|Commentary on the book of OBADIAH
by Yair Davidiy
Some say that Obadiah prophesied at an early date, others say that he prophesied after the destruction of the First Temple. There is also a strong tradition that he was a righteous convert from Edom and that was how he was able to prophesy so strongly against Edom.
[Obadiah 1:1] THE VISION OF OBADIAH. THUS SAITH THE LORD GOD CONCERNING EDOM; WE HAVE HEARD A RUMOUR FROM THE LORD, AND AN AMBASSADOR IS SENT AMONG THE HEATHEN, ARISE YE, AND LET US RISE UP AGAINST HER IN BATTLE.
They are going against Edom.
Edom is identified as Germany and ancient Rome and sometimes as Europe in general.
We are doing work on Edom that may eventually materialize in the form of magazine articles or even a book so for the moment we will not dwell at length on the identifications and possibilities.
We have taken Edom to apply to Germany. It is, however, interesting to note that "Edom" means "Red" and Russia too has a name that in some languages connotes "red" and in her Communist phase Russia had a red flag and was known as "Red Russia" and her forces as "the reds".
To my mind this prophecy has scenes reminiscent of World War II. Perhaps there will be some kind of re-play?
Germany attacked Poland and then conquered most of western Europe, then she attacked Russia. At first the oppressed Slavs tended to side with the Germans but Nazi atrocities aroused fierce resistance and a cry went out all over Eastern Europe that a struggle for survival had began.
In this case Germany played the role of "Edom" and Russia that of "the heathen nations."
[Obadiah 1:2] BEHOLD, I HAVE MADE THEE SMALL AMONG THE HEATHEN: THOU ART GREATLY DESPISED.
She has been made "small" (i.e. contemptuous) after having been the overlord.
[Obadiah 1:3] THE PRIDE OF THINE HEART HATH DECEIVED THEE, 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?
"DWELLEST IN THE CLEFTS OF THE ROCK" Hitler had a secret headquarters carved into the rock in the Mountains of Bavaria. Their rocket batteries etc were also similarly ensconced. Nowadays Russia has the infrastructure of whole underground cities carved into the rock in case of nuclear warfare.
[Obadiah 1:4] THOUGH THOU EXALT THYSELF AS THE EAGLE, AND THOUGH THOU SET THY NEST AMONG THE STARS, THENCE WILL I BRING THEE DOWN, SAITH THE LORD.
The eagle was the symbol of ancient Rome, it is also the symbol of America, and of Germany.
THOUGH THOU SET THY NEST AMONG THE STARS, = "Star wars", space stations? Satellite probes?
[Obadiah 1:5] IF THIEVES CAME TO THEE, IF ROBBERS BY NIGHT, (HOW ART THOU CUT OFF!) WOULD THEY NOT HAVE STOLEN TILL THEY HAD ENOUGH? IF THE GRAPEGATHERERS CAME TO THEE, WOULD THEY NOT LEAVE SOME GRAPES?
After the Second World War Russia wanted to do away with Germany altogether.
[Obadiah 1:6] HOW ARE THE THINGS OF ESAU SEARCHED OUT! HOW ARE HIS HIDDEN THINGS SOUGHT UP!
All the dark secrets and ghastly plans were revealed and can still be read now in public libraries. There was a lot of pride but little honor. Everything was made known.
[Obadiah 1:7] ALL THE MEN OF THY CONFEDERACY HAVE BROUGHT THEE EVEN TO THE BORDER: THE MEN THAT WERE AT PEACE WITH THEE HAVE DECEIVED THEE, AND PREVAILED AGAINST THEE; THAT THEY EAT THY BREAD HAVE LAID A WOUND UNDER THEE: THERE IS NONE UNDERSTANDING IN HIM.
A lot of elements all over Europe including the governments and populace of whole countries were pro-German and German backers when she was winning. After the victory of the Russians at Stalingrad it was realized that Germany was destined to lose and all her allies began to turn against her.
[Obadiah 1:8] SHALL I NOT IN THAT DAY, SAITH THE LORD, EVEN DESTROY THE WISE MEN OUT OF EDOM, AND UNDERSTANDING OUT OF THE MOUNT OF ESAU?
THE WISE MEN OUT OF EDOM: on an intellectual level the Germans are very highly regarded especially on a technical level.
