The Book Of Obadiah
J. Deering, AncientPath.net
The prophetical books belong to the dark ages of God's chosen people.
The prophets were men whom God raised up during the dark days of Israel's history. They were the evangelists of the day, the religious patriots of the hour.
2 Kings 17:13-20
13 The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: "Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets." 14 But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. 15 They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, "Do not do as they do," and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do. 16 They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 18 So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, 19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. 20 Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
The office of the prophet was instituted in Samuel's time. When the kingdom was divided and Judah and Israel were established as separate monarchies, the great prophets appeared. There were four major and twelve minor prophets.
The captivities of Israel (the northern kingdom) and of Judah (the southern kingdom) are largely the theme of the Old Testament prophets. The record of thesis found in 2 Kings 17:1-23 and 24:11-25:21. These are called the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. Some of the prophets served before the exile and some afterwards. These are call pre-exilic and post-exilic prophets.
The Pre-Exilic Prophets
The prophets during the exile (or "pre-exilic") in order of their writing were: Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Jeremiah.
The prophets of Israel during this period were Jonah, Amos, and Hosea
The prophets of Judah during this period were Obadiah, Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Jeremiah.
The Exilic Prophets
The prophets during the exile (or captivity in Babylon) were Ezekiel and Daniel. They prophesied to all the Israelites. Jeremiah extended for a while into this period.
Those who prophesied after the exile were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Special Messages were given to certain prophets
3 to Israel - Amos, Hosea, Ezekiel
2 to Nineveh, Assyria - Jonah, Nahum
1 to Babylon - Daniel
1 to Edom - Obadiah
9 to Judah - Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
The 4 Messages of the Prophets
The prophet's chief duty was to deal with the moral and religious life of his own people during his day. The prophet was never sent while the nation was walking in obedience to God. All of the writings are rebukes because of the bad condition that existed at that very time. There was nothing general about the prophet's denunciations.
The prophet was always a Hebrew. He not only spoke of judgment that would come to pass to the people because of their sin but he was also a foreteller of future events. The events which he spoke concerned the nation of Israel in the main. Other peoples were mentioned only as they came in contact with Israel.
1. The dispersion and captivity of God's chosen people
2. The coming of the Messiah
3. The restoration of the chosen people to their own land under the coming Messiah, David's greater son
4. The reign of the Messiah over the whole earth
"That it might be fulfilled," When you read the Gospels, you find this phrase constantly. We find in examining these passages that God fulfills prophecy literally. Learn to interpret the meaning of the words of the prophets in a literal, natural way. Do not force a spiritual interpretation and read out all the real meaning. There are figurative passages, of course. But you will find that as soon as you determine the meaning of the figure that that, too will have its literal fulfillment. This makes the study of the prophets a simple one. Remember, the Church is not in the prophets at all. This is the "mystery" that God kept until He wished it to be revealed (Ephesians 3:3, 3:11-12.
The prophets speak only of the earthly ministry of Christ and say nothing of His called-out ones (ecclesia - the Church). This was announced by Jesus Himself (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 3:3-10).
Jesus had this to say about the relationship of Himself to the message of the prophets:
25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself (Luke 24:25-27).
Eastons Bible Dictionary
(Used by Permission, Parson's Technology, 2002)
Consists of one chapter, "concerning Edom," its impending doom (Obed. 1-16), and the restoration of Israel (Obed. 17-21). This is the shortest book of the Old Testament.
There are on record the account of four captures of Jerusalem,
(1.) by Shishak in the reign of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25);
(2.) by the Philistines and Arabians in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chr. 21:16);
(3.) by Joash, the king of Israel, in the reign of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13); and
(4.) by the Babylonians, when Jerusalem was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (586 B.C.). Obadiah (Obed. 11-14) speaks of this capture as a thing past. He sees the calamity as having already come on Jerusalem, and the Edomites as joining their forces with those of the Chaldeans in bringing about the degradation and ruin of Israel. We do not indeed read that the Edomites actually took part with the Chaldeans, but the probabilities are that they did so, and this explains the words of Obadiah in denouncing against Edom the 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 (Isa. 63:1-4). These will finally all be vanquished, and the kingdom will be the Lord's (Compare Ps. 22:28).
