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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

The Book of Obadiah - Introduction

The twenty-one verses of this book contain the shortest and sternest prophecy in the Old Testament. Nothing is known of the author, although his oracle against Edom, a long-standing enemy of Israel, indicates a date of composition sometime in the fifth century B.C. During this period the Edomites had been forced to abandon their ancient home near the Gulf of Aqaba and had settled in southern Judah, where they appear among the adversaries of the Jews returning from exile.

The prophecy is a bitter cry for vengeance against Edom for its heinous crimes. The mountain of Esau will be occupied and ravaged by the enemy but Zion shall remain inviolate. Judah and Israel shall again form one nation; and that triumphant refrain of Israelite eschatology will be heard once more: “The Kingdom is the Lord's!” Many of the verses in this prophecy can be paralleled in Jer 49,7–22 but it is difficult to determine the precise relationship between these similar passages.

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