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owing to his modifications. Notice also the pentameter which introduces the quotation in v. *.—The different metrical structure of the appendix points to its secondariness, and the irregularity of vv. * * to the fact that the author has collected several originally not connected elements into this section.

The metrical and strophical form of Ob. has only in recent years received close attention. Eich. had indeed printed his transl. in metre as early as 1819, being convinced that the addresses of the prophets were always rhythmic, and Bu. had shown (ZA W., 1882, p. 34) that vv. * * and **, and also (ZA W., 1883, pp. 305 f.) v. b are in kinah-measure. But Con. was the first to take up the problem as a whole in 1900. His main interest was to prove the unity of Ob. by the strophical arrangement of the oracle. He used Zenner's artificial chorus-theory with its strophes and antistrophes and presented a very regular scheme, with natural and effective divisions. But that these were intended as strophes and antistrophes he did not show. And even if it could be shown, how can the strophical arrangement alone be sufficient to prove the unity of the book, when other arguments are opposed to it? In contrast to Con., Siev. (1901) treated not the strophic structure but the rhythmic form which Con. had neglected. He showed in a careful contribution that the oracle is rhythmic throughout, but with little regularity.—JMPS. (1906) used both metr. and stroph. considerations as means for textual and literary criticism. While Con. had tried to prove the unity, Smith tried to show by the use of the metr. and stroph. structure that the book is composite. According to him it consists of three elements which are “not vitally related to one another” and which “differ in form, in thought, in point of view and in spirit.” They are: A, vv. 1-7°. 19. ii. 1st, composed of five six-line trimeter strophes, B, vv. 11-1, one six-line kinah or pentameter movement, C, vv. 1". "+", composed of three strophes of 4, 8 and 8 lines respectively, with broken rhythm, varying between trimeter and tetrameter. And besides these “the fragment, vv. *-*,” a five-line strophe. Smith's stroph. arrangement is less natural than Con.’s, and in his endeavour to get strophes of uniform length he has to reconstruct the text quite freely. On vv. 1-1, v. i. In the same year (1906) Now. published a careful metr. and textcrit. edition which forms the best basis for further investigation along these lines. In 1907 Siev, tried to show with the aid of the metre that the book is composed of four originally unrelated sections: I, vv. *.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.*, * in pentameter form, II, vv. 1884. 1". Iba. 10-11. “b in heptameter form, III, vv. 1. ii. i* in heptameters followed by trimeters, IV, vv. 1" in heptameters. I is most likely the orig. oracle. II and III were probably two originally independent pieces which originated under similar circumstances, III being more likely a fragment of a larger piece than an appendix to II. IV is a later appendix. In the deletion of secondary elements Siev. follows We., Now. and Marti, but wherever his metr. reconstruction requires it he goes beyond them. Thus he omits, e.g., all the negatives in vv. 11-1, which is textcritically unjustifiable. In order to get a regular scheme he resorts to transpositions (in I and II) which cannot be naturally explained, and ignores the one principle of Heb. metre, the parall. of the lines, which has so long been regarded as fundamental (cf., e.g., vv. 19-1). Nevertheless, Siev.'s contribution is of great value for the rhythm. In 1909 Marti published a transl. in which he expressed the textcrit., literary and metr. results of his commentary. It occupies essentially the same position as Now.", but treats vv. 12-m also as metrical.—Kent's metr. translation of 1910 is somewhat marred by the representation of vv. 11-1'.—The most recent metr. transl. is that by Du. (1910) in which he represents vv. 1-1 (without the add. of vv. *. 788. *. ": to•8. **) in 14 stanzas of two distichs each, apparently, in pentameter movement. The appendix he prints as prose. The metrical scheme of Ob. is, however, not as regular as Du. would lead one to believe and in so far his transl. does not represent the metre of the original.


(1) Commentators dealing with all the Minor Prophets.-Eichhorn, 1819; Ewald, * 1868 (Engl., 1875); Hitzig, * 1843; HitzigSteiner, “1881; Pusey, 1861; Keil, * 1873 (Engl., 1880), * 1888; von Orelli, 1888 (Engl., 1893), * 1908; Wellhausen, 1892, * 1898; G. A. Smith, 1897–98; Nowack, 1898, * 1903; Marti, 1903, van Hoonacker, 1908.

(2) Special commentaries on Obadiah.-P. C. Caspari, Der Prophet Obadia, 1842. Kleinert, in Lange's Bibelwerk, 1868 (Engl., 1875). Norbert Peters, Die Prophetie Obadjahs, 1892. T. T. Perowne, Obadiah and Jonah, in the Cambridge Bible, 1889. Wynkoop, in Abr. Kahana's Biblia Hebraica, 1906 (Hebrew). Halévy, Le Livre d'Obadia, in his Recherches Bibliques, IV, 1907, pp. 452–70. Marti, in Kautzsch's Die Heilige Schrift des Alten Testaments, * 1909. Kent, Students' Old Testament, III, 1910. The last two give a translation and brief notes.

