Living Humanly in the Midst of Death: Obadiah and St. Peter Claver

From Pr. Barrett’s blog:

Hopping Hadrian's Wall


Public domain. Retrieved from Wikimedia commons.

This morning’s first reading at Vigils was from the Jewish prophet Obadiah 1:10-16.

In this passage, the prophet gives a stark warning to the nation of Edom, related to Israel through the brothers Jacob and Esau. According to the Talmud, Obadiah himself was an Edomite who converted to Judaism. He was also said to be a descendant of Eliphaz, the friend of Job. I find it fascinating that Obadiah is identified with a friend of one who suffered and then chastises his own people for refusing to do the same.

Obadiah’s beef with Edom is that they refused to get involved when the Babylonian Empire invaded and conquered the Kingdom of Judah, enslaving its people. He writes:

On the day that you stood aside, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you too…

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