BibleProject - Old Testament - Lesson 33

Obadiah - BibleProject

The Book of Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, consisting of only one chapter. The authorship and date of the book are uncertain, but it is generally believed to have been written after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Obadiah is a prophetic oracle against the nation of Edom, who were the descendants of Esau and lived in the region southeast of Israel. The Edomites were known for their pride and arrogance, and they took advantage of Israel's vulnerability during the Babylonian invasion. The book of Obadiah pronounces judgment on Edom for their violence against Israel and their boasting in their own strength. Despite the judgment on Edom, there is hope for Israel in the book of Obadiah, as God promises to restore his people and judge their enemies.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject - Old Testament
Lesson 33
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Obadiah - BibleProject

I. Introduction to Obadiah

A. Authorship and Date

B. Historical Context

II. Literary Features of Obadiah

A. Structure and Outline

B. Literary Techniques

III. Themes and Message of Obadiah

A. The Pride of Edom

B. Judgment on Edom

C. Hope for Israel

IV. Significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament

A. Contributions to a Larger Understanding of the Old Testament

B. Impact on the Original Audience

  • By watching this video, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the Old Testament, including its literary design and flow of thought. You will learn about the different sections of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Wisdom Literature, Major Prophets, and Minor Prophets. You will also gain insights into the stories, themes, and messages of each of these sections and how they contribute to the overall narrative of God's relationship with humanity.
  • By studying Genesis, you will gain a deeper understanding of the Old Testament and its key themes and characters, as well as the literary features of the book, such as its structure, style, and genre. The creation story is a key part of the book, as are the stories of Abraham and the patriarchs, the fall and sin, the flood and Noah, and God's covenant with Israel. Additionally, Genesis introduces readers to the Old Testament and sets the stage for the Pentateuch and Books of Moses, while also introducing many themes and motifs that continue throughout the Bible.
  • Discover the captivating stories of the patriarchs in Genesis Part 2, exploring themes of covenant, God's sovereignty, human responsibility, faith, and obedience.
  • Explore the Bible's book of Exodus to gain insight into God's rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the significance of the covenant and law, and its connection to the New Testament.
  • Gain insight into the book of Exodus and its themes of salvation and redemption, revealing God's character through his interactions with Israel, with significant influence on Jewish and Christian traditions and connections to the New Testament through its foreshadowing of Jesus Christ.
  • By studying Leviticus with The Bible Project, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical and literary context, themes, and structure of this important book in the Old Testament. You will also learn about the significance of Leviticus for understanding the Torah and its relevance for Christians today.
  • By studying The Bible Project's lesson on Numbers, you'll comprehensively understand its structure, themes, and significance, gaining insight into the journey of the Israelites in the wilderness, God's guidance, rebellion, priesthood, and offerings, as well as its historical, theological, and contemporary relevance.
  • Explore Numbers' authorship, context, structure, and theology to gain a comprehensive understanding of its significance to the Pentateuch and the Old Testament, as well as its relevance to the Christian faith today.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the book of Joshua, including its historical context, literary genre, and summary. You will learn about the book's themes, such as God's faithfulness, obedience, and judgment, and its significance in foreshadowing Christ's work and providing historical and theological implications.
  • Explore the historical and cultural context, literary design, and theological significance of the book of Judges in the Old Testament, and learn how it fits into the broader biblical storyline, including its relevance for today.
  • Explore the Book of Ruth to understand its historical context, literary features, themes of loyalty and faithfulness, redemption, the kinsman-redeemer's role, and its Old Testament significance.
  • Studying the Book of Samuel provides insight into the rise of the Israelite monarchy, the lives of Saul and David, and the importance of obedience to God, covering themes of leadership and kingship with the presence of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • By exploring the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel and the broader context of the Old Testament Historical Books, you will gain insight into the themes and messages of these books, as well as their historical and modern-day significance.
  • Through the study of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, you will gain a deeper understanding of the history of Israel and Judah, as well as valuable spiritual lessons from these Old Testament books.
  • By studying this lesson, you understand the historical and literary aspects of 1 and 2 Chronicles, emphasizing God's sovereignty, covenant faithfulness, worship, and obedience.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the historical context, key themes, and modern applications of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, enriching your understanding of faith, community, and commitment to God's Word.
  • You will gain an understanding of the book of Esther, a narrative in the Hebrew Bible that tells the story of a Jewish woman named Esther who becomes queen in the Persian court and, with the help of her cousin Mordecai, saves the Jews from genocide orchestrated by the villain Haman. The story highlights God's sovereignty and providential care, and the feast of Purim celebrates the Jews' victory.