[Obadiah 1:9] 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.
TEMAN is part of Edom but separate. TEMAN can mean "south", perhaps "Austria"?
[Obadiah 1:10] FOR THY VIOLENCE AGAINST THY BROTHER JACOB SHAME SHALL COVER THEE, AND THOU SHALT BE CUT OFF FOR EVER.
In WWII the Germans and Japanese divided the world between them on the assumption of their expected victory. The Germans were “brother” nations to the Americans and British. Many Americans had ancestors who had sojourned in Germany, they looked similar, their cultures were similar, they shared common histories to a degree, common religions, there was an overlap of values, even the regional accents often paralleled each other, they could identify with each other on a personal level to a degree, etc. The Japanese were quite different and relatively “foreign”. Even so, the Germans agreed that the Japanese should receive all of Australia (what would happen to the ‘white” Australians?), and the western section of the USA. Britain effectually would cease to exist as an ethnic concept. See “The Tribes” (2nd edition) for references. This was a contemplated fraternal betrayal.
[Obadiah 1:11] IN THE DAY THAT THOU STOODEST ON THE OTHER SIDE, IN THE DAY THAT THE STRANGERS CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE HIS FORCES, AND FOREIGNERS ENTERED INTO HIS GATES, AND CAST LOTS UPON JERUSALEM, EVEN THOU WAST AS ONE OF THEM.
“AND FOREIGNERS ENTERED INTO HIS GATES, AND CAST LOTS UPON JERUSALEM” Perhaps this refers to a future attempted international partition of Jerusalem???
Perhaps “Jerusalem” has a wider meaning?
At all events in WWII Germany looted the conquered nations and the bodies of Jewish civilians that were killed because they were Jewish.
[Obadiah 1:12] BUT THOU SHOULDEST NOT HAVE LOOKED ON THE DAY OF THY BROTHER IN THE DAY THAT HE BECAME A STRANGER; NEITHER SHOULDEST THOU HAVE REJOICED OVER THE CHILDREN OF JUDAH IN THE DAY OF THEIR DESTRUCTION; NEITHER SHOULDEST THOU HAVE SPOKEN PROUDLY IN THE DAY OF DISTRESS.
Note, Obadiah SPEAKS of the LTTS (Joseph) and Judah as separate entities and speaks of different experiences at the hands of “Edom.”
“BUT THOU SHOULDEST NOT HAVE LOOKED ON THE DAY OF THY BROTHER IN THE DAY THAT HE BECAME A STRANGER” also translatable as “Do not look in on the day of your brother when he deals with the stranger” on which the Radak comments:
<This speaks of the day when the Ten Tribes shall come and take revenge from the foreigners. This will be a shining day for Israel and Esau shall come to take part in it. It shall be said unto him, “Do not look in on the day of your brother when he deals with the stranger”: On the day when he makes himself a stranger to you…..
[Obadiah 1:13] THOU SHOULDEST NOT HAVE ENTERED INTO THE GATE OF MY PEOPLE IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY; YEA, THOU SHOULDEST NOT HAVE LOOKED ON THEIR AFFLICTION IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY, NOR HAVE LAID HANDS ON THEIR SUBSTANCE IN THE DAY OF THEIR CALAMITY;
[Obadiah 1:14] NEITHER SHOULDEST THOU HAVE STOOD IN THE CROSSWAY, TO CUT OFF THOSE OF HIS THAT DID ESCAPE; NEITHER SHOULDEST THOU HAVE DELIVERED UP THOSE OF HIS THAT DID REMAIN IN THE DAY OF DISTRESS.
In the Hebrew these verses can be translated as future imperatives, i.e. “Do not stand in the crossway..etc. It appears to refer to the cutting off if Israelite or Judaean refugeees but one explanation says it refers to refugees from the heathen nations fleeing from Israel. According to this explanation Edom will then want to participate on the side of Israel but will not be allowed to.
[Obadiah 1:15] FOR THE DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR UPON ALL THE HEATHEN: AS THOU HAST DONE, IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO THEE: THY REWARD SHALL RETURN UPON THINE OWN HEAD.
It should be noted in the Holocaust Jewish refugees were turned back at the borders or at the Consulate doors of most nations. They were then put to death, men, women , and children. In some cases those responsible did not really know what was going to happen but quite often it was very clear.
