Obadiah was the fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, and fifth in the Septuagint. He was probably contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
The twenty-one verses of Obadiah's 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.