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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

Obadiah - Introduction

Perhaps it is fitting that the prophet who has given his name to the shortest book in the OT has the briefest Press Notice—merely his name. Indeed, we might not even know that, since it means ‘One who serves (or worships) YHWH’, and so it might be a descriptive title. Perhaps this brevity is because he was unknown to the latest editors of the book, or they thought he was so well known to his readers that no details were necessary (Ben Zvi 1996: 14–19). It is also possible the title was given to an anonymous prophecy to bring the number of the smaller prophetic collections up to twelve (Ackroyd 1992 ).

No biographical or chronological details are given to us. Nor is it easy, for reasons explained below, to deduce the historical situation of his activity from the contents of the book.

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