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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Obadiah, Book of

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There is nothing in this prophecy to fix its date. The whole of it relates to Edom or the Edomites. Edom (Esau) is characterised in scripture by his deadly hatred to his 'brother Jacob,' Obadiah 10 . His pride is spoken of, exalting himself as the eagle, setting his nest in the firmament of heaven, and seeking his safety in the high caves of the rocks, which well answers to their habitations in Idumea.

Part of the prophecy may refer to the time when Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon. In Psalm 137:7,8 , Edom is associated with Babylon as against Jerusalem. Obadiah 12 to 14 of the prophecy exactly describe the manner of a people like the Arabs when a city was captured. There are seven reproaches against them: they helped to pillage the place, stood in by-places to cut off any that escaped, and delivered them up to their enemies. These intimations of their assisting in the destruction of Jerusalem have led to the prophecy being usually dated B.C. 587, the year following the destruction.

The prophecy, however, probably looks onward to the last days, when Israel, restored to their land, will be attacked by Edom, and kindred nations. Psalm 83 . Idumea will be their rendezvous, and the sword of the Lord will be filled with blood. Isaiah 34:5,6 . Obadiah depicts the Jews themselves as God's instruments for the destruction of Esau; which agrees with Isaiah 11:14 ; Daniel 11:41 . "Upon mount Zion shall be deliverance . . . . the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble." Obadiah 17,18 . The destruction shall be complete: "every one of the mount of Esau" shall be cut off by slaughter; "there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau." Obadiah 9,18 . Their land shall be possessed by Israel, for God's ways are retributive. The prophecy ends with "the kingdom shall be Jehovah's."

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Obadiah, Book of '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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