OBADIAH , servant of Jehovah), the name of several persons mentioned in the Scripture /. The governor of king Ahab's household, and high in the confidence of his master, not withstanding 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 se cretly with nourishment during the famine. It was this person, when sent out to explore the country in the vain search of pasture uncon sumed 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 (t Kings xviii:4-16). (B. C. 906.) 2. One of the heroes of the tribe of Gad, who joined David at Ziklag (t Chron. xii:9). (B. C. roi4.) 3. One of the nobles whom Jehoshaphat sent to teach in the cities of Judah (2 Chron. xvii:7), (B. C. gap.) I 4. One of the Levites who presided over the [restoration of the temple tinder Josiah (2 Chron. xxxiv:t2). (B. C. 623.) 5. The head of a party, consisting of 218 males, with females and children in proportion, who re turned with Ezra from Babylon (Ezra viii:9).
6. One of the priests, who sealed the written covenant which Nehemiah caused the people to enter into (Neh. x:5).
7. A man of Issachar of the house of Uzzi I (t Chron. vii:3). (B. C. 1014.) 8. The, father of Ishmaialt, which latter was chief of the Zebulunites in the reign of David (t Chron. xxvii:t9). (B. C. io1-1.) 9. Son of Azel and a descendant of Jonathan (t Chron. viii:38; ix:44). (B. C. about 72o.) /O. A descendant of David and founder of a family (1 Chron. Hi :21). (B. C. about 87o.) Probably he is the same as JunA (Luke iii :26) and ABU-IUD (Matt. i:13).
//. A Levite, descendant of Jeduthun, and ap parently the founder of a family of porters (1 Chron. ix:16). (B. C. about 446.) 12. The Prophet Obadiah. He was the fourth of the minor prophets according to the Hebrew, the fifth according to the Greek, and the eighth according to chronological arrange ment, is supposed to have prophesied B. C. about 599. (Jahn's Introd.) We have, however, but a small fragment of his prophecies, and it is im possible to determine anything with certainty re specting himself or his history. Several persons of this name occur about the same period, one of whom presided at the restoration of the tem ple in the reign of Josiah (B. C. 624), and is considered by many to have been the author of the prophecy. Another, who was governor of the house of Ahab, was regarded by the ancient Jews as the author of the book: which opinion is followed by Jerome (Hieron. Comm. in Abdiam; Sixtus Senens, Bib. Sonct.). Others place the author in the reign of Ahaz (B. C. 728-699); while some think him to have been a contempo rary of Hosea, who prophesied B. C. 722.
13. Obadiah, Prophecy of.
(1) Time of Prophecy. It is observed by Jahn, Newcome, and others, that it is evident front verse 20 that Obadiah prophesied while Je rusalem was subjected to the yoke of the Chal dmans, 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. Jahn
maintains, from the warnings to the Edomites, verses 12-14, that Obadiah prophesied before the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar , while De Wette infers from the mention of the 'captivity of thc children of Israel,' and the 'cap tivity of Jerusalem' in verse 20, that the composi tion of the book must be placed after the destruc tion of that city. From a comparison of Obad. verses 1-4, with Jer. xlix:14-16; Obad. verse 6, with Jer. Aix :9, to; and Obad. verse 8, with Jcr. xlix :7, it is' evident that one of these prophets had read the other's work.
(2) Against Whom Directed. His prophe cies are directed against the Edomites, and in this respect correspond with Amos i:11; Jer. xlix:22; Ezek. xxv :12-14, and Ps. cxxxvii :7 (Jahn's in trod.). He menaces Edom with destruction for their hostile feeling towards Judah, and their insulting conduct towards the Hebrews when Je rusalem was taken (verses i 1, 12); but consoles the Jews with a promise of restoration from their captivity, when the Hebrews and the Ten Tribes (Jahn's Introd.) shall repossess both their land and thatof Edom and Philistia-a prophecy which was fulfilled in the time of the Maccabees, under John Hyrcanus. (B. C. 125.) (Jahn, 1. c.) (3) Style, Etc. 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 verse 8). His sentiments arc no ble, and his figures boid and striking (De Wette's Introd., Eng. transl.). De Wette's translator ob serves that his hatred towards other nations is not so deep and deadly as that of some of his younger contemporaries. NV. W.
Cornill considers that the late prophecies (Is. xxxiv:35), in which, as in Obadiah, eschatolog ical hopes are connected with the downfall of Edom, were certainly known to the author of Obadiah. (Hastings' Bib. Dict.) OBAL (o'bal), o-bawf , bare), a son of Joktan, and founder of an Arabian tribe (Gen. x: 28). ( B. C. before 2o6o.) Bochart, who refers to the fact that Plitn men tions the Avalitx of the African coast, identifies them with the descendants of Obal.
OBED (5'bed), (Heb. -17',Y,o-bat11, serving; Sept. IT/3N, oh-bade').
1. The son of Boaz and Ruth, and father of Jesse the father of David, according to the ap parently incomplete genealogical list (Ruth iv :17; t Citron. ii:12). The name occurs in the geneal ogies of Matthew (i :5) and Luke (iii:32).
2. One of David's warriors (t Chron. xi:47)• (B. C. about 1046.) 3. Son of Ephial and•fatherof Jehu; a descend ant of Jerahmeel (1 Chron. ii:37). (B. C. after to14.) 4. A son of Shemaiah and gate-keeper of the temple (t Chron. xxvi:7). (B. C. to17.) 5. Father of Azariah, who lived in the time of Athaliah (2 Chron. xxiii :I). (B.C. before 876.)