It is not clear to me how or why the brother picked this topic, but I happen to believe that the Antichrist will be Islamic and not a Roman, as so many adhere to.
You opened by saying, “Obadiah, among others, tells us that the Muslims will be wiped out and that ‘Esau will be left with no descendants;’” and you appear to have quoted from Obadiah 1:18 when you italicized the following words.
‘The progeny of Esau shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Joseph.’
If that was the end of it, this is a hopeless situation for the descendants of Esau.
Allow me an attempt at addressing one issue at a time.
I looked through the 40+ translations of the bible that I have in my computer program, and none of them use the term progeny in association with Obadiah 1:18. I am not asinine, and I understand what progeny means; however, many do not. I can see that Obadiah refers to descendants; subsequently, I can substitute the term progeny in place of descendants, but I do not have to do that as I can follow scripture.
I might add I do not believe that you got your ‘scriptural‘ looking reference from any source which we would be aware of. I feel strongly about my assertion because you placed a link in the middle of your post that directs us to Chabad.org. There I found a somewhat cryptic article by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet. I also learned that he is “a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism.” Call me narrow-minded if you wish, but his resume – especially the part about mysticism, which probably displeases God and helps to put Israel into the category of the wicked harlot, means nothing to me. I would never have written to my “non-Jewish” audience using his information.
That said, you did not quote scripture; you quoted the Rabbi, who tells us in his post that he also draws from the Targum and Midrash, writings only a Jewish scholar would use and understand. The Apostle Paul saw no need to quote from the Targum and Midrash in his writings, although he was well versed in them, as he wrote,
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”
Galatians 1:8-9 NASB
Rather harsh words, wouldn’t you say, and yet Paul seems to allow some margin of grace if the speaker holds to Jesus Christ as Lord.
“It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—different spirit, different message—you put up with him quite nicely.” (2 Corinthians 11:4 MSG)
That being said, let’s get back to Obadiah 1:18, and we will use a reasonable translation.
“”Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame, But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken.” (Obadiah 1:18 NASB)
I often enjoy what Dr. J. Vernon McGee has to say. He often comes across much like a country Doctor trying to explain a vicious disease to people who will not understand elaborate medical terminology. Immediately Dr. McGee says, “There will be an ultimate, final judgment of Esau.” Italics mine.
Even I understand that statement, but the question that popped into my head is, when does this happen? Perhaps Dr. McGee has an answer to this question in his next statement.
“‘I believe that “the house of Esau’ is a kingdom that will not enter into the eternal kingdoms of this earth which will become the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Straightaway my mind goes to the initiation of our eternal kingdom, the millennial reign.
So Dr. McGee does not seem to think that Esau’s progeny will enter the thousand-year reign and therefore be excluded from God’s mercy. Now don’t get me wrong, I take issue with Dr. McGee’s assertion, much like I disagree with yours, but I’m afraid I have to disagree with some good reasons.
First, this ignores the complete work of the cross – the forgiveness of sin, as He was the sacrificial lamb offered up by the Jewish high priests that day. This forgiveness does not directly apply to Jesus’ statement, forgive them, they know not what they are doing, as that happened before He died; that and, He was speaking specifically of those who put Him there on the cross. A piece of scriptural proof for this forgiveness can be found in Romans chapter six.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:10 NASB)
We are all very adept at sinning, and this is not just in the big flashy stuff; this is things like taking an attitude toward your wife, things you think can be ignored. So, His dying to sin is something other than some physical change in us; this is a change in how God sees us and how we get judged.
Secondly, since an intelligent look at Obadiah would require an understanding of the context. The person studying this would also have seen that Obadiah is referring to the day of the Lord, a period that falls at the end of God’s wrath.
“Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD, “Destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau? (Obadiah 1:8 NASB)
“On that day” has several possibilities, but the primary one happens when He returns in Revelation 19 as the warring Messiah, and the wise can certainly refer to those who thought they could kill the Messiah sitting upon the white horse.
“From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15 NASB)
I get it. Obadiah 1:18 with its question “will I not on that day… destroy wise men from,” compels your argument. The problem with such logic is that the verse does not imply a complete obliteration as you have conveyed; that and, there are other instances of God/Jesus dishing out justice, which indicates that He only destroys those who fight against Him.
“Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, And all her men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 50:30 NASB)
Yes, I am well aware that Jeremiah speaks of Babylon, but Babylon was virtually gone by the time Daniel died. So, in reality, God is not speaking to Babylon, is he? If that is the case, then God is talking to and about those who still maintain the hatred and ideology of Not just Babylon, but of Nimrod and those who participated in the idolatrous ways associated with that tower, that came to be known as Babel.
In Revelation 19, we see the battle at the end of God’s wrath.
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21 NASB)
Note what the passage says: “ the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war.” After seizing the beast and the false prophet, and throwing them into the lake of fire, He kills the rest.
Who is getting killed here “in that day?”
Only those who came to fight. The general idea is that these are Esau’s descendants, and yet NOT all are killed.
To continue on the side of mercy for a moment, the Apostle Paul said,
“… I would that all men were even as I myself am…” (1 Corinthians 7:7a MKJV)
What was Paul referring to? Sickness, the beatings, poor eyesight, or being a pharisee – an aspect of his life of which he was particularly proud? Hardly. He wanted all men to have the same deep, lasting relationship with the Messiah that he came to understand, and to know that Christ, because of this relationship, lives in them – this is the mystery that Paul speaks of in Ephesians.
“In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” (Ephesians 1:7-9 NASB)
It was Jesus who said,
“And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32 NASB)
Did that happen?
It did, as he was lifted up on that cross; that and, because He rose victoriously from the grave. God honors His Word, and we see that there is a massive effort by the Holy Spirit to draw ALL men to Himself.
Along that vein, I will tell you what happened to me several years ago on Halloween night. The wife, her mother, and I went to the Halloween festival in a nearby town. Mom was a bit feeble, and the crowds were typically rude, so I began to part the crowd with my walking stick, so mom would not get knocked down. A few seconds into this, a voice said, you are to be commended for helping her. I turned to see who was talking. He looked middle eastern, but then, so do a lot of people. I said I feel as if I am parting the waters like Moses. Well, that initiated the most amazing conversation, and I learned that this former son of Esau, a former Muslim, had Jesus come to him in his dreams many years ago while he lived in Iran. Jesus shared the gospel with him from a specific verse. This man found it so amazing that he told his brother, the Imam, who told him to keep his mouth shut or he would be killed. Many years passed, and he finds himself in France. There a person gave him the bible in Aramaic. Imagine that, the first verse he turned to and read was the same scripture that Jesus spoke to him about in the dreams. Right there, on the sidewalk in France, he accepted Jesus Christ into his life. Do you know what happened in that moment on the sidewalk? He changed teams and became a part of the body of Christ. He was no longer responsible for the sins of his forefathers, and no longer under the curse of Obadiah 1:18. He is NOT the only one this has happened to, and all those who have turned to the Lord will enter the eternal kingdom and be loved by the Father.
I feel impressed to point something else out at this juncture. One of those thieves being hung next to Jesus that day was admitted into the kingdom upon death. Why? Because of the simple words, he said, “do you not fear God?” “this man has done nothing wrong;” and “remember me.” These progeny of Edom/Esau have and will continue to make the simplest of acknowledgments, while the Father, on the other hand, will respond with, enter into the eternal kingdom.
Obadiah is only one chapter and opens with a command to the nations, calling them for battle against Edom.
“The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom–We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”– “ Obadiah 1:1 NASB.
- It is a vision given to Obadiah;
- concerning Edom;
- and, it commands those who have been sent among the nations
- who say, ‘Arise and let us go against her for battle.”
Why would God command the nations to come against Edom?
The obvious factor is that Israel, once again, will sustain a grave and deadly attack. As of this moment in time, 09/16/2020, has Israel sustained such a fatal military attack? No, yet many will go back to June of 1967 and the Six-Day war and claim that this was just such a military operation. While Israel sustained losses, that war was much more deadly for others. In the process, Israel gained the Golan Heights, the entirety of Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip (although Israel later complied with the U.N. and relinquished the Gaza strip to the Palestinians. Another dominant war was the Yom Kippur War (October of 1973.) This war was led by a coalition of Arab states, which included Egypt and Syria, and ended in sound defeat for the alliance, so it does not answer the question.
Does scripture substantiate a deadly attack against Israel?
Absolutely and we can see this in Ezekiel.