(3) Special articles.—Winckler, AOF, Zweite Reihe, Band III, Heft 1, 1900, pp. 425–32, Heft 2, 1901, p. 455. Selbie, in DB., III, 1900. Cheyne, in EB., III, 1902. Barton, in JE., IX, 1905. Bruston, Les plus anciens Prophètes. Etude Critique, 1907. G. B. Gray, in Hastings's one vol. ed., 1909. G. A. Peckham, Introduction to the Study of Obadiah, 1910. See also the Introductions, esp. those by Driver, * 1909; König, 1893; Cornill, * 1905; and Budde, Geschichte der althebraischen Litteratur, 1906, and Das Prophetische Schrifttum, 1906. (4) The text and metre.—Vollers, Das Dodekapropheton der Alexandriner, ZAW., IV, 1884, pp. 16 ft. Sebók, Die Syrische Übersetzung der zwólf kleinen Propheten, 1887. Graetz, Emendationes in plerosque sacrae Scripturæ Veteris Testamenti libros, II, 1893. Ehrlich, Mikrá ki-Pheschutó, III, 1901. Cheyne, Critica Biblica, II, 1903. Oesterley, Codex Taurinensis (Y), JTS., VII, 1906, pp. 518 f. Nowack, in Kittel's Biblia Hebraica, 1906. Condamin, L'Unité d'Abdias, RB., IX, 1900, pp. 261–68. Sievers, Metrische Studien, I, 1901, pp. 479–82, and Alttestamentliche Miscellen, VII, pp. 38–49, in Berichte über d. Verhandl. d. Kgl. Sächs. Ges. d. Wissensch., 59 Band, 1907. J. M. P. Smith, The Structure of Obadiah, AJSL., XXII, 1906, pp. 131–38. Duhm, Die Zwölf Propheten in den Versmassen der Urschrift iibersetzt, 1910. (5) Edom.—Buhl, Die Geschichte der Edomiter, 1893. C. C. Torrey, The Edomites in Southern Judah, JBL., XVII, 1898, pp. 16–20. F. H. Vincent, Les Nabatéens, RB., VII, 1898, pp. 567– 88. Baudissin, in PRE.", V, 1898. Sayce, DB., II, 1899. Nöldeke, EB., II, 1910. Brünnow und v. Domaszewski, Die Provincia Arabia, I, 1904. Libbey and Hoskins, The Jordan Valley and Petra, 2 vols., 1905. Musil, Arabia Petraea, II, 1908. Dalman, Petra und seine Felsenheiligtimer, 1908. G. A. Smith, The Land of Edom, Exp., beginning Oct., 1908 f.


The title, the Vision of Obadiah, does not give time, home or father's name of the prophet. Vision is a technical name for prophecy, referring to the divine communication received in the ecstatic state. Later it referred esp. to the eschatological drama which formed its contents. Here, as in Is. I', Na. 1", it is used as the title of a book. The introd., thus saith the Lord Yahweh concerning Edom, with its emphasis on the sovereignty of Yahweh (cf. Am. 7' 8") may be intended either for the whole oracle or, better, only for the older oracle which is quoted in vv. **.

Wv. 1-4. An older oracle had declared when certain nations were allying themselves for war against Edom that the outcome would be Edom's downfall. Nothing would save her; even if her impregnable fortresses were still stronger, they would be of no avail, because Yahweh Himself would bring Edom down.

On the older oracle and Ob.'s relation to Je. see Intro. Since Ob. quotes here we may take the impf. in v. “, I will bring her down, as referring to the fut. and the pfs. in vv. *-* as proph. pfs., even though in later verses Ob. speaks of the past. Those who do not perceive that Ob. is quoting see in vv. 1-4 a description of past (We.) or of just transpiring events (Marti).

1. We have heard an audition, or oracle, may also be translated, We have heard a report or tidings (RV.). But then the phrase from Yahweh is without point, for it is not the news of the formation of an alliance that has been received from Yahweh, but the oracle in vv. ** which interprets the significance of this historic movement. And so the foll. sentence, and a messenger was sent among the nations, is neither grammatically or logically dependent on we have heard, but marks the circumstance, and should therefore be translated by when or while a messenger was being sent among the nations. Only thus is v. ‘a natural introduction to v.”. A messenger, or messengers (coll. Sg.), is going from country to country trying to persuade the various nations to join an alliance against Edom. This is still going on—for the parall. in Je. 49 gives the more forceful and better interpretation by reading sent as a prtc.—when Yahweh suddenly reveals to his prophet that He is behind the movement (vv. *). Acc. to the better text of Je. 49 this was revealed to the proph. alone in an audition: I have heard. It is the prophets and not the people in general that are the recipients of the divine revelation and interpretation of historic events (cf. Am. 3’ Is. 5"). In the Heb. text of Ob. it is, however, not the proph. alone but also the people, for it reads we have heard. Since they cannot all have had an audition we seem forced to translate hearing by rumor, but if we do this, v." stands in no immediate connection with v. *. The reading we have heard is therefore inferior, as not only Je. 49 but also ($ in our text shows. When the proph. received the revelation he did not see in his ecstatic state the messenger, one of the heavenly beings, who was to go to the nations, nor did he hear the message which Yahweh commanded him to give. For the messenger was no angel, nor are we told that he was sent by Yahweh, though ($ interprets thus. He was human and sent by some nation, for he identifies himself with the nations to which he goes. All this is clear when the circumstantial character of the clause when a messenger was being sent among the nations is recognised. Who these nations were is left unsaid. Cf. on v.". Nor do we know which nation was the soul of the confederacy. The purport of the message is summarised in direct speech. It is due to the excitement or rather to the rhythmic movement of the sentences in the orig. that it is not introduced by saying; similarly, e.g., Is. 3". “. The messenger's call to a military alliance for the purpose of overthrowing Edom, Rise ye, and let us rise up against her for war/ reads somewhat differently and more nearly as the older oracle in Je. 49", Gather yourselves together, and come against her, and rise up for war! The dramatic element in this brief, graphic description should not be overlooked. The name of the nation against which the alliance is formed is not given. The people to whom the messenger spoke knew, of course, who was meant. And we know it from the heading both in Ob. and in Je., and also from the description of the mountain people in the foll, verses which can only

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