[Obadiah 1:16] FOR AS YE HAVE DRUNK UPON MY HOLY MOUNTAIN, SO SHALL ALL THE HEATHEN DRINK CONTINUALLY, YEA, THEY SHALL DRINK, AND THEY SHALL SWALLOW DOWN, AND THEY SHALL BE AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN.
[Obadiah 1:17] BUT UPON MOUNT ZION SHALL BE DELIVERANCE, AND THERE SHALL BE HOLINESS; AND THE HOUSE OF JACOB SHALL POSSESS THEIR POSSESSIONS.
These sections rely on a lot of commentaries. Some of it may seem a little difficult but it is also very interesting and should be worth reading.
Esau was the brother of Jacob. The Book of Obadiah condemns Esau for betraying his brother Israel.
Obadiah says that in the Last Days:
[Obadiah 1:18] 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 KINDLE IN THEM, AND DEVOUR THEM; AND THERE SHALL NOT BE ANY REMAINING OF THE HOUSE OF ESAU; FOR THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.
He says that the House of Joseph shall destroy the House of Esau. Rabbinical sources identified Esau with Rome and with Germany and sometimes with Europe in general. The Talmud says that only Joseph is capable of defeating Esau. The sources do not say that all the Germans are from Esau. The same sources also say that the Germans are descended from Canaanites, from Gopmer, from Togarmah, from Ashkenaz, and so on. There was a tradition that the ruling elements of Rome and Germany were descended from Esau. We must look for a nation that has proven itself capable of defeating Germany and this is what Britain and the USA did do in the Second World War.
ML (=M’Am Loaz): Zavoari Shelal: <It is possible that Jacob and Joseph are fire and flame. Jacob occupied himself continuously with Torah and is likened to fire. Joseph conquered his impulse which is the flame and therefore a “h” was added to his name “Yehosef” [instead of “Yosef”] and this is the falme, the flame of God.
ML: Ahavat Yehonatan: VaYishalch: <You may ask, Since the House of Jacob is fire they can up Esau and why should they need Joseph? The answer is that the power of Jacob to fight against Esau is applicable only if Esau comes within the boundaries of Israel. In order to penetrate the borders of Esau we need Joseph since the seed of Esau falls only before the children of Rachel. The intention here is to Joseph who was born outside of the Land of Israel..>
Notes from “Daat Sofrim”: <Edom is not a nation of one pure constitution. It is composed of the descendants of Esau and of the Horites who intermingled together. As a result of this foreign qualities were added to those that naturally belonged to Esau.
<The prophecy is apparently directed not only to the period when this people [Esau] dwelt in its land but also to the days when it would be assimilated amongst the peoples of the world and fulfils its great role beginning with Rome.
<All the children of Edom who remained in the south of the land of Israel were converted to the status of slaves and in this way [it was intended that they be] drawn nearer to the Torah through the Hashmonean dynasty.
[ Note “conversion as slaves” means that they were not made immediately full-fledged Israelites. Those who were so converted were only a minority of those in the south and a small portion of the total seed of Edom. Of those who converted many became Christians and the early Christians drew heavily on their ranks. These Edomite Christians later migrated to Germany through the south, especially the regions of Austria and Bavaria. Other Edomites reverted to paganism (or had never stopped being pagans as archaeological evidence indicates) and their descendants are to be found in part amongst the present-day “Palestinian-Arabs” in the Hebron area. They can be met with today. Still others must have become full-fledged converts and as such complete Israelites. There is a commandment "Do not despise an Edomite for he is your brother.”]
“AND THE HOUSE OF ESAU FOR STUBBLE”: “Daat Sofrim” emphasizes (1) All prophesies of disaster and punishment are contingent on the culprit not reforming himself BUT if he changes his ways disaster can be averted. (2) It says that “The HOUSE” of Edom will be made an end of, i.e. it will no longer exist as an independent recognizable unit but many individuals from Edom will survive amongst other nations.
[Obadiah 1:19] AND THEY OF THE SOUTH SHALL POSSESS THE MOUNT OF ESAU; AND THEY OF THE PLAIN THE PHILISTINES: AND THEY SHALL POSSESS THE FIELDS OF EPHRAIM, AND THE FIELDS OF SAMARIA: AND BENJAMIN SHALL POSSESS GILEAD.
