writes in verse 17, "But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions." This verse introduces an interesting distinction: "On Mount Zion [is] deliverance," but the end of verse 18 says, "No survivor shall remain of the house of Esau." The destinies of these two peoples are total opposites. Whereas God loves Jacob and allows a remnant to survive into the Millennium, no one survives of Esau.

There is no way to know how absolute this pronouncement may be. Will there be, perhaps, some few Edomite survivors counted among those who are converted—who become part of spiritual Israel, in effect? Perhaps, but certainly all the proud and gloating of Edom will be completely annihilated.

Verse 18 tells us, "The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame." "The house of Jacob" may refer particularly to Judah, and "the house of Joseph" would then refer to the rest of the nations of Israel, led by the Joseph tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh. In any case, it indicates the entirety of Israel. Zechariah 12:6 contains similar language, in which the governors of Judah will be "like a firepan in the woodpile" and "shall devour all the surrounding peoples." Edom will be one of these devoured nations.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
All About Edom (Part Five): Obadiah and God's Judgment

Habakkuk 3:3

A city by the name of Teman existed not far from Petra. Habakkuk 3:3 shows the area of Teman in parallel with Mount Paran, which some consider to be a poetic reference to Mount Sinai, but it more likely refers to Mount Seir in central Edom. It is helpful to remember that some of the prophecies concerning Esau use Teman as an alternative name for Edom.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
All About Edom (Part Two)


 




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