Obadiah is a very short book of only one chapter of 21 verses. It is a concise prophecy of judgment against the country of Edom, Judah's neighbor south of the Dead Sea. Edomites traced their ancestry to Abraham's grandson, Esau, and thus were ancestrally related to the Israelites, whose lineage was from Esau's brother, Jacob (later known as Israel). While these were anciently related peoples, there were also age-old animosities between them.
Speaking for God, the prophet Obadiah, whose name means “Servant of the Lord,” declares that God will bring severe judgment on Edom because of their prideful cruelty toward the people of Judah. When the Babylonian armies crushed Jerusalem and Judah in 586 b.c., and left it in ruins, Obadiah reports that Edom celebrated that event, took unfair advantage of Judah's helplessness to loot Judean towns, and turned refugees over to Babylonian forces. The prophecy says that for this inexcusable perfidy a day of judgment is coming for Edom, a day when they will suffer defeat and be wiped out themselves. But for Judah and Jerusalem, Obadiah declares, its people and places will be restored.
God's Judgment on Edom and the Nations (1-16)
Israelite Restoration and Expansions (17-21)
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