For too long a true understanding of Biblical prophecy, especially as concerns the United States, has been largely impossible for the reasons that
Hebrew syntax and Hebraisms, and Koine Greek verbs and prepositional phrases do not lend themselves well to a literal word for word translation into
English. Indeed, one Koine Greek verb can take three sentences to correctly translate. Further complicating this has been denominational prophetic
errors that were force fitted into reading the Bible, skewing a plain understanding of prophecy.
Denominations have also struggled to keep their teachings rather than allow the correction of numerous errors that advanced manuscript criticism has
allowed to be corrected through a better understanding of Hebrew and Koine Greek grammar and usage; archeology has played no small role in proving the
usage of many hotly disputed Greek verbs. Notwithstanding this, denominations have fought long and hard to maintain their long held traditions,
especially in prophecy.
As I have stated elsewhere: “…that we in the Body of Christ have lost sight of one of the main principles of Bible study and the Word’s correct
application. It was the guiding principle of the Protestant Reformation, and we would do well to return to it. It is “sensus literalis”, or the
principle of the literal interpretation of the scripture as first defined by Martin Luther…. ‘Therefore, any attempts at “harmonization” must
be foremost in the resolution of any clear contradictions of a proposed supposition of a scriptures’ meaning by another scripture. Failing this, any
understanding of the intent of scripture becomes one of a reliance on human supposition only. Thus, “Chances are if the plain sense makes sense, you
have the right sense’”
The main glaring mistake in misunderstanding the prophecies in the Old Testament are in the misunderstanding of the Hebraisms of linguistic cues. The
Lord often uses linguistic cues as a contextual safeguard in transition from the subject in one passage of scripture to the next, to guard against a
misunderstanding of ‘who’ a passage is targeted to. Judah ben David (one of the first Hebrew grammarians to expound on the prophets’ use of a
form of the past tense mixed with the present perfect tense in referencing future events), wrote extensively on the recognition of these linguistic
cues with their combination of the past and present perfect tense.
It must also be remembered that most Biblical prophecy has a ‘near’ (soon after the prophecy was written) and a ‘far’ (into the distant
future) interpretation. What this means is that both the ‘near’ and ‘far’ applications of the prophecy are intertwined with textual cue
verses, or Hebraisms to delineate the targeted applications of the prophecy being dealt with.
The Old Testament Book of Obadiah is a perfect example of misunderstood prophecy. It was likely written between 848 and 840 B.C. However, the total
destruction of Edom took place between 1060 and 1030 BC as recorded in 1 Kings 11:15-16, which means that the book of Obadiah was written to the
nation of Edom 200 years after they had been destroyed. The question then becomes to whom the book could be talking to?
It is recorded that Jacob, father of the nation of Israel and who was later renamed Israel, had a fraternal twin brother named Esau, who was the
father of the nation of Edom. Taking into consideration the obvious Hebraisms of addressing a nation long destroyed, it can be surmised that this book
is addressing a nation as close as a brother to Israel; one who is known for great hunters/warriors as Esau and the nation of Edom were, and that was
known as a great world center of advances in and manufacturing of the weapons of war, such as Edom’s city of Teman.
1Kings 11:15 “For it happened when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, after he had stricken
every male in Edom--16 ‘for Joab remained there six months with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom.”
Further, it is scripturally and historically recorded that one of the King of Edom’s relatives Hadad, escaped to Egypt and there married Pharaoh’s
daughter and raised a family. These decedents of the Edomite King later returned to Edom, but after several years of harassing King Solomon ended up
as vassal servants of Israel. When they revolted around 810 BC, they were crushed and wiped out; just as the ‘near’ part of the prophecy in
Obadiah foretold. Even during the few years Hadad and his band of family and men did harass Israel, they did so largely as in guerilla style warfare;
thus, Edom never again returned to a strong kingdom after King David destroyed it.
It is necessary to point out here that only two nations in all of history were dedicated to God at their start, the United States with the Mayflower
Compact and Israel with their desert commission. Thus, you find the United States as an older brother to Israel in their current reincarnation as a
nation. This fact is necessary to remember when studying prophecy as it is written that “…He is able to guard [what has been] entrusted to Him
until that Day.” This means that whatever is dedicated to God, He will watch over until the end.
Obadiah begins with a call for nations to rise against ‘Edom’, immediate cue that the actual Edom is not being dealt with, as it was Israel that
first destroyed Edom; it then in the second verse uses a sarcastic Hebraisms to project this prophetic application into the future; it can be seen as
sarcastic when the next verses reveal that THIS Edom is a powerful nation, but small to God. The next two verses deal with the intended prophetic
subject of a nation that considers itself in a highly defensible position, has a rather high opinion of itself and believes itself undefeatable.
Soaring high ‘like’ the eagle, it has made its home between the stars (literal application of the Hebrew grammar here ‘between the earth and the
stars’); God announces that from there He will bring it down.
[edit on 5/16/2009 by SGTChas]