Bible Commentary: Daniel 9 - Obadiah

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Bible Commentary: Daniel 9 - Obadiah

#1 Post by bejay » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:29 pm

Bible Commentary for Daniel 9 thru Obadiah

Daniel Chapter 9

In the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, Daniel understood that the seventy years of desolation on Jerusalem, spoken by Jeremiah the prophet (29:10) was about to run out. He himself had been in captivity since the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign, possibly sixty-eight years. Daniel knew from Jeremiah’s writings that Babylon had themselves been allotted only seventy years of world rulership. Now that Babylon had been overthrown, Daniel knew that this event had significance for Israel and he wanted to learn more.

Daniel saw the need to approach Jehovah on behalf of His people to confess the sins they had committed, which Daniel knew had resulted in their being disciplined. He also wanted to learn what the future would hold for them, as he would not return to their land when they were restored. He humbled himself by fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting ashes on his head, then he made his confession to Jehovah.

He begins by saying ‘we’ have sinned including himself, as he knew that as a member of the nation, he shared in their guilt. He recognized that they had acted rebelliously and wickedly in turning aside from His commandments and ordinances. They had not listened to His prophets who had tried to get the leaders of the people to repent so that they would give good direction to the people. So they can only feel shame for their wicked deeds. Because Israel transgressed Jehovah’s law they brought the curses written in the law upon themselves and they suffered the greatest calamity that had ever befallen them, as God’s people, up to this time. And they did not entreat Jehovah by turning away from their sins so as to avert this calamity. Daniel recognized that Jehovah had proven himself to be righteous in what He had done.

Daniel now petitions Jehovah to turn his wrath away from Jerusalem, His holy mountain, and for the sake of His holy Name, let His graciousness again turn to His desolated sanctuary and His people. Daniel’s petition was not based on the righteousness of the people but on God’s mercy. So Daniel begs Jehovah to forgive His people for His own sake as they carry His name.

For the modern day application of Daniel’s prayer, see the article “Let Us Soften the Face of Jehovah” in the publication entitled The Report, Volume I, pages 138-148.

While Daniel was praying, the angel Gabriel came to him in response to his request to Jehovah to give him insight and understanding concerning Israel’s future. Jehovah had decreed seventy weeks for His people and their holy city. These ‘seventy’ weeks are actually units or groups of seven (‘heptads’) totaling four hundred and ninety days or years whichever the case may be. The six things that are to be accomplished during this period of time are: 1) to finish transgression, 2) to put an end to sin, 3) to atone for wickedness, 4) to bring in righteousness, 5) to put a stamp on prophecy and 6) to anoint the most holy place. The angel told him that there would be sixty-nine weeks or heptads between the time that the decree had been issued to restore and rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the anointed ruler. Jerusalem would be rebuilt with streets and a moat during troublesome times.

After the sixty-ninth (69th) heptad had ended or before the beginning of the seventieth (70th) heptad, the anointed one [or Messiah] would be "cut off with nothing for himself." Just how long this "cutting off" period is for the Messiah, is not disclosed, specifically. In any event, after the God Authorized "cutting off" period for the Messiah has ceased, then and only then, the Messiah would make his magnificent, grand advent and entrance to Israel, as their glorified king. This grand event is referred to by Jesus as the great "Revealing" [or "Parousia" / "Coming" -- Matt. 11:3; Matt. 24:27] of the "Son of Man." (See Luke 17:24, 30.)

The prophecy now switches to a group of people and their ruler, who, at a future time, would be allowed to destroy the holy city and the sanctuary of God, and accompanying terrible "war", yes "Great War" spoken of in Daniel 10:1 (NIV). This "Great War" is headed up by the "king of the north" and referred to specifically in Daniel 11th chapter, would continue the prophecy says, right up to the "end" of Daniel's final prophetic "week." Thus, the seventieth heptad, described in verse 27, would be characterized by a covenant originally made by Jehovah with His Name people, that He would "keep in force" for the full duration of the seventieth period of seven years. However, "at the middle" of this special heptad, Jehovah Himself would "put an end" to "gift offering" and voluntary "sacrifice" of the nation. Thus, their [Israel's] mode of worship, would be finally ended, yes to "terminate the transgression" of His Name People, and "finish off sin" for them, officially in God's eyes. (See Daniel 9:24.)

Of course, this event would open the way for the "disgusting thing" that was originally prophesied to "desecrate" the temple and worship of Jehovah, to finally be "set up" [the "abomination"] in God's Temple, as a final act of devastation against apostate Israel. This is what we know to be the "mark of the beast," referred to in the book of Revelation. (Rev. 13) In this way, God's renegade nation, apostate Israel (Isaiah 10:6) would fully experience God's "desolation," spiritually-speaking. He [king of the north] finally, after all "righteousness" and "meting out justice" had been accomplished according to God's Holy Standards of Righteousness (Daniel 9:24; Luke 21:22), then Jehovah appropriately would act, to bring an end to the enemy of God's People namely, the king of north, as decreed by Jehovah in this magnificent prophecy of Daniel 9th chapter.

To be sure, the YORWW Congregation has closely observed this prophecy, and duly noted the fact that there have been many attempts by bible scholars, to make this prophecy fit Jesus as the Messiah, but to no serious avail in our opinion. Indeed, there are admittedly too many missing pieces to make it work. For instance, no one can determine just when the prophecy would have its start. Some say it would begin with Cyrus’ decree issued in 538 BCE to rebuild Jerusalem. Others believe it was the decree issued by Darius I in 520 BCE, which was a confirmation of Cyrus’ decree. Still others think that it was the decree issued by Artaxerxes in 444 CE authorizing Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Many scholars also agree that there is an undisclosed period of time between the sixty-ninth heptad and the seventieth one. (See The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Volume I, page 1363) The part of the prophecy given in verse 27 has had no fulfillment to this day. Therefore, on the basis of the above, we can conclude that this prophecy must have a modern day fulfillment and that upon modern-day Israel, Jehovah’s Witnesses, still yet to be fulfilled.

Daniel Chapter 10

In the third year of the reign of Cyrus Daniel was given a vision that concerned a great war that he knew to be trustworthy because it was explained to him in the vision. Nevertheless, he mourned for three weeks concerning this vision during which time he ate no food, drank no wine or cared for his body but continued in prayer. Later as he stood beside the Tigris River, he saw a man dressed in linen with a belt of gold around his waist, his body glowed, his face flashed like lightening, his eyes blazed like torches and his arms and legs were like burnished bronze and his voice sounded like that of a multitude. In some ways he resembles the man in Ezekiel’s visions recorded in chapter 1 verses 25 through 28 and the one in Revelation chapter one, verses thirteen through fifteen.

