Friday, September 7, 2018

The Obstinancy of Obadiah: Conclusion

Monte Judah says this about the Future Sukkot to Come: “The Scripture definitely says much about the Feast of Tabernacles and our future. The reference to the tribulation saints described in the Book of Revelation is about the Feast of Tabernacles. After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; Revelation 7:9 And I said to him, “My Lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne shall spread His tabernacle over them.” Revelation 7:14-15 The palm branches reveal the setting for the tribulation saints. They are gathered for the Feast of Tabernacles - the Feast of Ingathering. This is why the Lord’s throne is spread like a tabernacle over them. This is confirmed by the prophet Zechariah. He says the first event upon the Lord’s return to 27 Jerusalem after the Day of the Lord, is the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Zechariah 14:16 That makes sense because the Feast of Trumpets symbolizes the resurrection, and Atonement symbolizes the Day of the Lord. It follows then that Tabernacles is the true ingathering of all of His saints at Jerusalem. Apparently, God intends to use the future Feast of Tabernacles in the kingdom as the reference counter for the number of years in the millennial reign. The Feast of Tabernacles, therefore, will commemorate not only our ancestors’ exodus from Egypt, but also our greater exodus (the tribulation saints - the final generation) leading into the promised kingdom. This is consistent with God’s promise concerning the kingdom of David. King David served as the king of Israel for 40 years and held the greatest amount of territory in Israel’s history. God’s promise is to raise up David’s booth (tabernacle) in the same manner in the Messiah’s kingdom. “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the Lord who does this. Amos 9:11-12”

Even though it is not required for the Goyim to dwell in a Sukkah: Lev. 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: Nonetheless we see in Zechariah that Gentiles will convert and end up keeping Sukkot anyhow.

“The Talmud relates that in the future, when the pagans will complain to God about His preferential treatment of the Jews, He will tell them that this is because the Jews accepted and followed the Torah. They were not so much the "chosen people," as the "choosing people," so to speak; they chose to follow God's law. The pagans will then plead, "Offer us the Torah anew and we will follow it." "You foolish people," God will answer, "he who prepares in advance of Shabbat can eat on Shabbat, but he who made no preparations, what can he eat? Nevertheless, I have an easy commandment called Sukkah, go and fulfill it..." Why is it called an easy commandment? Because it has no expense. Immediately each one will build a booth, a Sukkah, on his roof, but God will cause the sun to blaze as if it were the summer solstice. Each one will then kick his Sukkah, and leave... Thereupon God will laugh, as it is said, "He that sits in heaven and laughs." (Talmud - Avoda Zara 3a) Although this passage is difficult for several reasons, I would like to focus on one of its main themes: that pagans will not be able to keep the commandment of Sukkah. The reason this is so strange is that of all the holidays, Sukkot has been perceived as the most universal, encompassing all the nations of the world. The Talmud teaches: Rabbi Eliezer said: "Why are 70 offerings brought on Sukkot? For the (merit of the) 70 nations of the world." (Sukkah 55b) Rashi comments: To bring forgiveness for them (the 70 nations which comprise the world), so that rain shall fall all over the earth. The Sages stress that Sukkot has a universal element which is clearly absent in the other festivals: Passover represents the exodus from Egypt and the emergence of a Jewish nation; Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jews. It seems paradoxical to find this expression of the inability of the pagans to relate to God specifically in the context of Sukkot. We may theorize that specifically on Sukkot, when the Jews concerned themselves with the welfare of non-Jews, pagans were expected to respond and to relate to God directly. There is, however, another passage which makes this approach untenable. "And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations who came up against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the God of Hosts, and to keep the holiday of Sukkot. And whoever does not come ... to Jerusalem ... upon them there will be no rain." (Zechariah 14:16) This passage from the prophecy of Zechariah describes the aftermath of apocalyptic battles, when the vanquished nations will celebrate Sukkot. This heightens the difficulty of the story from the Talmud quoted earlier. While the Talmud contains many explanations of biblical teachings, it does not have a mandate to argue with the prophets. Our question, then, is quite simple: How can the Talmud relate that in the future the pagans will be unable to keep Sukkot - when the Prophet tells us clearly that they will? I believe that in the resolution of this apparent contradiction lies the essence of Sukkot. There are two distinct aspects to the holiday of Sukkot, represented by two commandments in the Torah:

"Also in the 15th day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days; on the first day shall be a Sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a Sabbath. And you shall take on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days. And you shall keep it a feast to the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. You shall dwell in booths seven days; all who are Israelites born shall dwell in booths. That your generations may know that I made the people of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God." (Leviticus 23:39-43)

The Torah speaks on the one hand of taking four species of fruit at harvest time, and on the other hand of sitting in the Sukkah, as the people who left Egypt did. We therefore see two commandments: 1) taking the four species, and 2) living in booths. One commandment has an agricultural impetus, the other a historical one. The agricultural aspect of the holiday is clearly universal, while the historical aspect is particular to the Jews.” – “Sukkot: The Universal Holiday” –

Perhaps many will immigrate to Israel proper also. There is a loose tradition that claims that if you convert to Judaism you are considered born again as a native Israeli; based on the Psalms.

Psalm 87:1 His foundation is in the holy mountains. 2 The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. 3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah. 4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to them that know me: behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Ethiopia; this man was born there. 5 And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her. 6 The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. 7 As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

But on a Pashat (literal) level vv. 15-16 speak of “The Day” meaning Judgment Day and is a Jews eyes seen as specifically being Yom Kippur the Day of Atonements when not only Jews are judges by Gentiles too.

“Edom represents all gentile opposition to G-d’s people…” – Key Word Study Bible.

17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

Mount Zion is the Temple mount in Jerusalem and this verse speaks of a future time even from now (5769/2009) when the Temple with the Ark of the Covenant, which represents the Throne and Courtroom of God, will be rebuilt and in operation, and God will judge the nations and Israel will again be one and possess the entire Land of Promise allotted to them since the time when God promised all this to Abraham.

It says in the Key Word Study Bible, “The Book of Obadiah concluded with the millennial blessing to the people of Israel. At this time the tables will be turned and Edom’s persecution of Israel will be returned on them…”

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.

Jacob, meaning the House or Kingdom of Judah will be as a fire and Joseph, the Kingdom of Israel will be as a flame, and just like a unity candle at a wedding these two houses will again be one and inseparable and will consumed Esau (Edom), their harassers, like straw. It’s a sure thing and a done deal.

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. 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.

Edom has apparently crossed the line with G-d, sort of like being written out of a will Edom will lose their land to Israel in possibly two ways, by them possibly ceasing to be a people and by Israel returning in the Great and Final Exodus to come, but also refers to the past event of Judah returning from exile.

The Key Word Study Bible tells us, “…God speaks of a future time when Israel will actually occupy the full extent of its promised land, and the Edomites will be removed from the land that they seized from Israel after the Babylonian captivity beginning in 586 B.C.”

21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.

Like the verses prior it comes with a duel meaning, the restoration after the Babylonian captivity and what the Christians refer to as the “second Coming” of Messiah Yeshua, when Messiah will come to earth as Messiah ben David and reign as King over the entire restored Land of Promise as well as that of the whole world. 

Radak even says that this verse refers to “Messiah and his colleagues” and that they “will exact retribution from the Edomites for their cruelty, and then God will be recognized as the Sovereign of the entire universe.”

The word “Saviors” tell us that this will be a Divine take over through mans joint efforts under the command of God.


From this short prophetic book of only 21 verses we can view this as a commentary on the Golden Rule and “Judge not lest ye be judged (Matt. 7:1).” But also a good supplement text red with the book of Revelation.

II Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why evil seems to flourish and the wicked seem to triumph, but it’s also hard to comprehend why it seems judgment is slow coming to the wicked. All we can say is that we view and understand these concepts from a fragmented, finite and limited perspective and we cannot possibly fully grasp the “Big Picture” that G-d sees. From the Scriptures as a whole we can say with solid assurance that YHWH is Holy and Just and that He does what is right; the righteous will ultimately be rewarded and the wicked will ultimately be punished. To us on the linear side of eternity it’s only a matter of time.

I pray you have been edified, enlightened and encouraged by this simple, humble commentary.

In the service of the God of Israel, Shalom,
-Kris Shoemaker – Yehudah ben Shomeyr