Obadiah Commentaries



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The Twelve Minor Prophets
Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum
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Commentaries, Word Studies, Devotionals, Sermons, Illustrations
Old and New Testament




Resources on Obadiah
Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals
See disclaimer
Updated December 14, 2014

("Servant of Yahweh")

A Rock that Falls
A Kingdom that Endures
Obadiah 1-9 Obadiah 1-9 Obadiah 15-21




Obadiah 1-9 Obadiah 10-14
Judah Persecuted
Obadiah 15-16
Judgment of Nations
Obadiah 17-21
Judah Restored
"The arrogance of your heart has deceived you...I will bring you down."
Obadiah 3-4
"Because of
violence to
your brother Jacob"
Obadiah 10
"As you have done,
it will be
done to you."
Obadiah 15
As someone has said
"Not our (Edom's) way, but Yahweh!"

Key Words: The day (Obadiah 1:11, 12, 13, 14), Day of the LORD (Obadiah 1:15), Edom/Esau (Obadiah 1:1, 8) or Esau (Obadiah 1:6, 8, 9, 18, 19, 21), Jacob (Obadiah 1:10, 17, 18) or Judah (Obadiah 1:12), Nations (Obadiah 1:1, 1:2, 1:15, 16), My holy mountain (Mt Zion) (Obadiah 1:16, 17, 21), Mountain of Esau (Obadiah 1:8, 9, 19), Declares the LORD (Obadiah 1:4, 8, Obadiah 1:1) - See related discussion - key words  and marking key words

Christ in All the Scriptures  - A M Hodgkin - Between the Gulf of Akaba and the Dead Sea lies a range of precipitous red sandstone heights, known as Mount Mount Seir.

Here Esau settled after he had despised his birthright, and his descendants, having driven out the Horites (Genesis 14:6), occupied the whole of the mountain (Deut 2:12). The capital city Sela, or Petra, “Rock (word study of Petra),” was a city unique of its kind amid the works of man (See Images; See Wikipedia on Petra). Perched like an eagle’s nest (Obadiah 1:4) amid inaccessible mountain fastnesses, the dwellings were mostly caves, hewn out of the soft rock (Obadiah 1:3, 6), and placed where you could scarce imagine a human foot could climb.

Judgment of Edom. Against this people the prophecy of the unknown prophet Obadiah, “a worshipper of Jehovah,” was directed.

To Israel God had commanded (Deut 23:7), “Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother.” But Edom had shown an implacable hatred to Israel from the time that he refused him a passage through his country on the way from Egypt to Canaan (Nu 20:14–21) to the day of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, when Edom malignantly cried “Raze it, raze it” (Ps 137:7-note).

For his pride and cruel hatred the total destruction of Edom was decreed (Obadiah 1:3, 4, 10). The people were driven from their rocky home five years after the destruction of Jerusalem, when Nebuchadnezzar, passing down the valley of Arabah, which formed the military road to Egypt, crushed the Edomites. They lost their existence as a nation about a century and a half B.C., and their name perished at the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans. “As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee.” (Obadiah 1:15)

Deliverance for Israel

The book closes with the promise of deliverance for Zion: “And the House of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” (Obadiah 17) “The first step in the future successes of the Jews is the recovery of what was previously their own” (Speaker’s Commentary).

Obadiah predicts the coming of the Day of the Lord and the establishment of Messiah's Kingdom.

The Old Testament Presents...Reflections of Christ by Paul R. Van Gorder - Excerpt

Tracing the stages of Edom's decline is a valuable study.

First, the prophet accused them of standing aloof (Obadiah 1:11). In every conflict between right and wrong, the person who remains neutral does much of the damage.

Second, they actually saw the destruction and distress of Jerusalem with their own eyes (Obadiah 12). What a terrible thing to refuse to help the Lord's people! In the present Jewish situation, we would do well to consider the fact that God's attitude has not changed toward His chosen people. Oh, I know that one may argue the craftiness of the Jews, pointing out that they are still supplanters. Even so, we must not join those who would condemn them. I fear for any nation that causes grief to Israel. [cp. Ge 12:1-3]

Third, the Edomites gloated when Israel fell (Obadiah 1:12).

Fourth, they spoke proudly; they had what we call the ''pharisaical attitude.'' Edom stood by and said, ''That's all right; they probably deserved it.''

Fifth, not only were the Edomites guilty of wicked indifference, they eventually became actively involved in Israel's distress (Obadiah 1:13).

Sixth, Edom took advantage of Judah's trouble by plundering some of their wealth (Obadiah 1:3).Sin is never the sudden outburst of a moment. (Note carefully the steps these relatives of Israel had taken in their downfall.)

Seventh, they gave open assistance to the enemy (Obadiah 1:14). When the Israelites escaped and tried to flee, the Edomites cut them off from their defenses and handed them over to their pursuers.

Yes, it's the old story of the progression of sin. The Old Testament prophet was thundering out the New Testament principle of ''whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap'' (Galatians 6:7-note).

Read Obadiah 1:15-16 of Obadiah. Five years later, Nebuchadnezzar invaded the mountain stronghold of Edom. The people learned the meaning of Obadiah's words, ''As thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy reward shall return upon thine own head'' (Obadiah 1:15).

Chapter and Verse
Hold pointer over link
New American Standard Bible

Obadiah 1:1
Obadiah 1:2
Obadiah 1:3
Obadiah 1:4
Obadiah 1:5
Obadiah 1:6
Obadiah 1:7
Obadiah 1:8
Obadiah 1:9
Obadiah 1:10
Obadiah 1:11

Obadiah 1:12
Obadiah 1:13
Obadiah 1:14
Obadiah 1:15
Obadiah 1:16
Obadiah 1:17
Obadiah 1:18
Obadiah 1:19
Obadiah 1:20
Obadiah 1:21

Albert Barnes Notes
Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Joseph Benson
Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Adam Clarke
Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Church Pulpit Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Bible.org Resources
Resources that Reference Obadiah
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Recommended Resource
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Obadiah 1



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Obadiah 1-21
Obadiah - 22 Thumb Nail Pictures

Biblical Illustrator
Anecdotes, illustrations, etc
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages


  Obadiah 1 Commentary

John Calvin Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Commentary on Obadiah
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Thomas Constable
Expository Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

HINT: Click here to Scroll Bible text synchronized with Constable's notes. Very useful feature! 

Expository Commentary Notes

John Dummelow Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

Easy English
Simple Vocabulary

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Arnold Fruchtenbaum
Israelology - Commentary on Israel
Note: This resource is listed because it has numerous
commentary notes that relate to the OT Prophetic Books

Israelology: Part 1 of 6  Introduction: Definition of Terms

Israelology: Part 2 of 6  Israel Present (Note: Article begins on Page 2)

Israelology: Part 3 of 6  Israel Present (Continued)

Israelology: Part 4 of 6 - Israel Future (Part One)

Excerpt from Part 4/6: The Remnant of Israel - According to Romans 11:25–27-note, all Israel will be saved. According to Isaiah 10:20–23-note, only the Remnant will be saved. This is not a contradiction if understood in the context of Israel’s national salvation. Zechariah 13:8–9 points out that two-thirds of the Jewish population will be destroyed during the Tribulation (Ed: See Great Tribulation). Only the Remnant will survive, the escaped of Isaiah 4:2-note; Isa 10:20; Isa 37:31–32; Joel 2:32; and Obadiah 17. The remaining one-third become believers, so at that point all Israel and the Remnant of Israel become one and the same, as Micah 2:12–13 shows = "I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel." The all of thee and the Remnant of Israel become identical, for with Israel’s national salvation the whole nation joins the Remnant (Mic 2:12). Then, Messiah returns to rescue them (Mic 2:13).

Israelology: Part 5 of 6 - Israel Future (Part Two)

Israelology: Part 6 of 6 Other Relevant Topics - Illustrations of Israel (including marriage)

A C Gaebelein
Commentary on Obadiah
The Annotated Bible
Conservative, Literal Interpretation


Obadiah 1:1-9 Commentary

Obadiah 1:10-16 Commentary

Obadiah 1:17-21 Commentary

Tony Garland
Commentary on Obadiah
Transcripts and Audio
Conservative, Literal Interpretation


Obadiah 1:1-4 Commentary
Obadiah 1:1-4 Commentary Deceived by Pride

Obadiah 1:5-9 Commentary
Obadiah 1:5-9 Commentary - The Destruction of Wisdom

Obadiah 1:10-14 Commentary
Obadiah 1:10-14 Commentary - Opposing God's Chosen

Obadiah 1:15-18 Commentary
Obadiah 1:15-18 Commentary - The Day of the Lord Upon All Nations

Obadiah 1:19-21 Commentary
Obadiah 1:19-21 Commentary - The Kingdom Shall be the Lord's

Geneva Study Bible Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

John Gill
Commentary on Obadiah
Caution is advised
(Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally
and all too often spiritualizes the text and replaces
Israel with the Church (note)

James Gray
Concise Bible Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Obadiah 1 Commentary

David Guzik
Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Robert Hawker
Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

Ebenezer Henderson
Commentary on Obadiah
from "The Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets"
(originally published 1845)
General Preface

James Rosscup writes "This 1858 work supplies much help on matters of the text, word meaning, resolving some problems, etc. Some have found it one of the most contributive sources in getting at what a text means." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works or Logos Format)