Daniel was with some other men who did not see the man but were aware of something that terrified them so that they fled. Daniel was himself affected by the sight of this man such that he fell into a deep trance. The man touched him and raised him to his knees. He told him to give careful consideration to what he had to tell him because he had been especially sent to him. So Daniel stood on his feet. He told Daniel that he had been trying to reach him for some time but had been held up by the demon prince of Persia for twenty-one days. Michael, one of the chief princes, had come to his aid. He would now explain to Daniel what would happen in the future to his people.

Daniel was still speechless and the man touched his lips and he began to speak. He said that he was still overcome with anguish because of the vision concerning a great war and did not have the strength to speak with the man. The man again touched Daniel and strengthened him and Daniel encouraged him to begin his explanations. He told Daniel that he had come to tell him what was in the book of truth. When he left Daniel, he would have to again face the prince of Persia and the prince of Greece. Michael, the prince of Israel, was the only one who supported him when he had undertaken to protect Darius the Mede in the first year of his reign.

Daniel Chapter 11

The man mentions only four kings who would rule the Persian Empire and the fourth king would be wealthy and would stir up the Persian Empire to fight against Greece. This king was Xerxes, known in the book of Esther as Ahasuerus, who did make war against Greece, but was only partially successful. The Grecian navy in 480 BCE defeated the Persian navy, and the next year, 479 BCE, they defeated their land army of one hundred thousand men. The man then moves to the rise of the Grecian Empire under Alexander the Great. After conquering lands beyond the Persian Empire in eight years and making his empire the greatest up to that time, he died of a fever. His kingdom eventually was divided into four parts but none would have the strength of the empire under Alexander.

In later periods of time, out of these four empires would emerge two dominating forces called here the King of the North and the King of the South. The war that Daniel saw in the vision will be the ultimate struggle between these two kings in the time of the end. It is difficult to explain this chapter verse by verse, as it appears that the events are not recorded in a logical progression. Verses that explain an event will be grouped together and highlights given of these events.

Verses 5-6: The King of the South (KOS) has obtained a large dominion and he forms an alliance with the King of the North (KON) using a daughter nation, someone that he has sponsored, to carry out a peaceful arrangement with him. But she will not keep her position of power but will be given up when the KOS loses his power.

Verses 7-8: Someone from her family line arises and enters the land of the KON and displays great strength. He captures his gods, his silver and gold. They live in peaceful coexistence for a while.

Verses 9-12: Then the KON invades the realm of the KOS but returns to his land. His sons assemble a great army and they wage war up to the KOS’ fortress. This enrages the KOS and he brings a large army against the KON but his army is given over to the KON. After this victory the KON becomes arrogant and causes tens of thousands to fall but he does not prevail.

Verses 13-20: The KON again assembles a larger army than he had before and in later times will advance on the KOS. There will be many that will rise up against the KOS at this time even some from among Daniel’s people in order to fulfill a vision but they will fall. The KOS will also fall before the KON at this time and the KON will enter the Beautiful Land and he will have control over it. He will then offer terms of peace and will offer him the daughter of women to bring him to ruin but the treaty will not stand. The KON will continue his onslaught of other countries but a commander will stop him. He will return to his own land but he will fall. Another will arise in his place that will exact tribute but he will come to his end neither in anger nor in battle.

Verses 21-28: After him, there will arise one who will seize the kingdom through intrigue during a time of tranquility and he will remove all forces that oppose him even breaking the Prince of the Covenant. He will practice deception not honoring any alliance made with him and he will become powerful through a small group of people and will accomplish what his fathers never did. He will overrun the richest part of the empire and will distribute much plunder and spoil among his followers. (Daniel 8:23) He will come against the KOS with a mighty army and the KOS will come with a mighty force but he will not stand. Those who eat his bread will turn against him and his army will fall in battle. The two kings will sit down to discuss peace but will lie to each other because they are determined to do wrong, so neither will succeed. The KON will return to his home with much spoil but he will be hostile against the holy covenant.

Verses 29-35: At an appointed time, the KON will invade the territory of the KOS but will be successful as before as ships of Kittim will cause him to turn around. He will become enraged at the holy covenant and will give his attention to those leaving the covenant. Arms from him will profane the sanctuary and will take away the regular sacrifice and will put in place an abomination that causes desolation. He will use smooth words to cause those forsaking the covenant to fall into apostasy. But there will be those who have insight and they will impart understanding to many although they will fall victim to the sword, fire, captivity and plunder. They will be given a little help and many will join themselves to them hypocritically. This will happen so that these who have insight will be refined and cleansed. (Revelation 13:5, 7)

Verses 36-39: The KON will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will even blaspheme the God of the heavens until the divine wrath decreed for him comes. (Revelation 13:6) He honors a god that his forefathers did not know, the god of fortress, with much silver, gold, jewels and treasures. He will give to those who acknowledge him much authority and land as a reward.

Verses 40-45: At the time of the end, The KOS will push against him and the KON will storm back with a huge army and will flood through many countries. He will enter the Beautiful Land and will cause many to fall. Edom, Ammon and Moab will escape out of his hands. He will gain control over the treasures of the Egypt and will subject the Cushites and Libyan under his control. He will hear rumors from the East and the North that will disturb him and he will become very angry. When he sets his tents between the sea and the holy mountain, he will come to his end and there will be no one to help him.

Daniel Chapter 12

Gabriel now tells Daniel of a time of great distress for his people that they have never experienced before, where Michael, the angel who stands guard over Israel, will come to their rescue, that is, those whose names are written in the ‘book.’ (Exodus 32:32; Psalms 69:28; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 17: 8) There will also be those who will be resurrected at this time, some to life and some to disgrace. (John 5:28, 29) Those who have insight will lead many to righteousness and will shine as brightly as the stars in the heavens. But as far as Daniel understanding these matters, he would not, because these words were to be sealed until the time of the end when understanding would become abundant and many would search for it.

Then Daniel saw two others standing on either side of the river when one of them asked Gabriel how long would it be before these things are fulfilled. Gabriel answered that it would be for three and one-half times then after they have completed shattering the power of the holy ones, then the events would be finished. Daniel heard these words but was unable to understand their meaning, so he asked what the final outcome of these events would be. The angel told him that the words were to be sealed until the time of the end. During this time many will be cleansed but the wicked will continue to act wickedly and would have no understanding. Those who have insight will understand at this time.

