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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Russian Orthodox icon of the Prophet Obadiah, 18th century (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia).

Obadiah is a Biblical theophorical name, meaning "servant of Yahweh" or "worshipper of Yahweh."[1] It is cognate to the Arabic name ‘Abdullah. Another similar name in Arabic is Obaidullah/ `Ubaydullah (Arabic: عبيد الله‎) is a male Arabic given name that means "little servant of God". The form of his name used in the Septuagint is Obdios; in Latin it is Abdias.


The Prophet Obadiah


In the Old Testament

The prophet named Obadiah is credited with authorship of the shortest book in the Old Testament,[2] consisting of a mere 21 verses in a single chapter. The date of his ministry is unclear due to certain historical ambiguities in the book bearing his name. The events recorded in his writings may refer to the invasion of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, a date near to 586 B.C.[3] The main thrust of the prophet's ministry, reflected in the themes of his book, is the ultimate victory of the people of God if they maintain their faith. Edom is used as an example of failure to manifest love toward one's neighbor in times of need, (Obadiah 1:1-17) and the eventual victory of Israel is declared in a vision of the future. (Obadiah 1:18-21)

In some Christian traditions he is said to have been born in "Sychem" (Shechem), and to have been the third centurion sent out by Ahab against Elijah.[4]

See main entry on the Book of Obadiah.

In Rabbinic tradition

According to the Talmud, Obadiah is said to have been a convert to Judaism from Edom,[5] a descendant of Eliphaz, the friend of Job. He is identified with the Obadiah who was the servant of Ahab, and it is said that he was chosen to prophesy against Edom because he was himself an Edomite. Moreover, having lived with two such godless persons as Ahab and Jezebel without learning to act as they did, he seemed the most suitable person to prophesy against Esau (Edom), who, having been brought up by two pious persons, Isaac and Rebekah, had not learned to imitate their good deeds.

Obadiah is supposed to have received the gift of prophecy for having hidden the hundred and twenty eight prophets from the persecution of Jezebel.[5] He hid the prophets in two caves, so that if those in one cave should be discovered those in the other might yet escape (1 Kings 18:3-4).

Obadiah was very rich, but all his wealth was expended in feeding the poor prophets, until, in order to be able to continue to support them, finally he had to borrow money at interest from Ahab's son Jehoram.[6] Obadiah's fear of God was one degree higher than that of Abraham; and if the house of Ahab had been capable of being blessed, it would have been blessed for Obadiah's sake.[7]

In Catholicism

Russian icon of Prophets Amos and Obadiah, 18th century.

He is regarded as a saint by several Catholic churches. His feast day is celebrated on January 10 in the Coptic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite celebrate his memory on November 19 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, November 19 currently falls on December 2 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is celebrated on February 28 in the Syriac and Malankara Churches, and with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.

According to an old tradition, Obadiah is buried in Samaria.

Other Obadiahs in the Old Testament

Other individuals named Obadiah in the Old Testament are listed as:


  1. ^ New Bible Dictionary, second edition. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL, USA.
  2. ^ Nelson's Compact Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1964, p. 191, ISBN 0-8407-5636-5  
  3. ^ The Rainbow Study Bible (Illustrated Reference Edition), Rainbow Studies, Inc., 1998, p. 1040, ISBN 1-58170-025-3  
  4. ^ a b The Lives of the Holy Prophets, Buena Vista CO: Holy Apostles Convent, 1998, p. 4, ISBN 0-944359-12-4  
  5. ^ a b "Tract Sanhedrin, Volume VIII, XVI, Part II (Haggada), Chapter XI", The Babylonian Talmud, Boston: The Talmud Society, p. 376,   Translated by Michael L. Rodkinson
  6. ^ Midrash Exodus Rabbah xxxi. 3
  7. ^ Sanh. loc. cit.
  • Holweck, F. G., A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co., 1924.

