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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Obadiah

- Obadiah

by Joseph Benson

THE BOOK OF OBADIAH.

ARGUMENT.

WE have no certain information in the Scriptures, or elsewhere, concerning the life or death of this prophet, of the time when he lived, or of his country or mission. It has been generally thought, indeed, that he was cotemporary with Hosea, Joel, and Amos; at least this was the opinion of St. Jerome, Grotius, Huetius, and Dr. Lightfoot. But the reason which they allege for it is only the supposition that the compilers of the Old Testament canon had a regard to the order of time in their placing of the books of the minor prophets. But this reason, as Lowth justly observes, is of little force, since we find Jonah placed the fifth in order, nay, the sixth, in the Greek copies, who was confessedly more ancient than any of those that are placed before him. The most probable opinion seems to be, that he was cotemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and prophesied about the time of the taking of Jerusalem; or, as Archbishop Newcome thinks, between that time and the destruction of Idumea by Nebuchadnezzar; which latter event probably took place a very few years after the former. It is certain he foretels the destruction of Edom, and that in doing this he uses several expressions which Jeremiah had used before him, speaking upon that subject. Compare Amos 9:1; Amos 9:8, with Jeremiah 49:9-11. Ezekiel agrees with Jeremiah and Obadiah, in assigning the same reason for the judgments threatened against the Edomites, namely, their insulting over the Jews in the time of their distress.