Obadiah Commentary

Matthew Henry
Commentary on Obadiah
Be cautious (Acts 17:11-note): Does not always interpret the Scripture literally
and sometimes replaces
Israel with the Church (note)
(Click example of his interpretative approach which is often allegorical) (Or another example)

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Homiletical Commentary
on the Minor prophets
Commentary on Obadiah
Multiple Contributors (Spurgeon, Luther, Gurnall, Trapp, etc)
Homiletics , Illustrations
Interesting Resource
Be a Berean - Not Always Literal

Obadiah 1 Commentary and Critical Notes - topics covered include the following...
Obadiah 1:1-2 The Solemn Message
Obadiah 1:3-4 Pride of Heart
Obadiah 1:5-6 The Irreparable Loss
Obadiah 1:7-9 Reliance on Broken Reeds
Obadiah 1:10, 11 Unbrotherly Conduct and Its Consequences
Obadiah 1:12-14 Violation of Social Duty
Obadiah 1:15, 16 The Day of Retribution
Obadiah 1:17 The Kingdom an Asylum in Judgment
Obadiah 1:18-21 The Kingdom Regained and Enlarged
Obadiah 1 Illustrations to Chapter 1

H A Ironside
Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Best "devotional flavor" commentary on the Minor Prophets

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Jamieson, Fausset, Brown
Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible

Note: JFB is one of the more literal, conservative older commentaries (prior to 1900). Sample excerpt of eschatological (prophetic, apocalyptic) passage Zechariah 14:2 - "gather all nations, etc. — The prophecy seems literal (compare Joel 3:2). If Antichrist be the leader of the nations, it seems inconsistent with the statement that he will at this time be sitting in the temple as God at Jerusalem (2Thessalonians 2:4); thus Antichrist outside would be made to besiege Antichrist within the city. But difficulties do not set aside revelations: the event will clear up seeming difficulties (Ed: Interesting statement!). Compare the complicated movements, Daniel 11:1-45-note." Comment on Zech 14:11 - "no more utter destruction — (Jer 31:40). Literally, “no more curse” (Rev 22:3-note; compare Malachi 4:6-note), for there will be no more sin. Temporal blessings and spiritual prosperity shall go together in the millennium: long life (Isaiah 65:20-22), peace (Isaiah 2:4-note), honor (Isaiah 60:14-16), righteous government (Isaiah 54:14; Isaiah 60:18). (Zechariah 14 - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible)

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Obadiah 1 Commentary - Unabridged Version

Keil & Delitzsch
Commentary on the Old Testament on Obadiah
See caveat regarding this commentary


Rosscup - This is the best older, overall treatment of a critical nature on the Old Testament Hebrew text verse by verse and is a good standard work to buy. The student can buy parts or the whole of this series. Sometimes it is evangelical, at other times liberal ideas enter...In prophecy it is amillennial. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works).

Obadiah Commentary

Paul E. Kretzmann
Popular Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

Lange's Commentary
Edited by J P Lange and Phillip Schaff
Obadiah Expounded by Paul Kleinert

Minor Prophets Introduction - over 50 pages
Obadiah 1 Commentary - Exegetical and Critical

Living Water Commentary
Robert Neighbour

Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

J Vernon McGee
Thru the Bible
Commentary on Obadiah

Mp3 Audio
Click to listen or
Right click and select "Save Target as"
Literal, futuristic interpretation
Complete Commentary of Obadiah on one zip file

Obadiah Introduction
Obadiah 1:1 Commentary
Obadiah 1:2-3 Commentary

Obadiah 1:4
Obadiah 1:5-9 Commentary

Obadiah - Crime of Edom

Obadiah 1:10-13 Commentary

Obadiah 1:14 Commentary

Obadiah 1:15 Commentary

Obadiah 1:16, 17 Commentary
Obadiah 1:18-21 Commentary

Miscellaneous Resources
Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals
 on Obadiah

Enter Query below to search articles >30  conservative Theological Journals - An annual or monthly fee (click here - lower monthly charge also available) is required to view the entire article but will give you access to literally thousands of conservative articles. Search by book You can also search by chapter like: John 1 or Gen. 2 You can also search by simple or complex references like: James 1:2 or Hebrews 1:1-3,6; 5:4

Search Theological Journal Articles by Verse

Representative journal articles:

Inerrancy And The Minor Prophets -- By- Mal Couch

Old Testament Passages Referring To The Day Of The Lord -- By- Warren Vanhetloo

The Kingdom Of God In The Old Testament -- By- Martin J. Selman

The Character Of Israel’s Future In Light Of The Abrahamic And Mosaic Covenants -- By- Robert Vasholz

Obadiah Accountability in Relationships - Bob Spender

The Bible’s Watchword Day of the Lord -- Richard L. Mayhue (Another source)

Theological Journal Articles Online

Lloyd J Oglivie - Preacher's Commentary (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah) - conservative, literal, futuristic- excellent for preaching

Obadiah, Jonah and Micah (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)- T. Desmond Alexander, David W. Baker, Bruce Waltke- Rosscup: A good, concise conservative commentary, with Baker on Obadiah, Alexander on Jonah and Waltke on Micah. Overall it is quite competent and carefully thought through. Baker sees Obadiah 21 fulfilled in a king on earth after the Second Advent (p. 43 - Baker writes "This salvation is better seen as eschatological, when the Messianic Kingdom will be inaugurated and Israel will achieve universal dominion under its ideal King - Ge 49:10; cf Ezek. 21:25-27; Rev 5:5-6") and defends the unity of verses 17–21 with the earlier part of the book. Alexander defends an early date of the Book of Jonah (8th century) against several arguments (51–63), and authorship by one writer (63–69), apparently Jonah of 2 Kings 14:25. He favors actual, historical events, not a parable or any fiction form, and capably sums up answers to problems, but appears thin on how to explain a great fish taking in Jonah, though he believes it was a miracle (110–11). Waltke provides a good verse by verse study, enriched by expertise in exegesis, history, customs, etc. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

James Montgomery Boice - conservative, literal, futuristic - excellent for preaching Rosscup comments: The large, two-column pages contain much good material on the relevance of the words for then and for now, dealing with such topics as love, repentance, and sincerity (Hosea 6). A prolonged contemplation of these pages and an application of their principles will produce substantial Christian growth. The author could improve the work by being more definite sometimes in specifying in what framework God will bless Israel in the future (e.g., Hosea 14).  Vagueness such as in Joel 2:1-11, where he says the invader is neither locusts nor a human army, is a drawback. Wordiness and wandering in his discussions is another shortcoming, as in using Joel 2:28 to take off into a long discussion of clericalism. He finds fulfillment of Joel 2:28 at Pentecost, yet it would help to point out some aspects that were (Rosscup)

Amos, Obadiah, Jonah- An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture - New American Commentary - Frank Page, Billy K. Smith - very helpful in Sunday School lesson and Sermon Preparation

Exploring the Minor Prophets John Phillips - Rosscup on John Phillips - A respected popular expositor on a number of biblical books here has two introductory chapters, then a chapter of about 20–30 pp. on each prophet (50 on Zech.). Several charts aid readers, and a detailed outline runs before each exposition. The exposition is in general surveys of sections, at times taking a view on a main problem. In Hosea 1:2, he feels that God had Hosea marry an immoral woman but Phillips offers no help on the moral issue. Phillips is premillennial, seeing Israel’s future kingdom blessings as in the Millennium after Christ’s Second Coming (Hosea 3:5; Joel 3:14ff; Amos 9:15; Zeph. 3:9ff; Zech 2:10–13; 14:1–21). In Mal. 2:15 he has “one” refer to God making husband and wife into one, and in Mal 4:5 he thinks the Elijah will be fulfilled in one of the two witnesses in Rev 11:3-13-note. The work helps on broad coverage, and is quite readable for preachers, church teachers, students and lay people wanting a general devotional sweep. (Ibid) Editorial Comment: Phillips very often has a "devotional flavor."

Joel, Amos, Obadiah- An Exegetical Commentary- Thomas J. Finley Rosscup comments: This conservative and premillennial work by a professor of OT at Talbot School of Theology has a good bibliography of five pages and a very full discussion of many issues, a rich use of other studies, help in Hebrew exegesis, and a good effort on word meanings. Hebrew words are transliterated into English. Finley sees literal locusts in chaps. 1 and 2 of Joel. One wishes that he had listed and given arguments, yet he does give some when he arrives at individual verses. It sounds as though he believes rich blessing will come to Israel (not the church in this case) in Joel 2:18-27, but it also sounds like he sees it realized in past history. He is not wholly clear. He sees a partial fulfillment of Joel 2:28-32 in Acts 2 and the fulfillment of details of Joel 3:9ff. in the future tribulation period and Messianic Kingdom after the second advent, not in the church or the ultimate state. The treatment of Amos 9:11-15 could be stronger in support for a premillennial view. The discussion about when the fulfillment will come to Israel is seemingly vague. (Rosscup)

Ligonier's Top 5 - Caveat Emptor! some are amillennial and not literal/futuristic (exception is Irvin Busenitz who is premillennial - read the review)

Book Review - Obadiah and Jonah- A Commentary by Hans Walter Wolff

Old Testament Commentaries for Bible Expositors 1987-92 -James Rosscup

Rosscup Ranks Commentaries on Minor Prophets
Minor Prophets Overall Ranking by Rosscup


