Obadiah is the shortest book in the OT (and apparently the least popular). Though a book with only 291 words, Jerome said “It is as difficult as it is brief” (35). It is “1.3 percent [the length] of Jeremiah, the longest book (21,819 words), on which it shows remarkable dependebnce” (21).

Block thinks that “the best clues for reconstructing the circumstances for each series of utterances [by the minor prophets] are found within the books themselves and in the superscriptions that open the books” (22).


For a biblical book that is only 291 words long, Block’s Introduction is a good 25 pages, which is longer than some introductions of much larger commentaries (Luke, PNTC, 2 Corinthians, PNTC?)! 

  • Historical Background to Obadiah’s Prophecies
  • Obadiah’s Rhetorical Aims and Strategy
    • The Rhetor [Speaker]
    • The Audience
    • The Message
    • The Rhetorical Strategy
  • The Structure of Obadiah

Obadiah’s Rhetoric

  • Apparently misplaced clauses
    • In…

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