Obadiah, “the servant of the Lord,” is a common name in the Old Testament. Although the exact identity of the prophet is hard to determine, there are indications he ministered in Judah, the southern kingdom (Obadiah 12,17).


Obadiah preached during a time of national disaster (Obadiah 11). Conservatives disagree as to whether Obadiah is the earliest of the Minor Prophets, ministering during the reign of Jehoram (848-841 BC) or later after Judah’s fall to Babylon (586 BC). Babylon’s invasion easily explains the extent of the devastation to Judah, but a battle in which Edom may have participated referred to in 2 Chron. 21:16-17 is more likely the historical context. Statements indicating that the northern kingdom had not yet fallen (Obadiah 19) and Jer. 49:9-10,14-16,22 apparently quoting Obad. 1-6,9 would also suggest Obadiah’s early date. Dating Obadiah to about 848 BC would make him the first of all the writing prophets.

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ByJustus Musinguzi

Promoting the annual reading and study of the whole Bible, and teaching the treasures of God's truth that honors God, is saturated with grace, exalts Christ, and is driven by the gospel.