1. T. Laetsch (Amill)
2. R.
Chisholm (Premill)
3. C. Bullock (Premill)
4. C. F. Keil/ F. Delitzsch (Amill)



1. Bible Knowledge Commentary entries
2. C. Feinberg
3. J. Boice (Premill)
4. P. Fink (Premill)



1. H. A. Ironside
2. J. Phillips


OBADIAH Overall Ranking by Rosscup


1. I. Busenitz (Premill)
2. T. Finley (Premill)
3. P. R. Raabe
4. J. H. Eaton



1. C. Feinberg (Premill)
2. D. W. Baker
3. P. Beyer (Premill)
4. W. L. Baker (Premill, BKC)
6. H. Wolf (Lib)
7. D. Stuart (Amill)
8. R. Chisholm (Premill)



1. J. M. Boice
2. J. Phillips
3. H. A. Ironside

Best Commentaries
Search 8000 Classic Works for Obadiah to retrieve 100's of hits Logos.com

See discussion of the Day of the Lord = Obadiah 1:15

On Site
The Prophets and the Promise - 433 Page Book W J Beecher

Chart of Book of Obadiah - Insight for Living Ministries - Charles Swindoll

Chart of Book of Obadiah

Charts on Obadiah
Elijah and Obadiah. Christian Friend

Obadiah Comments - 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Obadiah, Psalms (Jehosophat, Ahab, and the Prophet Elijah)

David Colburn
Obadiah, Theology of - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology

Obadiah, Book of - Holman Bible Dictionary

Obadiah, Book of - Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Obadiah, Book of - ISBE,  Easton's

Obadiah - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary

Obadiah - Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Obadiah - Morrish Bible Dictionary

Obadiah - 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica

Obadiah - Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

Obadiah - Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Dictionary Articles

Getting off the Sidelines - Obadiah
Excerpt: In Elie Wiesel's autobiographical novel, The Town Beyond the Wall, he tells the story of Michael, a young Jew who survived the Holocaust. Michael traveled at great personal risk behind the Iron Curtain to his Hungarian hometown. Though his memory burned with images of the soldiers and police who had brutalized him and his loved ones, Michael returned not for revenge but to satisfy his curiosity. "This, this was the thing I had wanted to understand ever since the war. Nothing else. How a human being can remain indifferent."

Rick Ezell
The Commanding Importance of the Prophetic Scriptures Charles Feinberg

Dr Gene Getz gives brief (5-15') pithy, practical videos by  which present powerful principles for life application! Instructions: Click Holman Christian Standard Bible Study Bible. Type in the Scripture and click Video Player Tool in right column for Dr Getz's practical points related to that Scripture.

Gene Getz
Obadiah - An Overview Grace Institute

Synthetic Bible Studies - Obadiah
Excerpt: As Dr. Angus remarks, Israel had no greater enemy than the Edomites, though they were then close relatives. "They were proud of their wisdom, (Obadiah 8), and of their rocky and impregnable position, (Obadiah 3). But the prophet foretells the uncovering of their treasures, and rebukes their unkind treatment of the Jews, their kinsmen, in rejoicing over their calamities, and encouraging Nebuchadnezzar utterly to exterminate them (Ps 137:7); for all which an early day of retribution was to come; "As thou hast done it shall be done unto thee' (Obadiah 15).But the chosen race themselves had just been carried into captivity; the Holy Land was deserted; and the chastisement denounced against the Edomites might therefore appear not to differ from that which had already inflicted upon the seed of Jacob. The prophet, therefore, goes on to declare that Edom should be as though it had never been, and should be swallowed up forever, while Israel should rise again from her present fall; should repossess not only her own land, but also Philistia and Edom; and finally rejoice in the holy reign (Millennial Reign ) of the promised Messiah."

James Gray
The Minor Prophets J. Hampton Keathley, III

Holman Christian Standard Bible -Study Bible (HCSB Study Bible) - Enter Scripture. Study notes synch with Scripture. Mouse over underlined words pops up the Greek or Hebrew word. Activate this feature by selecting the "Alpha & Omega" Icon on bar above the Scripture. The HCSB is a very well done, literal translation.

Note: This excellent resource is free as of 12/18/13.

Sample Comment on Obadiah 19-21 - The land of Edom will be given to the Israelites living in the Negev, or the southern section of the land. God's people, who were once exiles, will once again possess the land that they had taken originally from the Canaanites. Saviors, or deliverers, will rule the hill country of Esau, and the Lord will rule over the entire kingdom (Ed: Cf. Millennial Kingdom).

Holman Publishing

Precept Helps on Obadiah and Joel Lessons 1-3

Louisiana Precept

Obadiah -Intro, Date, Setting, Themes, Interpretative Challenges, Outline
When were the Bible books written?
Excerpt: Historical and Theological Themes - The book is a case study of Ge 12:1–3, with two interrelated themes: (1) the judgment of Edom by God for cursing Israel. This was apparently told to Judah, thereby providing reassurance to Judah that the Day of the Lord (Obadiah 15) would bring judgment upon Edom for her pride and for her participation in Judah’s downfall; (2) Judah’s restoration. This would even include the territory of the Edomites (Obadiah 19–21; Isa 11:14-note). Obadiah’s blessing includes the near fulfillment of Edom’s demise (Obadiah 1–15) under the assault of the Philistines and Arabians (2Chr 21:8–20) and the far fulfillment of the nation’s judgment in the first century A.D. and Israel’s final possession of Edom (Obadiah 15–21).

John MacArthur

An Introduction to the Book of Obadiah
Excerpt:  In Hebrew the book is titled hydbu meaning servant of Yahweh. This may have been a popular name as with Ahab's steward who met Elijah (cf. 1 Ki 18)

David Malick

An Argument of the Book of Obadiah

David Malick
The Prophet's Watchword: Day of the LORD Richard Mayhue
The Day of the Lord Jeff Miller
Minor Prophets - Book Introductions
Amos and Obadiah - Introductory Notes, Outlines
J Vernon McGee

G Campbell Morgan's devotional/practical thoughts make good fodder for sermon preparation! Obadiah - Living Messages
Excerpt: In spite of all difficulty, persecution, and opposition, Jacob will become Israel, and Esau will  have judgment by the way of saviors. Restoration and perfection for Jacob; retribution and destruction for Esau. These are certain. Yet the profane may become sacred, for saviors appear upon the mount of Zion. The living message of Obadiah is to individuals also, for all its principles are operating in human life. What sort of man am I? Am I profane as was Esau, or am I like Jacob? I do not think there are any other types. Even those of us who believe in God, who in the deepest of us have faith and real desire to fulfill the purpose of God, are Jacobs. He has to take us to the Jabbok (read Ge 32:22-32), and cripple us in order to crown us. He has to be patient with us; and He is patient, or we had been lost. The God Who chastises us and leads us through trouble is set upon doing us good at the latter end; and all the discipline and trouble, pain and punishment, are in order that at last we may realize our own deepest purpose, and satisfy His heart. Are we profane, doing without God? We may be wonderfully successful materially; we may mount up as eagles; we may be our own gods, acting independently of Heaven, of the spiritual world, and building our nests among the stars; but already God is bringing us down. Our very confederacy with flesh is working our ruin. The profane man can be made sacred, and if we will but recognize that “the kingdom shall be the LORD’s,” and will but kiss His scepter and bow to His control, and bend our proud necks in worship, and our knees in prayer, yielding ourselves to His revealed Saviour King, then He will make again the vessels, and we also may become His chosen. If not, all our boasting and all our building cannot secure our salvation.

G Campbell Morgan

Outline Studies of Obadiah -

Excerpt: Obadiah’s design is to predict the overthrow of Edom. The Idumeans were the neighbors of the Jews, and their kinsmen, being the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob. But as they did not show any concern for the misfortunes of Israel, as they rather rejoiced thereat, the cordiality which might have been expected to exist between them gave place to intense and bitter hatred. The Edomites, according to Obadiah, are types of those who ought to be friends and are not, who ought to be helpers in the day of calamity, but who are found on the other side. The prophet touches on their pride and self-confidence, Obadiah 3; then denounces their violence against their brother Jacob in the day of his trouble, Obadiah 10-14. In the remainder of the verses he utters the most terrific predictions as to the final and complete destruction of Edom. The certainty of the future triumphs of Zion and the enlargement of Israel’s borders is announced. Obadiah sees the house of Jacob and the house of Joseph, probably denoting all Israel, dispossessing Edom and occupying their land. Partially and typically the prophecy has been fulfilled, but no doubt it awaits a more complete accomplishment, when God will set His hand to recover His people, and make good to them the promises to the fathers.

The book of Obadiah is a favorite study of modern Jews. In it they read the future of their own people and of Christendom; for they hold that by Edomites are meant Christians who have treated them much as old Edom did their ancestors, and by Edom is specially meant Rome. Kimchi says, “All that the prophets have said about Edom and its destruction in the last times has reference to Rome.” The fifteenth verse of Obadiah (Obadiah 15) is significant: “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.” It is lex talionis, the law of retaliation. Back on those who do evil against their fellows rebounds the like injury. A notable instance of it is seen in Judges 8:18, 19-note and Jdg 1:5-note, where we read of the cruelty of Adoni-bezek which returned on himself— “as I have done, so God hath requited me.” Iniquity always recoils. Into the pit, the wicked dig for others, sooner or later they fall. The reprisals of sin are frightful.