The angel states that from the time that the regular sacrifice is taken away and the abomination that causes desolation is put in place, there will be 1290 days. Happy are those who live to see the 1335 days. Daniel, however, would not live to see these things but would have to wait until the resurrection and he would then receive his reward.

Hosea Chapter 1

Hosea prophesied during the last days of the Northern Kingdom of Israel beginning with the reign of Jeroboam II. This kingdom would last another twenty-five years before Assyria took the people into captivity. During Jeroboam’s rule, Israel prospered and they had nearly regained all of their original territory. Uzziah, king of Judah, also ruled during this same time period and the two-tribe kingdom enjoyed much prosperity.

When Jehovah first began to speak to Hosea, He told him to take an adulterous wife and have children born in unfaithfulness because they would depict the nation that was guilty of the vilest adultery because of leaving Him. Hosea married Gomer and she gave birth to a son that Jehovah told him to name, Jezreel. Jezreel here means “God scatters” and the child’s name would indicate that Jehovah would punish Israel in the Valley of Jezreel. The Valley of Jezreel was a fertile valley, which was the center of food production for the nation. He would also punish the house of Jehu for massacring not only Ahab’s family at Jezreel but also the king of Judah, Ahaziah, and some of his relatives. (2 Kings 9:14-37)

Gomer again gave birth this time to a daughter and she was to call her Lo-Ruhamah, which means ‘not loved.’ Jehovah would withdraw his love from Israel and would not forgive them. But he would continue to show love for Judah and He Himself would save them though not by bow, sword or battle. (Isaiah 37:21, 36-38)

Gomer again conceived and gave birth to another son who was named Lo-Ammi, which means ‘not my people.’ Israel would no longer be considered the people of Jehovah nor would He be called their God. Yet Jehovah said that Israel would one day be like the unnumbered sand of the seashore and would be called ‘sons of the living God. The two nations would be reunited and they would appoint one king over them and would return from the land of captivity. The name ‘Jezreel’ would then be indicative of ‘God sowing’ in the sense that they would now prosper in their land under His care. The meaning of the names of Hosea’s two other children would also change. Israel would now be called “‘My people” and “My loves ones.” (2:1)

Hosea Chapter 2

Jehovah brings an accusation against Israel saying that she is no longer His wife and He is not her husband because of her adulterous ways. If she does not change, He will make has as naked as the day she was born. He would not show any love for her children as they were conceived in disgrace. She preferred to go after her lovers who she credited with giving her food, drink, wool, linen and oil. Jehovah would block her path to her lovers and she would no longer be able to find her lovers.

Then when she was destitute, she would decide to return to Jehovah, her first husband. But she would need to repent and acknowledge her sin. Until she did this, Jehovah would not provide for her but would allow her to be exposed to public shame then no one would want her. He would take away all of her festivals, New Moons and Sabbath celebrations. He would give all of her produce to the wild animals and she would have to be punished for her adulterous acts in forgetting Jehovah.

When she was ready, Jehovah would bring her into the wilderness and there he would speak tenderly to her. He would then restore her prosperity and give her hope rather than trouble. Then she would respond as she did when she came out of Egypt. She will then call Jehovah her ‘husband’ rather than her ‘master’, as this was what the name ‘Baal’ meant, as He would not allow any reference to Baal any longer. He would make a covenant for them with the wild animals or pagan nations so that they would no longer devour her vines and her grain as they had done previously. She would also enjoy peace without any threat of war and everyone will live in safety.

Israel will be betrothed to Jehovah in righteousness, justice, love, compassion and faithfulness and they will actively acknowledge Him as their covenanted husband and will remain loyal to Him. In that day Jehovah will bring an end to her spiritual drought. He will plant Israel in the land and will show love for her and she will become his people and He will become their God.

Hosea Chapter 3

Jehovah told Hosea to show his love again for his wife though she belonged to another and was an adulteress. He would be imitating Jehovah in his love for Israel even though she had turned to other gods. Hosea purchased his wife for fifteen shekels of silver and barley valued at fifteen shekels. He then told her that she was to live with him and was not to be intimate with another man for a period of time. This would depict that the nation of Israel would live in exile away from her vile practices for many days. She would also be without a king, indicating the loss of her nationhood, and she would also be without any formal religious activity. Afterwards, she would return to Jehovah and to her king, David, having learned the proper fear of Jehovah and she would now experience blessings from Jehovah.

Hosea Chapter 4

Jehovah commanded that Israel hear His words because He has a charge to bring against them. There is no faithfulness, no loyalty or acknowledgement of Him in the land. There is only wickedness in the land such as lying, stealing, murder, adultery and shedding of innocent blood. The land was now suffering drought because Jehovah had withdrawn his blessings. Bringing lawsuits against one another will not negate the badness of the people. The priest and the prophets stumble continually because they have rejected knowledge by ignoring Jehovah’s law. The priests were the ones appointed to instruct the nation but they were reveling in the sins of the people probably gaining monetarily from them. They had exchanged their Glory, Jehovah, for something disgraceful so Jehovah would punish both for their deeds.

No matter how many schemes they devised to accumulate food they would not have enough because drought would deplete their resources. Their prostitution would not bring them any increase because they had deserted Jehovah and were abandoning themselves to the drinking of wine that caused them to become senseless. They ask advice from a piece of wood and accept the guidance of the diviner’s wand. Their offering sacrifices on the mountaintops and the hills encouraged their daughters to turn to prostitution and their daughter-in-laws to became adulteresses. They were not alone in this as the men turned to harlots and shrine prostitutes so the people as a whole would come to ruin as they were all devoid of understanding.

Judah is warned not to become guilty of adultery as Israel had, as she is stubborn as a heifer, which makes it impossible for Jehovah to pasture her. Ephraim is devoted to their idols and their rulers love that which is dishonoring for them. They will be swept away and their sacrifices will bring them nothing but shame.

Hosea Chapter 5

The priests and the king are called to hear what Jehovah has to say to them. They have acted as snares and nets for the people causing them to be slaughtered. But Jehovah will discipline those responsible for this situation. Ephraim, the leading tribe in Israel, were especially guilty as Bethel, the place where one of the golden calves was worshipped, was in her territory. Jehovah said that they had played the harlot and Israel had defiled itself. Their deeds were such that they could not return to Jehovah as they persisted in sin. Israel’s pride or stubborn rebellion was another reason that they continued in sin.

Judah was also indicted. They bring their sacrifices to the temple in search of Jehovah but He is not there because He has with drawn from them. He did not recognize their children because they did not fear him. They made a mockery of their New Moon celebrations therefore they did not have His blessings. A warning horn is to be sounded in Gibeah and Ramah, two leading cities in the territory of Benjamin that border on Israel’s territory. Benjamin is to be on the alert against the idolatry of Israel. Ephraim is soon to receive her punishment.

