Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, contains both a message to the people of Edom and by extension, to the nations. First, Obadiah explains the punishment Edom will incur and the reason for it. Then, he applies that principle to the last days.
Author and Date
Although Obadiah is named as the prophet in verse 1, it is unclear which Obadiah is prophecying for many are named in the Old Testament. The date is difficult to pinpoint also. Edom is jeering Judah for some calamaty which befell her. The exact event is unclear, but it is most likely the final destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. The date, then, would appear to be about 587 or 586 B.C.
- Coming destruction of Edom (:1-9)
- Cause of Edom’s judgment: her malice against Israel (:10-14)
- Cause of the nations’ judgment (:15-21)
Edom rejoiced to see the fall of Israel. This response was offensive to God for two reasons. The first reason is the simple fact that one ought not to rejoice over the ills that others suffer because they may suffer the same lot. Secondly, the offense is worse because Esau and Jacob are brothers. God is not asking Edom to love her enemies, but her own flesh and blood. God reiterates that Israel is the blessed people, and someday Edom will be again a servant of Israel.