The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Abdias
Here follows the vision of Abdias. What doom does the Lord God pronounce on Edom? What bruit is this has reached our ears, what embassage has been sent abroad among the nations? Up, march we out to engage him in battle!✻
Sorry the lot I have given thee among the peoples of the world, no better than a thing of contempt;
yet, dwelling where thou dost in the clefts of the rocks, thou art puffed up with pride; high thou hast built thy throne, and thinkest there is none can drag thee down to earth.
Build thy eyrie high as the eagle, nest, if thou wilt, among the stars, I will yet drag thee down thence, the Lord says.
Strange, the silence that has fallen upon Edom! Thieves were they, midnight robbers, that had assailed thee, at least they had been content to carry off what they had need of; some gleanings at least those vintagers would have left thee!
But now, see how Esau is ransacked, how all his treasury is rifled!
See how the very folk that are in league with thee drive thee back to thy own frontier, thy own confederates playing thee false, pressing thee hard! Stabbed from beneath by boon companions of thy own? Thou art a fool for thy pains.
Day of doom, the Lord says, when wise man shall be none in Edom, nor any prudent counsellor on all Esau’s hill-side;
dismayed the warriors of Teman✻ shall be, till slaughter leaves all the mountains of Esau desolate.
What wonder if hopes of thine come to nothing, name of thine perish eternally, that didst assail thy own brother, with murderous wrong?
Hast thou forgotten the day when thou stoodest aloof, while the enemy disarmed his ranks, while aliens thronged through yonder gates, and parcelled out Jerusalem by lot, thyself making common cause with them?
What, look on idly, when fortune turns against that brother of thine; nay, triumph over Juda’s fall, boast of his calamity?
He overthrown, and thou wouldst find thy way in at the gates of my own city; he overthrown, and thou wouldst rejoice at his discomfiture; he overthrown, and thou wouldst offer him battle?
Thou wouldst take up thy post in the breach, and cut off the fugitive, bar the way to the straggler, when all is lost?
Be sure of this, a time is soon coming when the Lord will summon all the nations to their account; then, as thou didst, it shall be done to thee, in thy own coin thou shalt be paid.
The cup of vengeance you, my people, have drunk, there on that mountain which is my sanctuary, all the heathen shall drink henceforward; drink, ay, drink deep, and fall into forgetfulness, as if they had never been.
But here, on mount Sion, all shall be deliverance, all shall be holiness, and their spoilers the men of Jacob shall despoil.
A fire Jacob shall be, a living flame the sons of Joseph, and Esau’s race stubble before their onset; the spark once kindled, all shall be consumed, and of Esau’s race no memory be left; the Lord decrees it.
Hill-country of Esau shall fall to the southern folk, and Philistia to the men of the plain; all that is Ephraim and Samaria now shall be theirs, and Galaad shall be made over to Benjamin.
Warriors of Israel, banished far away, shall hold all the Chanaanite lands, Sarepta their northern frontier; men of Jerusalem, come back from the shores of Bosphorus to claim the cities of the south.
No lack of champions Sion shall have, to do justice on the mountains of Edom; and of that empire the Lord himself shall be sovereign ruler.
The Holy Bible