THEME: The sins and the punishment of Edom.
MESSAGE: Obadiah describes the pride, violence and treachery of Edom, especially against the Jews at the fall of Jerusalem (Psalm 137.7). That little nation would be totally destroyed, and Israel glorified. God is Judge, and will be the King of nations.
Verses 1-9 ... God calls nations to destroy Edom.
Verses 10-14 ... The reason: their odious conduct against Israel, at the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
Verses 15-21 ... Edom will suffer complete destruction, and the kingdom will be of the Lord.
Nothing is known of the author of this little book: several people in the Old Testament have the same name, but none of them can be identified with this prophet.
The Edomites were the descendants of Esau, but always enemies of the Jews, thus perpetuating the hatred of Esau against Jacob in Genesis 27.39-41. They refused passage to Moses (Numbers 20.14-21), and were always ready to help Israel's enemies. Obadiah, in vv. 12-14, cites eight sinful acts committed by Edomites against the Jews in the plunder of Jerusalem.
Within four years after the fall of Jerusalem in 536 BC, Edom was destroyed by the Babylonians, but a remnant always remained active enemies of the Jews until they were completely subdued in 126 BC. The family of Herod, placed ver Judah by the Romans, was of Edom (Idumea); in 70 AC the Edomites disappeared from history, and so the prophetic words were fulfilled: "You shall be cut off forever" v. 10, "no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau" v.18. See also Isaiah 34:5-15; Ezekiel 25:12-14, 35:1-15, Amos 1:11-12.