“One-third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.” Ezekiel 5:12 NASB
In Zechariah chapter 12, we learn that all nations will be gathered against Israel.
“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
(Zechariah 12:3 NASB)
Zechariah 14:2 tells us that the city shall be taken, and half the city will go into captivity once again.
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 14:2 KJV
I want to address one more point before I leave this thesis.
You indicated that Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel. Comprehensive by dictionary standards means the quality of comprising much, or including a great extent, extensive; or comprehending many things at once.”
I would venture to say that your use of the term, as it applies to Israel, says that all of Israel’s enemies can be envisioned as Edomites. While your reference to Obadiah, where it says, “Will I not destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau?” is a question, it does imply that God will destroy, at least the wise-men, from Edom. If I must consider the rest of the statement as demonstrating a mass killing, then I would have asked, do all men have understanding? The answer is seen in our government today. The riots that allegedly started because of George Floyd began on May 26, 2020, and yet here it is September 18, 2020, and speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi just announced that riots are a bad thing and the people who are causing harm should be arrested and jailed. Do you see any understanding in that? I don’t, especially since she waited months to make the statement.
If you were to look at The Historical Map of the Assyrian Empire and the Eastern Mediterranean about 750 – 625 B.C., what will you see is Assyrians blanketing Edom.
Since the days of Jonah, the Assyrians, or in Jonah’s case, they were called Ninevehites, have been attacking, killing, and torturing the Northern and Southern kingdoms of the Jews. Wikipedia indicates that the Ninevehites were an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on Mosul’s outskirts in modern-day northern Iraq.
Where do we find Edom?
Out in the Negev desert, about as far south as you can go. Edomites were descendants of Esau, but so were almost all of Israel’s enemies.
The Quora search website and Garry de Vries, a former expositor/teacher of scripture, say this about Esau.
“Esau had many descendants. Five sons and ten grandsons are mentioned (Please read Genesis Chapter 36). Teman, one of the descendants of Esau, gave his name to a district and a tribe of that name in Edom. The inhabitants of Teman were renowned for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends was called a Temanite (Job 2:11). He was a wise man who had a great respect for God. Job was instructed by God to offer sacrifice and intercede for him (Job 42:7–10). This is surely one example of people who did not belong to the line of promise (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), but who nevertheless participated in the spiritual blessings of the original promise to Abraham. One of Esau’s sons, Eliphaz, had a concubine, or secondary wife, called Timna. She was the sister of one of the leaders of the Horites in Seir (Genesis 36:22), and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz (Gen.36:12). Because Amalek did not have the same mother as the other sons of Eliphaz, it may be that he was ostracized by his brothers and that it was this that led him to live in a separate area (identified as the nation of the Amalekites). The Amalekites were the first nation/tribe to wage war on Israel after they had left Egypt (Exodus 17:8–13). As they ‘did not fear God’ but attacked a weary, defenseless people, Israel was directed to blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Deuteronomy 25:17–19).”
The last portion of this paragraph is the sole reason we see God ordering the Edomites’ destruction. I am not here to argue whether they deserve to be wiped out or not. It is the realization that we all deserve to be wiped out because of sin, and that is why Jesus Christ came and paid the debt for us all. Jesus’ blood was shed for the Edomites as well, and we seem to forget that fact.
In the prophecy of Daniel, we are told that the descendants of one referred to as the prince that will come, come and destroy the city and temple, just as it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Sadly, many have misled us into believing that this prince was Titus, the Roman general. It was not.
Daniel 9:26 NASB “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”
This prince, the one who will destroy the city and the temple once again, has many names, and the Assyrian is one of them.
Isaiah 31:8 NASB And the Assyrian will fall by a sword, not of man, And a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword, And his young men will become forced laborers.
This man will fall by a sword not of a man, then what else is left?
The sword of the Lord and we have that picture in Revelation 19.
If Esau is the father of the Arabs, and he is, and, by oppression, the Arabs pretty much all became Muslims, then we, by extrapolation, can see where the Muslims will become the final and fitting players in the end times. These people do not listen to anyone that is not a Muslim, and therefore the only one who can get their attention and call for peace will be a Muslim; hence, the Islamic Antichrist.
Now you don’t have to buy into any of this, nor do I expect you to. But when I found this information in Joel Richardson’s book The Islamic Antichrist, my understanding of end-times events became very clear.