Introduction to the prophecy of Obadiah

The Book of Obadiah was written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC when the neighbouring people of Edom took advantage of Judah’s troubles to loot the city and assist the invaders. Obadiah prophesies that Edom will be punished for its actions.


Tafila in Southern Jordan (Biblical Tophel in Edom) (Uri Juda)

The site of Tophel, an Edomite town (modern-day Tafila in Jordan)   (Uri Juda)



Title?   The Book of Obadiah.

Written by whom?   The prophet Obadiah.

When?   Written shortly after 587BC.

Where?   In exile in Babylonia just after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC.

To whom?   His message was aimed at the people of Edom.

What was the message?   The people of Edom will be punished for looting Jerusalem and assisting the Babylonian invaders.


Obad 1:1-11   Obadiah (meaning ‘servant of the LORD’) prophesies that the LORD will punish Edom for attacking Judah after the fall of Jerusalem in 587BC.

“You did violence to your relatives, the Israelites, so you will be covered with shame and destroyed for ever. You stood aside without helping while strangers carried Israel's treasures away. When foreigners entered Israel's city gate and threw lots to decide what part of Jerusalem they would take, you were like one of them.” (Obadiah 1:10-11)

This prophecy was fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar’s army swept south a few years later and conquered the territory of Edom, to the south east of Judah (see also Ezekiel 35:1-15).

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