Samaria means Menasseh (says Daat Sofrim) who according to Rashi shall possess the Gilead. The above verses are ambiguous.
[Obadiah 1:20] AND THE CAPTIVITY OF THIS HOST OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL POSSESS THAT OF THE CANAANITES, EVEN UNTO ZAREPHATH; AND THE CAPTIVITY OF JERUSALEM, WHICH IS IN SEPHARAD, SHALL POSSESS THE CITIES OF THE SOUTH.
Dat Sofrim says that Benyamin also later settled in the Gilead (the area between the Jordan River and the Euphrates) but was exiled from it apparently at an earlier date to the Exile of the other Tribes.
According to the Commentators, in the above verse “Canaanites” means Germany, Zarephath means France and Britain, Sepharad means Spain.
We shall quote “Daat Sofrim” (<) first even though his commentary on some points is divergent from our own understanding , after that we shall quote the other Commentators, on verse 20:
AND THE CAPTIVITY: IN Hebrew “Galut” meaning “exile.” <In the days of Ahab when commercial connections of Israel with the Tyrians [i.e. Phoenicians] increased Israelites in Tyrian oversea colonies.
OF THIS HOST: in Hebrew “HaChail” which also means “first” and the Hebrew Commentators so understand the expression to mean “this first exile”: <These in whom the exile had already began who had gone far away from their land. Unto them it was a specially prophesy was given in order that they not despair in their far-away places and not say [to themselves] that the connection between them and the Children of Israel has been sundered. DS.
OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: <In the beginning different names were employed: House of Jacob, House of Joseph, here it says “Children of Israel”. Each of the name used has it peculiar purpose. Here it is emphasized that people from all Israel went out to the far-away colonies and there was concern about their future. DS.
SHALL POSSESS THAT OF THE CANAANITES: In Hebrew “Asher Canaanim” i.e. that are with [or besides] the Canaanites: <The intention is to the Tyrians [Phoenicians] and Sidonians who were Canaanites and who are emphatically mentioned here by the term Canaanite> This is to say [regarding the Israelites] that even though they dwell amongst the Canaanites they will not be lost amongst them. DS.
EVEN UNTO ZAREPHATH: <There is a place named Zarephath besides Sidon (I-Kings 17;9). It would be easy to explain the meaning to be this city which was a Sidonian settlement. From the style of expression, however, it appears that a distant place is spoken of and this city was very close. From this it appears that here it is speaking of a far-away land whose name in Hebrew is Zarephath [i.e. France] until this very day which at that time contained Sidonian colonies amongst which Israelites also settled.   Perhaps the name Zarephath in the Land of Israel [i.e. Zarephath besides Sidon which was all within the promised boundaries of Israel] was so called after the land [of Zarephath = France in Hebrew] due to certain connections that existed with its inhabitants? The prophecy says there is a future for the dwellers there, and so it was, and for a certain period the place became a Torah-center. DS.
AND THE CAPTIVITY OF JERUSALEM: In Hebrew the word translated here as “CAPTIVITY” is Galut which literally means “exile.” Exile can be by means of captivity but not necessarily always so. <This exile appears to be even more ancient, perhaps from the days of Solomon whose ships reached Tarshish in Spain or in Africa together with the Tyrians. Journeys to there increased in the days of Ahab . In order that they not give up [memory of] their origins, they are told that they have a future. DS.
WHICH IS IN SEPHARAD: In Hebrew Sepharad means Spain. <This name is similar to the name of the land [of Sepharad = Spain] in which many of the Children of Israel dwelt for many years and this name remains [in Hebrew for this place] until this day. It is impossible to claim that this is a coincidence and that the name Sepharad [=Spain] recalled here is intended for another land. This is one of the wonders of Prophecy in which it is said in advance exactly those things that will occur.
[Obadiah 1:21] AND SAVIOURS SHALL COME UP ON MOUNT ZION TO JUDGE THE MOUNT OF ESAU; AND THE KINGDOM SHALL BE THE LORD'S.
Extracts from “Ephraim” by Yair Davidy (1995).
THE BOOK OF OBADIAH AND DESCENDANTS OF EDOM.