W G Moorehead

NIV Bible - Obadiah
Excerpt: Since the Edomites are related to the Israelites (Obadiah 10), their hostility is all the more reprehensible. Edom is fully responsible for her failure to assist Israel and for her open aggression. The fact that God rejected Esau (Ge 25:23; Mal 1:3; Ro 9:13) in no way exonerates the Edomites. Edom, smug in its mountain strongholds, will be dislodged and sacked. But Israel will prosper because God is with her.  (Ed: And because He is a covenant keeping God!)

NIV Study Bible

Key to Obadiah
Excerpt:  KEY TO UNDERSTANDING: It is imperative that we view Obadiah's utterances from the standpoint of God's over-all purpose. Edom became illustrative of any nation that failed to recognize God's eventual purpose for His chosen people (Ed: Israel, not the Church).

William Orr

Download Lesson 1 of Inductive Bible Study on Joel & Obadiah - "Spare Your People, Lord" - includes Obadiah in with double spacing, wide margins

Precept Ministries
Through the Bible Book by Book - Obadiah Myer Pearlman
Obadiah's 1:15-17 Hymn of Indignation Wil Pounds
Zephaniah, Joel, Obadiah, and Habakkuk - Well Done John Stevenson

Book of Obadiah Overview - Insight for Living Ministries

Chart of Book of Obadiah - Insight for Living Ministries - Charles Swindoll
Excerpt: How do I apply this? Obadiah’s prophecy focuses on the destructive power of pride. It reminds us of the consequences of living in a self-serving manner, of following through on our own feelings and desires without considering their impact on those around us. Do you struggle to set aside your own wants and desires for those of God and others? Though such pride has been part of the lives of fallen human beings since the tragedy of the fall in Eden, Obadiah offers us a stark reminder to place ourselves under God’s authority, to subject our appetites to His purposes, and to find our hope in being His people when the restoration of all things comes.

Charles R Swindoll

Analysis of Obadiah - Well Done

James Van Dine
Search 8000 Classic Works for Obadiah to retrieve 100's of hits Logos.com
Minor Prophets Study Guide - Questions/Lessons Learned Don Anderson
Obadiah Sermon Notes Brian Bell
Commentary on Obadiah J G Bellet
Obadiah Sermon Notes Rich Cathers
The Book of Obadiah Imanuel Christian
Commentary on Obadiah J N Darby
Be a Berean - Not always a literal interpretation. Caveat Emptor!
Obadiah 1 Commentary for English Readers
C J Ellicott

Obadiah Commentary
Excerpt: The Day of the Lord (Obadiah 1:15-21) What is the Day of the Lord? It is the time when God will judge the enemies of Judah. When is it? Before we answer this question we need to understand what the prophets often had in mind as they spoke or wrote their visions. The Day of the Lord occurs at the Second Coming of Christ when He comes in judgment on the nations for their rebellion against God and mistreatment of God's people. It is a little confusing as your read the prophets to determine which part of their prophecy is going to be fulfilled in the near future and which will be fulfilled during the tribulation (see Great Tribulation) or the Millennium. Perhaps the following drawing will show what the prophet saw and how the events are often separated in time. This concept was first set forth by Chrysostom in the 4th Century.

Hampton Keathley IV
Concise Bible Commentary on Obadiah James Gray
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on Obadiah Keil and Delitzsch
Commentary on Obadiah William Kelly
Obadiah Introductory Notes and Commentary Henry Morris
Obadiah Commentary William Kelly
Obadiah Prophet of Edom's Doom S. Lewis Johnson
Obadiah - commentary
Author and Time of Writing

Purpose of Writing

Overview of Contents

Arend Remmers
Obadiah Sermons Sermon Central

The Nations In The Millennium And The Eternal State
Excerpt: The most extended prophecy concerning Edom is found in Obadiah which is entirely devoted to this subject. Obadiah 1-14 speak of the judgment of God upon Edom because of their sins in rejoicing over the captivity of the children of Judah. These prophecies had at least partial fulfillment. The passage, Obadiah 1:15-21, which conclude the book, picture Edom in the Day of the Lord as having experienced divine judgment and being under the domination of the house of Jacob. The age-long controversy between Esau and Jacob will be resolved in Jacob’s favor in keeping with the sovereign choice of God in which it was declared that the elder should serve the younger (Romans 9:12). Taken as a whole, the prophecies relating to Edom have already had amazing fulfillment in so far as God’s judgment has fallen upon them in the past. The ultimate fulfillment awaits the second coming of Christ.

John Walvoord

Obadiah - Be very discerning: Utley is Amillennial and replaces Israel with the Church. Why listed? Because he has interesting grammatical (word and phrase studies) and historical comments. (See Related Resources: Millennium; Israel of God)

Bob Utley

Obadiah - Overview Commentary - Mp3

Obadiah - Overview Commentary - Transcribed Manuscript

Robert Vannoy


Obadiah - You Shouldn't Have Done That: A Sermon Based on the Book of Obadiah Timothy T Henry
Obadiah Sermons, et al Sermons.Logos.com
Obadiah Sermon

In this sermon, we read about the people of Edom, and the destruction that their pride brought them. Pride is a prelude to destruction. If we succumb to the illusion that we are in control and God is remanded to the passenger seat, then we are setting ourselves up for a fall. That is true for individuals and for nations.

Jimmy Long
Obadiah 1:1-4 The Mother of All Sins

There is a sin that is at the root of all sin. Dr. Ernest Easley calls it the mother of all sins. He points to Edom and the Book of Obadiah to reveal the nature of this sin

Ernest L Easley
Obadiah 1-21 Looking Out for One Another Bruce Goettsche
Obadiah 1:17 Our Daily Homily F B Meyer
Obadiah 1:21 The Kingdom Shall Be The Lord's G Campbell Morgan

F B Meyer Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Obadiah Commentary

G Campbell Morgan Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Obadiah Commentary

Henry Morris
Defender's Study Bible Notes
Conservative, Literal Interpretation
Below are all notes on Obadiah

Obadiah 1:1 - 1 Obadiah. Obadiah (“the servant of Jehovah”) is considered by many to be the first prophet chronologically (although his prophecy is the smallest chapter in the Old Testament), but there are at least a dozen Obadiahs mentioned in the Bible. None of the other men can be identified as the prophet Obadiah, so his identity and date of writing are unknown.

Obadiah 1:3 clefts of the rock. Edom’s main city was the famous “rock city,” Sela, or Petra, considered almost impregnable because of the very narrow gorges which were its only access routes. Edom also controlled the chief trade routes between Asia and Egypt, becoming very prosperous.

Obadiah 1:10 against thy brother Jacob. Bible commentators have often written about Jacob and Esau as though Esau were the innocent victim of Jacob’s cupidity. However, a careful reading of the record will indicate that Esau and father Isaac were at fault in attempting to deprive Jacob of his God-ordained leadership of the chosen nation of Israel (see notes on Genesis 25–27). Esau’s resultant determination to slay Jacob, plus the influence of his pagan wives (Genesis 26:34-35; 27:41,46; 28:6-9), carried over into the attitude of all his descendants toward the children of Israel (note Ezekiel 35, especially verse 5). Finally, because of Edom’s continual harassment of Israel, God judged them with a decree of national extinction.

Obadiah 1:15 day of the LORD. If, as many scholars believe, Obadiah was the first of the writing prophets, this would be the first use of the important phrase, “the day of the LORD,” which is applied so frequently in Scripture to the judgments of the last days. Although Obadiah’s theme here is specifically the coming judgment on Edom, his vision goes far beyond that, applying it to “all the heathen”—that is, all the Gentile nations.

Obadiah 1:17 phrase "possess their possessions" - The children of Esau, as well as those of Ishmael, Lot, and others, have thus far kept “the house of Jacob” from obtaining their divine inheritance, as promised by God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as David. Eventually, however, God’s Word will be vindicated, and Israel will “possess their possessions” in the coming age of Christ’s kingdom.

Obadiah 1:21 saviours. In the last days, “out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:3). There is, of course, only one Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and He shall reign from Jerusalem in that day. However, Christ has also promised that “he that overcometh�to him will I give power over the nations; And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26-27). “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection . . . they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). In this sense, therefore, all the redeemed of this age can be considered as “saviors,” reigning with the one true Savior, in the age to come. In any case, “the kingdom shall be the LORD’s!”

Net Bible Notes
Obadiah Commentary Notes
 on Obadiah

Recommended: NETBible notes are in the right panel. You can also select the tab for "Constable's Notes." As you scroll the Bible text in the left panel, the notes are synchronized and will scroll to the same passage. Also has a nice parallel Bible feature (see Tab = "Parallel"). Select a different Bible translation (see Tab = "Bible"). Open Greek/Hebrew tab. Mouse over shows corresponding English word and has short definition at bottom of right panel.

