Willmington's Bible at a Glance

Obadiah at a Glance

This book records Obadiah’s prediction of the nation Edom due to their treachery and cruelty towards the nation Israel. Both peoples were the descendants of Esau (Edom) and Jacob (Israel).

Bottom Line Introduction


The book of Obadiah has but one theme, and that is predicting the great fall of Edom. In this case the wall was the lofty mountainous city of Petra. But fall it would, and all of the devil’s men could not put it together again.

Edom’s sin was two-fold: pride and treachery. The pride was against God, and the treachery against Israel. On several occasions the nation of Edom had sided with Israel’s enemies in spite of the fact that its people were related to Israel by blood: the Edomites through Esau, and the Israelites through Jacob.

Thus, the animosity which began in Rebekah’s womb (Gen. 25:22) is described and denounced by Obadiah. It would reach its high water mark centuries later when a (partial) descendant of Esau would attempt to kill a descendant of Jacob.

“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him” (Mt. 2:13).

Facts Regarding the Author of this Book

1. Who? Obadiah. He authored the shortest Old Testament book.

2. What? The Book of Obadiah.

3. When and where? 850 B.C., from Judah.

4. Why? To pronounce judgment upon Edom.

5. To whom? The nation Edom.

Key Events

1. His prediction concerning Edom's total destruction

Key Individuals

1. Obadiah: Hebrew prophet who had but one message – the total destruction of the nation Edom for their sins of pride and treachery

Key Places

1. Edom: a mountainous and desert area inhabited by the descendants of Esau, known as the Edomites, condemned by Obadiah for their pride and treachery

Unique Features

1. The book of Obadiah is the shortest Old Testament book.

2. It is quoted from or alluded to only once in the New Testament.

3. Obadiah’s repeated two-fold theme, the sin of and judgment upon Edom serves as a background, explaining the prophet Malachi’s strange work: “was not Esau Jacob’s brother? Saith the Lord; yet I loved Jacob and I hated Esau . . .” (1:2, 3).

4. Divine punishment upon Edom is referred to in more Old Testament books than against any other foreign nation, with Obadiah being but one of eight doing so. The other books are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, and Malachi.

Comparison with Other Bible Books


1:1-9 is virtually identical to Jer. 49:7-22.


Writing a short while later, Joel, like Obadiah, spoke of Edom’s violence against Judah (1:10; Joel 3:19).

Both speak of pagan nations “casting lots” for God’s chosen people and city (1:11; Joel 3:3).

Both speak of pagan nations receiving their just deserts for mistreating Israel (1:15; Joel 3:4, 7)

Both speak of the “day of the Lord” (1:15; Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:14).

Both speak of people on Mount Zion escaping destruction (1:17; Joel 2:32).

Titles for and Types of Jesus

1. The Punisher of Edom

Dr. H. L. Willmington
Founder & Dean, Willmington School of the Bible
Founder & Dean, Liberty Home Bible Institute
Professor, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Copyright © 2007 by Harold L. Willmington. Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.

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