According to one tradition (Encyclopedia Judaica, "Obadiah") the Prophet Obadiah was a descendant of Esau who converted. He was the only known convert ever to obtain the gift of Prophecy. Obadiah was therefore a suitable vehicle to condemn the descendants of Edom since if he himself chose the right path so could they have done if they so wanted.
Obadiah speaks of a future fall and destruction of Edom: Edom's crime being his participation in persecuting the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Teman was one of the sons of Esau (Edom) and Obadiah exclaims,
"And thy, mighty men O Teman shall be dismayed"
TEMAN was an ethnic group once scattered here and there throughout the Middle East. The Temenu had had a centre in Gozan in northern Syria on the Khabor River. This was also the area of the Mitanni of "Indo European" culture. These polities were destroyed and their inhabitants moved elsewhere. Later the Neo Assyrians were to deport Israelites to these same areas. At all events, the Temmenu were to become an important element in ancient Mesopotamia and Babylon1 and are assumed to have been Aramaic in language and culture. The "Tummana" (i.e. Temeni) were also located in northern Anatolia in Hittite territory whence developed a migration to Germany2. The early founders of Rome traditionally came from Anatolia3 and in the later Roman Empire the population of Rome was largely of Syrian, Anatolian, and related Eastern origin4. In the Book of Maccabees and History of Josephus it is related how both the Spartans of Greece and the Romans of Republican Rome established contact with the then-independent kingdom of Judah and how both claimed to be related to the Jews through a mutual descent from Abraham. Esau and Jacob were twin-brothers sons of Isaac son of Abraham. One authority states that the Romans owe their origins to the Albanes of Latinium in Peloponesus (southern Greece) descendants of the Laconian-Spartans and Ausones [from Esau?] migrating to Italy where they intermixed with the Sabines and Ombrians5. Alexander the Great King of Macedonia and onetime conqueror of much of the then known world claimed descent from the Temenidae descendants of Temenus onetime king of Argos in Greece*i.
The Temenidae came to Macedon in ca.650 b.c.e.6. Amongst the Thracian (modern Romania) and Anatolian (modern Turkey) peoples were the Edoni, and Odomants. "Who cut the skin of the membrum of the Odomants?" says a passage from Aristophanes apparently referring to circumcission7. The Edons and Odomants are believed to have been descendants of Edom8. The "Kiasos" were a mystical dynasty of the Edones9 and have a name recalling that of Kas or Kos the national god of Edom*j. Julius Kaesar (i.e. Caesar) gave his family name to the Rulers of Rome. In his honour were retained the titles of Kaiser and Czar. Alexander the Great, Caesar, and various of the Roman Emperors are considered by some to have been truly great men who contributed to the advance of civilisation.
Biblical and Talmudical sources sometimes refer to certain of these individuals and their kin in an apparently positive manner.
The Thracian tribes of Treres and Edones who invaded Anatolia in the late 600s b.c.e. and were allied with a portion of the Cimmerians (Strabo 1.3..21 xiv.4.8) before Madyes the Cimmerian-Scythian drove them out. Many early settlers of Rome and Italy came from Anatolia and Syria. The mythical ancestors of the Thracian Edones and kin were Edonas, Mygdon, Biston, and Odomas10. Both "Edonas" and "Odomas" are forms of Edom! Croesi believed that Scheria of Greek mythology was in Thrace and that the name derived from Mount SEIR which in the Bible is associated with Edom (e.g. Genesis 33;16) and often used as synonymous with it.. Thrace adjoins Macedonia, which may explain an implied connection with the family of Alexander. In Talmudic literature Edom is known for being warlike and it is said that no war can be won without his presence11. In other words the military talent of the children of Esau may on occasion be put to good effect. A small group of the descendants of Esau may also have been present amongst the Celts and in pre Norman Normandy12. Also amongst the Jews there may be some descendants of Edom. Nevertheless, Rome (whatever "Rome" is) and Germany are the entities in which the characteristics of Edom reach full expression and wherein they must be countered.
Other sources13 identify the Germans with Canaanites or with Gomer and so the suggested Talmudic identification of Germany and Rome with Edom may well hold only for a dominating element amongst the elite who at crucial moments determine the direction of the whole.