  • By studying the Book of Job, you will explore the complexities of human suffering, the search for divine wisdom, and the tension between God's sovereignty and human limitations within a unique literary structure.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Psalms, including its background, structure, authorship, and theology. You will also learn about the various themes and motifs present in the Psalms, which will help you better understand and appreciate this important book in the Old Testament.
  • By studying Proverbs, you will understand the definition and purpose of wisdom, the fear of the Lord, and the personification of wisdom in the book. You will also gain insights into the literary structure of Proverbs and the themes of the book, including the importance of listening to wisdom, the power of words, and the value of hard work.
  • In the Ecclesiastes lesson, you gain insights into the book's structure, themes, and significance, while exploring the search for meaning, vanity, and the importance of fearing God and enjoying life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the literary features, interpretation, theology, and application of the book Song of Songs, including its authorship, historical and cultural context, allegorical and literal interpretation, and its teachings on God and human love, sexuality, and relationships.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Isaiah's historical context, literary features, major themes, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover how Isaiah's prophetic message of judgment and hope for Jerusalem evolves, as it predicts the fall of Israel's kingdom and envisions a new, purified Jerusalem where God's kingdom will be restored through a future messianic king, uniting all nations in peace.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain understanding of the book of Jeremiah, including its historical and cultural context, literary features, major themes and message, and significance in the Old Testament.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the Book of Lamentations, its structure, themes, and the role of God in the midst of suffering and divine judgment, while ultimately highlighting His faithfulness and mercy.
  • In the book of Ezekiel, you follow the story of a priest named Ezekiel who has a vision of God's glory riding on a royal throne chariot, and is commissioned by God to accuse Israel of rebellion and warn them of their impending destruction due to their covenant violations and rampant social injustice, while also providing a small glimmer of hope for the future.
  • By viewing this lesson on Daniel, you will gain understanding of its structure, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, gaining knowledge about living as faithful exiles in a hostile culture, God's sovereignty and faithfulness in times of trial, and remaining faithful to God even in difficult circumstances.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the complexities of Hosea, discovering the book's themes, messages, and its role in the Old Testament, emphasizing the relationship between Israel's unfaithfulness and God's unwavering love.
  • By studying the book of Joel, you will gain insight into the historical and cultural context of Judah, the literary features of prophetic literature, and the themes of repentance, restoration, and the Day of the Lord. Joel's prophecy also has significance in the New Testament as it is quoted by Peter at Pentecost, emphasizing the fulfillment of Joel's vision through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
  • In the Amos lesson, you explore its historical context, literary features, and themes, enhancing your understanding of justice, the Day of the Lord, and God's sovereignty within the Old Testament.
  • By studying Obadiah, you will gain insight into the historical context and literary features of this prophetic oracle. You will learn about the pride of Edom, their judgment, and the hope for Israel. Through understanding the significance of Obadiah in the Old Testament, you will have a deeper appreciation for the themes and message of this book.
  • Through this lesson, you gain insight into Jonah's themes, including God's mercy, human rebellion, repentance, and the significance of mission, while also understanding its connections to other biblical narratives.
  • Studying the book of Micah will give you an understanding of its historical context, literary genre, prophetic message of judgment and restoration, and insights into God's character and how He interacts with His people.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into the historical context, structure, and themes of the book of Nahum, learning about God's sovereignty, justice, and the relevance of these concepts in today's world.
  • Studying Habakkuk will deepen your understanding of how to wrestle with difficult questions about God's character and the problem of evil and respond with faith and trust in God's sovereignty.
  • In this lesson, you explore the book of Zephaniah, gaining insights into its background, context, literary features, themes, and significance in the Old Testament, including the central message of the Day of the Lord and the promise of future hope.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of the Book of Haggai, including its historical and cultural context, literary structure, purpose and themes, individual sections, and theological significance in relation to the Exile, Restoration, and Messiah.
  • In this lesson, you gain insights into Zechariah's historical context, structure, themes of restoration, the coming Messiah, God's sovereignty, and its significance in the Old Testament.
  • Discover the last book of the Old Testament and its themes, such as God's love for Israel, the importance of worship, and the coming of the messenger and the day of the Lord, as well as its connection to the New Testament, which prophesies the coming of John the Baptist and Jesus and calls for a return to God.