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to Bible/Obadiah article)

From Wikisource

The Book of Obadiah
The Book of Obadiah is found in both the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, where it is the shortest book, only one chapter long. Its authorship is generally attributed to a person named Obadiah, who is sometimes classified as a "minor prophet" — Excerpted from Book of Obadiah on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Available Translations on Wikisource

Translation Comparison

Old Testament
GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomyJoshuaJudgesRuth1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEstherJobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of SolomonIsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDanielHoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabakkukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachi
EsdrasTobitJudithAdditions to EstherWisdom of SolomonSusannaBaruchAdditions to DanielPrayer of Manassheh1 Maccabees2 Maccabees
New Testament
MatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossians1 Thessalonians2 Thessalonians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitusPhilemonHebrewsJames1 Peter2 Peter1 John2 John3 JohnJudeRevelation

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

OBADIAH, the name prefixed to the fourth of the Old Testament "minor prophets," meaning "servant" or "worshipper" of Yahweh; of a type common in Semitic proper names; cf.

the Arabic `Abdallah, Taimallat, 'Abd Man - at, &c., the Hebrew Abdiel and Obed Edom, and many Phoenician forms. "The vision of Obadiah" bears no date, or other historical note, nor can we connect Obadiah the prophet with any other Obadiah of the Old Testament,' and our only clue to the date and composition of the book lies in internal evidence.

The prophecy is directed against Edom. Yahweh has sent a messenger forth among the nations to stir them up to battle against the proud inhabitants of Mount Seir, to bring them down from the rocky fastnesses which they deem impregnable. Edom shall be not only plundered but utterly undone and expelled: from his borders, and this he shall suffer (through his own folly) at the hand of trusted allies (vers. 1 -9)_ The cause of this judgment is his cruelty to his brother Jacob. In the day of Jerusalem's, overthrow the Edomites rejoiced over the calamity, grasped at a share of the spoil, lay in wait to cut off the fugitives (vers. 10-14). But now the day of Yahweh is near upon all nations,. Esau and all the heathen shall drink full retribution for their banquet of carnage and plunder on Yahweh's holy mountain. A rescued Israel shall dwell in Mount Zion in restored holiness;. the house of Jacob shall regain their old possessions; Edom shall be burned up before them as chaff before the flame; they shall spread over all Canaan, over the mountain of Esau and the south of Judah, as well as over Gilead and the Philistine and Phoenician coast. The victorious Israelites shall come up on Mount Zion to rule the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom shall be Yahweh's (vers. 15-21).

The most obvious evidence of date lies in the cause assigned for the judgment on Edom (vers. 10-14). The calamity of Jerusalem can only be the sack of the city by Nebuchadrezzar (586 B.C.); the malevolence and cruelty of Edom on this occasion are characterized in similar terms by several writers of the exile or subsequent periods, but by none with the same circumstance and vividness of detail as here (Ezek. xxv. 8, 12 f., xxxv.; Lam. iv. 21; Psalm cxxxvii. 7). The prominence given to Edom, and the fact that Chaldea is not mentioned at all, make it probable that the passage was not written in Babylonia. On this evidence, taken alone, we should be justified in saying. that the prophecy was written at some time of ter 586 B.C., at a period when misfortunes incurred by Edom were interpreted as a Divine judgment on its unforgotten treachery in that year of tragedy.

The critical problem is, however, complicated by certain phenomena of literary relationship? Obad. 1-6, 8 agree so closely and in part verbally with Jer. xlix. 14-16, 9, 10, 7 that the two passages cannot be independent; nor does it seem possible that Obadiah quotes from Jeremiah, for Obad. 1 -8 is a wellconnected whole, while the parallel verses in Jeremiah appear in different order, interspersed with other matter, and in a much less lucid connexion. In Jeremiah the picture is vague, and Edom's unwisdom (ver. 7) stands without proof. In Obadiah the conception is quite definite. Edom is attacked by his own allies, and his folly appears in that he exposes himself to such treachery. Again, the probability that the passage in Jeremiah incorporates disjointed fragments of an older oracle is greatly increased by the fact that the prophecy against Moab in the preceding chapter uses, in the same way, Isa. xv., xvi., and the prophecy of Balaam. Scholars who assign the passage in Jeremiah to 604 B.C. (e.g. Driver, L.O.T. chap. vi. § 4), explain this relationship by assuming with Ewald (Propheten, i. 489 f.),. Graf (Jeremia, p. 558 f.), Robertson Smith and others, that Jeremiah and our book of Obadiah alike quote from an older oracle. Others, however, who do not regard Jer. xlix. as Jere - mianic, explain the relationship as one of dependence on Obadiah. This explanation, simpler in itself, is not discredited by the fact that in some details (cf. Obad. 2 and Jer. xlix. 15) the text ' An early Hebrew tradition recorded by Jerome (Comm. in Ob.), identified the prophet with the best-known Obadiah of the historical books, the protector of the prophets in the reign of Ahab (1 Kings xviii.).

