Obadiah 1




Chronological Notes relative to this book, upon the supposition

that it was written about five hundred and eighty-seven years

before the commencement of the Christian era

-Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3417.

-Year of the Jewish era of the world, 3174.

-Year since the Flood, 1761.

-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1335.

-Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 425.

-Year since the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms

of Israel and Judah, 389.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, 298.

-Second year of the forty-eighth Olympiad.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian or

generally received computation, 167.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti

Consulares, 166.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Polybius the

historian, 165.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 161.

-Year since the overthrow of the kingdom of Israel by

Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, 135.

-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Judah by

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 2.

-Year of the Julian Period, 4127.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, 161.

-Year before the birth of Christ, 583.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 587.

-Cycle of the Sun, 11.

-Cycle of the Moon, 4.

-Thirtieth year of Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of the


-Thirty-ninth year of Cyaraxes or Cyaxares, the fourth king of


-Nineteenth year of Agasicles, king of Lacedaemon of the family

of the Proclidae.

-Twenty-first year of Leon, king of Lacedaemon, of the family of

the Eurysthenidae.

-Thirty-third year of Alyattes II., king of Lydia.

-Sixteenth year of AEropas, the seventh king of Macedon.

-Eighth year of Apries, king of Egypt; the same with the

celebrated Pharaoh-hophrah.

-Ninth year of Baal, king of the Tyrians.

-Twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.


God is here represented as summoning the nations against Edom,

and declaring that his strongholds should not save him, 14;

that not a remnant, not a gleaning, should be left of him, 5;

that the enemy would search out his people, and totally subdue

them; and that none of their allies should stand by them, 6-9.

He then enlarges on their particular offense, and threatens

them with a speedy recompense, 10-16.

The Babylonians accordingly subdued the Edomites, and expelled

them from Arabia Petraea, of which they never afterwards

recovered possession. The remaining verses contain a prophecy

of the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity,

and of their victory over all their enemies, 17-21.

Some commentators think that these last verses were fulfilled

by the conquests of the Maccabees over the Edomites.

See 1Macc 5:3-5, 65, &c.

Who was this prophet? where born? of what country? at what

time did he prophesy? who were his parents? when and where

did he die? are questions which have been asked from the remotest

antiquity; and which, to this day, have received no answer worthy

of recording. There is a multitude of opinions concerning these

points; and their multitude and discrepancy are the strongest

proofs of their uncertainty. All that seems probable is, that, as

he prophesied concerning the destruction of Edom, he flourished a

little before, or a little after, the taking of Jerusalem by

Nebuchadnezzar, which happened about five hundred and eighty-eight

years before Christ; and the destruction of Idumea by the same

monarch, which took place a short time after; probably between 588

B.C. and 575 B.C., in the interval of the thirteen years which

Nebuchadnezzar employed in the siege of Tyre, which he undertook

immediately after the capture of Jerusalem.

Obadiah foretells the subduction of the Idumeans by the

Chaldeans, and finally by the Jews, whom they had used most

cruelly when brought low by other enemies. These prophecies have

been literally fulfilled for the Idumeans, as a nation, are

totally extinct.

Whoever will be at the trouble to collate this short prophecy

with the forty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah, will find a remarkable

similarity, not only in the sentiments and words, but also in

whole verses. In the above chapter Jeremiah predicts the

destruction of the Idumeans. Whether he copied Obadiah, or Obadiah

copied him, cannot be determined; but it would be very strange if

two prophets, unacquainted with each other, should speak of the

same event precisely in the same terms. See the parallel texts in

the margin, and See Clarke on Jer 49:1, &c.


Verse 1. We have heard a rumour] See Jer 49:14, where the same

expressions are found. The prophet shows that the enemies of

Idumea had confederated against it, and that Jehovah is now

summoning them to march directly against it.

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