Judah’s princes are compared to those who move boundary stones, which is the same as stealing land and according to Deuteronomy 27:17, is one of the secret sins for which an individual is to be cursed. Jehovah sees this and will pour out his wrath on these ones. Ephraim was intent on following their idols so her judgment is already upon her. He would be like a moth that destroys garments to Ephraim and like rot that causes the root to dry up and the branches to wither to Judah. (Job 13:28; 18:26)

When Ephraim and Judah saw that they were sick and wounded, they did not turn to Jehovah but went to the nations for help. Ephraim turned to Assyria sending envoys to them but they were not able to help them. Jehovah would be like a fierce animal to both nations tearing them to pieces and carrying them off. He would then return to His place and wait for them to repent and seek His face in their distress.

Hosea Chapter 6

When Israel is experiencing Jehovah’s discipline, they will say that they should repent and turn to Jehovah. They recognize that He is the one who is able to heal them because He is the one who injured them. They believe that their discipline would only last for a short time and that Jehovah would hurry to restore them if they acknowledged Him. Jehovah knows that these are just words and have no depth of meaning for these people. So he tells them that their love is as short-lived as the dew in the early morning. He used his prophets to expose their folly and He brought His severe judgments upon them. They did not understand why Jehovah was dealing with them, as He was, that He wanted them to learn true faithfulness and loyalty. Therefore they continued in their disobedience to Jehovah’s covenant with even the priests, their teachers, involving themselves in this wholesale wickedness of the people. Judah also should know that they, too, would experience Jehovah’s day of reckoning.

Hosea Chapter 7

Whenever Jehovah desires to heal His people, their sins keep surfacing before Him. They failed to consider that He is aware of what they are doing. (Ezekiel 8:12) They continue to allow their sins to engulf them. Their kings and princes are not appalled at their conduct but take delight in it. They are all so passionate about their adultery, whether spiritual or literal, that even if these desires subsided it would not take much to rekindle this passion. Wholesale drunkenness and mockery marred even the festivals that were dedicated to their king as these leading men were plotting to take the life of the king. During the time of Hosea’s prophesying, four of Israel’s kings were assassinated. 2 Kings 15:10, 14, 25 and 30) Yet, not one Israelite turned to Jehovah during these times.

Ephraim chooses to form alliances with foreign nations who sap her strength through heavy tribute and she is unaware of the damage they are doing to her. Israel’s arrogance is an open indictment against her but she does not search for Jehovah. Ephraim is also compared to a dove, a senseless and easily lead animal, as she turns from one nation to another in search of security. Since she rejected Jehovah, He would bring judgment against her. He desired to deliver them but they show that they do not want it as they lie about Him saying the He is not able to deliver them. They had strayed so far from Him that disaster would befall them. Even when they did turn to Him, it was not in sincerity. Since they rejected Jehovah in favor of their idols, their leaders would die by the sword and the Egyptians would ridiculed them because they boasted in their own strength.

Hosea Chapter 8

A trumpet was to be sounded to announce a coming battle. The Assyrians, called an eagle here, were about to swoop down on Israel because they had violated the covenant. Israel would call out for help but it would not be a sincere cry because she continued to reject what was good so her enemy would pursue her. They did not consult Jehovah when they chose their kings; they used their silver and gold to make idols such as the golden calves that were set up at Dan and at Bethel for Israel to worship. Jehovah decreed that these idols would be broken in pieces. (1 Kings 13:2; 2 Chronicles 34:6, 7) Israel would now reap what she sowed.

The nations have swallowed Israel up because they sold themselves to their lovers. Even now she was being swallowed up by the nations but Jehovah would help by gathering them together and turning them over to a foreign king that would oppress them. During the reign of Pekah, king of Israel, Jehovah had already begun to turn them over to the Assyrians. (2 Kings 15:29) Jehovah had given them laws to live by but they regarded them as irrelevant. They offered Jehovah’s sacrifices on their pagan altars and ate the meat as though this was pleasing to Him. Israel would have to be punished for their sins and would again suffer under Egyptian-like slavery. Judah is also mentioned here as not completely trusting in Jehovah but in her fortified cities, which Jehovah would burn down.

Hosea Chapter 9

Israel was not to celebrate as other nations did at harvest time because they had been unfaithful to their God, Jehovah, and had used their threshing floors as places to perform pagan fertility rites expecting Baal to reward them by giving them plentiful crops. However, Jehovah would see that they would no longer benefit by living on His land, as He would remove them to another land where they would eat unclean food. They would not make any acceptable offerings to Him there as these would be unclean and would serve only as food for themselves. They will be denied the opportunity to continue their usual festivals and appointed days. Even if they escaped the sword, they would die in the land of their captivity and all of their treasured possessions would become places of thorns and briers. Israel is to be warned that the day for their punishment is upon them.

Israel’s sins are so great that she is hostile to anyone that Jehovah sends to her, such as his prophets, that they consider to be foolish and crazy. These ones had been appointed as watchmen to the house of Israel yet they tried to ensnare them showing themselves to be hostile to them. But Jehovah will remember their sins, which he likened to the corruption of the Benjamites during the days of the Judges. (Judges chapters 19 and 20)

When Jehovah concluded a covenant with Israel, He was delighted with them. They were to Him like finding grapes in the desert or early figs on a fig tree. But when they defiled themselves with the Baal of Peor, they became vile to Him. (Numbers chapter 25) Ephraim would lose what was her glory, her children. She would be decimated of her population. Even if she gave birth to them, they would be killed when the Assyrian came against them. Ephraim had been planted in a land where she had every opportunity to become prosperous but now, because of disobedience, she would present her children to those who would kill them. Ephraim has now become an enemy of Jehovah because of their sins and He had nothing good to say about them.

Hosea Chapter 10

Jehovah had planted Israel in her land as a spreading vine and she had become fruitful, but the more fruit she bore the more she attributed her success to the idols. Because they allowed their hearts to deceive them, they must bear their guilt and their altars would be destroyed. When Jehovah brought this upon them, they would bemoan the fact that they would have no leader, or king. But their king would really be of no value to them because they were as corrupt as the people themselves were. When the Assyrians carried the idols at Bethel (Beth-Aven) into captivity, the people of Samaria and the priests who rejoiced over its splendor will now moan over its loss. This high place of wickedness is called the sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles will cover their altars. At this they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” and to the hills, “Fall on us!” These two phrases are found at Luke 23:30 where Jesus used them to describe what would happen when the Romans would come against Jerusalem and at Revelation 6:16 where it has reference to the reaction of God’s people when faced with Jehovah’s wrath in the last days.

