What does Obadiah 1:9 mean?
ESV: And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.
NIV: Your warriors, Teman, will be terrified, and everyone in Esau's mountains will be cut down in the slaughter.
NASB: Then your warriors will be filled with terror, Teman, So that everyone will be eliminated from the mountain of Esau by murder.
CSB: Teman, your warriors will be terrified so that everyone from the hill country of Esau will be destroyed by slaughter.
NLT: The mightiest warriors of Teman will be terrified, and everyone on the mountains of Edom will be cut down in the slaughter.
KJV: And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.
NKJV: Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.
Verse Commentary:
Edom was blessed with riches and excellent terrain. Cliffs and mountains are hard to attack. So, as a wealthy and secure people, the Edomites saw themselves as "mighty." Since their warriors hadn't suffered the kind of defeats Israel had, Edom felt they were a greater military power than they really were. This led to overconfidence, and an assumption of their own wisdom. Like some modern sports teams, Edom seems to have confused "undefeated" with "undefeatable."

The surprise attack which defeated Edom came not long after this prophecy was given. As a result, the warriors and wise men were caught unaware, and obliterated. Verses 8 and 9 not only predict this event, they serve to humiliate Edom. The very strengths the Edomites bragged about will be turned upside down when judgment comes.

"Mount Esau" and "Mount Seir" are references to the nation of Edom. These people were the children of Esau, the brother of Israel's father, Jacob. Edom's cities were in the mountains of Seir, Southeast of Israel. Teman was Esau's grandson, and the capital city of Edom was named after him.
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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