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Old Testament Survey

Obadiah




Key Verses

10
15
21


Key Chapters

Entire Book


Key Concepts

Judgment


Thoughts for Reading

God rejoices over saving sinners, not over punishing them.


Obadiah 1:15
For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

Title -- Author

The Hebrew title means "servant of the Lord." The Greek transliterates this word as the name of the prophet. There are no historical records of Obadiah apart from this single book. The book itself does not tell us anything about the prophet.

There is a great deal of differences in opinion on the dating of this letter. The possible dates range from around 840 B.C. to as late as the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586/85 B.C. There were four significant invasions of Judah at which time Edom could have “rejoiced.” These were by the Egyptians in 926 B.C. (1 Kings 14:25, 26), by the Philistines in 848-841 B.C. (2 Chron 21:16, 17), by the Northern kingdom in 790 (2 Kings 14:13, 14), and by Babylon between 605-586 B.C. (2 Kings 24-25). Most likely, Obadiah’s prophecies come in connection with either the second or last of these, that as a result of either the Philistine invasion or the Babylonian invasion. 10.

If written in connection to the Philistine invasion, Obadiah is the earliest of the writing prophets.

Remember, Edom is from the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother (Gen 36:1).

The prophet’s message is to proclaim judgment upon Edom for rejoicing over the fall of Jerusalem. The message is then extended to all of the nations who have been hostile to God. At the same time, the prophet sends a message of hope to Judah.

History tells us that Edom fell to the Babylonians about five years after the final fall of Jerusalem. The people do not disappear, for the Herods are Idumeans, the descendants of the Edomites. But, as a nation, Edom is judged and disappears.

Jesus in Obadiah

Jesus is seen as Judge (15, 16), Savior (17-20), and Possessor of the kingdom (21).

Obadiah is the only one chapter book in the Old Testament and with only 21 verses is the shortest book in the Bible. There are four one-chapter books in the New Testament. Can you name them?

Obadiah 1:10
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

Do you rejoice over the fall of a good person?

Obadiah 1:21
And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord&s.

Footnote:
10. The issue of dating is not particularly important to the message of the prophet, but is open for much : discussion. The invasion by Egypt and the invasion by Israel must be discounted since there is no recorded capture : and spoiling of Jerusalem at either invasion. Those that argue for the 586 B.C. date see the damage viewed by : Obadiah’s descriptions (10-14) as being much greater than that described at the Philistine invasion. The other dating : issue is the apparent quoting of Obadiah by Jeremiah. This would call for an older date for Obadiah. Those who : favor the 586 B.C. see Jeremiah and Obadiah both quoting from some other source. Those arguing for this date see : Psalms 137:7, Lamentations 4:21, 22, and Ezekiel 25:12-14 as all describing the events Obadiah 10-14 covers.  : Those arguing for the older date view Obadiah 11-12 as being compared to Joel 3:3-6 and Obadiah 1-9 being the : actual verses used by Jer 49:7-22.

 

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December 9, 2019

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