Again Israel is reminded that nothing much had changed since the days of Gibeah and they are reminded of the punishment meted out to the wicked Benjamites through warfare. They can expect that Jehovah would also punish them in like manner. Ephraim is likened to a trained heifer, a female cow, which loved to thresh. According to The Bible History Commentary, Volume I, page 1401, “threshing was a comparatively light task, made pleasant by the fact that the creature was unmuzzled and free to eat… as it pulled the threshing sledge over the gathered corn.”

Because she preferred to be yoked to sin rather than to Jehovah’s covenant, He would put a different kind of yoke on her, one that would mean doing the much harder work of plowing. Jehovah advises Judah to also plow and break up her ground. Then they needed to sow righteousness so as to reap the fruit of unfailing love. They needed to seek Jehovah until He comes to bring them justice. They needed to do this if they were to avoid the discipline that was in their immediate future.

But since they had planted only wickedness, they would reap evil and deception. They were depending on their own military might so that Jehovah would cause the battle to turn against them and all of their fortified placed would be devastated. The account of the historical battle mentioned in verse 14 is not recorded in the bible. But Israel was familiar with it so that Jehovah could use it to illustrate what would happen to them.

Hosea Chapter 11

Jehovah reminds Israel that He loved him as a son since He called him out of Egypt. They had, since then, continually strayed from Him no matter how often he called to them. It was He who had taught them since childhood and had led them with bonds of love, lifting the yoke of slavery from their necks and feeding them. They showed no gratitude for all that He had done for them. Because of their unrepentant attitude they will return to Egypt or to slavery under some other government. He would send a sword to their cities that would devour them and put an end to all of their rebelliousness.

But Jehovah would not desert them completely treating them like Admah and Zeboiim, two cities that were overthrown with Sodom and Gomorrah. He would have compassion on them and not carry out His fierce anger that would have destroyed them completely. But He would roar like a lion and they would follow him coming from the west like birds from Egypt and Assyria and He would settle them in their own land. But for now Ephraim is treacherous and deceitful and even Judah is rebellious.

Hosea Chapter 12

Ephraim is castigated for continuing with self-destructive pursuits, spreading lies and havoc, courting both Egypt and Assyria. Judah is not much better off. Hosea switches to the name, Jacob, representing the entire nation. He (both Judah and Israel) would be punished according to his deeds and ways. Jacob, their progenitor showed the right spirit in that he struggle hard to have a relationship with Jehovah. He grasped the heel of his brother, Esau, when in the womb; he struggled with the angel and overcame him in order to receive a blessing; he searched for Jehovah at Bethel and found Him. But now he needed to return to Jehovah, remain loyal and practice justice and wait for Jehovah imitating their forefather’s example.

Israel was not practicing justice because their merchants were using dishonest scales and were defrauding people. They boasted over their wealth and believed that it would save them from any accusation of wrongdoing. But Jehovah reminds them that He is the same one who brought them out of Egypt and He could make them live in tents again as they had done while living in the desert which was commemorated at the Festival of Booths. Israel is not unaware of Jehovah’s view of their conduct as he sent prophets to them who spoke to them by means of parables and through visions. Israelites in Gilead, which was east of the Jordan, and those in Gilgal, located west of the Jordan, were sacrificing bulls on their altars rather than at the temple. These sacrifices made them worthless to Jehovah and He stated that their altars would become piles of stone.

Jehovah reminds Israel of how their forefather, Jacob, had tended sheep in order to get a wife and how Jehovah had eventually blessed him. He had produced a nation that Jehovah had brought out of Egypt using His prophet Moses. But Ephraim, descendants of Jacob, was now provoking Him to bitter anger and He could not forgive him. He would suffer for the blood that he had shed and his reproach would remain upon him.

Hosea Chapter 13

Ephraim had once been a prince and leader among the tribes of Israel but he became involved in Baal worship and had died spiritually. He continued in sin by making more cleverly crafted idols that they bowed down to and kissed. This would lead to their quick demise.

They have to acknowledge Jehovah as their God as He was the one who cared for them in the desert and providing abundantly for them when they settled in the land of Canaan. After they were satisfied, they became proud and forgot Him. (Deuteronomy 32:15) So He would now attack them like a bear robbed of his cubs and would tear them apart like a wild animal would. They are now facing destruction and have no one to help them. They had demanded a human king and Jehovah had allowed them to have one, but now he would take this king away from them and they would have no one to help them.

Jehovah was keeping track of Ephraim’s sins and He had offered them many chances to repent but they was like a child in the womb who did not have the wisdom to come to the opening of the womb in order to be born. So Ephraim did not recognize that Jehovah was giving them the time to repent and avoid destruction. Even so, Jehovah asks if He should ransom them from death, from the power of the grave so that death has no plagues and the grave has no sting. Jehovah will have no compassion on Ephraim. An east wind will dry up their springs and their wells. All of their treasures will be plundered and Samaria will fall by the sword, her children will be dashed to the ground and the pregnant women will be ripped open.

Hosea Chapter 14

Israel is urged to return to Jehovah because her sins have caused her downfall. She should say appropriately to Jehovah that He should forgive their sins and accept them back graciously so that they could offer the fruit of their lips. They recognize that Assyria cannot save them and they would never call what they had made with their hands their gods. Jehovah would then turn from his anger and He would heal them of their apostasy. He would be like refreshing dew to them so that they would blossom like a lily and take root like a cedar. Israel will be as beautiful as an olive tree with the fragrance of a cedar of Lebanon. People will again dwell in his shade and they will flourish. Ephraim will renounce her idols and Jehovah will care for them. Those who are wise and have discernment will know that the ways of Jehovah are right and they will walk in them.

Joel Chapter 1

Scholars are unable to determine just when the book of Joel was written as he makes no reference to datable historical events of the period in which he was writing. He was writing to the two-tribe kingdom of Judah. It appears that a swarm of locust had invaded the land. It is an event that is so unprecedented that the prophet calls on them to tell their children’s children about the damage these locust did. All who live in the land are asked to consider the implications of this disaster. There are four kinds of locust mentioned possibly indicating the thoroughness of the devastation wrought by these insects. Each successive wave of locust would eat food but would leave something for the next wave until there was nothing left.

