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What’s In The Book: Obadiah

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The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book of Tanach (Biblical canon), only one chapter long. It is directed at the nation of Edom, not at either of the Jewish kingdoms.

Obadiah spoke out against the great arrogance of Edom, descendants of Jacob’s brother, Esau, a nation that believed no one could bring it down. Obadiah condemned Edom for its reaction to the destruction of Judah: “In the day that you stood aloof, in the day that strangers carried away his [Judah’s] substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on your brother in the day of his disaster, neither should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction…”(1:11-12).

The Edomites not only watched the destruction of the Jewish kingdom, but gloated over it and even blocked the escape of those who fled.

According to Obadiah, however, the Edomites would, in the future, suffer a great reversal of fortune and all that occurred to Judah would happen to them. Additionally, he prophesied that the Israelites would eventually return and conquer all of the land that had been theirs and had been ruled by Edom. Ultimately, [says Obadiah] dominion will be the Lord’s (1:21).

Copyright © 2011 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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