The Human Truth Foundation

The Book of `ōbhadhyah / Obadiah / Abdias

http://www.humanreligions.info/obadiah.html

By Vexen Crabtree 2022

#bible #christianity #judaism #minor_prophets #Obadiah #old_testament

Jewish Tanakh
Title: `ōbhadhyah
Section: 8th book of Nevi'im - Trei Asar (The Twelve)

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Protestant Bibles
Title: Obadiah
Section: Minor Prophets

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Next: Jonah

Catholic Bible
Title: Abdias
Section: Minor Prophets

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Next: Jonas

Eastern Orthodox Bibles
Title: Obadiah
Section: Minor Prophets

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Next: Jonah

Chapters in Obadiah:
1 
Total verses: 21

The shortest book in the Old Testament, probably written in the 5th century BCE1, but maybe in the 6th. It ends with yet-another prophecy that Zion will rise to glory1, but, its main thrust is to insult the heathen nation of Edom, which was an area populated at least since the Iron Age, and whose Kings are mentioned in Genesis 36:31-43. The anonymous author says it is prideful because it is mountainous and that it is small and widely hated (Obadiah 1:2). Judea at one point invaded and took over Edom, and since then ruled it and appointed its leaders. Relations were not good; when Jerusalem was defeated by King Nebuchadnezzar II in the 6th century BCE, the Edomites joined in with looting Jerusalem (Obadiah 1:11-15), no doubt rejoicing in being free of their vassal status.

But, Hebrew theology had developed the idea that all of the nations were founded by various Hebrews and Esau had created Edom. Although historically untrue, this led Obadiah to the expectation that Edom would help defend Judea, hence, he was distraught that they didn't. He declares that Edom will be judged by God and destroyed (Obadiah 1:3-4,8-9,18-19)1.

Not much of the text holds true. Firstly, in Obadiah 15 it says the day of the Lord is near, where all nations will be judged by God - clearly, it's clear that this never happened, and thousands of years later the New Testament still has to say the same thing. Also, the moral judgement of Obadiah is hollow because Edom was also attacked, but Judea didn't help them either. The Hebrews didn't rise up and take arms against Edom as demanded in Obadiah 1:1 and Edom wasn't wiped out as promised in Obadiah 1:18. As Judea and Edom were weakened by the Babylonians, the Edomites moved northwards, settling in southern Judea (the opposite of what Obadiah wanted), where they became known in Greek as the Idumeans.


1. The 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (Originally from the Trei Asar)

#12 #bible #christianity #judaism #minor_prophets #old_testament

The 8th part of the Hebrew holy text the Nevi'im is called the Trei Asar (The Twelve), and from it the Christians extracted the 12 books of the Old Testament that are together known as the Minor Prophets, including Obadiah. They are not chronological and they are collected together as 'minor' prophets simply because they are shorter than the 'major' prophets2. The Hebrews wrote a great number of religious texts; the reason that 12 in particular were selected is because religious scribes would create collections of 12 wherever possible, as it was considered a magical number3.

For more, see:

2. Obadiah and Jeremiah's Failed Predictions of the Depopulation of Edom

#israel #jordan

Obadiah 1:18 says in the 6th or 5th century BCE that the House of Esau will be eliminated, and that no-one will remain. Jeremiah 49:17-18 also says that no-one would live the region of Edom any longer. But that's not how history transpired. Firstly, the region of Edom was continually occupied since before the Iron Age, and wasn't populated by Esau. It's not accurate to call Edom "the House of Esau". But even if that made sense, they weren't wiped out anyway.

As Judea and Edom were weakened by the Babylonians, some Edomites moved northwards, settling in southern Judea. But many stayed where they were - the archaeological record does not show that the area became depopulated, nor even that there was a sudden change in who those people were. The ones who moved north into Judea, where they settled and left historical evidence of their stable presence for centuries afterwards, became known by their Greek name as the Idumeans. The region of Edom is now half in Israel and half in Jordan, including many towns, villages and settlements, including the cities

3. The text contents of Obadiah (21 verses)

KJVYLTNotes
1The 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.Thus said the Lord Jehovah to Edom, A report we have heard from Jehovah, And an ambassador among nations was sent, `Rise, yea, let us rise against her for battle.'