Some of the people are described as being drunkards who are not aware that there will be no new wine because the locust have destroyed the vines and the fig trees. These locusts are described as a ‘nation’ without number that have teeth like a lion and fangs like a lioness. The virgins will mourn as though grieving for her husband to be who has died. The priests will mourn because there is nothing for the grain offering and the drink offering for the house of Jehovah as the fields are ruined and the ground is dried up. The farmers will mourn for the wheat and the barley, the pomegranate, palm and apple trees, as there will be no harvest.

The priests were to proclaim a holy fast or sacred assembly at the house of Jehovah so that all the people can attend. The nation was to assemble as a unit in order to cry out to Jehovah in regard to what had happened to them. They would learn that this locust plague was the harbinger of the day of Jehovah. They were being given a warning that an even greater destructive force would come upon them if they did not repent.

Joel Chapter 2

The day of Jehovah is at hand; a watchman is told to sound the horn to warn of this coming event. It will be a day of darkness and gloom, of clouds and dense fog. Jehovah’s army is described as a large army that covers the horizon like the rays of dawn that spread over the mountain. It is unlike anything that has ever been seen before. A devouring fire goes before them and leaping flames follow them. The land is lush and green in front of them but behind them there is nothing but wilderness. They have the appearance and gait of war horses, their wings sound like chariots as they leap over the mountain and they look like a powerful army drawn up in battle formation. They strike fear into the hearts of the people as they observe them.

They advance in an orderly fashion and do not swerve from their paths. They do not jostle each other but keep to their assigned path. They do not break rank when they burst through the defenses. They advance upon the city, run on the walls and climb into the houses through the windows just as a thief would. The heavens and the earth are affected by their appearing. Jehovah is at the head of this vast and numberless army that obeys His every command. This will be a day that will be difficult for any one to endure.

But before that day occurs, Jehovah urges his people to return to him with fasting, weeping and mourning, with torn hearts rather than torn garments as is usually done when in mourning. Sincere repentance is what Jehovah wants from the people because He is always ready to forgive as He is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness and will relent and not send the calamity He has decreed. He may even give blessings in place of the calamity.

Every member of the nation should respond to the call to assemble and the priests should take their place before the people between the altar and the porch and should cry out to Jehovah to have pity on His people and not allow them to become an object of scorn before all the nations. These nations would only reproach Jehovah by saying that He was unable to save his people, intimating that their gods were stronger than He was. Jehovah would hear their prayer of repentance and be moved to take pity on them and to forgive them. He would do great things for them when he restored them to prosperity. He would drive the northern army far from them into the sea. He would bless them with grain, new oil and wine and would open pastures for the wild animals.

He would even replace what the locusts that He had sent among them had eaten. They would eat to satisfaction and would praise Jehovah their God for all that He had done. They will come to know that Jehovah dwells with His people; that He alone is the true God and His people will never again be put to shame.

Afterwards, He will pour out His spirit on His people and they will prophesy, see visions and dream dreams. There would be signs in the heavens and on the earth. Blood and fire and billows of smoke probably have reference to warfare. The sun would be darkened; the moon would turn to blood before the fear-inspiring day of Jehovah. (Revelation 6:12) Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved. In the first century, Peter applied this prophecy to those in his day that followed Jesus. (Acts 2:17-21)

Joel Chapter 3

When Jehovah restores Judah, He will gather the nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where he would enter into judgment against them in reference to what they did to His people. The Valley of Jehoshaphat is not a specific location and its name is found only in the book of Joel. The name ‘Jehoshaphat’ means ‘Jehovah judges’ and is in keeping with what He is going to do with the nations. They had scattered His people, divided up their land and sold their children for slaves. Tyre, Sidon and Philistia are specifically mentioned as having done these things to the people of Judah. He would bring His people back from the places where they had been sold and He would do to the nations what they had done to His people.

A proclamation is issued to all the nations to prepare for war in the Valley of Jehoshaphat where Jehovah will begin the judgment. The nations are compared to ripe grapes that are ready for the sickle to be used to harvest them and then they are to be trampled in the winepress until the vats overflow because of their great wickedness. Here Jehovah will execute His vengeance against His enemies but He will be a refuge for His people. They will know that Jehovah dwells in His holy city, Jerusalem and no foreigner will ever invade her again. In that day, the mountains will drip new wine, the hills will flow with milk and water will flow from Jehovah’s house to water all of the dry ground. Israel’s enemies, Egypt and Edom, will become deserts because of their violence to Israel. But Judah and Jerusalem will be inhabited forever and Jehovah will pardon their bloodguilt. Zion is where Jehovah will dwell.

***©2005 by YORWW Congregation

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#2 Post by bejay » Sat Dec 03, 2005 12:36 pm

Amos Chapter 1

Amos prophesied some time before Hosea during the reigns of Jeroboam II, king of Israel and Uzziah, king of Judah. He pinpoints his specific time of prophesying as occurring two years before a great earthquake that is believed to have occurred around 760 BCE. His prophecies were directed to Israel just as Hosea’s were. Both nations at this time were experiencing much prosperity.

Amos begins his prophecy with pronouncements of judgments upon several nations. The expression used in each of these judgments, ‘For three sins…even for four,’ according to The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 1428, “is a poetic way of expressing the number seven, ‘a clearly typological number which symbolized completeness.’ ….. If this is correct, it means irrevocable judgment was pronounced on each nation for its full and complete sin. In the case of the surrounding nations, only the final and culminating sin was name. But for Israel, the complete list of seven was given.”

Jehovah is pictured as a roaring lion whose sound will be heard through out the land even causing many land areas to wither because of the force of the sound. Damascus, the capital of Aram, will be judged because of the harsh treatment meted out to the three tribes living across the Jordan, Reuben, Gad and Manasseh. (2 Kings 8:12; 10:32, 33; 13:3, 4, 7) Jehovah would destroy her major cities and would end her dynasty of kings and would send the people into exile into Kir.

Gaza, a Philistine city, would receive Jehovah’s wrath because she captured whole communities of Israelites and sold them to Edom. Her sister cities, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Ekron would also share in this judgment. Jehovah declared that He would turn his hand against them until no Philistine was left alive. Tyre, the Phoenician city, will be judged because she also captured communities of Israel and sold them to Edom, paying no attention to the treaty of brotherhood she signed with Israel possibly during the time of David and Solomon.

Edom was singled out because he had shown no compassion for his brother, Israel, when they were under attack and had even captured them and turned them over to the Babylonians. (Obadiah 10-14) Because of their unchecked anger against Israel, Jehovah would send fire upon his cities that would consume them. Ammon is cited because she ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead in order to enlarge their borders. This was done to terrorize the people and scare them into submission. Because of this heartless act, Jehovah would set fire to the capital city and bring war to the nation. Her kings and officials would be taken into exile.

