THE MINOR PROPHETS – The Book of Obadiah – The name Obadiah means “Servant of Yahweh” literally “One who serves or worships Jehovah” – This prophecy has the distinction of being the shortest book in the O.T.
PERSONAL BACKGROUND: The name Obadiah means "Servant of Yahweh" (literally -- "One who serves or worships Jehovah"). This prophecy has the distinction of being the shortest book in the OT. There are twelve different individuals in the OT with this name (a very common name), but no indication that any of these other individuals are to be identified with this particular prophet. Nothing is known about his life, background or personality except what little can be inferred from this prophecy. It is assumed that he was a native of Judah. Others feel he may also have been among the circle of prophets attached to the Jerusalem Temple. The Jewish Talmud states Obadiah was not Jewish, but rather an Edomite proselyte God used to rebuke his own people. DATE: In addition to being the shortest book in the OT, Obadiah also "bears the distinction of being the most difficult of all the prophecies to date" (Gleason Archer). His work is ascribed to periods ranging from 845 to 400 BC. There are two major theories: 585 BC --- This is the view held by most liberal scholars. It places this prophecy about a year after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. 845 BC --- This is the view held by "a good majority of the evangelical scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries" (Archer). It places the prophecy during the days of King Jehoram (848 - 841 BC) when Jerusalem was attacked by the Philistines and Arabians (with probable cooperation from the Edomites --- II Kings 8:20; II Chron. 21:8-10, 16-17). This view seems to be the most probable. (For an excellent defense of this position see -- A Survey of OT Introduction, by Gleason L. Archer, Jr., p. 299-303, and A Commentary on the Minor Prophets, by Homer Hailey, p. 28-29.) [link]
Obadiah 1 – The Prophet Obadiah prophesying about the same time or slightly before the prophet Zephaniah will have a very similar contrasting message style to that of the Prophet Zephaniah [actually Zephaniah coming later his style would be similar to Obadiah] — ‘Obadiah 1:15 For 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.’ – ‘Obadiah 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the House of Jacob shall possess their possessions.’
Obadiah 1:21 And saviours [lit. liberty, freedom] shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the Mount of Esau; and the [Blessed] Kingdom shall be the LORD'S. - The Prophet Obadiah closes his short Ministry to Israel with a prophecy and a blessing regarding the coming Millennial reign of the Messiah Jesus Christ.