What does Obadiah 1:13 mean?
ESV: Do not enter the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; do not gloat over his disaster in the day of his calamity; do not loot his wealth in the day of his calamity.
NIV: You should not march through the gates of my people in the day of their disaster, nor gloat over them in their calamity in the day of their disaster, nor seize their wealth in the day of their disaster.
NASB: Do not enter the gate of My people On the day of their disaster. You indeed, do not gloat over their catastrophe On the day of their disaster. And do not lay a hand on their wealth On the day of their disaster.
CSB: Do not enter my people's city gate in the day of their disaster. Yes, you--do not gloat over their misery in the day of their disaster, and do not appropriate their possessions in the day of their disaster.
NLT: You should not have plundered the land of Israel when they were suffering such calamity. You should not have gloated over their destruction when they were suffering such calamity. You should not have seized their wealth when they were suffering such calamity.
KJV: Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;
NKJV: 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.
Verse Commentary:
When Israel was attacked by Babylon in 587 BC, Edom helped the invaders track down and capture fleeing Jews. In reward, Nebuchadnezzar allowed the Edomites to participate in the looting of Jerusalem. Edom has already been accused of mocking Israel during their struggle (Obadiah 1:12), and now they are actively participating in her misery. Verse 5 pointed out that even thieves take only what they want, leaving the rest behind. For Edom to help while Israel is completely ruined is pure spite.

The perspective of verses 12, 13, and 14 is a common technique in ancient literature. The author speaks as if shouting back in time, to warn someone. The crimes Edom is being told "do not" do are the very ones they have already done. A frequent feature of God's judgment is a sinner's own crimes coming back to them. Edom looted Jerusalem and helped defeat them. Not long after this prophecy was written, the Edomites were driven from their lands by foreigners. Their nation wallowed in poverty and obscurity until 70 AD, when the Roman Empire virtually annihilated them.

This verse repeatedly refers to a "day of calamity," emphasizing how dire the situation was for Israel.
Verse Context:
Obadiah 1:10–14 describes why God is about to bring judgment on Edom. The Edomites were children of Esau, the brother of Jacob, who was the father of the nation of Israel. Rather than acting as a ''brother'' nation, Edom constantly harassed and provoked Israel. Eventually, when Israel was attacked by a foreign nation, Edom joined in the looting. They even mocked the Jewish people in their pain, and helped the invaders capture refugees. These crimes are described from a unique perspective, as if the prophet is watching the events happen, and warning Edom not to continue.
Chapter Summary:
The nation of Edom grew from Esau, the brother of Jacob. Jacob would later be re-named ''Israel.'' Despite being so closely related, Israel had few long-term enemies as spiteful as the Edomites. In the short prophecy given by Obadiah, Edom is warned of God's judgment. Edom is particularly condemned for aiding Israel's enemies in a time of war. This warning is extended to all nations that reject God: judgment for your sin is coming, but God will be merciful to those who obey Him.
Chapter Context:
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, with only one chapter of 21 verses. In just a few words, it delivers a warning of judgment on Edom, one of Israel's oldest enemies. This passage also warns every nation that defies God that there will be a reckoning. The end of Obadiah's prophecy involves the division of land during the end times.
Book Summary:
Obadiah is an excellent introduction to Old Testament prophecy. In just 21 verses, it covers all of the typical contents found in the prophets. Themes of wrongdoing, imminent judgment, God's mercy, and His restoration are all found in this short book. Reading Obadiah is somewhat like reading the dust jacket of a much larger novel. Obadiah is also interesting in that it is not addressed to Israel, but to the nation of Edom.
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