About Obadiah we know only that his name means “servant of the Lord.” Some have guessed that he was the earliest of the Minor Prophets, while others have said that he lived after the Babylonians’ destruction of Jerusalem. His book does not say when he lived. Obadiah’s book is the shortest of all the Old Testament books. It has just one chapter with 21 verses. The book is a prophecy against the Land of Edom. Edom was the land southeast of the Dead Sea reaching down to the Gulf of Acaba on the Dead Sea. Edom was another name for Esau, the brother of Jacob. It was the descendants of Esau that inhabited the Land of Edom. Although the Edomites were close relatives of the Jews, the two were bitter enemies. The Edomites from their rocky mountainous land would make raids on Judah. When Judah was threatened by other enemies, Edom would side with those enemies. For all this treachery, the Prophet Obadiah speaks words of doom toward Edom. He prophesies that Edom will certainly be punished and that Judah will be delivered. In his prophecy Obadiah also reminds us that “the day of the Lord is near for all nations” (v. 15).

A Theme for the Book of Obadiah:


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