Obadiah Commentaries & Sermons

Commentaries, Sermons, Illustrations, Devotionals

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Obadiah Chart from Charles Swindoll
Another Obadiah Chart

("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:  See related discussion - key words and marking key words

  • The day (Obadiah 1:11, 12, 13, 14),
  • Day of the LORD (Obadiah 1:15),
  • Edom/Esau (Obadiah 1:1, 8)
  • Esau (Obadiah 1:6, 8, 9, 18, 19, 21),
  • Jacob (Obadiah 1:10, 17, 18)
  • 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) 

Interesting Facts about Obadiah

The Minor Prophets and their Message

  1. Hosea  - The Lord loves Israel despite her sin.  755-15 B.C.
  2. Joel - Judgment precedes Israel’s future spiritual revival. 835–796* B.C.
  3. Amos - God is just and must judge sin. 765-50 B.C.
  4. Obadiah - Sure retribution must overtake merciless pride. 848* B.C.
  5. Jonah - Divine grace is universal in its sweep. 780-50 B.C.
  6. Micah - Bethlehem-born Messiah will be mankind’s Deliverer. 740-690 B.C.
  7. Nahum - Doom is to descend on wicked Nineveh. 630-12 B.C.
  8. Habakkuk - Justification by faith is God’s way of salvation. 625 B.C. or earlier
  9. Zephaniah - The Day of the Lord must precede kingdom blessing. 625-10 B.C.
  10. Haggai - The Lord’s Temple and interests deserve top priority. 520 B.C.
  11. Zechariah - The Lord will remember His people Israel. 520-15 B.C.; Zech 9–14 after 500 B.C.
  12. Malachi - Let the wicked be warned by the certainty of judgment. 433-400 B.C.
  • All dates are approximate. *The text does not specifically date these prophets. As a result differences of opinion exist concerning the time of their ministries. (from The New Unger’s Bible Handbook)

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).

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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


Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

Resources that Reference Obadiah

Related to Obadiah

Anecdotes, illustrations, etc

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Expository Noteson Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Simple Vocabulary


Israelology - Commentary on Israel

Note: This resource is listed because it has numerous commentary notes that relate to the OT Prophetic Books

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).

Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Commentary on Obadiah

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

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)

Concise Bible Commentary

Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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)

Commentary on Obadiah

Caveat: Be an Acts 17:11 Berean (note): 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)

Commentary on Obadiah

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

  • 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

Commentary on Obadiah
Conservative, Literal Interpretation

Best "devotional flavor" commentary on the Minor Prophets

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)

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).

Popular Commentary
Commentary on Obadiah

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

Obadiah by Paul Kleinert

Robert Neighbour
Commentary on Obadiah

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

Thru the Bible
Commentary on Obadiah

Mp3 Audio - Literal, futuristic interpretation Recommended

Commentaries, Sermons, Devotionals
on Obadiah


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Representative journal articles:



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)

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)

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."

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)

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









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."




  • Christlike Humility: We are to evaluate our relationship with God by the extent we demonstrate true humility and compassion in all our endeavors and relationships.Video


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."



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).



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).


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)






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.


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.


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!)


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).



  • Through the Bible Book by Book - Obadiah - here is an excerpt...
    I. The Sin of Edom: Pride (Obadiah 1:1-9).
    II. Their Greatest Sin: Violence against Judah in the Day of Their Calamity (Obadiah 1:10-14).
    III. Their Punishment: National Destruction (Obadiah 1:15-21).



  • Zephaniah, Joel, Obadiah, and Habakkuk - scroll down for notes on Obadiah - Here is an excerpt...
  •  if you read this short book and see only the tiny kingdom of Edom, you miss the point of the book. It is that God will judge the nations. In this regard, Edom is seen as a mere representative of all of the nations. What is true of Edom is true of all nations. This is taught in verse 15 where we read: For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head. The purpose of this prophecy is not merely to chastise Edom. It is so that men will repent of their wrongdoing and return to the Lord. It is so that men repent and thereby stop this prophecy from coming to pass. Prophecy always has that purpose. It is not meant for you to use to draw a futuristic timeline. It is given for you to change your life.

