James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.Obadiah 1:1
OBADIAH GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK
This prophet’s period was probably just after Babylon conquered Judah, but before they conquered Edom, a conquest he proclaims (Obadiah 1:1). Of the nations afflicting the Jews the chief were the Assyrians, the Babylonians and Edomites. Although the Edomites were close relatives to the Jews, they were the greatest enemies of all. They descended from Esau, the brother of Jacob, the ancestor of Israel. Examine a map to become familiar with their territory, and using a concordance or Bible dictionary, refresh your recollection of their relations with Israel in the past. Compare also Jeremiah 49:7-22.
The Edomites were not thought of very highly by their neighbors (Obadiah 1:2), but were conceited in their own eyes. Why (Obadiah 1:3)? Would their supposedly impregnable situation save them (Obadiah 1:4)? What figures of speech show, by contrast, the thoroughness of the destruction to fall upon them (Obadiah 1:5-6)?
Of what were they proud besides the physical features of their territory (Obadiah 1:8-9)?
Why is judgment to fall upon them (Obadiah 1:10)? Note what they did in the case of Judah in her day of need: (1) They stood aloof (Obadiah 1:11); (2) they rejoiced in her calamity (Obadiah 1:12); (3) they boasted against her (same verse); (4) they shared in her spoiling (Obadiah 1:13); (5) they prevented the escape of some of her people (Obadiah 1:14); and (6) they actually delivered up some of them as prisoners (same verse). No wonder God speaks as He does (Obadiah 1:15-16)!
And now mark the difference. Judah has been carried into captivity and her land was deserted, but was that condition in her case to continue (Obadiah 1:17)? On the contrary, what would be true of Edom (Obadiah 1:18)? In the day to come observe that while she will be swallowed up, Judah and Israel shall arise again, and possess not only their own land but that of Edom and Philistia as well (Obadiah 1:19-20). It will be the day of the Messiah (Obadiah 1:21).
1. What was Obadiah’s period?
2. What is his mission?
3. What relation existed between the Edomites and Israelites?
4. Have you identified the territory of the first named on the map?
5. How did they show enmity toward Israel?
6. What contrast will be seen in Edom and Israel in the time to come?
7. When will that be?