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Nisbet's Pulpit Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah Commentary

Our Daily Bread
Devotionals on Obadiah
Radio Bible Class

Obadiah 1:1-7
Obadiah 1:15

Joseph Parker
The People's Bible
Commentary on Obadiah

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Matthew Poole - English Annotations
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

The Pulpit Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary
Obadiah Homilies

Edward B Pusey
Commentary on Obadiah
The Minor Prophets"
(originally published 1860)
General Introduction

James Rosscup writes "This work originally appeared in 1860. The present publication is set up in two columns to the page with the text of the Authorized Version reproduced at the top. Scripture references, Hebrew words, and other citations are relegated to the bottom of the page. The work is detailed and analytical in nature. Introduction, background and explanation of the Hebrew are quite helpful. Pusey holds to the grammatical-historical type of interpretation until he gets into sections dealing with the future of Israel, and here Israel becomes the church in the amillennial vein." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works)

Obadiah Commentary

C I Scofield
Reference Notes on Obadiah

Obadiah 8 Commentary - Edom - See  Genesis 36:1 Note
Obadiah 21 Commentary - See Kingdom; See
1 Corinthians 15:24 Note

From Biblical Illustrator

Obadiah 1 Sermons

Charles Simeon
Sermon on Obadiah
Horae Homileticae
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

NOTE: If you are not familiar with the great saint Charles Simeon see Dr John Piper's discussion of Simeon's life - you will want to read Simeon's sermons after meeting him! - click Brothers We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering (Mp3 even better)

Obadiah 1:17 Blessed Effects of the Gospel in the Latter Day

Chuck Smith
Notes and Audio

Obadiah 1 Commentary

George A Smith
Commentary on Obadiah
The Expositor's Bible
The Book of the Twelve
The Prophet in Early Israel
The Eighth Century in Israel
Influence of Assyria Upon Prophecy
The Seventh Century in Israel
The Early Years of Josiah (639-625): Jeremiah and Zephaniah
The Rest of the Century (625-586): The Fall of Nineveh; Nahum and Habakkuk

James Rosscup writes "Though old this is well-written and often cited, with many good statements on spiritual truths. Users will find much that is worthwhile, and sometimes may disagree, as when he sees the Jonah account as allegorical (Ed: See Tony Garland's article on the Rise of Allegorical Interpretation)." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected Works or Logos Format)

Obadiah 1-21 Commentary - Edom and Israel
Israel Under the Persians (539-331BC)
From the Return from Babylon to the Building of the Temple (536-516BC)

Speakers Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah
Indexed by Chapter and Verse

Obadiah Introduction

Obadiah 1:1-3 Commentary

Obadiah 1:4-7 Commentary

 Obadiah 1:8-13 Commentary

Obadiah 1:14-18 Commentary

Obadiah 1:19-20 Commentary

Obadiah 1:21 Commentary

C H Spurgeon
Devotionals on Obadiah
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

Obadiah 1:11 Devotional

C H Spurgeon
His Only Sermons
 on Obadiah

Obadiah 1:3 Sermon Notes - Self Deceived
Obadiah 1:17 Possessing Possessions

Joseph Sutcliffe
Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Ray Stedman
 on Obadiah

God Judges: Amos, Obadiah
Obadiah, Death to Edom

Third Millennium
 Commentary Notes on Obadiah
Note: Not always literal interpretation

Outline & References

Structural Outline

References and Related Resources


Notes on the Text

Title - Obadiah 1:1

Battle Summons - Obadiah 1:1

Judgment and Hope - Obadiah 1:2-21

Sentences Against Edom - Obadiah 1:2-9

Edom: Its Humiliation - Obadiah 1:2-4

Edom: Its Plundering - Obadiah 1:5-7

Edom: Its Slaughter - Obadiah 1:8-9

Accusations Against Edom - Obadiah 1:10-14

Edom: Its Violence - Obadiah 1:10

Edom: Its Cruel Indifference - Obadiah 1:11

Edom: Its Cruel Boasting and Attacks - Obadiah 1:12-14

The Day of the Lord - Obadiah 1:15-21

Judgment - Obadiah 1:15-16

Deliverance - Obadiah 1:17-21

Today in the Word
 on Obadiah
Moody Bible Institute

Obadiah 1:1-9 Devotional
Obadiah 1:10-14 Devotional

Obadiah 1:15-21 Devotional 

John Trapp Complete Commentary
 Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
R A Torrey

Note: The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture (Compare Scripture with Scripture) and these cross references compiled by Torrey are the most comprehensive work of this type with over 500,000 entries. However, always check the context (Keep Context King) to make sure that the cross reference is referring to the same subject as the original Scripture. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said it this way - "The Scripture is to be its own interpreter or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture." See an example of the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture. See also Use of Cross-References

Obadiah 1:1
The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

concerning  - Psalms 137:7; Isaiah 21:11; 34:1-17; 63:1-6; Jeremiah 9:25,26; 25:17,21; Jeremiah 49:17-22; Lamentations 4:21,22; Ezekiel 25:12-14; 35:3-15; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11,12; Malachi 1:3,4

We -Jeremiah 49:14,15; 51:46; Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7

and an -Isaiah 18:2,3; 30:4

Arise -Jeremiah 6:4,5; 50:9-15; 51:27,28; Micah 2:13

Obadiah 1:2
Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

Numbers 24:18; 1 Samuel 2:7,8; Job 34:25-29; Psalms 107:39,40; Isaiah 23:9; Ezekiel 29:15; Micah 7:10; Luke 1:51,52

Obadiah 1:3
The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

pride -Proverbs 16:18; 18:12; 29:23; Isaiah 10:14-16; 16:6; Jeremiah 48:29,30; 49:16; Malachi 1:4

thou -2 Kings 14:7; 2 Chronicles 25:12

saith -Isaiah 14:13-15; 47:7,8; Jeremiah 49:4; Revelation 18:7,8

Obadiah 1:4
Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

exalt -Job 20:6,7; 39:27,28; Jeremiah 49:16; Habakkuk 2:9

among -Isaiah 14:12-15; Jeremiah 51:53; Amos 9:2

Obadiah 1:5
If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?

if robbers -Jeremiah 49:9

how -2 Samuel 1:19; Isaiah 14:12; Jeremiah 50:23; Lamentations 1:1; Zephaniah 2:15; Revelation 18:10

if the -Deuteronomy 24:21; Isaiah 17:6; 24:13; Micah 7:1


Obadiah 1:6

How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

are the -Psalms 139:1; Isaiah 10:13,14; 45:3; Jeremiah 49:10; 50:37; Matthew 6:19,20

how are his -Daniel 2:22

Obadiah 1:7
All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

the men of -The Chaldeans, whose agents they became in persecuting the Jews. - Psalms 55:12,13; Jeremiah 4:30; 30:14; Lamentations 1:19; Ezekiel 23:22-25; Revelation 17:12-17

men that were at peace with thee -Heb. men of thy peace. -Jeremiah 20:10; 38:22; *margins

they that eat thy bread -Heb. the men of thy bread. -Psalms 41:9; John 13:18

there is - Isaiah 19:11-14; 27:11; Jeremiah 49:7; Hosea 13:13


Obadiah 1:8
Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

even -Job 5:12-14; Psalms 33:10; Isaiah 19:3,13,14; 29:14; 1 Corinthians 3:19,20

Obadiah 1:9
And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

thy -Psalms 76:5,6; Isaiah 19:16,17; Jeremiah 49:22; 50:36,37; Amos 2:16; Nahum 3:13

O -Genesis 36:11; Job 2:11; Jeremiah 49:7,20; Ezekiel 25:13; Amos 1:12

every -Isaiah 34:5-8; 63:1-3

mount -21; Deuteronomy 2:5

Obadiah 1:10
For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

violence - Genesis 27:11,41; Numbers 20:14-21; Psalms 83:5-9; 137:7; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 25:12; Ezekiel 35:5,6,12-15; Amos 1:11

shame -Psalms 69:7; 89:45; 109:29; 132:18; Jeremiah 3:25; 51:51; Ezekiel 7:18; Micah 7:10

and -Jeremiah 49:13,17-20; Ezekiel 25:13,14; 35:6,7,15; Malachi 1:3,4

Obadiah 1:11
In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

in the day that the -2 Kings 24:10-16; 25:11; Jeremiah 52:28-30

captive his forces -or, his substance. cast. -Joel 3:3; Nahum 3:10


even -Psalms 50:18; 137:7

Obadiah 1:12
But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

thou, etc -or, do not behold, etc. looked. -Ps 22:17; 37:13; 54:7; 59:10; 92:11; Micah 4:11; 7:8-10; Matthew 27:40-43

rejoiced -Job 31:29; Proverbs 17:5; 24:17,18; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 25:6,7; 35:15; Micah 7:8; Luke 19:41

thou have -1 Samuel 2:3; Psalms 31:18

spoken proudly -Heb. magnified thy mouth. -Isaiah 37:24; James 3:5; 2 Peter 2:18; Jude 1:16; Revelation 13:5

Obadiah 1:13
Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

looked -2 Samuel 16:12; Psalms 22:17; Zechariah 1:15


Obadiah 1:14
Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

neither shouldest -Amos 1:6,9

delivered up -or, shut up. -Psalms 31:8

in the day -12; Genesis 35:3; Isaiah 37:3; Jeremiah 30:7

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.

the day -Psalms 110:5,6; Jeremiah 9:25,26; 25:15-29; 49:12; Lamentations 4:21,22; Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 3:11-14; Micah 5:15; Zechariah 14:14-18

as -Judges 1:7; Psalms 137:8; Ezekiel 35:15; Joel 3:7,8; Habakkuk 2:8; Matthew 7:2; James 2:13