Holman's bible Dictionary
(Used by Permission, Parson's Technology, 2002)
Obadiah (uh buh di' uh) The Prophet: As to the person and circumstances of Obadiah nothing certain is known. No source outside his book mentions Obadiah. "Obadiah" is a common name in the Old Testament. Meaning "servant of Yahweh," it reflects his parents' faith and spiritual ambitions for their child. The title "The vision of Obadiah" turns attention to the divine author, "vision" being a technical term for a prophetic revelation received from God.
Obadiah (oh buh di' uh) The shortest book of the Minor Prophets, preserving the message of Obadiah, the prophet.
The Situation Historically
The book belongs to the early post-exilic period, at the end of the sixth century B.C.
Its central section, verses 10-14, deals with the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 B.C., concentrating on the part the Edomites played in that tragic event. Edom was a state to the southeast of Judah. Despite treaty ties ("brother," v. 10) the Edomites, along with others, had failed to come to Judah's aid and had even helped Babylon by looting Jerusalem and handing over refugees. Moreover, the Edomites filled the vacuum caused by Judah's Exile by moving west and annexing the Negev to the south of Judah and even its southern territory (compare v. 19).
Judah reacted with a strong sense of grievance. Obadiah's oracle responded to an underlying impassioned prayer of lament, like Psalms 74, 79, or 137, in which Judah appealed to God to act as providential trial Judge and Savior to set right the situation.
The response begins with a prophetic messenger formula which reinforces the thrust of the title, that God is behind the message. Verses 2-9 give the divine verdict. Addressing Edom, God promised to defeat those supermen and topple the mountain capital which reflected their lofty self-conceit. Their allies would let them down, and neither their framed wisdom nor their warriors would be able to save them. This seems to look fearfully ahead to the Nabateans' infiltration from the eastern desert and their eventual takeover of Edom's traditional territory. The end of verse 1 appears to be a report from the prophet that already a coalition of neighboring groups was planning to attack Edom.
The catalog of Edom's crimes (vv. 10-14) functions as the accusation which warranted God's verdict of punishment. Repetition raises "day" to center stage. The underlying thought is that Judah had been the victim of "the day of the Lord" when God intervened in judgment, and had drunk the cup of God's wrath (vv. 15, 16; compare Lam. 1:12; 2:21). In Old Testament theology the concept of the day of the Lord embraces not only God's people but their no-less-wicked neighbors. This wider dimension is reflected in verses 15-16 (compare Lam. 1:21). The fall of Edom was a trigger this eschatological event in which order would be restored to an unruly world. Then would come the vindication of God's people, not for their own sakes but as earthly witnesses to His glory; and so "the kingdom shall be the Lord's" (v. 21).
Like the Book of Revelation, which proclaims the downfall of the persecuting Roman Empire, the aim of Obadiah is to sustain faith in God's moral government and hope in the eventual triumph of His just will. It brings a pastoral message to aching hearts, that God is on the throne and cares for His own.
Unger (Unger's Bible Dictionary, Merrill F. Unger, Moody Press, Chicago, 1976, p. 802)
I. Prophecy of Edom's Decimation 1:1-9
A. Fall of her impregnable fortifications 1:2-4
B. Edom's complete plundering 1;5-9
II. Edom's Destruction Accounted For 1:10-14
A. Violence against Jacob 1:10-14
III. Prophecy of the Day of Jehovah 1:15-21
A. Edom and all nations judged 1:15-16
B. House of Jacob saved 1;17-20
C. The Millennial Kingdom established 1:21
Edom: Name given to Esau after he bartered his birthright for a mess of red pottage (Genesis 25:30) Edom, Edomites, Idumaea: the descendants of Esau, who settled in the south of Palestine.