2 Between Joel and Obadiah there are points of material and verbal agreement so close as to imply that Joel used the earlier book (Joel iii. 19 - Ob. 10, 14; Joel iii.3 - Ob. II; Joel ii. 32, iii. 7-0b. 17)- of the dependent passage may be preferable to that of the original. On this latter, and more probable, view (taken by Wellhausen, Nowack and Marti) there is no need to separate Obad. 1-7 from to-14. The immediate occasion of the prophecy 1 was doubtless the pressure of nomadic Arabs ("the men of thy covenant," "the men of thy peace," v. 7) upon Edom, which had resulted, by 312 B.C. at latest, in the occupation by Arabs of Petra, the chief city of the Edomites (Wellhausen, p. 214). But the desolation of Edom has already been accomplished in the time of Malachi i. 1-5, a passage belonging to the earlier half of the 5th century. We may, therefore, with Wellhausen, Nowack and Marti, assign Obadiah 1-14 to the same period.

The remainder of the book, vers. (15) 16-21, must belong to a later date. That the book of Obadiah, short as it is, is a complex document might have been suspected from an apparent change of view between vers. 1-7 and vers. 15 f. In the former verses Esau is destroyed by his allies, and they occupy his territory, but in the latter he perishes with the other heathen in the day of universal retribution, he disappears before the victorious advance of Israel, and the southern Judaeans occupy his land.' The ideas of this passage belong to the eschatological outlook of later centuries, but afford no data for chronology. The conceptions of the "rescued ones" (R.V. "those that escape," v.. 17), of the sanctity of Zion, of the kingship of Yahweh, are the common property of the post-exilic writers. The restoration of the old borders of Israel and the conquest of Edom and the Philistines are ideas as old as Amos ix., Isa. xi. 14; but such passages represent this conquest as a suzerainty of Israel over its neighbours, as in the days of David, while in Obadiah, as in other later books, the intensified antithesis - religious as well as political - between Judah and the surrounding heathen finds its expression in the idea of a consuming judgment on the latter - the great "day of Yahweh." The chief interest of the book of Obadiah lies in its references to the historical relations between Israel and Edom. From the point of view of religion, we may notice the emphasis on the doctrine of strict retribution (vers. Io f., 15 b) which remains applicable to other peoples, even when its inadequacy as a complete theory of providence has been slowly and painfully discovered in the case of Israel itself.

LITERATURE. - Wellhausen,Die kleinenPropheten 3 (1898); Nowack, id. (1897, 2nd ed., 1904); G. A. Smith, The Book of the Twelve, vol. ii. (1898); J. A. Selbie, art. "Obadiah," in Hastings's Did. of the Bible, iii. 577-580 (1900); Cheyne, id. in Ency. Biblica, iii. c.3455-3462(incorporating the article of W. Robertson Smith in the 9th edition of the Ency. Brit.) (1902); Marti, Dodekapropheton (1903). For a sketch of the history of the Edomites, see Noldeke's article "Edom" in the Ency. Biblica. (W. R. S.; H. W. R.*)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From Hebrew עובדיה "servant of Yahweh"; comparable to Arabic عبد الله (ʕabd-állah) "servant of Allah".

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Wiktionary has an Appendix listing books of the Bible

Proper noun




  1. (Biblical) A book of the Old Testament of the Bible, and of the Tanakh.
  2. (Biblical) A minor prophet.
  3. A male given name of biblical origin.

Related terms


Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

Meaning: servant of the Lord.

  1. An Israelite who was chief in the household of King Ahab (1 Kg 18:3). Amid great spiritual degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5, 6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand (9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way, "go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here."
  2. A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1Chr 7:3).
  3. A descendant of Saul (1Chr 8:38).
  4. A Levite, after the Captivity (1Chr 9:16).
  5. A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1Chr 12:9).
  6. A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1Chr 27:19).
  7. One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2Chr 17:7).
  8. A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2Chr 34:12).
  9. One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ez 8:9).
  10. A prophet, fourth of the Minor Prophets in the Hebrew canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.
This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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