Obadiah 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: American Standard Version         

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1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, [saying], Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

2 Behold, I have made thee small among the nations: thou art greatly despised.

3 The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, O 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?

4 Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah.

5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night (how art thou cut off!), would they not steal [only] till they had enough? if grape-gatherers came to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes?

6 How are [the things of] Esau searched! how are his hidden treasures sought out!

7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee on thy way, even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; [they that eat] thy bread lay a snare under thee: there is no understanding in him.

8 Shall I not in that day, saith Jehovah, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one may be cut off from the mount of Esau by slaughter.

10 For the violence done to thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12 But look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither speak proudly in the day of distress.

13 Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye [hands] on their substance in the day of their calamity.

14 And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress.

15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head.

16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been.

17 But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall burn among them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau; for Jehovah hath spoken it.

19 And they of the South shall possess the mount of Esau, and they of the lowland the Philistines; and they shall possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; and Benjamin [shall possess] Gilead.

20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel, that are [among] the Canaanites, [shall possess] even unto Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, that are in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South.

21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Jehovah's.

← Amos 9   Jonah 1 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 210


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 1197, 1458, 2606, 2851, 3322, 3901, 4117, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 164, 338, 591, 649, 704

Doctrine of the Lord 4

Sacred Scripture 79

True Christian Religion 318


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 193, 405, 410, 448, 811, 919, 1005

An Invitation to the New Church 35

Scriptural Confirmations 9, 75

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Bible Study Videos:



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Word/Phrase Explanations

Vision
Vision is the innermost revelation, which is of perception. Visions are according to the state of humankind. The visions of people whose interiors are closed,...

us
Because people are governed by angels and spirits, in Genesis 1:26 it says 'let us make man into our image.' But because the Lord alone...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

edom
'Edom' or 'Idumea,' as in Isaiah 34:5, signifies those who are in evil and in falsities thence derived.

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

arise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

battle
War in the Word represents the combat of temptation when what is good is assaulted by what is evil or false. The evil that attacks...

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

ground
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

eagle
Eagle wings, referred to in Daniel 7:3, signify rational principles grounded in man's proprium.

Nest
To make a nest,' as in Jeremiah 48:28, when related to a bird, signifies the same thing as 'to dwell,' which is fulfilling the duties...

stars
'Stars' signify the knowledge of truth and good. 'Stars' are frequently mentioned in the Word, and always signify goods and truths, but in an opposite...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

Steal
In a natural sense, the commandment 'Thou shalt not steal,' in Exodus 20:15, means, according to the letter, not stealing, robbing, or committing piracy in...

Enough
'Sufficiency' relates to the reception of good, because good is the spiritual nourishment of the soul, as natural food is the nourishment of the body.

Esau
Esau (Gen. 28:5, etc.) signifies the truth of good in the natural principle. Esau (Gen. 32:3) signifies celestial good in the natural principle.

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

Border
A border as in Isaiah 54:12 signifies the scientific and sensual principle. "And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand-breath round about."...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

bread
Just as natural food feeds the natural body, so spiritual food feeds the spiritual body. And since our spiritual body is the expression of what...

under
Generally speaking things that are seen as lower physically in the Bible represent things that are lower or more external spiritually. In some cases this...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

wise
At its heart, wisdom is love's imperative desire to take form. That's a tricky statement, but think of it this way: If you love someone,...

mighty
Mighty,' as in Revelation 19:18, signify people who are educated about doctrine derived from the Word. By extension, 'mighty' signifies education or learning derived from...

Slaughter
'Slaughter' signifies perdition and damnation. 'Slaughter' and 'a storm of slaughter,' signifies evils which destroy the goods of the church. 'The day of great slaughter'...

violence
'Violence' signifies the outrage done to charity and the destruction of charity and faith. 'Violence,' as in Jeremiah 15:21, signifies falsities which assault the good...

brother
Brethren (Gen. 27:29) signify the affections of good.

jacob
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

shame
On a natural level, there are a variety of things that can cause shame. We might be ashamed of physical weakness or ugliness; we might...

cover
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

side
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

strangers
In Ezekiel 28:7, 'strangers' signify falsities which destroy truths, and 'the terrible of the nations,' evils which destroy good.

foreigners
There is a long history of using travel to round out an education, from the 19th-century “world tours” taken by Oxford and Cambridge graduates to...

entered
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

lots
On the most internal level, the stories of Abraham tell us about the Lord's development in his own childhood, with Abraham representing the Lord's spiritual...

Jerusalem
Jerusalem first comes to or attention in II Samuel, chapter 5 where King David takes it from the Jebusites and makes it his capital. In...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

rejoice
To make glad signifies influx and reception from joy of heart.

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

Judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

gate
"Gates" in ancient times had a significance that does not hold in the modern world. Cities then were enclosed by walls for protection; gates in...

affliction
An affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be", mentioned in 'Matthew 24:21', means the infestation from...

stand
'To stay with,' as in Genesis 32:4, relates to the life of truth when accompanied by good, and in this instance, it means to take...

return
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

holy
'Sanctuary' signifies the truth of heaven and the church. 'Sanctuary,' as in Ezekiel 24:21, signifies the Word.

mountain
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

drink
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Possessions
'Possessions' are spiritual riches, which are knowledges from the Word.

fire
'Inflame' refers to a person's kindling lust.

joseph
Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, is one of the favorite characters in the Bible, with his troubles, his triumphs over them, and his constant trust in...

flame
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

Stubble
'To be consumed as stubble' denotes total vastation.

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

South
'South' denotes truth in light.

philistines
The Philistines play a large role in the Bible as one of the longest-standing and most bitter rivals of the people of Israel, clashing with...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

Ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

Samaria
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.

benjamin
Also, Benjamin signifies the Word in its ultimate sense (Deut. 33:12)

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Zarephath
The Widow of Sarepta signifies obedience and the desire of good to truth.

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

saviours
The Lord from the essential divine, through the divine human, is the savior. The Lord became the savior by His spiritual temptations, or combats.

judge
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

jehovah's
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...


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