During the wilderness wandering (following the Exodus) Edom would not let the nation of Israel pass through its lands. King Saul (1 Samuel 14:47) attacked and defeated them in battle. Forty years later David overthrew their army in the "Valley of Salt," and his general, Joab, following the victory destroyed nearly the whole male population (1 Kings 11:15-16), and placed Jewish garrisons in all the strongholds of Edom (2 Samuel 8:13-14). Hadad, a member of the royal family of Edom, eventually went on to Syria, where he became one of Solomon's greatest enemies (1 Kings 11:14-23). When Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem the Edomites joined him, and took an active part in the plunder of the city and the slaughter of the Jews. Much later they were conquered and forced by the Maccabees to conform to Jewish laws and rites and submit to the government of Jewish prefects. They effectively became members of the nation of Israel. In 70 a.d., Just before the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, 20,000 Idumaeans were admitted to the Holy City, which they filled with robbery and bloodshed. From this time, the Edomites, as a separate people, disappear from the pages of history.
THE BIBLE TIMELINE - KING DAVID TO PENTECOST
|-1000||David becomes Full King|
|-970||Solomon becomes King|
|-965||The book: Song of Songs by Solomon|
|-950||The book of Proverbs by Solomon and others|
|-940||The book of Psalms (some very early most in 900's) David & others|
|-935||The book of Ecclesiastes by Solomon|
|-931||The Kingdom Is Divided|
|-931||Rehoboam becomes King of Judah|
|-930||Book of 1 Samuel by Samuel and others|
|-920||Abijam becomes King of Judah|
Nadab becomes king of Israel
|-915||Asa becomes King of Judah|
Baasha becomes king of Israel
Elah Zimri becomes king of Israel
Tibni becomes king of Israel
Omri becomes king of Israel
Ahab becomes king of Israel
Elijah begins prophetic ministry
|-860||Jehoshophat becomes King of Judah|
Ahaziah becomes king of Israel
Joram becomes King of Israel
|-850||Jehoram becomes King of Judah|
Elisha begins prophetic ministry
Jehu becomes King of Israel
Obadiah begins prophetic ministry
The book of Obadiah, writes to Israel
Jehoahaz becomes King of Israel
|-825||Joel begins prophetic ministry|
|-825||Joel Writes to Judah|
|-800||Assyria Comes to Power|
Jehoash becomes King of Israel
Jeroboam II becomes King of Israel
Joash becomes King of Judah
|-782||Shalmaneser IV becomes King of Assyria|
|-780||Uzziah becomes King of Judah|
Jonah begins prophetic ministry
Jonah writes to Nineveh
Zechariah / Shallum becomes King of Israel
|-755||Amos begins prophetic ministry|
|-755||The book of Amos by Amos|
|-755||Zedekiah becomes King of Judah|
Hosea begins prophetic ministry
The book of Hosea by Hosea
Menahem becomes 1/2 King of Israel
Pekah becomes 1/2 King of Israel
Pekahiah becomes 1/2 King of Israel
|-738||Ahaz becomes King of Judah|
Hoshea becomes King of Israel
Pekah becomes full King of Israel
Tiglath-Pileser III of Assyria invades Israel
|-730||Micah begins prophetic ministry|
|-730||The book of Micah by Micah|
|-725||Hezekiah becomes King of Judah|
Israel taken into Captivity by Assyria
Senacherib of Assyria surrounds Jerusalem
|-700||Isaiah begins prophetic ministry|
|-700||The book of Isaiah by Isaiah|
|-695||Manasseh becomes King of Judah|
|-645||Josiah becomes King of Judah|
|-645||The book of Zephaniah by Zephaniah|
|-640||Josiah becomes King of Judah|
|-625||Nahum writes to Judah|
|-620||Habakkuk begins prophetic ministry|
|-620||The book of Habakkuk by Habakkuk|
