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The Prophets Before the Exile

(Category 8 of 16)

Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Obadiah, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Obadiah, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how they work within the Bible’s overall framework.

Obadiah announces Edom’s downfall to Babylon, which is an image of how God will bring down all arrogant and violent nations.

Explore Obadiah



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The book of


A STRUGGLE that began in the womb between twin brothers, Esau and Jacob,
eventuates in a struggle between their respective descendants, the Edomites
and the Israelites. For the Edomites’ stubborn refusal to aid Israel, first during the
time of wilderness wandering (Num. 20:14–21) and later during a time of invasion,
they are roundly condemned by Obadiah. This little-known prophet describes
their crimes, tries their case, and pronounces their judgment: total destruction.
The Hebrew name Obadyah means “Worshiper of Yahweh” or “Servant of Yahweh.”
The Greek title in the Septuagint is Obdiou, and the Latin title in the Vulgate
is Abdias.

The Coming Judgment on Edom


THE vision of Obadiah.

1 Thus says the Lord GOD aconcerning Edom b(We have heard a report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, “Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle”):

2 “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You shall be greatly despised.
3 The apride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; bYou who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’
4 aThough you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you bset your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD.

5 “If athieves had come to you, If robbers by night— Oh, how you will be cut off!— Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, bWould they not have left some gleanings?

6 “Oh, how Esau shall be searched out! How his hidden treasures shall be sought after!
7 All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; aThe men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a 1trap for you. bNo2 one is aware of it.

CHAPTER 1 References

1 aIs. 21:11;
Ezek. 25:12;
Joel 3:19; Mal.
1:3 bJer.
Obad. 1–4
3 aIs. 16:6; Jer.
49:16 bIs.
14:13–15; Rev.
4 aJob 20:6
bHab. 2:9;
Mal. 1:4
5 aJer. 49:9
bDeut. 24:21
7 aJer. 38:22
bIs. 19:11; Jer.
49:7 1Or
wound or plot
2Or There is
no understanding
8 a[Job
5:12–14]; Is.
9 aPs. 76:5
bGen. 36:11;
1 Chr. 1:45;
Job 2:11; Jer.
10 aGen. 27:41;
Ezek. 25:12;
Amos 1:11
bEzek. 35:9;
Joel 3:19
11 aPs. 83:5–8;
Amos 1:6, 9
bJoel 3:3;
Nah. 3:10
12 aMic. 4:11;
7:10 b[Prov.
17:5]; Ezek.
35:15; 36:5
1Gloated over
2Lit. On the
day he became
13 1Gloated
14 1Handed
over to the

8 “Willa I not in that day,” says the LORD, “Even destroy the wise men from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
9 Then your amighty men, O bTeman, shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.

Edom Mistreated His Brother

10 “For aviolence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And byou shall be cut off forever.
11 In the day that you astood on the other side— In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And bcast lots for Jerusalem— Even you were as one of them.

12 “But you should not have agazed1 on the day of your brother 2In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have brejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress.
13 You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have 1gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity, Nor laid hands on their substance In the day of their calamity.
14 You should not have stood at the crossroads To cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have 1delivered

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up those among them who remained In the day of distress.

15 “Fora the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; bAs you have done, it shall be done to you; Your 1reprisal shall return upon your own head.
16 aFor as you drank on My holy mountain, So shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, And they shall be as though they had never been.

Israel’s Final Triumph

17 “But on Mount Zion there ashall be 1deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
18 The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph aa flame;

15 aEzek. 30:3
bHab. 2:8 1Or
16 aJoel 3:17
17 aAmos 9:8
1Or salvation
18 aZech. 12:6
19 aIs. 11:14
bZeph. 2:7
1Heb. Negev
20 a1 Kin. 17:9
bJer. 32:44
1Heb. Negev
21 a[James
5:20] b[Rev.
11:15] 1deliverer

But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken.

19 The 1South ashall possess the mountains of Esau, bAnd the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim And the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead.
20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel Shall possess the land of the Canaanites As afar as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad bShall possess the cities of the 1South.
21 Then asaviors1 shall come to Mount Zion To judge the mountains of Esau, And the bkingdom shall be the LORD’s.

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Blessings of Those Who Fear the LORD

A Song of Ascents.

1 BLESSED ais every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.
2 aWhen you eat the 1labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be bwell with you.
3 Your wife shall be alike a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your bchildren clike olive plants All around your table.

PSALM 128 References

1 aPs. 119:1
2 aIs. 3:10
bDeut. 4:40
1Fruit of the
3 aEzek. 19:10
bPs. 127:3–5
cPs. 52:8;
5 aPs. 134:3
6 aGen. 48:11;
50:23; Job
42:16; Ps.
103:17; [Prov.
17:6] bPs.

4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD.

5 aThe LORD bless you out of Zion, And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life.
6 Yes, may you asee your children’s children.

bPeace be upon Israel!




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