Books of Bible
The Written Prophecy of Obadiah
By H. A. (Buster) Dobbs
A. The man.
1. We know nothing about Obadiah.
2. His name means "Worshipper of Jehovah."
3. Persons of the same name are mentioned in scripture.
a. 1 Kings 18:3; 1 Chron. 3:21; 7:3; 8:38; 9:16,44; 12:9;
27:19; 34:12; 2 Chron. 17:7; 34:12; Ezra 8:9; Neh. 10:5.
b. None of these, however, is the Obadiah who wrote the
book of prophecy that bears his name.
4. The prophecy shows that Obadiah was of the kingdom of
B. The background.
1. Obadiah is a prophecy of the coming destruction of Edom.
2. Edom was founded by Esau (a variation of "Edom", which
means "Red" and is derived from "Adam"). Esau was the son
of Isaac and a brother to Jacob/Israel.
3. There was a long history of antagonism between the
Israelites and the Edomites.
a. Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through their land on
their way to Canaan.
b. The refusal led to wars with Saul (1 Sam. 14:27) and with
David, who killed all their males (2 Sam. 8:13-14; 1 Kings
c. Hadad of Edom (Idumea) was an enemy of Solomon
(1 Kings 11:14-22).
d. Edom joined with Moab and Ammon to invade Judah
during the time of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:22).
e. In cooperation with the Philistines Edom invaded Judah
during the reign of Jehoram. They robbed the king's palace
and killed his sons (2 Chron. 21:8,17).
f. Amaziah of Judah led an army against Petra, the principal
city of Edom, and killed 20,000 Edomites (2 Chron.
g. Herod the Great was an Idumean and at the birth of Jesus
ruled Judah by Roman authority.
4. The hatred of these two nations (Judah and Edom) for each
other was great.
5. Obadiah foretells the utter destruction of Edom, apparently
because they joined the Babylonians in their invasion of
II. The Book.
A. Reasons for the destruction of Edom (1:1-16).
1. Announcement of Edom's destruction (1:1-2).
a. The word "vision" can denote "divine communication."
b. Heathen nations will rise against Edom.
c. Edom is despised and made small (will be made small).
2. Edom strategic location (1:3).
a. Petra of Edom was located in a valley surrounded by
b. Access was through narrow gorges and restricted passes
which were easy to defend.
c. Edom considered herself to be secure.
d. She was high up on the mountain like an eagle's nest.
3. Her rocky fortress will fall (1:4).
4. If invaded by robbers or grapegatherers, something would be
left, but Edom is to be scraped clean and even her hidden
treasures taken (1:5-6).
5. Her allies will not save her, but will betray her (1:7).
6. Her wisdom will not prevent his destruction (1:8-9).
7. The cause of Edom's destruction (1:10-14).
8. The prophecy of Edom's destruction repeated (1:15-16).
B. The restoration of Israel (1:17-21).
1. Jacob shall return and possess the possessions of Edom
2. A summation of the prophecy -- mount Zion to judge the
mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's (1:21).
Truth will prevail.