Obadiah 1:16
For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

as ye -Psalms 75:8,9; Isaiah 49:25,26; 51:22,23; Jeremiah 25:15,16,27-29; 49:12; Joel 3:17; 1 Peter 4:17

swallow down -or, sup up. -Isaiah 42:14; *marg:; Habakkuk 1:9

and they shall be -Isaiah 8:9,10; 29:7,8

Obadiah 1:17
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

upon -Isaiah 46:13; Joel 2:32

shall be -Jeremiah 46:28; Amos 9:8

deliverance -or, they that escape. -Jeremiah 44:14,28; Ezekiel 7:16

there shall be holiness -or, it shall be holy. -Isaiah 1:27; 4:3,4; 60:21; Joel 3:17; Zechariah 8:3; 14:20,21; Revelation 21:27

possess -Isaiah 14:1,2; Joel 3:19-21; Amos 9:11-15

Obadiah 1:18
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

shall be -Isaiah 10:17; 31:9; Micah 5:8; Zechariah 12:6

the house of Joseph -2 Samuel 19:20; Ezekiel 37:16,19; Amos 5:15; 6:6

for stubble -Psalms 83:6-15; Isaiah 5:24; 47:14; Joel 2:5; Nahum 1:10; 1 Corinthians 3:12

and there -9,10,16

Obadiah 1:19
And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

the south -Numbers 24:18,19; Joshua 15:21; Jeremiah 32:44; Amos 9:12; Malachi 1:4,5

the plain -Joshua 13:2,3; 15:33,45,46; Judges 1:18,19; Isaiah 11:13,14; Ezekiel 25:16; Amos 1:8; Zephaniah 2:4-7; Zechariah 9:5-7

the fields of Ephraim -2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2,7-10,17; Psalms 69:35; Jeremiah 31:4-6; Ezekiel 36:6-12,28; Ezekiel 37:21-25; 47:13-21; 48:1-9

Benjamin -Joshua 13:25,31; 18:21-28; 1 Chronicles 5:26; Jeremiah 49:1; Amos 1:13; Micah 7:14

Obadiah 1:20
And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

the captivity of this -Jeremiah 3:18; 33:26; Ezekiel 34:12,13; Hosea 1:10,11; Amos 9:14,15; Zechariah 10:6-10

Zarephath -1 Kings 17:9,10; Luke 4:26

Sarepta -which is in Sepharad, shall possess. or, shall possess that which is in Sepharad, they shall possess. -Jeremiah 13:19; 32:44; 33:13

Obadiah 1:21
And saviors (deliverers) shall come up (ascend) on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S.

saviours (NAS = "deliverers") -Judges 2:16; 3:9; 2 Kings 13:5; Isaiah 19:20; Daniel 12:3; Joel 2:32; Micah 5:4-9; Zechariah 9:11-17; 10:5-12; 1 Timothy 4:16; James 5:20

to judge -Psalms 149:5-9; Daniel 7:27; Luke 22:30; 1 Corinthians 6:2,3 (Ed: Beloved, this most likely refers to believers who will be judges in the coming
Millennial Kingdom! cf Rev 5:10-note); Revelation 19:11-13; 20:4

and the -Psalms 2:6-9; 22:28; 102:15; Isaiah 9:6,7; Daniel 2:35,44; Da 7:14,27; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:10,13; Luke 1:32,33; Revelation 11:15; 19:6


John MacArthur comments on "deliverers will ascend … to judge." Just as the Lord raised up judges to deliver His people (cf. Ne 9:27), so will He establish similar leaders to help rule in the Millennial Kingdom (cf. 1Co 6:2; Rev 20:4-note). the kingdom will be the Lord’s. When the nations are judged in the Day of the Lord, He will then set up His Millennial Kingdom, a theocracy in which He rules His people directly on earth (Zec 14:4–9; Rev 11:15-note) (The MacArthur Study Bible)


ESV Study Bible - Those appointed by God to deliver the people and bring just governance. The Lord has always been the King over the nations (Obadiah 1:1), but here the prophet promises the future, definitive manifestation of God’s kingly rule from Mount Zion, i.e., Jerusalem. That end-time redemptive reign will be inaugurated by the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah (Mt 12:28) and consummated at His coming in glory (Matt. 25:34).


ESV Study Bible - $15 for lifetime online access or free with print version.
ESV MacArthur Study Bible - $20 for lifetime online access

Comment: These two online resources allows one to view both the MacArthur Study Bible Notes & ESV Study Bible Notes at the same time & both synchronize with the Scripture! Very nice tool!

Daniel Whedon Commentary on the Bible
 Commentary on Obadiah
Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note):
Not always literal, especially on prophetic passages

Obadiah 1 Commentary


Related Resources

Obadiah 1:1-7

"The pride of your heart has deceived you.- Obadiah 1:3

My daughter travels all over the world as a flight attendant and often comes home with some fascinating tales. One such story is about former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who was seated in an aircraft that was preparing for takeoff. A flight attendant, noticing that he did not have his seatbelt fastened, asked him kindly, "Excuse me, sir, but would you mind fastening your seatbelt?"

As the story goes, Muhammad Ali looked up with that saucy grin of his and said in a slow, gravelly voice, "Superman don't need no seatbelt!" Without missing a beat, the flight attendant packed a punch with this quick reply: "Superman don't need no airplane, so how about fastening up?"

Of course, Ali was only joking. If a person really believed he was Superman, he would be seriously deluded. He would be like the ancient Edomites in today's Scripture who had been self-deceived by their own pride. The truth is, we all have the same tendency.

A. W. Tozer aptly described the kind of Christians the Lord longs for us to be: "Men and women who have stopped being 'fooled' about their own strength and are not afraid of being 'caught' depending on their all-sufficient Lord."-- Joanie E. Yoder
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Sift the substance of my life,
Filtering out the sin and strife;
Leave me, Lord, a purer soul,
Cleansed and sanctified and whole.-- Lemon

To experience God's strength,  we must admit our weakness.

Obadiah 1:1-14
Gloating At The Enemy

Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament. Yet hidden away in its brief record is a vital question that affects us all: How should we respond when we see an enemy experience misfortune?

The prophet Obadiah ministered during the time that the city of Jerusalem was under fierce attack by the armies of Babylon. The neighbors of Jerusalem, the Edomites, were actually cheering on the enemy armies to destroy and kill (Ps. 137:7-9). Ironically, these hurtful jeers were spoken by blood relatives of the Jews. They were descendants of Jacob, and the Edomites were descendants of Esau.

Obadiah condemned the Edomites for gloating: “You should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction” (Obadiah 1:12).

If someone has repeatedly been hurtful to us, it is easy to give in to vindictive pleasure when they experience misfortune. But Scripture admonishes us, “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Pr. 24:17). Instead, we are to maintain an attitude of compassion and forgiveness, and trust God to bring justice in His time.— by Dennis Fisher

For Further Thought How to handle people-problems (Romans 12): Be patient (Ro 12:12), bless persecutors (Ro 12:14), be humble (Ro 12:16), don’t take revenge (Ro 12:19), defeat evil with good (Ro 12:21).

Love for God can be measured by the love we show for our worst enemy.

Obadiah 1:1-9
Today in the Word

Though you soar like the eagle and make your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down. - Obadiah 1:4

Theodore Roosevelt and his friend William Beebe performed a ritual each night before going to bed. They would scan the night sky until they found the constellation Pegasus. Once they located it, they looked for a small speck of light nearby and began to chant: “That is the Spiral Galaxy of Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each larger than our sun.” Roosevelt would then turn to Beebe and say, “Now I think we are small enough. Let’s go to bed.” Perspective is often the first step to gaining humility.

The nation of Edom--the descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau--badly needed perspective in Obadiah’s day. Edom had been the enemies of Israel from its inception. When Moses asked to pass through Edomite territory in peace before beginning Israel’s conquest of the land of Canaan, he was refused, and Edomites even brought out their large army to prevent Israel from entering their land (Num. 20:14–21).

Mount Seir, a range of mountains that was fifteen to twenty miles long, epitomized Edom’s rugged terrain. Its inaccessibility was a source of pride (v. 3). God, however, had a plan that would give Edom the humbling they so badly needed. He planned to raise a coalition of nations against them. As a result, this long-time enemy of Israel, that had so proudly considered itself invincible, would become “small among the nations” and “utterly despised” (vv. 1–2).

Today’s passage underscores God’s fierce protection of His people. Although He does not always shield us from the malice of our enemies, He does hold them accountable for their actions 
(Today in the Word. Moody Bible Institute. Used by Permission. All rights reserved)

Obadiah 1:1-9
We have heard a message from the LORD. - Obadiah 1:1
The killing of Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, made headlines around the world earlier this year. An elite team of U.S. Navy SEAL commandos flew by helicopter into bin Laden’s mansion compound in Abbottabad, about 30 miles north of Pakistan’s capital city. In only 40 minutes, they succeeded in killing bin Laden and escaping with his body and a valuable trove of intelligence materials. After verifying his identity, they buried him at sea. In his address to the nation, President Obama said, “Justice has been done.”

The theme of justice, already familiar this month from our study of Joel and Amos, is also at the heart of the Old Testament’s shortest book, Obadiah. No specific biographical information is known about this prophet, whose name means “servant of the Lord” or “worshiper of the Lord.” From internal data, the book is usually thought to have been written around 586 B.C., which means that Obadiah was a contemporary of Jeremiah. Obadiah is the only book of the Bible entirely aimed at a foreign nation. Specifically, the book’s main point is that Edom would be judged by God for her participation in and gloating over Israel’s downfall (vv. 1, 8-9; cf. Isa. 34:5-17). Edom may also be read as a representative of all world powers and forces opposed to God’s plan and kingdom. Themes include justice, judgment, accountability, holiness, mercy, and divine sovereignty.

