God raised up certain "prophets" who were His mouthpieces.
They would speak out against their sin and idolatry and would
continually warn of God's judgment. Some of the prophets spoke
out in the North and some in the South, but God was faithfully
warning them of certain catastrophe if they would not turn to
The Book of Obadiah is found in the Hebrew Bible, where it
is the shortest book, only one chapter long. Its authorship
is generally attributed to a person named Obadiah, which
means "servant (or worshipper) of the Lord". Obadiah is
classified as a "minor prophet" in the Christian Bible due
to the brevity of the writing (only 21 verses) and the
content (prophetic material). An Old Testament prophet was
not only a person believed to have been given divine insight
into future events, but also believed to be a person whom
the Lord used to declare his word.
The first nine verses in the book foretell total destruction
in the land of Edom at the hand of the Lord. Obadiah writes
that this destruction will be so complete that it will be
even worse than a thief who comes at night, for not even a
thief would destroy everything. The Lord will allow all
allies of Edom to turn away and help chase Edom out of its
land. Verses ten through fourteen explain that when Israel
(the Lord’s chosen people) was attacked, Edom refused to
help them, thus acting like an enemy. What is even worse is
that Edom and Israel share a common blood line through their
founders who were brothers, Jacob and Esau. Because of this
gross neglect of a relative, Edom will be covered with shame
and destroyed forever. The final verses, fifteen through
twenty-one, depict the restoration of Israel and the wiping
out of the Edomites. Verse eighteen says that there will be
no survivors from the house of Esau once the destruction is
complete. Israel will become a holy place and its people
will return from exile and inhabit the land once inhabited
by the Edomites. The final verse of the prophecy places the
Lord as King who will rule over all the mountains of Edom...
Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. The theme
of the book is the destruction of Edom. Consequent upon the
overthrow of Edom is the enlargement of the borders of Judah
and the establishment of the kingship of Yahweh. Thus far
all scholars are agreed; but on questions of authorship and
date there is wide divergence of opinion.
1. Contents of the Book:
(1) Yahweh summons the nations to the overthrow of proud
Edom. The men of Esau will be brought down from their lofty
strongholds; their hidden treasures will be rifled; their
confederates will turn against them; nor will the wise and
the mighty men in Edom be able to avert the crushing
calamity (Ob 1:1-9). (2) The overthrow of Edom is due to the
violence and cruelty shown toward his brother Jacob. The
prophet describes the cruelty and shameless gloating over a
brother's calamity, in the form of earnest appeals to Edom
not to do the selfish and heartless deeds of which he had
been guilty when Jerusalem was sacked by foreign foes (Ob
1:10-14). (3) The day of the display of Yahweh's retributive
righteousness upon the nations is near. Edom shall be
completely destroyed by the people whom he has tried to
uproot, while Israel's captives shall return to take
possession of their own land and also to seize and rule the
mount of Esau. Thus the kingship of Yahweh shall be
established (Ob 1:15-21)...
o-ba-di'-a (`obhadhyah, more fully `obhadhyahu, "servant of
(1) The steward or prime minister of Ahab, who did his best
to protect the prophets of Yahweh against Jezebel's
persecution. He met Elijah on his return from Zarephath, and
bore to Ahab the news of Elijah's reappearance (1 Ki 18:3-
(2) The prophet (Ob 1:1).
See OBADIAH, BOOK OF.
(3) A descendant of David (1 Ch 3:21).
(4) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Ch 7:3).
(5) A descendant of Saul (1 Ch 8:38; 9:44).
(6) A Levite descended from Jeduthun (1 Ch 9:16), identical
with Abda (Neh 11:17).
(7) A chief of the Gadites (1 Ch 12:9).
(8) A Zebulunite, father of the chief Ishmaiah (1 Ch 27:19).
(9) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to teach the law
in Judah (2 Ch 17:7).
(10) A Merarite employed by Josiah to oversee the workmen in
repairing the temple (2 Ch 34:12).
(11) The head of a family who went up with Ezra from Babylon
(12) One of the men who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah
(13) A gate-keeper in the days of Nehemiah (Neh 12:25).
The name "Obadiah" was common in Israel from the days of
David to the close of the Old Testament. An ancient Hebrew
seal bears the inscription "Obadiah the servant of the
(servant of the Lord),
1. A man whose sons are enumerated in the genealogy
of the tribe of Judah. 1Ch 3:21 (B.C. 470.)
2. A descendant of Issachar and a chief man of his
tribe. 1Ch 7:3 (B.C. 1014.)