    God cares for his people when they suffer.
    God warns but will eventually judge those who persecute his people.
    God will give victory to his people.
    God's faithful people will inherit the kingdom of God in its fullness: The kingdom will be the LORD's(Obadiah 1:21).


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.













  • Obadiah - Getting off the Sidelines - Excerpt from the introduction of his sermon...

    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." In a strange way he understood the brutality of the executioners and the prison guards. What he did not understand was the man Wiesel called a spectator, who lived across from the synagogue, the man who peered through his window day after day as thousands of Jews were herded into the death trains. His face "was gazing out, reflecting no pity, no pleasure, no shock, not even anger or interest. Impassive, cold, impersonal. The face was indifferent to the spectacle." There is a bond, Michael thought, between the brutal executioner and the victim, even though the bond is negative. ". . .they belong to the same universe; . . . But this is not true of that Other. The spectator is entirely beyond us. He sees without being seen. He is there but unnoticed." Wiesel concludes, "To be indifferent—for whatever reason—is to deny not only the validity of existence, but also its beauty. Betray, and you are a man; torture your neighbor, you're still a man. Evil is human, weakness is human; indifference is not." Indifference is a deadly sin—forever a spectator on the sidelines of life. Such were the Edomites whom Obadiah addressed in the shortest book in the Old Testament. The Edomites descendants from Esau and lived in a region south of Palestine. The people of Israel descended from Jacob. Just as Jacob and Esau fought, a feud lasted between these two people groups for 800 years. Bitterness and hatred raged. The smoldering animosity between the Israelites and the Edomites bellowed into a blaze when Edom aided Jerusalem's enemy, the great and powerful Babylon, by standing aside as a spectator.






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.



  • The Kingdom shall be the Lord's.—Obadiah 1:21
    That has ever been the ultimate hope of the men of faith. The prophets of God have always insisted upon His present and active sovereignty; but they have also declared with perfect unanimity that the day will come when that sovereignty will have its perfect victory in the subjugation of all things to Himself in the mind and heart and will of man. That victory is not yet. Men are in His Kingdom, but not willingly. Therefore, they know nothing of the peace and joy which are His will for them. They fight against righteousness, and so fail to find peace and joy, because righteousness fights against them. When in the final order, righteousness is the condition of human life, peace- and joy will inevitably follow. That is what we pray for when we say, "Thy Kingdom come." Faith is the assurance that this prayer will be answered. These final words of Obadiah's prophecy are the more remarkable, seeing that the burden of his message was that of the doom of Edom, the people who had persistently opposed Israel, and practised cruelty towards her. For this sin God would bring her down from her high and proud place, and utterly despoil her; and Israel should be given possession of her rightful inheritance. Having uttered this message, the prophet rose to a greater height, and saw the outworking of the Divine sovereignty, bringing deliverance even to Edom. Out of Zion saviours would come to judge the Mount of Esau, and then "the Kingdom shall be Jehovah's." That remains the one hope for the world and it is the one sufficient secret of confidence in all the days of darkness and travail which lead to the victory.








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.


  • 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


Commentary on Obadiah

Commentary on Obadiah


Conservative notes from Dr Morris who approaches the text seeking it's literal meaning in the context. Millennial. Click the words or phrases after the Scripture for the Study Notes and note that they are from the KJV translation.

Obadiah Commentary Notes

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.

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Devotionals on Obadiah
Radio Bible Class

The People's Bible
Commentary on Obadiah

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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

Commentary on Obadiah

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)

Reference Notes on Obadiah

From Biblical Illustrator

Sermon on Obadiah
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)

Notes and Audio

Commentary on Obadiah
The Expositor's Bible

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)

Commentary on Obadiah

Devotionals on Obadiah
Morning and Evening
Faith's Checkbook

Sermons on Obadiah

Commentary on Obadiah

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

on Obadiah

Notes on Obadiah

Note: Not always literal interpretation

Outline & References

Notes on the Text

on Obadiah

Commentary on Obadiah

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

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).

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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!

Commentary on Obadiah

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



DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).