For more on Obadiah 1:1 see God's Methods of Communication: Universal Truth Versus Hebrew and Arabic: 8. Christianity: Examples from the Bible

Obadiah 1:1 comments in a different section

Obadiah 1:2 is referenced on The 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (Originally from the Trei Asar): 4. The Book of `ōbhadhyah / Obadiah / Abdias

Obadiah 1:2 is discussed on this page in a different section

Obadiah 1:3-4,8-9,18-19 is referenced on The 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (Originally from the Trei Asar): 4. The Book of `ōbhadhyah / Obadiah / Abdias

Obadiah 1:3-4,8-9,18-19 comments in a different section

Obadiah 1:11-15: See The 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (Originally from the Trei Asar): 4. The Book of `ōbhadhyah / Obadiah / Abdias

Obadiah 1:11-15 is referenced on this page in a different section

Obadiah 1:18: See The 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament (Originally from the Trei Asar): 4. The Book of `ōbhadhyah / Obadiah / Abdias

Obadiah 1:18 is discussed on this page in a different section

Obadiah 1:18 comments in 2. Obadiah and Jeremiah's Failed Predictions of the Depopulation of Edom

2Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.Lo, little I have made thee among nations, Despised `art' thou exceedingly.
3The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?The pride of thy heart hath lifted thee up, O dweller in clifts of a rock, (A high place `is' his habitation, He is saying in his heart, `Who doth bring me down `to' earth?')
4Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.If thou dost go up high as an eagle, And if between stars thou dost set thy nest, From thence I bring thee down, An affirmation of Jehovah.
5If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?If thieves have come in to thee, If spoilers of the night, How hast thou been cut off! Do they not steal their sufficiency? If gatherers have come in to thee, Do they not leave gleanings?
6How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!How hath Esau been searched out! Flowed out have his hidden things,
7All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; that they eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.Unto the border sent thee have all thine allies, Forgotten thee, prevailed over thee, have thy friends, Thy bread they make a snare under thee, There is no understanding in him!
8Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?Is it not in that day -- an affirmation of Jehovah, That I have destroyed the wise out of Edom, And understanding out of the mount of Esau?
9And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.And broken down have been thy mighty ones, O Teman, So that every one of the mount of Esau is cut off.
10For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.For slaughter, for violence `to' thy brother Jacob, Cover thee doth shame, And thou hast been cut off -- to the age.
11In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.In the day of thy standing over-against, In the day of strangers taking captive his force, And foreigners have entered his gates, And for Jerusalem have cast a lot, Even thou `art' as one of them!
12But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.And -- thou dost not look on the day of thy brother, On the day of his alienation, Nor dost thou rejoice over sons of Judah, In the day of their destruction, Nor make great thy mouth in a day of distress.
13Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;Nor come into a gate of My people in a day of their calamity, Nor look, even thou, on its misfortune in a day of its calamity, Nor send forth against its force in a day of its calamity,
14Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.Nor stand by the breach to cut off its escaped, Nor deliver up its remnant in a day of distress.
15For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.For near `is' the day of Jehovah, on all the nations, As thou hast done, it is done to thee, Thy deed doth turn back on thine own head.
16For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.For -- as ye have drunk on My holy mount, Drink do all the nations continually, And they have drunk and have swallowed, And they have been as they have not been.
17But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.And in mount Zion there is an escape, And it hath been holy, And the house of Jacob have possessed their possessions.
18And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.And the house of Jacob hath been a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame, And the house of Esau for stubble, And they have burned among them, And they have consumed them, And there is not a remnant to the house of Esau, For Jehovah hath spoken.
19And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.And they have possessed the south with the mount of Esau, And the low country with the Philistines, And they have possessed the field of Ephraim, And the field of Samaria, And Benjamin with Gilead.
20And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.And the removed of this force of the sons of Israel, That `is with' the Canaanites unto Zarephat, And the removed of Jerusalem that `is' with the Sepharad, Possess the cities of the south.
21And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's.And gone up have saviours on mount Zion, To judge the mount of Esau, And the kingdom hath been to Jehovah!'