BP100-33 Obadiah

The book of the prophet Obadiah. This is the shortest book in the whole Old Testament, it’s a mere 21 verses. And at first glance, it does not look very promising. It’s a series of divine judgement poems against the ancient people of Edom. Which was a nation that neighbored Israel on the other side of the Dead Sea. However, there is way way more going on here. So first, here is the backstory. The people of Edom were unique because they had a shared ancestry with the Israelites, they both belonged to the family of Abraham, who with Sarah, had their son Isaac, who with his wife Rebekah, had two sons Jacob and Esau. Now the book of Genesis told us the story of these two brothers and to say the very least, they had a tense relationship. They each later received the names Israel and Edom which eventually became the name of the families that descended from them and these families replayed the same difficult relationship of their ancestors. Israel and Edom had enormous tensions throughout the centuries but they still shared that family bond. And it’s that bond that was betrayed and shattered in the tragic events of Jerusalem’s fall to Babylon. So when Israel was invaded and conquered by Babylon, the people of Edom took advantage by plundering other Israelite cities, and then capturing, and even killing Israelite refugees. Now in other prophetic books, God held Israel’s neighbors accountable for this kind of violence and so here Obadiah does the same for Edom. The short book has two halves. The first part is a series of accusations against the leaders of Edom, specifically for their pride and self-exaltation. Literally, as they lived up high in the desert rocks but also metaphorically, they truly believed they were superior to the Israelites, and it’s that pride that led the Edomites to not just stand idly by when Babylon came to destroy Jerusalem but actually to participate in the destruction. And so God says through Obadiah that Edom will be brought down from their height and destroyed. As they have done to Israel, so it will be done to them. Now right when you think you’re going to hear more about how Edom will meet its doom, the topic suddenly shifts, in verse 15. We hear this, “The day of the Lord is near against all nations.” Now, why do we all of the sudden shift from Edom now to all nations? This verse is a hinge piece and it links the first half of the book to the second half where Obadiah announces the day of the Lord but not only for Edom, he widens his focus to include all nations. And Obadiah says that all prideful nations that act like Edom will face God’s justice in the same way, they’ll fall from their prideful heights and come to ruin. Now the combination of these two sections, one about Edom, the other one about all nations, shows us why Obadiah was so interested in this tiny southern neighbor of Israel. Obadiah sees Edom’s pride and fall as an example, an image of how God will one day confront the pride of all nations and bring about their fall too. It’s hardly coincidental that in Hebrew, the word Edom, or Edom, is spelled with the exact same letters as the word humanity, or in Hebrew, Adam. In Obadiah, Edom’s rise and fall is a parable of how God’s justice will one day oppose pride and violence among all nations in the day of the Lord. But as in all the prophets, God’s judgement is never his final word. Specifically, remember the conclusion of the two books that came right before Obadiah, Joel and Amos. Joel had painted a picture of what will happen after the day of the Lord against all nations. He said that God would perform a new act of salvation in Jerusalem and that all who humble themselves and call upon Him would be delivered And in the conclusion of Amos, he said that after the day of the Lord has judged Israel’s evil, God would raise up the house of David and build a new kingdom for Israel that would include Edom and all the nations called by My name And so the book of Obadiah has been placed right after Joel and then Amos to expand on these very promises about the hope of God’s kingdom over all of the nations. And so the book concludes with a very hopeful future. God says that He’s going to restore His kingdom over the New Jerusalem that He’ll repopulate it with a faithful remnant God’s kingdom will expand to include all the territories and nations around Israel. And so, this little book contributes to the larger portrait of God’s justice and faithfulness that we’re seeing in the prophets. The ancient pride and betrayal of the people of Edom becomes an example of the greater human condition. All of the ways that we betray and hurt each other, and God’s good world. But there’s hope, Obadiah says. Edom’s downfall points to the day when God will deal with the evil in our world but also bring His healing kingdom of peace over all the nations And that’s what the book of Obadiah is all about.