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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

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Commentary on Obadiah

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1 : Title.

Obadiah means “the LORD's servant.”

1–4 : Edom's pride and downfall.

The poem describes the downfall by opposites: contempt and pride, heights and the ground. Edom's capital, Teman (v. 9 ), was in rocky hills.

5–7 : Military conquest.

5 :

Gleanings: Harvesters were to leave fruit for the poor (Deut. 24.19–21 ).

6 :

Esau was Edom's progenitor (Gen. 36.1 ) as Jacob (Obad. 10 ) was Israel's.

8–14 : Edom's treachery.

8 :

Edom had a reputation for wisdom; the sages of 1 Kgs. 4.31 are regarded by some as Edomites.

9 :

Teman: the main Edomite city.

12–14 :

On Edom's crimes at the time of the Babylonian sack of Jerusalem, see Ezek. 35.1–36.7 .

15–21 : The punishment.

15 :

The day of the LORD: the time of the LORD's judgment on all the nations.

16 :

Draught: a symbol of divine wrath (see Jer. 25.15–28; Ps. 75.8 ).

19–21 :

The areas mentioned are both in and around Israel. The Negeb was the southern wilderness, Shephelah the Judean hills just east of the coastal plain. Gilead was east of the Jordan. Zarephath was on the Phoenician coast. Sepharad, in Asia Minor, is a later Heb. name for Spain.

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