"The Twelve"

Audio
Obadiah means "Servant of Yahweh." This prophecy constitutes the shortest book in the Old Testament. The title given to this book is Prophet of Poetic Justice. In this short document, Obadiah addresses pride, injustice, lack of compassion, two-wrongs do not make a right, the need for brotherly harmony, denouncing jealousy and envy, proclaiming sovereign judgment of God against all unholiness.

There are thirteen Obadiahs in the Old Testament. "This was the name of a pious governor of the palace under king Ahab (1 Kings 18:3ff.), of a prince of Judah under Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 17:7), of a grave Gadite under David (1 Chron. 12:9), of a Benjamite (1 Chron. 8:38), of an Issacharite (1 Chron. 7:3), of a Zebulunite (1 Chron. 27:19), of several Levites (1 Chron. 9:16, 44; 2 Chron. 34:12), and of different men after the captivity (1 Chron. 3:21; Ezra 8:9; Neh. 10:6)." [1]

 

"The principal theme of the book of Obadiah is an indictment of Edom for its crimes against Judah." [1] The indictment against Edom was principally: selfishness instead of brotherly compassion. As a bordering, brotherly nation to Judah, Edom would have been expected to come to the aid of Judah in time of need against her enemies. The Lord places Edom in the same category as the violent attackers of Jerusalem (cf. Obadiah 11).

Scholars vary considerably with regard to the timing and circumstances behind Obadiah. Below are a few reasons that should be considered which argue against the theory that what is in view is an attack from Babylon.

 

Reasons against Babylon

  1. No indication of total destruction
  2. Neb. would not have ‘cast lots for Jerusalem’ (Obadiah 11)
  3. Prominence of Edom
  4. Brotherhood of Edom
  5. Mention of Philistines (Obadiah 19)
  6. Enemy unidentified--all other accounts overtly identify Babylon

848-841 BC - Philistines and Arabians invaded Judah and plundered the palace:

ESV 2 Chronicles 21:16 And the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabians who are near the Ethiopians. 17 And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.

ESV 2 Kings 8:19 Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, since he promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever. 20 In his days Edom revolted from the rule of Judah and set up a king of their own. 21 Then Joram passed over to Zair with all his chariots and rose by night, and he and his chariot commanders struck the Edomites who had surrounded him, but his army fled home. 22 So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.

ESV 2 Chronicles 21:8 In his days Edom revolted from the rule of Judah and set up a king of their own. 9 Then Jehoram passed over with his commanders and all his chariots, and he rose by night and struck the Edomites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. 10 So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. At that time Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers. 11 Moreover, he made high places in the hill country of Judah and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom and made Judah go astray. 12 And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father, 'Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel and have enticed Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom, as the house of Ahab led Israel into whoredom, and also you have killed your brothers, of your father's house, who were better than yourself, 14 behold, the LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15 and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.'" 16 And the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabians who are near the Ethiopians. 17 And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son. 18 And after all this the LORD struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19 In the course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he departed with no one's regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

Obadiah is therefore considered earliest of the prophets and was likely a contemporary of Elisha.

Who is EDOM?

ESV Genesis 25:23 And the LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger."

ESV Genesis 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, "Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!" (Therefore his name was called Edom.)

ESV Genesis 27:27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, "See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed! 28 May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"

ESV Genesis 27:38 Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father." And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: "Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. 40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck." 41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob."

Esau moved to mountainous region of Seir (Horites)

Edom

  • Refused passage to Israel

ESV Numbers 20:14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: "Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met: 15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers. 16 And when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well. We will go along the King's Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory." 18 But Edom said to him, "You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you." 19 And the people of Israel said to him, "We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more." 20 But he said, "You shall not pass through." And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.

  • Opposed Saul
  • Subdued under David and Solomon
  • Rebelled against Jehoram
  • Conquered by Judah under Amaziah (Amos)
  • Won independence during the reign of Ahaz
  • Conquered and controlled by Assyria and then Babylon
  • 5thcentury BC exiled by the Nabataeans
    • Moved to southern Palestine
    • Idumaeans (Herod)
  • Never heard of again after 70 AD

Obadiah is Edom’s day in court!

PRIDE:

(v.2) “I will make you small” ; (v.3) “the pride of your heart has deceived you”; (v.9) “your mighty men O Teman, shall be dismayed”

Striking: no words of hope or consolation, no plea to repent, Edom’s fate is sealed.

Christ: Judge of nations (15-16), the Savior of Israel (17-20), and the Possessor of the kingdom (21)

Summary:

  • Israel has been assaulted by enemies
  • Edom does not assist but rather takes advantage and plunders Israel
  • Consequence: Edom will be ‘cut off forever’
  • God is judge over all the earth

Contact Us

16100 Caputo Drive
Morgan Hill, CA  95037

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

408.762.5800

Follow Us

facebook