This summary of the book of Obadiah provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of Obadiah.
The author's name is Obadiah, which means "servant (or worshiper) of the Lord." His was a common name (see 1Ki 18:3-16; 1Ch 3:21; 7:3; 8:38; 9:16; 12:9; 27:19; 2Ch 17:7; 34:12; Ezr 8:9; Ne 10:5; 12:25). Neither his father's name nor the place of his birth is given.
The date and place of composition are disputed. Dating the prophecy is mainly a matter of relating vv. 11-14 to one of two specific events in Israel's history:
The striking parallels between Ob 1-6 and Jer 49:9-10,14-16 have caused many to suggest some kind of interdependence between Obadiah and Jeremiah, but it may be that both prophets were drawing on a common source not otherwise known to us.
There is no compelling reason to doubt the unity of this brief prophecy, the shortest book in the OT. Its theme is that Edom, proud over her own security, has gloated over Israel's devastation by foreign powers. However, Edom's participation in that disaster will bring on God's wrath. She herself will be destroyed, but Mount Zion and Israel will be delivered, and God's kingdom will triumph.
Edom's hostile activities have spanned the centuries of Israel's existence.
The following Biblical references are helpful in understanding the relation
of Israel and Edom: Ge 27:41-45; 32:1-21; 33; 36; Ex 15:15; Nu 20:14-21; Dt
2:1-6; 23:7-8; 1Sa 22 with Ps 52; 2Sa 8:13-14; 2Ki 8:20-22; 14:7; Ps 83; Eze
35; Joel 3:18-19; Am 1:11-12; 9:11-12.
Since the Edomites are related to the Israelites (v. 10), their hostility is all the more reprehensible. Edom is fully responsible for her failure to assist Israel and for her open aggression. The fact that God rejected Esau (Ge 25:23; Mal 1:3; Ro 9:13) in no way exonerates the Edomites. Edom, smug in its mountain strongholds, will be dislodged and sacked. But Israel will prosper because God is with her.
From the NIV Study Bible, Introductions to the Books of the Bible, Obadiah
Copyright 2002 © Zondervan. All rights reserved. Used with permission.