The descendants of Esau (Edom) in Thrace may well have gravitated to Germany. From Thrace there was a large scale migration into Germany and the ancient Thracians and Germans possessed similar characteristics. Some German scholars today trace the origin of the German native masses to Thrace14. Quite a few Roman Emperors and much of Rome's best troops also came from Thrace.
The ancient Thracians spoke a language said to have been very similar to those tongues later spoken by the Baltic peoples. Late Latin sources place the YDUMAE, Letti, Selones, and Wends in the region of Livonia (Prussia, Latvia, and Lithuania) and Estonia15. The Anglo-Saxon poem "Widsuth" also recalls the Idumingas16 in the Baltic area and these are apparently identical with the Ydumae. The Ydumae belong to Edom. From this region came many of the Slavicised and Baltic tribes who moved into Prussia and eastern Germany and became Germanified. Also in this portion of the Baltic coast was established the order of Teutonic Knights (ca. 1100 -1525 c.e). This organization was Germanic in personnel and orientation and conducted a policy of conquest and extermination against non Germanic peoples whilst "Germanizing" their own non Germanic Prussian subjects. Originally an esoteric monastic group, the Teutonic Knights later became Lutheran. They had had the aim of extending German influence and culture whilst spreading the Catholic Faith or exterminating non-believers. Some believe them to have continually exerted an influence on German policy.
In the Middle Ages the Holy Roman Empire controlled much of Central Europe. It was essentially Germanic. Its Emperors were constantly struggling with the Pope in Rome not over policy but rather over who between the two would have primacy over the other. It is interesting to note that the major Phoenecian city of Tyre actually consisted of two parts one on the coast and one on an isle of the shore. According to the Phoenecian historian, Sanchuniathon, Tyre (i.e. apparently the coastal part) was founded by twins; one being the tent-maker Sameroumous (i.e. Samaria or Northern Israel) and the other was the hairy Ousoos meaning Esau (cf. Genesis 25;25-27). Important families from Tyre settled in Italy and according to the Romans there were also such colonies in Germany.
Craig Martin White*17 brings evidence suggesting that descendants of Esau-Edom were also present amongst Turkish and Central Asian Mongolian peoples. These alternative identifications do not contradict our own claims but rather complement them. At all events, in our opinion, EDOM today is to be found primarily in Germany.
The relatively short Book of Obadiah ends with the comforting of Zion and with the Sons of Joseph destroying Edom.
"And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it" (Obadiah).
THE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN JOSEPH AND ESAU
According to the Biblical Book of Genesis, Esau was the twin brother of Jacob (renamed Israel), and the favorite son of Isaac their father. Born reddish (Genesis 25;25: "Admoni" in Hebrew, the same adjective applied later to King David son of Jesse, 1-Samuel 12;16) and hairy, Esau was a man of the field, and a hunter. He had been the first to emerge from his mother's womb and so technically was the first born. One day he returned famished from hunting and requested that Jacob feed him the red lentils he had prepared. Jacob agreed on condition that Esau sell him his first born birthright. Esau accepted Jacob's offer and that was another reason why he was called Edom (Red) due to the red lentils that cost him so much (Genesis 25;30).
Later Isaac, the father of Esau and Jacob, felt his time to depart the world was near so he requested that Esau go hunt him a deer and prepare him meat in order that with a full heart he might give him a blessing. Isaac's wife, Rebecca (mother of Jacob and Esau) overheard Isaac instruct Esau. She went to Jacob and told him to take goatmeat cooked to seem like deer venison and to dress in Esau's clothes and put goatskin on his arms so that the blind Isaac would mistake him for Esau. Jacob did so and received the blessings from Isaac instead of Esau. Esau returned from the field only to find that Jacob had preceded him and taken the blessing in his stead. Isaac realised that Jacob had received the blessings due to Divine intercession and he himself was only an intermediary and that all he could do was to confirm Jacob in them. Because Jacob had taken both his birthright and blessings Esau plotted to kill him.
"And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob" (Genesis 27;41).
This verse has Prophetic significance and in a sense is re enacted someway in every generation.