Amos Chapter 2

Moab, possibly involved in a war with Edom, had burned the bones of the king of Edom to the point where they became fine powdery dust like lime. Usually when a body was burned, the bones were not burned but were buried. For this Moab would fall in war and all her officials will be killed. Amos now turns our attention to Judah who would also experience Jehovah’s wrath. They had not kept His laws and decrees because they preferred to follow false gods. Fire would consume Judah and her fortified cities as well as Jerusalem.

Israel comes under Jehovah’s wrath because they sold their brothers into slavery for money, exploited the poor and the afflicted by not providing justice for them, profaned Jehovah’s name when father and son had sexual relations with the same woman, and they would worship their god in garments that they had taken in pledge. They would not escape judgment because Jehovah had destroyed the Amorites who lived in the land before Israel did.

Jehovah had brought Israel out of Egypt leading them through the desert for forty years to bring them into the land of the Amorites. When they strayed, he had taken leaders from among her sons, prophets and Nazirites, who sought to bring them back. But they tried to make the Nazirites drink wine and commanded the prophets not to prophesy. (7:12, 13) Because of this Jehovah would crush them by means of another nation. Their warriors, horsemen, and archers would not be able to stand against them.

Amos Chapter 3

Amos tells the nation to listen to the words that Jehovah has spoken against them. They were the one he had especially chosen of all the families of the earth and so they must be punished for their sins. For every effect there is a cause; a lion roars only when he has prey, a bird does not fall into a snare if one has not been set, a trap does not close unless an animal has been caught in it, or if disaster strikes a city, Jehovah has caused it. Therefore, Jehovah will do nothing without revealing his confidential matters to His servants the prophets. So if one hears the lion roar, would he not be afraid as he might be the prey. Jehovah has spoken, His prophet, Amos, will announce His judgments against Israel.

Jehovah will call to Ashdod and Egypt to send emissaries to the mountains of Samaria and see the unrest and oppression going on among her people. They have no knowledge of how to do what is right; their moral sense had become warped. They ruthlessly exploited the poor and needy among their own people to support their expensive tasted. Jehovah would bring a nation against them who would overrun their land, pull their strongholds down and plunder them. Only a small number would survive this devastation. On the day that Jehovah punishes Israel, He will destroy her altar at Bethel, tear down their winter and summer homes and their ivory mansions will be demolished.

Amos Chapter 4

The wealthy women of Samaria are referred to as ‘cows of Bashan’ because like these animals these women were well fed and pampered. Bashan was located in the Transjordan region and was famous for it rich pastures and was well known for its excellent cattle. These women were accused of oppressing the poor and needy of the land although it was probably their husbands who did the actual deed. They were constantly pressuring their husbands to provide more and more opulence for them. Jehovah has sworn that they will be led through breaches in the walls and probably tied together with others by means of a fishhook to be taken into captivity.

Amos urges Israel to continue doing what they love to do, that is, offering their sacrifices in Bethel and Gilgal. Bethel was where Jeroboam established calf worship in Israel and Gilgal was also a popular place for idol worship doing this time. No amount of discipline up to that time had caused Israel to return to Jehovah. Jehovah had withheld rain sending it on one town but not on another or on one field and not on another. People went from town to town looking for water and not finding enough to satisfy their thirst, still they did not return to Jehovah. He had caused blight and mildew on their gardens and vineyards; locust had devoured the fig and olive trees, her young men were killed or captured in warfare, still they refused to return to Jehovah. Because they were so hardened in their sins, they were to prepare for the ultimate punishment, the sword and captivity.

Amos Chapter 5

Amos composed a lament for Israel even though she was still living in her land. Israel as a nation was at the height of her prosperity under the leadership of Jeroboam II that it would seem improper to compose a song for her that was usually reserved for the dead. But Jehovah had decreed that Israel would be disciplined (3:11) so her downfall was assured. Amos begins his lament by saying that Israel has fallen and would never rise again; Jehovah has deserted her and there is no one to help her. Jehovah said her army would be decimated when she tried to defend herself. So He cautioned her to seek Him so that she would continue living as her man-made gods that she set up in her towns and cities would not be able to save her as these cities would be reduced to nothing.

Israel’s justice system spewed out nothing but bitter judgments that did nothing but increase oppression on those in need of justice. They turned what should have been good into something that was bad, not imitating Jehovah who was the God of justice and orderliness. They hated anyone who tried to correct them or who spoke truth to them. They levied taxes on the poor and became rich, building mansions and planting vineyards that Jehovah told them that they would not live to enjoy. He was well aware of all of their offenses and sins. They oppressed the righteous, took bribes in order to subvert justice. Those times were so wicked that the wise person believed that the best thing to do was to keep quiet.

Yet Jehovah continued to exhort them to do the right thing by turning from their wicked way so that Jehovah would be with them as they were claiming He already was. If they would hate evil, do what is good and uphold justice in the courts, Jehovah might have mercy on a remnant of them. But as it stood, when Jehovah began to bring judgment upon them, there would be wailing and mourning throughout the land.

Israel believed that she would be exonerated and delivered from judgment and so was longing for the day of Jehovah to come. They believed that this day was strictly for Jehovah’s enemies, the people of the nations. They did not realize that they had become his enemy. But they were in for a surprise as that day would be nothing like they expected it to be. It would be a day of darkness for them and everywhere that they turned they would face one danger followed by another one. In whatever direction they turned, there would be only darkness and they would not be able to see a ray of hope anywhere.

Jehovah had had his fill of their festivals and offerings as they had no meaning anymore even the music used in these festivals was grating to His ears. What He wanted from them was that they should exalt justice and righteousness. During their forty years in the wilderness, they had not offered sacrifices to him but to other gods and as time passed they became even more steeped in their idolatry. There was no other choice but that Jehovah should send them away from His land into exile beyond Damascus.

Amos Chapter 6

During this time, Israel, as well as Judah, were enjoying a resurgence of their power and influence so the people of Samaria and Jerusalem felt secure and had become complacent for which Amos condemned them. They may have been better off than many of their neighboring nations but they would not be able to stave off the day of their reckoning by ignoring it. They lounged on their couches while dining on the best of food and wine, entertaining themselves with music and pampering their bodies with the finest of lotions. But they gave no thought to how Jehovah saw them or what He though of them. So they would be the first to go into exile.

Jehovah declares that He detests the pride of His people and so will deliver them and all that they possess to their enemy. During the time of this destruction if ten men hid in a house to escape the sword, they would still die of a plague. When a relative came to burn the bodies and he found another person still alive there, he would caution him not to speak the name of Jehovah for fear of further reprisal from Him. Jehovah would then command that all of the houses should be demolished.

