Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Obadiah is a book of Prophetic Oracles. The prophet Obadiah wrote it. Its authorship is difficult to date but was possibly written about 853-841 B.C. or 605-586 B.C. The key personalities are the Edomites. The purpose of Obadiah is to show that God will judge all those who are against His children, His chosen people; Edom is used as the example of this truth.
Obadiah is only one chapter (the shortest book in the Old Testament) yet it tells of God’s prophet Obadiah as he announces God’s powerful and authoritative judgment on the nation of Edom. This is the fateful end of the nation of Edom. They had been in conflict with Israel since ancient times, in reality Edom is the descendants of Esau, Jacobs’s brother.
• In verses 1-9, Obadiah declares the wickedness of the Edomites and gives examples of their pride, “In the loftiness of your dwelling place, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?” He proclaims God’s judgment on Edom, “Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD, “Destroy wise men from Edom and understanding from the mountain of Esau?” (vs 8).
• Verses 10-14 tell of the transgressions and offenses of Edom. Implying that they should have acted like a brother who would stand for them, since they descended from the brothers; Jacob and Esau. “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, You will be covered with shame, And you will be cut off forever” (vs. 10).
• In verses 15-21, we read about the victory of Israel in the end, “Esau’s house will be as stubble” and “The house of Jacob will be afire” (vs. 18). Edom was utterly nonexistent by the 1st century A.D.