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Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Obadi´ah (servant of Jehovah), the name of several persons mentioned in Scripture.

Obadiah, the fourth of the Minor Prophets according to the Hebrew, the fifth according to the Greek, and the eighth according to chronological arrangement, is supposed to have prophesied about the year B.C. 599. We have however, but a small fragment of his prophecies, and it is impossible to determine anything with certainty respecting himself or his history. It is evident from that he prophesied while Jerusalem was subjected to the yoke of the Chaldeans, and after the expatriation of several of the citizens—which refers him to the period after the seventh year of the captivity, B.C. 599. From a comparison of , with; , with; and , with , it is evident that one of these prophets had read the other's work. It is not easy, observes Calmet, to decide which of the two copied from the other; but from the fact that Jeremiah had made use of the writings of other prophets also, it has been generally concluded that Obadiah was the original writer.

His prophecies are directed against the Edomites, and in this respect correspond with , , , and . He menaces Edom with destruction for their hostile feeling towards Judah, and their insulting conduct towards the Hebrews when Jerusalem was taken (); but consoles the Jews with a promise of restoration from their captivity, when the Hebrews and the Ten Tribes shall repossess both their land and that of Edom and Philistia—a prophecy which was fulfilled in the time of the Maccabees, under John Hyrcanus, B.C. 125.

The language of Obadiah is pure; but Jahn and others have observed that he is inferior to the more ancient prophets in his too great addiction to the interrogatory form of expression (see ). His sentiments are noble, and his figures bold and striking.

Obadiah, the governor of King Ahab's household, and high in the confidence of his master, notwithstanding his aversion to the idolatries which the court patronized. In the persecution raised by Jezebel, Obadiah hid one hundred of the Lord's prophets in caves, and supplied them secretly with nourishment during the famine. It was this person, when sent out to explore the country in the vain search of pasture unconsumed by the drought, whom Elijah encountered when about to show himself to Ahab, and who was reluctantly prevailed upon to conduct the prophet to his master (), B.C. 906.

One of the heroes of the tribe of Gad, who joined David at Ziklag ().

One of the nobles whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach in the cities of Judah ().

One of the Levites who presided over the restoration of the temple under Josiah ().

Obadiah, the head of a party, consisting of 218 males, with females and children in proportion, who returned with Ezra from Babylon ().

One of the priests who sealed the written covenant which Nehemiah caused the people to enter into ().

Other persons of this name occur in;;;;; .





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Obadiah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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