• Against Edom for their participation in the plunder of Judah and Jerusalem
  • They shall be destroyed forever


  • Invasions of Jerusalem in the historical books:
    • Egypt in the fifth year of Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25 – 26, 2 Chronicles 12:2 – 12), but the Edomites were vassals to Judah at this time.
    • Philistines and Arabs in the reign of Jehoram (2 Chronicles 21:16 – 17). Psalm 83:6 and Isaiah 11:14 describes an alliance between Edom and the invaders and others.
    • Israel in the reign of Amaziah (2 Kings 14:13 – 14, 2 Chronicles 25:23 – 24), but Obadiah describes the invaders as Gentiles.
    • Babylon during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 24:1 – 5, 2 Chronicles 36: 6 – 7), but Jeremiah predicts (27:1 – 11) that Edom will serve Babylon like Judah, so Edom could not be allied with Babylon.
    • Babylon in the reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:10 – 17, 2 Chronicles 36:10)
    • Babylon in the reign of Zedekiah (2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36:13 – 20), but Obadiah does not mention the destruction of the Temple.
  • So, the most likely scenario is the invasion by the Philistines and Arabs, which places Obadiah in relative historical order among the minor prophets.

Fulfillment of the curse:

  • The Maccabees annihilated the Edomites, finally forcing the remainder to submit to circumcision and obey the Law of Moses. Some were absorbed into Israel (g., Herod the Great).  The remainder was absorbed into the surrounding Arabic tribes.  The Nabataeans (an Arabic tribe) took over the territory, settled into cities, and built a new nation.
  • By the time of Malachi 1:2 – 5 (Romans 9:13), the prophecies of Obadiah, Jeremiah 49:7:22, Ezekiel 25:12 – 14, and Joel 3:19 were being accomplished.

Obscure references:

3       The major cities of Edom were considered impregnable due to the terrain

5       Harvesters left a little in the fields and vineyards for the poor.

9       Teman was known for its wise men (Eliphaz the Temanite in Job)

18     In the restoration, all of Israel is in view, not just Judah.

19     Arabs of the Negev shall occupy Edom, as accomplished by the Nabataeans.

Israelites of the coastal plain will occupy Philistia and central Israel

Benjamin, the smallest tribe, will spread across the Jordan

20     Zarephath is between Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia.

Sepharad is unknown.

Messianically applied by ancient rabbis: verses 18 and 21.