The Edomites were descended from Esau, Jacob’s twin, so there was a great deal of history between the two nations. Sela, also called Teman, was Edom’s capital city, and since it means “rock” or “cliff” it can probably be identified with the ruins of Petra, 50 miles south of the Dead Sea. A fortress city in rugged terrain, the city appeared unconquerable. Nonetheless, God promised to “make you small,” a fitting response to their pride (vv. 2-4). Friends and allies would turn on them. The nation would be so completely destroyed that there would be nothing left. Clearly, Edom’s fate would be of divine, not human, origin (vv. 5-7).

The Edomites found security and national self-esteem in their rocky fortress of a capital city. They thought no one could bring them down. God thought differently. The Edomites had put their faith in the wrong object. What about us? In what do we find security and self-esteem? We need to examine ourselves to make sure we’re finding these things in Christ alone. He is the Cornerstone. “The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame” (1 Peter 2:4-6).

Obadiah 1:10-14
You should not look down on your brother in the day of his misfortune. - Obadiah 1:12a

Nobody likes a sore loser, but a gloating winner is just as bad. Edom had watched with glee as Jerusalem was sacked by its enemies, and the Edomites had done nothing to help their relatives in Israel. In God’s eyes their refusal to interfere was itself an act of aggression. Although the relationship between the two nations had never been good, the Edomites did share a blood tie with the people of Judah. When they stood by while “strangers” carried off Jerusalem, they were no better than one of the aggressors (v. 11).

Edom’s sin was threefold. First, they regarded the plight of the people of Jerusalem with an attitude of contempt. Second, they expressed outright glee over the city’s destruction, celebrating while the residents of Jerusalem suffered. Third, they took the opportunity to boast--perhaps bragging that their own location made them impregnable (v. 12).

But there was more to Edom’s response than “passive aggression.” They entered the city themselves to loot what was left. They also lay in wait for those who had fled from Jerusalem and killed them or even handed them over to the enemy (vv. 13–14).

The judgment of Edom was a living example of the warning found in Proverbs 24:17–18: “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” The destruction of Jerusalem was a matter of divine discipline. They deserved the punishment that they received. But Edom’s gleeful response made them liable as well. Obadiah warned that God had seen this sinful attitude and would turn His wrath from Jerusalem to Edom.

Can you think of someone who recently “got what was coming to them?” At times it is hard not to rejoice over their misfortune. This is especially true if we know that they hurt others by their actions. 
(Today in the Word. Moody Bible Institute. Used by Permission. All rights reserved)

Obadiah 1:10-14
You should not gloat over your brother in the day of his misfortune. - Obadiah 1:12
Though brothers, Esau and Jacob struggled and fought from the very beginning. While in the womb, the twins “jostled” one another. During their delivery, Jacob’s hand grasped his brother’s heel. He took advantage of Esau by trading him a bowl of lentil stew for his birthright, and later deceived their father into giving him, instead of his elder brother, a special blessing and a double portion of the family inheritance. The two men eventually reconciled, but tension and conflict between their descendants continued down through the centuries (Genesis 25; 27-28; 32-33).

The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, while the Israelites were the descendants of Jacob. Because of the family ties, Edom’s actions were like betraying a brother (v. 10; cf. Ps. 137:7). Instead of honoring kinship bonds or even extending the common cultural courtesy of hospitality, they had broken and dishonored the relationship and treated Jacob like a total stranger. In modern terms: What they should have done when passing their brother on the street was to offer greetings and assistance. Even ignoring him would have been rude. But they had gone so far as to rob him—how shameful!

Edom’s specific sins are itemized here. They stood by and did nothing when Judah was being conquered (v. 11). They actually rejoiced in their brother’s downfall (v. 12). Out of opportunism and pride, they participated in the sacking of Jerusalem, taking advantage of the moment to “seize their wealth in the day of their disaster” (v. 13). Worst of all, they set up roadblocks to catch escaping refugees, no doubt hoping to curry favor with the Babylonians by turning these prisoners over to them (v. 14). Like battlefield scavengers, they “bravely” helped themselves to the spoils of the Babylonian conquest.

This list of things they should not have done suggests an opposite list of what they should have done. They should have spoken up in support of their brother. They should have helped rather than rejoicing in Judah’s troubles. They should have acted in humility, not pride. And they should have had mercy on the Israelite refugees rather than turning them away.

Edom’s pride led them to behave like bullies, kicking the people of Judah when they were down. God, on the other hand, expresses a special love for those who are poor and weak. That’s why there are provisions for aliens and strangers in the Law of Moses (Ex. 23:9), and why “pure and faultless” religion means to “look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27), and why He is pleased to use us, weak and foolish though we are, in His plans (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

Obadiah 1:15-21
The day of the LORD is near for all nations. - Obadiah 1:15
World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has decided there is no God. In an interview, he suggested that “God” could be defined as “the embodiment of the laws of nature. However, this is not what most people would think of as God. They made a human-like being with whom one can have a personal relationship. When you look at the vast size of the universe and how insignificant an accidental human life is in it, that seems most impossible.” In his book, The Grand Design, he wrote he’s concluded that the universe was not created by a supernatural God but by a wholly natural Big Bang. The idea of a creator is “not necessary.” “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”

For all those who say in their heart, “There is no God” (Ps. 14:1), a day of reckoning will come. “The day of the LORD is near for all nations” (Obadiah 15). On that day, people will reap what they have sown. Just as Edom had sat drinking and carousing among the ruins of Jerusalem, so also will the nations be forced to drink the cup of God’s wrath on the day of judgment (Obadiah 16). As Paul wrote: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction” (Gal. 6:7-8).

Thankfully, the day of judgment is also a day of deliverance for those who love the Lord (Obadiah 17). Righteousness will triumph over sin and evil. In terms of the judgment on Edom, in a bit of divine poetic justice Obadiah said that it would be the Israelites themselves who would execute judgment on Edom, specifically that the returnees from exile would occupy the former land of Edom (Obadiah 18-20). In the end, Mount Zion would emerge not as a place of defeat and exile and destruction, but a place of victory and deliverance and power. “And the kingdom will be the LORD’s” (Obadiah 21).

If we all reaped strictly what we’ve sown, there would be no hope for any of us. Because Jesus died in our stead, however, we no longer owe a penalty of death if we trust in His name (John 3:16). When we take communion, we do so in remembrance of Him—His body, broken for us, and His blood, shed for us (1 Cor. 11:23-26). From which cup will you drink? The cup of God’s wrath, or the cup of communion? Choose love and rejoice!

Obadiah 1:11
Morning and Evening
C H Spurgeon

“Even thou wast as one of them.” — Obadiah 1:11

Brotherly kindness was due from Edom to Israel in the time of need, but instead thereof, the men of Esau made common cause with Israel’s foes. Special stress in the sentence before us is laid upon the word thou; as when Caesar cried to Brutus, “and thou Brutus”; a bad action may be all the worse, because of the person who has committed it. When we sin, who are the chosen favourites of heaven, we sin with an emphasis; ours is a crying offence, because we are so peculiarly indulged. If an angel should lay his hand upon us when we are doing evil, he need not use any other rebuke than the question, “What thou? What dost thou here?” Much forgiven, much delivered, much instructed, much enriched, much blessed, shall we dare to put forth our hand unto evil? God forbid!

A few minutes of confession may be beneficial to thee, gentle reader, this morning. Hast thou never been as the wicked? At an evening party certain men laughed at uncleanness, and the joke was not altogether offensive to thine ear, even thou wast as one of them. When hard things were spoken concerning the ways of God, thou wast bashfully silent; and so, to on-lookers, thou wast as one of them. When worldlings were bartering in the market, and driving hard bargains, wast thou not as one of them? When they were pursuing vanity with a hunter’s foot, wert thou not as greedy for gain as they were? Could any difference be discerned between thee and them? Is there any difference? Here we come to close quarters. Be honest with thine own soul, and make sure that thou art a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when this is sure, walk jealously, lest any should again be able to say, “Even thou wast as one of them.” Thou wouldst not desire to share their eternal doom, why then be like them here? Come not thou into their secret, lest thou come into their ruin. Side with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.

Obadiah 1:15-21

As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. - Obadiah 1:15b

Many people suffer from myopia, a condition that allows them to see things at close range but not far away. They are described as being nearsighted. Some are so nearsighted that they are legally blind. The Edomites suffered from spiritual myopia--too nearsighted to look into the future and realize that one day God would judge them.

The Edomites had been shortsighted in their celebration of Judah’s defeat. They had not considered that the same God who had justly punished Judah would call them to account for their treatment of their neighbors when the Day of the Lord finally arrived. All the nations will be judged on the basis of their works (v. 15). This is the fate of all those who refuse to accept the grace of God. They receive justice instead of mercy.

Under the standard of justice, the Edomites would be treated just as they had treated others. On the day that Jerusalem fell, they were giddy to the point of drunkenness. When the Day of the Lord finally comes, they will be forced to drink from another cup.

Elsewhere in the Bible, the metaphor of a cup is used to speak of God’s wrath (cf. Isa. 51:17). In Psalm 75 it is compared to a cup of foaming wine mixed with spices (Ps. 75:8). The promise in verse 16 of Obadiah that the nations “will drink and drink and be as if they had never been” speaks of an experience of divine wrath that never ends.

John Wesley described the Day of the Lord as a day of judgment and a day of mercy: “O make proof of His mercy, rather than His justice; of His love rather than the thunder of His power! He is not far from every one of us; and He is now come, not to condemn, but to save the world. He standeth in the midst! 
(Today in the Word. Moody Bible Institute. Used by Permission. All rights reserved)

Obadiah 1:15

"As you have done, it shall be done to you; your reprisal shall return upon your own head" (Obadiah 1:15).

