1 The prophet Obadiah received a vision from God about Edom, the descendants of Esau, who was Jacob’s brother (see Gen 25:19-26). Edom was a hostile neighbor of Judah on its southeast border and fought with Israel and Judah on a number of occasions (e.g., 1 Sam 14:47; 1 Kgs 11:15-17; 2 Chr 20:22; 21:8-11). Obadiah was charged with delivering a message from the Lord about Edom. The Warrior in the heavens had summoned his armies and declared: Let us go to war against her.
5-7 When thieves come to a house, they don’t typically show up in a moving van. They usually creep in at night and steal only what they want, but Edom (Esau) would be pillaged and all his hidden treasures boldly taken (verses 5-6) until nothing was left! Worse, every surrounding nation that has a treaty with Edom would deceive and conquer them, which is a reminder that international peace negotiations are fragile and untrustworthy for a nation that rejects the Lord (verse 7).
8-9 Even the wise ones of Edom couldn’t spare the populace from their coming doom (verse 8). The warriors of Teman (a region in Edom) would turn tail and run so that everyone was destroyed (verse 9). Notice Obadiah doesn’t encourage Edom to repent to avoid God’s judgment. The just Judge of the nations had rendered a verdict with no appeal.