Reading Through the Bible - OBADIAH

There are 2 main facts about the Book of Obadiah.

1st Main Fact
It is the shortest book in the Old Testament and the 4th shortest in the whole Bible (only 3rd John, 2nd John & Philemon are shorter).

Watch out for the 2nd main fact later in this blog post.


31st book of the OT 
31st book of the Bible

It starts with a statement in v.1

"The vision of Obadiah."

and then continues straight into the prophecy that God gave to Obadiah about the country of Edom. 

What is it?

The Book of Obadiah is one of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament which means it is Prophecy.

How Long is it?

It has only 1 chapter which contains 21 verses.

Who Wrote it?


There are differences of opinion here it could have been

1.  Obadiah the servant of King Ahab
2.  An Obadiah that lived around the same time as Jeremiah

When was it written?

It is not exactly clear when this book was written but there are thoughts of two possible periods of time

1.  around the time of Elijah during King Ahab's reign
2.  around the time of Jeremiah when there were similar messages to the country of Edom.

Why was it written?

It was written as a warning to the people of Edom

The Overview Bible  tells us the following

"Obadiah warns the neighbouring nation of Edom that they will be judged for plundering Jerusalem."

Teach Sunday School  tells us the following

"Obadiah warns the neighbouring nation of Edom that they will be judged for plundering Jerusalem.."

Who or What does Obadiah talk about? 

The coming judgement of God on the people of Edom v 1-9

The cruel treatment of the people of Edom to the people of Israel v 10-16

The final Triumph of Israel v 17-21

What background/history is there to the story of Edom?

It comes from the time of Isaac's twin sons Jacob and Esau in the Book of Genesis.

Esau lost his birthright to Jacob and the brothers were estranged but later there was a reconciliation.  God gave them both land but Jacob still had the blessing.

Later Esau's descendants were the people of Edom and Jacob's name was changed to Israel so his descendants where the Israelites. 

What does Obadiah write as encouragement? 

Edom may seem to have won against Israel but God is the one who wins in the end.

How does it end?

It ends with verse 21

Then saviours shall come to Mount Zion
To judge the mountains of Esau,
And the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.

2nd Main Fact
It is the least popular book in the Bible!

I have to add here that there were no verses or short passages in this very short book that enticed me to make any Bible Verse graphics!!!

So if you read this Old Testament book the

The Overview Bible  says

"you’ll be able to say you read Obadiah—how many people do you know who can say that? (Probably not many … it’s the least popular book of the Bible.)"

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