Among others, many prominent entertainers and respected educa­tional leaders reject God and deny the existence of an absolute moral standard. They say we can determine for ourselves what is right and wrong. They laugh at words like patriotism, duty, loyalty, and godli­ness. But now their influence is reaping a bitter harvest—multiplied abortions, heartbreaking divorces, violent crimes, teenage suicides, and disturbing payoffs by foreign agents for military secrets. Discuss­ing an unprecedented rash of Americans spying for other countries, Charles Colson said that the U.S. is reaping what it has sown.

Obadiah warned the Edomites that they would reap what they had sown. Using the past tense but speaking about the future, he portrayed the lighthearted drinking of their wild parties and said that their derisive fun would soon give way to somber drinking from the cup of God's wrath. His prophecy was fulfilled. Within a few years Edom was destroyed by Gentile powers.

We must remember the reaping principle. Woven into the fabric of life, it applies to individuals as much as to nations. It's both a warning and a promise. When we do evil, we reap judgment. But when we do good, we reap the blessing of God's approval. —H V Lugt
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Those who plant thorns cannot expect to gather flowers.

Obadiah 1:17
Our Daily Homily
F B Meyer

Obadiah 1:17 The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

As long as Edom invaded and annoyed the house of Jacob, the people were unable to possess their possessions in peace. No sooner did the harvest or vintage appear, than their hereditary foes swooped down to carry off the fruits of their toils. But Edom’s dominion was to be ended; and then there would be no cloud in the sky, no barrier to their uninterrupted joy.

There are many instances of people not possessing their possessions. Such are those who put their plate and valuables into furniture depositories, and for years leave them to neglect; who have shelves of unread, uncut books; who do not realize that coal and iron mines lie under their estates; who never enjoy the wealth of love and tenderness in their friends’ hearts; who refuse to avail themselves of resources which are well within their reach.

But too many of God’s people are like this. The Father has caused all his fullness to reside in the nature of Jesus; He hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness in Him; He hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus; in our Savior are treasures of wisdom, of purity, of prevailing power, of love and patience. The Divine Merchantman has come to us to give us gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eyesalve. But we go blundering on in our own selfish, sinful, faltering way. We do not possess our possessions. We do not call into practical use the boundless reinforcements awaiting us, at every hour, within the tiniest beckoning of our faith. We are like the manufacturer who refuses to use the steam-power, though it is laid on into the mill; or the householder who refuses to touch the button of the electric light.

Obadiah 1:3. — Self-deceived
C H Spurgeon Sermon Notes

The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee. — Obadiah 1:3

This is true of all proud persons, for pride is self-deceit.

There may be proud persons in this congregation. Those who are sure that they have no pride are probably the proudest of all. Those who are proud of their humility are proud indeed.

The confidence that we are not deceived may only prove the completeness of the deception under which we labor.

In considering the case of the Edomites, and the pride of their hearts, let us look to ourselves that we may profit withal.


The prophet mentions certain matters in which they were deceived.

1. As to the estimate formed of them by others. They thought themselves to be had in honor, but the prophet says, "Thou art greatly despised" (see verse 2).

You might not be pleased if you knew how little others think of you; but if you think little of others you need not wonder if you are yourself greatly despised, for "with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again" (Matt. 7:2).

2. As to their personal security. They felt safe, but were near their doom. "Who shall bring me down? .... I will bring thee down, saith the Lord" (verses 3 and 4). Dwelling in their rock-city of Petra was no real security to them: neither may any one of us think himself proof against misfortune, sickness, or sudden death.

3. As to their personal wisdom. They talked of "The wise man out of Edom" (verse 8); but the Lord said, "There is none understanding in him" (verse 7).

Those who know better than the Word of God know nothing.

4. As to the value of their confidences. Edom relied on alliances, but these utterly failed. "The men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee" (verse 7). Rich relatives, influential friends, tried allies — all will fail those who trust in them.


1. In each of the points mentioned above, pride lay at the bottom of their error.

2. In every way pride lays a man open to being deceived.

His judgment is perverted by it: he cannot hold the scales.

His standard is rendered inaccurate: his weights are false.

His desires invite flattery, and his folly accepts it.

3. In every case a proud man is a deceived man: he is not what he thinks himself to be; and he is blind to that part of his character which should cause him to be humble.

4. In spiritual cases it is emphatically so.

The self-righteous, self-sufficient, perfectionists, etc., are all deceived by the pride of their hearts.


1. They were full of defiance. "Who shall bring me down to the ground?" This self-asserting spirit provokes hostility and leads to wars and fighting and all manner of emulations and contentions.

2. They were destitute of compassion. "Thou stoodest on the other side" (see verses 9-12). Those of kindred race were being slain, and they had no pity. Pride is stony-hearted.

3. They even shared in oppression (see verses 13 and 14). This is not unusual among purse-proud religionists. They are not slow to profit by the nurseries of God's poor people.

4. They showed contempt of holy things. "Ye have drunk upon my holy mountain" (verse 16). God will not have his church made into a tavern, or a playhouse: yet something like this may be done even now by proud hypocrites and formalists.


l. Their defiance brought enemies upon them.

2. Their unkindness was returned into their own bosom. Verse 15 shows the lex talionis in action.

3. Their contempt of God made him say, "there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau" (verse 18).

How different the lot of despised Zion! (see verses 17 and 21) Let us seek him who in Zion is above all others "the Savior." Hating all pride, let us humbly rest in him.

Then we shall not be deceived, for Jesus is "the Truth."


There is something intensely amusing, according to our notions, in the name which the Eskimo bestow upon themselves. It appears they call themselves the "Innuit" — that is, "the people" par excellence.

Stranger, henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,
Is littleness: that he who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy.— Wordsworth

If a man is a perfectionist, and thinks he is sinless, it is a proof not that he is better, but only that he is blinder, than his neighbors. — Richard Glover

When a proud man thinks best of himself, then God and man think worst of him; all his glory is but like a vapor, which climbeth as though it would go up to heaven, but when it comes to a little height, it falls down again, and never ascends more. So Adam thought that the fair apple should make him like his Maker, but God resisted his pride, and that apple made him like the serpent that tempted him with it. Absalom thought that rebellion would make him a king, but God resisted his pride, and his rebellion hanged him on a tree. — Henry Smith

The Venetian ambassador wrote of Cardinal Wolsey: "I do perceive that every year he groweth more and more in power. When I first came to England, he used to say, "His Majesty will do so and so"; subsequently, he said, "We shall do so and so"; but now he says, "I shall do so and so." But history records how Wolsey's pride went before destruction, and his haughty spirit before a fall.

Napoleon Buonaparte, intoxicated with success, and at the height of his power, said, "I make circumstances." Let Moscow, Elba, Waterloo, and St. Helena, that rocky isle where he was caged until he fretted his life away, testify to his utter helplessness in his humiliating downfall. — J. B. Gough

As God hath two dwelling-places, heaven and a contrite heart, so hath the devil — hell and a proud heart. — T. Watson


DISCLAIMER: Before you consult commentaries, sermons or other resources, first consult the Word of God, studying the Scriptures diligently (2Ti 2:15-note) and inductively (See inductive Bible study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all truth (John 16:13).



In regard to the OT Prophetic books such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and the 12 "Minor" Prophets, remember that the most accurate interpretation is derived by applying the following principles:


(1) Read the Scripture literally (unless the text is clearly figurative, e.g., Jesus said "I am the door..." Jn 10:9). If one interprets a text symbolically (allegorically, figuratively, spiritualizing) when that text makes good sense literally, one potentially opens themselves to the danger of inaccurate interpretation, for then the question arises as to who's "symbolic" interpretation is correct and how imaginative one should be in evaluating a "supposed symbol"? Many of the commentaries and sermons on the OT prophetic books unfortunately are replete with non-literal interpretations (except when it comes to Messianic Passages, which are usually interpreted literally). Therefore the watchword when reading any commentary on Old Testament prophecy is caveat emptor ("buyer beware"). Read all commentaries like the Bereans (Acts 17:11-note).


(2) Study the context which is always "king" in interpretation (don't take verses out of context.)


(3) Passages addressed to Israel should be interpreted as directed to the literal nation of Israel and should not be interpreted as addressed to the NT Church, an entity not mentioned in the Old Testament. The promises of Jehovah to the nation of Israel (e.g., see Millennial Promises) remain valid (Jer 31:35, 36, 37, Nu 23:19, Lk 21:33) and have not been passed on to the NT Church because Israel has "defaulted" (See study Israel of God). Remember that while Scripture has only one correct interpretation, there can be many legitimate applications (See Application), and therefore the OT prophetic books are extremely applicable in the lives of NT believers.


(4) Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. While an attempt has been made to list resources that adhere to these basic interpretative guidelines, not all the works listed in these collections have been read in detail. Therefore should you discover a resource you feel is NOT conservative and/or orthodox, please email your concerns.


Related Resources:


Inductive Bible Study - Guidelines to Assure Accurate Interpretation

Inductive Bible Study Interpretation of Prophetic Scripture

Interpretative Views of the Revelation of Jesus Christ
Allegorical Interpretation - Tony Garland
Interpreting Symbols - Tony Garland
Basic Considerations in Interpreting Prophecy - John Walvoord

Millennium - Biblical descriptions of this time on earth, primarily from the OT prophets


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Last Updated February 21, 2015