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Getting to Know the Bible: Obadiah Overview

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Today we are going to visit our Getting to Know the Bible Series. In this series, our goal is to come to a comprehensive understanding of each book of the bible. At this point of the series we're going to focus on Obadiah. But before we get to Obadiah 1, I want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Obadiah. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual chapter.

And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Obadiah, as we prepare to behold and discern Obadiah, beginning with Obadiah 1 in our next installment of this series.

Book Type: The fourth book of the Minor Prophets; the thirty-first book of the Old Testament

Author: Obadiah

Date of Writing: Most likely between 848 and 840 B.C.

Audience: The people of Judah suffering the treachery of the Edomites, descendants of Esau.

Theme: Judgment

Original Language: Hebrew

Genre: Prophecy

Purpose of Writing:

Obadiah is a prophet of God. The Edomites are descendants of Esau and the Israelites are descendants of his twin brother, Jacob. A quarrel between the brothers has affected their descendants for over 1,000 years. This division caused the Edomites to forbid Israel to cross their land during the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt. Edom's sins of pride now require judgment from the Lord.

Summary: Obadiah's message is ominous: the kingdom of Edom will be utterly and completely destroyed. Edom has been arrogant, gloating over Israel's misfortunes. When enemy armies attack Israel and the Israelites ask for help, the Edomites refuse and choose to fight against them, not for them. The book ends with the promise of restoration to God's people.


Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament with one chapter and 21 verses.

It consists of three major parts. The first section (Obadiah 1:1–14) emphasizes God's judgment specifically upon Edom. The first nine verses introduce Obadiah and the punishment coming upon Edom. Verses 10–14 emphasize the particular sins leading up to this punishment. Edom had been violent to the Jewish people (Obadiah 1:10), gloated over Israel when they had been defeated by others (Obadiah 1:12), looted their possessions (Obadiah 1:13), and even handed over refugees fleeing the war (Obadiah 1:14).

The second section (Obadiah 1:15–16) emphasizes God's broader judgment upon the nations. The day of the LORD is near for all nations.

The third section (Obadiah 1:17–21) shifts to God's future restoration of Israel. Though the kingdom was divided at the time of Obadiah's writing, in the future Israel would again retain its rightful land inheritance as promised by the Lord. Mount Zion would be holy (Obadiah 1:17), while the house of Esau (the Edomites) would have no survivors (Obadiah 1:18). Though some of those from Jerusalem were exiles, The Jews would one day possess the cities of the Negeb as well as other lands. God was not done with His people Israel, offering future hope to His people as well as predictions of judgment for His enemies.

Foreshadowing: Verse 21 of the Book of Obadiah contains a foreshadowing of Christ and His Church. “Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the LORD’s” (NKJV). These saviors (also called “deliverers” in several versions) are the apostles of Christ, ministers of the word, and especially the preachers of the Gospel in these latter days. They are called saviors, not because they obtain our salvation, but because they preach salvation through the Gospel of Christ and show us the way to obtain that salvation. They, and the Word preached by them, are the means by which the good news of salvation is delivered to all men. While Christ is the only Savior who alone came to purchase salvation, and is the author of it, saviors and deliverers of the Gospel will be more and more in evidence as the end of the age draws near.

Application: With God we can overcome all things, if we will stay true to Him. And, unlike Edom, we are to be selfless, and help others in times of need.

Key Verses (ESV):

Obadiah verse 4, "Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down," declares the LORD."

Obadiah verse 12, "You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune, nor rejoice over the people of Judah in the day of their destruction, nor boast so much in the day of their trouble."

Obadiah verse 15, "The day of the LORD is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head."

*Note: Obadiah was written concerning the Edomites living in the nation of Edom. These people were descendants of Jacob's brother Esau and had been in conflict with Israel for centuries. The Lord sent this letter through Obadiah to warn Edom that their prideful sin would soon lead to their destruction.

I pray you receive this with the love intended, and apply it to wisdom.

May the joy of the Lord continue to be your strength.

Love you much.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Blessed!

-Humble Servant

P.S- If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ, I implore you to take the time to do so right now. Use John 3:16 & Romans 10:9-10 as a foundation for making your confession of faith. And use Ephesians 2:1-10 to provide proper context for your salvation.

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