In Obadiah 1, the sole chapter in this book, there's a prophecy of destruction for Edom. The people of the land of Edom -- the Edomites -- were descendants of Esau, so they were cousins and neighbors of the Jewish people.
In Swedenborg's sketch of the internal sense of this part of the Word, (The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 213), we find this:
- Edom represents people who are in self-intelligence and who pervert the sense of the letter of the word.
- In Obadiah 1:1-3, They must be combated, because they believe themselves to be more intelligent than others.
- In 1:4-5, They defend falsities by natural light, but they will perish, and with them, the falsities themselves.
- In 1:6, They have pride.
- In 1:7, They have no truths.
- In 1:8-9, They will perish on the day of judgment, because they have oppressed the church.
- In 1:10-14, They destroy the church still further, and this is their delight.
- In 1:15-16, Destruction will come upon them on the day of judgment.
- In 1:17, A new church will come into existence.
- In 1:18, in place of the former church, which is condemned.
- In 1:19-21, The new church will be in the understanding of truth, and those that are in it will be saved.
This story was written around 2600 years ago. There were people alive then who were impressed with their own intelligence. They didn't respect the Word's inner meaning, and twisted its literal meaning. In Obadiah 1:10, we see them even taking delight in destroying true ideas.
Today, maybe it's easier than ever to be impressed by our own intelligence, because we can do so much. We're putting vehicles on Mars, and making robots that can do back flips. But how should we regard the Word? We need to look at its deep meaning, to really understand spiritual truths -- so that we have the fundamental spiritual wisdom to hold and harness our intelligence -- and to be part of the Lord's church, where we're open to receiving his good and truth, and living by it.