Israel had done something that was not normally done, they have turned justice into something that was poisonous and they made righteousness bitter. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 1443, says this of their actions: “The judicial process, designed to preserve the nation’s health, had become a lethal ‘poison’ within its body. The ‘fruit’ of fairness and integrity, intended to refresh and delight, had become instead a corrupt bitter pulp.” Jehovah was raising up a nation that would come against them and this nation would oppress them throughout their land.

Amos Chapter 7

Jehovah now gives Amos several visions depicting possible judgments on Israel. At the time the second crop was coming up, Jehovah showed him a swarm of locust that came and stripped the land. Amos was horrified and said that the people could not survive so Jehovah did not bring this judgment. Then Jehovah showed him a judgment by fire that would dry up the subterranean waters hence the rivers and streams and would then devour the land. Again Amos begged that Jehovah not bring this judgment and Jehovah agreed that He would not bring it. Then He showed Amos a plumb line and he told them that He was testing His people to see if they met a certain standard. They did not, so He decreed that He would no longer spare them. Their high places and their pagan sanctuaries will be destroyed and He would bring an end to the house of their king, Jeroboam. (2 Kings 14:8-12)

Amaziah, the priest of the altar at Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam saying that Amos was conspiring against him because he was saying that the king would die and Israel would be taken into exile. Amaziah then ordered Amos to leave Israel and return to Judah. He was not to prophesy at Bethel because it was the where the king worshipped and was the temple of the kingdom. Amos told him that he had not been a prophet originally but was a shepherd and a nipper of figs. Jehovah had made him a prophet and had told him to prophesy to Israel. Since Amaziah was trying to stop him from doing what he had been instructed to do, then Jehovah’s message to him was that his wife would become a prostitute, his sons and daughters would die by the sword and he would be taken into exile where he would die. Israel would be taken into exile just as Jehovah had said.

Amos Chapter 8

Jehovah showed Amos a basket of ripe fruit and said that the time was ripe for Him to punish Israel and He would wait no longer. The destruction would extend even to the temple in Jerusalem where rather than singing songs they would wail because of the many that will die. Jehovah urges His people to be silent and give consideration to this message.

Jehovah now speaks to the businessmen of Israel who were impatient for the holy day to be over so that they could continue in their business of making money which meant that they had to trample over the poor and needy. They did this by raising the prices of goods, using dishonest scales, watering the product down and not using accurate measures. When the poor became indebted to them, they would take advantage of them by forcing them into slavery over meager sums that they might owe. Jehovah reminds them that He would never forget what He saw them do. These sins should cause the land to tremble and the people to mourn.

On the day that Jehovah takes action, He will cause the heavenly bodies to become dark at the height of day. Their religious festivals will become occasions for mourning and they would wear sackcloth and would shave their heads. They would mourn at that time as though their only son had died and the day would end in bitterness. Jehovah would send a famine on the land this time not a literal one but a spiritual one. He would no longer speak to them and they would go from city to city hoping to hear something from Him but there will be no word for them. Those who continued to swear by their idols will fall never to rise again.

Amos Chapter 9

Amos saw Jehovah standing by an altar, probably at Bethel, and he commanded that the structure be demolished and that the worshippers there be killed. Those who survived fled the scene and would try to hide but Jehovah decreed that no one was to escape. No matter where they went, He would find them and give them to the sword. If it were possible that they could dig deep into the earth or climbed clear to the heavens, He would find them. If they hid on the top of densely forested Mount Carmel, He would hunt for them. If they went down to the bottom of the sea, He would command the serpent to bite them. Even if they were taken into captivity, the sword would follow them to kill them. They would not be able to escape Jehovah’s wrath because He intended to do them harm rather than good.

Israel was not dealing with some powerless god who made threats but could not carry them out. No, they were dealing with the One who causes the earth to melt with one touch of his finger and its people to mourn or causes the land to rise and sink like the Nile. His lofty palace is in the heavens with its foundations on the earth and He calls forth the waters of the sea and pours them out over the land. Israel was the same to Him as any other nation. Sure, He had brought them out of Egypt but He had also brought the Philistines from Captor and the Arameans from Kir. So if they believed that they were the only people that He was concerned with, then they would be sadly mistaken because they would learn that Jehovah rules over all the nations.

Jehovah eyes are on this sinful kingdom to efface it from the earth. Yet He would not completely eradicate the entire nation. He would put them through a sieve as is done with grain and shake them out into the nations leaving the one slated for destruction in the sieve to be discarded. In this manner, He will preserve a remnant that will later be restored.

At a future day, Jehovah will rebuild David’s fallen house and restore it to its original glory. They will then possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who carry His name. In the first century, James applied this scripture to the first century congregation at Acts 15:16, 17 as the Gentiles were being added to the congregations. When Jehovah restores His people His blessings will bring prosperity that has never been experienced on earth other than in the Garden of Eden and He promises that Israel will never have to be
uprooted from their land ever again.

The Book of Obadiah

It has not been determined exactly when the book of Obadiah was written and not much is known about the writer of this book either. Obadiah is given a vision from Jehovah concerning Edom. A message has been sent to the nations inviting them to prepare for war against her. Jehovah will debase her because she has allowed her pride to deceive her. Because Edom was situated on a high mountain she believed that she was invincible. But Jehovah would bring her down even if she made her home among the stars.

When thieves or robbers attacked, they would at least leave some items but when Edom is attacked, there will be nothing left. Even her allies will deceive her and she will not know it. Her wise men, her men of understanding will be destroyed. Her soldiers will become terrified and all of her people will be killed. Edom had watched with aloofness when Jacob was being looted and strangers were casting lots for Jerusalem. She rejoiced over the people of Judah when destruction was upon them and gloated over Judah when they were facing calamity. When Judeans attempted to escape from their calamity, the Edomites stood in their way either to turn them over to their enemy or they would put them to death. They even entered Jerusalem to seize their wealth.

Jehovah’s day is near for all the nations and Edom will be given back what she gave, her deeds would return upon her head. All the nations that desecrated Jehovah’s holy mountain will also receive judgment from Him. But there will be deliverance on Mount Zion and it will be holy and the house of Jacob will possess their land. The house of Jacob and the house of Joseph will be a flame that will burn the stubble that is the house of Esau and consume it. Edom will be occupied by the Israelites and it will be ruled from Mount Zion and will belong to Jehovah.

NOTE: Bible Translations used in this commentary are: The New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

***©2005 by YORWW Congregation

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