Jacob fled to Laban -his mother's brother and married two sisters (daughters of Laban) and their two maidservants and had eleven sons; Benjamin his twelveth son being born later. Upon the birth of Joseph his eleventh son, Jacob decided to return home. The Sages said that after the birth of Joseph, Jacob no longer feared Esau since he knew that Joseph (and Joseph alone) was capable of and destined to defeat Esau:
"And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban, Send me away, that I may go unto my own place, and to my country" (Genesis 30;25).
Concerning the above verse the Sages asked:
~"`What difference did the birth of Joseph make?'
Rabbi Shmuel ben Nachmani replied,
~Jacob our forefather foresaw that the seed of Esau is not destined to be delivered into the hands of anyone, save Joseph, as it says:
~`AND THE HOUSE OF JACOB SHALL BE A FIRE AND THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH A FLAME AND THE HOUSE OF ESAU FOR STUBBLE~'.."
(Talmud, Baba Batra 123;b)
Extract from “Ephraim”
THE PROPHET OBADIAH AND THE LOST TEN TRIBES IN FRANCE AND BRITAIN
Obadiah said that "Benjamin shall possess Gilead" (Obadiah 1;19). "THE TRIBES" by Yair Davidy explains how the Tribe of Benjamin is today to be found both amongst Jews and also amongst descendants of the Normans and Belgae. The Belgae gave their name to Belgium and today are represented by the Walloons of that country. Belgae also settled in southern Britain, in Wales, and in Ireland.
Zechariah (10;10) foresaw that the tribe of Ephraim and other Israelite groups are destined to possess "The land of Gilead and Lebanon" meaning the areas of modern Syria and Lebanon. The land of Gilead had a southern and a northern section, perhaps Benjamin receives one, Ephraim the other or both settle the whole together or separate stages of future re-settlement are spoken of: The Prophet Ezekiel (chapter 48) describes the Land of Greater Israel (from the Nile to the Euphrates and perhaps beyond) being divided amongst all of the Tribes of Israel.
"And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall posses that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.
"And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's" (Obadiah 1;20 21).
The above translation is from the King James (KJ) version. The Hebrew original is capable of additional nuances of meaning.
As explained above, Zarephath was the name of a township on the coast of Lebanon, "Zarephath which belongeth to Zidon" (1 Kings 17;9). "Zarephath" was also the name given in later Hebrew to France and its neighborhood. "Zarephath" is mentioned in the Book of Obadiah (1;20) in connection with the exile of the children of Israel:
"The captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites unto Zarepath.."
According to a composite explanation based on Rabbinical Commentators the above verse may actually be understood to say:
"This first exile [of the Lost Ten Tribes] who reach from the Land of Canaanites [i.e. Germany] to Zeraphath [France and Britain].."
The Hebrew word ("Chail") translated in the KJ as "host" can also mean "first" and most Jewish Commentators seem to have understood the verse to refer to the first exile which was that of the Lost Ten Tribes. They also tended to understand the place name "Zarephath" (in this case) as referring to France and its area or to France and England together and thus either expressly or by implication to link the Lost Ten Tribes with these western regions.
Classical Jewish Traditional Commentators interpreted the Hebrew passage of the first part of the above excerpt as saying:
"And this first exile of the children of Israel who are (positioned) from the Canaanites to Zarephath..."*o
The words of the traditional Jewish Rabbinical Commentators on this verse will now be quoted with a bare minimum of explanation. Suffice it to say that their opinions are based on substance and confirmed from other sources:
Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 1040 1105, Champagne, France):
"The first exile of the children of Israel who were exiled from the Ten Tribes to the land of Canaanites unto Zarephath...The exegetes say that Zarephath means the Kingdom called `France' in common language.."
i.e. Rashi says that the Lost Ten Tribes are in France!
Iben Ezra, Abraham (1092 1167, Spain):
" `..from the Canaanites': We have heard from great men that the land of Allemagne [i.e.Germany] are the Canaanites who fled from before the children of Israel when they came into the land. So too, Zeraphath means France...",
Ramban (Nachmanides, Rabbi Mosheh ben Nachman, 1194-1270, Spain; from "The Book of Redemption", chapter 1.):
"The vision of Obadiah ..the house of Joseph refers to the Ten Tribes ...who were exiled and still are in their place of exile, the exile of Zarephath and Canaan which are in the farthest north..."
