What does Obadiah 1:3 mean?
ESV: The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
NIV: The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, 'Who can bring me down to the ground?'
NASB: The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, The one who lives in the clefts of the rock, On the height of his dwelling place, Who says in his heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’
CSB: Your arrogant heart has deceived you, you who live in clefts of the rock in your home on the heights, who say to yourself, "Who can bring me down to the ground? "
NLT: You have been deceived by your own pride because you live in a rock fortress and make your home high in the mountains. ‘Who can ever reach us way up here?’ you ask boastfully.
KJV: The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?
NKJV: 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?’
Verse Commentary:
Thanks to good natural resources and busy trade routes, Edom was wealthy and powerful. With so many traders passing through their well-defended territory, Edomites saw themselves as "big shots" in the region. After centuries of defying God, though, the nation of Edom would be humiliated. Their own pride, in fact, would contribute to their downfall.

Edom was not only proud of their success, they were arrogant. This overconfidence had a lot to do with the rocky cliffs where they had built their cities. The mountains of Seir, where Edom was located, made for easy defense. As verse 4 will imply, living in well-defended high caves gave Edom a sense of superiority. Compared to other nations, living on the ground, the Edomites seemed to be perched among the stars. This sense of security greatly contributed to their demise. Rather than being cautious, Edom's attitude was careless: "who will bring [us] down to the ground?"
Verse Context:
Obadiah 1:1–9 predicts the total destruction of Edom, a long-standing enemy of Israel. Despite Edom's strategic location, pride, and wealth, this prophecy warns that they will be completely ruined. The people of Edom committed heinous crimes against Israel, even helping Israel's enemies capture Jewish refugees. This passage specifically mentions how the coming wrath will undo all of Edom's proudest achievements.
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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