Submitted by admin on Tue, 2013-09-17 11:35.

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In the Hebrew-Aramaic part of the Bible, Obadiah is the shortest book. With the exception of the name “Obadiah,” this book includes no specifics about the prophet. The reference to the despoiling of Jerusalem (verse 11) makes it evident that the message against Edom could not have been proclaimed until after the Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar with his forces conquered the city. In the mid-sixth century BCE, Babyonlian king Nabonidus engaged in a military campaign against northern Arabia, and it is commonly believed that the kingdom of Edom came to its end at that time. This would have fulfilled the word of YHWH through Obadiah and Jeremiah, indicating that the message about the calamity to befall Edom must have been proclaimed before then.

A significant part of the “vision of Obadiah” is similar in wording to the expressions of judgment against Edom contained in the book of Jeremiah. (Compare Obadiah 1-4 with Jeremiah 49:14-16; Obadiah 5-8 with Jeremiah 49:7, 9, 10.) Basically the same testimony from Jeremiah and Obadiah could have served to emphasize that the word of YHWH regarding Edom would without fail be fulfilled.

Obadiah may have been the source of compositions other than the “vision” that is associated with his name. An extrabiblical psalm among the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q380 1 ii 8, 9) bears the superscription, “Praise [song of praise] of Obadiah.” Only a fragmentary portion of one line of this psalm is extant and is insufficient for conveying a complete thought.