3. One of the six sons of Azel, a descendant of
Saul. 1Ch 8:33; 9:44 (B.C. 720.)
4. A Levite, son of Shemaiah, and descended from
Jeduthun. 1Ch 9:16; Ne 12:25
5. The second of the lion-faced Gadites who joined
David at Ziklag. 1Ch 12:9 (B.C. 1054.)
6. One of the Princes of Judah in the reign of
Jehoshaphat. 2Ch 17:7 (B.C. 909.)
7. The son of Jehiel, of the sons of Joab, who came
up in the second caravan with Ezra. Ezr 8:9
8. A priest, or family of priests, who settled the
covenant with Nehemiah. Ne 10:5
9. The fourth of the twelve minor prophets. We know
nothing of him except what we can gather from the short book
which bears his name. The question of his date must depend
upon the interpretation of the 11th verse of his prophecy.
He there speaks of the conquest of Jerusalem and the
captivity of Jacob as having occurred, He probably refers to
the captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 688. It must have been
uttered at some time in the five years which intervened
between B.C. 588 and 583. The book of Obadiah is a sustained
denunciation of the Edomites, melting into a vision of the
future glories of Zion when the arm of the Lord should have
wrought her deliverance and have repaid double upon her
10. An officer of high rank in the court of Ahab.
1Ki 18:3 He was a devout worshipper of Jehovah, and at the
peril of his life concealed over a hundred prophets during
the persecution by Jezebel; 1Ki 18:3-16 (B.C. 904.)
11. The father of Ishmaiah who was chief of the
tribe of Zebulun in David's reign. 1Ch 27:19 (B.C. before
12. A Merarite Levite in the reign of Josiah, and
one of the overseers of the workmen in the restoration of
the temple. 2Ch 34:12 (B.C.623.)
consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending
(1:1-16), and the restoration of Israel (1:17-21).
This is the
shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of
(1) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings
14:25); (2) by
the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram
21:16); (3) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the
Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and (4) by the Babylonians,
Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar
Obadiah (1:11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing
sees the calamity as having already come on
Jerusalem, and the
Edomites as joining their forces with those of the
bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel.
We do not
indeed read that the Edomites actually took part
Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did
so, and this
explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against
judgments of God. The date of his prophecies was
thus in or
about the year of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Edom is the type of Israel's and of God's last foe
63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and
will be the Lord's (comp. Ps. 22:28).
servant of the Lord. (1.) An Israelite who was chief in the
household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great
degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and
protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he
hid at great
personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have
in great honour, although he had no sympathy with
his piety (5,
6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back
Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for,
was at hand
(9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in
"go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here."
(2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3).
(3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38).
(4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16).
(5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr.
(6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1
(7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to
people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7).
(8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the
under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12).
(9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from
(10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the
canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably
Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history
nothing is known.
("worshipper of Jehovah"; Arabic: Abdallah.)
1. One of Israhiah's "five" sons, of Issachar (1
Chronicles 7:3). But as four only are mentioned, Kennicott
with four manuscripts omits "and the sons of Israhiah," thus
making him brother not father of Obadiah, and both sons of
Uzzi. Syriac and Arabic have our text, but "four."
2. 1 Chronicles 8:38; 1 Chronicles 9:44.
3. 1 Chronicles 9:16; Nehemiah 12:24-25.
4. 1 Chronicles 3:21.
5. 1 Chronicles 12:8-9.
6. 2 Chronicles 17:7.
7. Ezra 8:9.
8. Nehemiah 10:5.
9. Over Ahab's house. A kind of lord high
chamberlain or mayor of the palace (1 Kings 18:3). As there
were saints in Nero's palace (Philemon 1:13; Philemon 4:22),
so they were in wicked Ahab's palace. Had not his value as a
servant made him necessary to Ahab, his piety would have
destroyed him. The pressure of the drought in the third year
was such that Ahab could trust none so well as Obadiah to
search throughout the land for water to preserve his
"beasts," his stud of "horses and mules." Ahab cared more
for these than for his perishing subjects! In a corrupt
court, in spite of the persecuting idolatrous queen Jezebel,
"Obadiah feared Jehovah," not merely a little but "greatly."
So much so that he dared to hide from her fury 100 prophets,
feeding them by fifty in a cave (compare on love to the
Lord's brethren, Matthew 25:40). Ahab went in one direction
in search of water, Obadiah another by himself. The latter
was startled by the sudden appearance of Elijah, who had
disappeared since his first announcement of the drought
coming at his word (1 Kings 17:1). Obadiah knew him and
reverently fell on his face saying, "art thou that my lord