What does Obadiah 1:21 mean?
ESV: Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau, and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.
NIV: Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's.
NASB: The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the Lord’S.
CSB: Saviors will ascend Mount Zion to rule over the hill country of Esau, and the kingdom will be the Lord's.
NLT: Those who have been rescued will go up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem to rule over the mountains of Edom. And the Lord himself will be king!'
KJV: And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.
NKJV: Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion To judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.
Verse Commentary:
This verse is an explicit reference to the millennial kingdom of the end times. Mount Zion is a metaphor for the city of Jerusalem, much as one might say "The White House" as a reference to the city of Washington, D.C. in the United States. In the end times, Israel will be restored to her Promised Land. Part of that restoration will be rulership over the lands which once belonged to the Edomites. Verse 18 seems to suggest that there will not be any descendants of Esau left at that time.

This is an example of Old Testament prophets looking forward, and seeing the future both in the near-term, and the long-term. Obadiah's predictions about the destruction of Edom were fulfilled not long after these words were written. The eventual restoration of Israel, and the rule of the Lord (Zechariah 14:9), will not occur until the very end. As with all instances of God's judgment, the end goal is restoration and reconciliation, not merely revenge.
Verse Context:
Obadiah 1:19–21 describes how Israel's territory will be divided during the end times. Many Old Testament prophets looked beyond the immediate judgment of God, to the day when all promised would be completely fulfilled. The book of Obadiah explains how Edom would be judged for their crimes against Israel. Historically, most of these punishments have already happened. Some final results, however, will not be complete until the end times.
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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