v1: The message addressed to Edom, v1-16, and then to Israel, v17-21. Although Israel was God's chosen people, He also addressed other nations; Edom (Esau) was Jacob's brother. This little book explains the message that has been declared to Edom; "Assemble yourselves to attack it! Rise up for battle!" (Jer 49.14).
v2-4: His pride deceived him; Jer 49.15-16. "I will make you small...I will bring you down." (Prov 3.34; Hab 2.4), for God resists the proud; his soul is not upright.
Edom's self-confidence, "Who can bring me down to the ground?" answered in v4, for the Lord can and will. See Job 39.28; Ezek 26-28; like Tyre, Edom relied on his on strength. Here is a self-made, self-reliant man, rejecting the way of faith.
v5-6: The thoroughness of judgment, Jer 49.9; Edom will be ransacked, with nothing left.
v7: Defeat by deceit; "allies,...your friends,...those who eat your bread;" yet Edom has already mistreated his brother Jacob, v10-14; Amos 1.11. Brother betrayed brother, and nation betrayed nation; Edom will receive what he did to others.
v8-9: Wisdom and strength in Edom, feeding their pride, Jer 49.7; but this cannot deliver.
v10-11: See Amos 1.11-12.Edom chose the moment when Israel was weak and suffering to attack. To stand "aloof" and fail to help, is as serious as actually attacking.
He despised the covenant of brotherhood for personal gain; just as Esau despised his birthright for material things.
v12-13: Edom rejoiced in Jacob's defeat; "you should not," is the Lord's clear judgment.
v14: Edom went further, actually helping the enemy, handing over survivors, and killing fugitives.
The Lord's faithfulness is so different, "Why do you persecute me?" (Acts 9.5) addressed to one who attacked His people. Similarly, each one of us has a responsibility to other believers.
v15-16: Destruction on Edom, Jer 49.12-13, 17-18; "no survivors," v18. The punishment is just and fair, Lev 24.20; Matt 7.2,12; a full and appropriate reward. The day of the Lord comes for all nations, an each one is treated fairly.
v17-18: Like Hosea, Joel, and Amos, Obadiah ends with promises of blessing upon Israel. The destruction of Edom is linked with Israel's restoration.
v19-21: Benjamin and Judah will possess the land of the Canaanites, all these kingdoms will belong to the Lord.