A definite message is derivable from the above Commentators taken as a complementary whole. The import may be understood to be that the Lost Ten Tribes are still in exile in the Land of France from (including or bordering upon) Germany which includes amongst its composite ethnic elements those who descend from the ancient Canaanites. A Canaanite (or other) descent for part of the Germans does not contradict their belonging to Edom, since the identification with Edom relates to the leading classes, elite dominating groups, and national imposed character whereas the other is concerned more with straightforward general physical descent.
Don Isaac ben Yehudah Abarbanel, (1437 1508, Spain) has a somewhat different explanation than the others. On some points his commentary is worthy of consideration in the light of the above:
"Zeraphath is France and so too the exile of Sepharad is Spain..and let you not err just because Zeraphath [i.e. France] is spoken of and Angleterre [i.e. England] is not recalled, for there too did the exiles go, for lo and behold, that island is considered a part of Zarephath and in the beginning belonged to it and in their ancient books they call it the Isle of Zarephath [i.e. of France] even though it later separated itself from Zarephath [France] and became a kingdom in its own right.
"....And maybe the intention is too to those Children of Israel who completely left Religion due to the weight of troubles and persecutions and they remain in France and in Spain in their thousands and tens of thousands, huge communities. They shall return and request the LORD their God.." (Abarbanel on Obadiah).
The Talmud (Megilla 6) infers that Edom went to Germany and Roman Italy. The Talmud (Baba Batra 123;b) also says that only the descendants of Joseph are capable of conclusively defeating Edom and that the Prophecy of Obadiah refers to such an event. Historical evidence shows the Israelite Tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Menasseh) to have ultimately converged in the British Isles and North America. The above explanation of Joseph versus Edom as depicted in the Book of Obadiah actually describes the result of future conflict between JOSEPH (primarily Britain and the U.S.A) and the Lost Ten Tribes in Zarephath (France and the north) on one side against the forces of Edom (Romanised Europe) led by Germany on the other!
Iben Ezra, Abraham (1080-1164) born in Toledo, Spain, he spent most of his life wandering. His Commentary on the Bible is one of the best there is. He may have visited England, he was in Provence, France, and also traveled to North Africa, Egypt, the Land of Israel, Baghdad, and maybe India. He uses linguistic analysis and a rationalistic approach tinged with mysticism.
Abarbanel, Don Isaac (1437-1509). A descendant of David. Born in Lisbon, he became treasurer to the king of Portugal but was forced to flee to Spain, which he left when the Jews were expelled in 1492.
He entered the service of the king of Naples, Italy, then moved to Corfu, then Apulia, and later to Venice. Everywhere he went he served as an advisor to the heads of state. He wrote a copious Commentary on most books of the Bible. He seems to have read every book (Christian and Jewish) ever written on the Bible and related matters that were extant in his day. He gives the impression in his works of having been pro-English, which was unusual for a man of his background.
Obadiah prophesied about the eventual destruction of Edom as a distinct nation even though Edomites
Would survive as citizens of other countries.
Edom would be punished (unless it repented) for the evils it had done to Judah.
Judah and Joseph are discussed as separate entities.
It is Joseph that has the ability to defeat Edom in its home base.
Edom is Europe in general but more specifically the term referred to the ancient Romans and to Germany.
If we accept the given identification of Edom and that Joseph is destined to defeat Edom then it stands to reason that (barring overtly miraculous intervention) Joseph must be found amongst a people with proven ability to defeat “Edom.”
The Lost Ten Tribes were in Zephareth which in modern Hebrew means “France” but in Biblical terms was understood to mean both France and the area to its north and the Isle of Britain.
The above explanation was based on Commentators representing more or less a consensus of Classical Rabbinical opinion even though other opinions do exist. This explanation that we give is also consistent with an understanding of the simple text after accepted nuances of the Hebrew original are taken into account.
The next book is Jonah.
So far in our analysis of the Hebrew Prophets our contention that the Lost Ten Tribes are mainly in the west and especially amongst the English-speaking peoples has held up very well. Despite some difficulties with some passages this belief of ours appears to be the most consistent and logical explanation possible. This is especially applicable when we consider all of the Bible as a whole.
(1:18) Joseph versus Esau.
(1:20) Zarephath and LTTs. Rashi. Abarbanel. See “Ephraim ch.8