|-612||Assyrian Capital of Nineveh sacked by Babylonians|
|-612||Neco of Egypt kills King Josiah in Battle|
|-610||Jehoikim becomes King of Judah|
|-605||Judah begins being taken into Babylonian Captivity|
|-605||Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon victorious over Assyria|
|-595||Zedekiah becomes King of Judah|
|-592||The book of Ezekiel by Ezekiel|
|-590||Jeremiah begins prophetic ministry|
|-590||Jeremiah writes to Judah|
|-586||Jeremiah taken to Egypt|
|-586||Judah taken into Captivity by Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon)|
|-586||The book of Lamentations by Jeremiah|
|-580||1 Jerusalem Falls to Babylon|
|-580||2 Temple Destroyed by Babylon|
|-580||3 Babylonian Captivity Complete|
|-580||Judah 70 Years in Babylonian Captivity begins|
|-560||Babylon King Merodach|
|-555||Babylon King Labashi-Marduk|
|-550||1 The book of 1 Kings by Jeremiah|
|-550||2 The book of 2 Kings by Jeremiah|
|-550||Babylon King Nabonidus|
|-540||Babylon King Belshazzar|
|-539||Cyrus of Persia conquers Babylon|
|-538||Cyrus of Persia decrees return of Jews|
|-537||The book of Daniel by Daniel|
|-536||The 1st Delivery from Babylon (360 Jews)|
|-535||Temple Construction Begins|
|-530||Temple Construction Halted|
|-521||Darius I becomes King of Persia|
|-520||Haggai begins prophetic ministry|
|-520||The book of Haggai by Haggai|
|-510||The book of Zechariah by Zechariah|
|-510||Zechariah begins prophetic ministry|
|-480||Xerxes becomes King of Persia|
|-475||Esther becomes Queen of Persia|
|-470||Book of Esther, author unknown|
|-460||Artaxerxes becomes King of Persia|
|-460||Book of Ezra By Ezra|
|-458||Ezra returned to Jerusalem|
|-458||Second Delivery from Babylon|
|-450||1 Chronicles (Ezra)|
|-450||2 Chronicles (Ezra)|
|-450||The book of Malachi by Malachi|
|-445||The book of Nehemiah by Nehemiah|
|-444||Nehemiah (as Governor) goes to Jerusalem|
|-443||Walls of Jerusalem Rebuilt|
|-430||Malachi begins prophetic ministry|
|-425||Xerxes II becomes King of Persia|
|-420||Darius II becomes King of Persia|
|-410||Artaxerxes II becomes King of Persia|
|-355||Artaxerxes III becomes King of Persia|
|-330||Arses becomes King of Persia|
|-330||Greek Empire - Egypt, Judea, Syria|
|-330||Third Delivery from Babylon|
|-328||Darius III becomes King of Persia|
|-326||Alexander the Great (Greece) Conquers Persia|
|-320||Alexander Dies at age 32, Judea under Ptolemy of Egypt|
|-275||Judah Governs itself under Ptolemies|
|-240||Septuagint Translated from Hebrew to Greek|
|-220||Antiochus III comes to power in Syria|
|-200||Syria takes Judea from Egypt (Greek Empire)|
|-175||Priesthood Sold under Seleucus IV|
|-170||The Abomination of Desolation - end of priesthood|
|-165||The Maccabean Revolt|
|-130||Roman Empire Develops into World Power|
|-90||Judea Civil War under Antiochus 11|
|-65||Pompey Captures Judea and Syria (Roman Empire)|
|-48||Herod (King of the Jews) under Octavian Augustus of Rome|
|-48||Marc Antony rules Syria|
|-4||John the Bapties is Born|
|-3.5||Jesus is Born|
|26.1||John the Baptist's Public Ministry|
|26.2||Solomon becomes King|
|26.6||40 Days in Wilderness - The 3 Temptations|
|27||Jesus First Miracle - Cana|
|27.25||The Cleansing of the Temple|
|28.5||Chooses 12 Apostles|
|28.6||Sermon on the Mount|
|29||John The Baptist beheaded|
|29.25||The Feeding of the 5000|
|29.5||The Feeding of the 4000|
|29.75||The Transfiguration (Summer)|
|30.25||Lazarus Raised from the Dead|
|30.33||The Last Week - Triumphal Entry|
|30.34||Jesus Dies on the Cross|
|30.35||Jesus is Buried|
|30.36||Jesus is Resurrected|