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xii + 132 pp.

£35 / $55 / €45
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£15 / $25 / €20

Obadiah and Haggai
Graham Ogden

This new commentary questions whether Obadiah’s ‘vision’ is a prophetic book in the traditional sense, or a communal appeal to God to deal with Edom, similar to the cry in Psalm 137.7-9. Ogden suggests an editorial structure for the document built around the numerically central v. 11 that provides a focus for the appeal, one which seeks an immediate response from God. The conclusion is that this is fundamentally an appeal for God to act, rather than a promise of a future possibility.

The Haggai commentary argues that the document is a collection of loosely related stories about the prophet Haggai’s encounters with Zerubbabel and Joshua, Judaean leaders who did not share the prophet’s sense of urgency about providing God with a refurbished house. Haggai is seen as a somewhat distant figure whose narrow worldview and theology saw him in conflict with the openness of the two community leaders. Haggai’s explanation for the crisis confronting the community showed little concern for its impact on the community, his calls to ‘Consider…’ pressuring them to conform to his plan for God’s ‘house’.

Both commentaries take the view that from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 587 bce, and for many many years thereafter, there was a wide range of oral material in circulation that gave expression to Judaean pain and anger at what had happened, and to the deceitfulness of its ‘brother’ Edom’s participation in the demise of the southern kingdom. The editors of both Obadiah and Haggai drew upon that range of oral stories that existed in multiple forms to make their individual reports. Both documents have deep roots in Deuteronomic and nationalistic ideology.

Ogden provides a reading that prioritizes the rhetorical elements in the Hebrew text while noting its historical, social and theological settings.

Series: Readings: A New Biblical Commentary
978-1-914490-09-5 hardback / 978-1-914490-10-1 paperback
Publication May 2022


On Reading Obadiah
Authorship and Unity
Oral Transmission
Prophetic Language?
Oracles against Foreign Nations
The Day of the Lord
Obadiah’s Theological Perspective

Verse 1a Title
Verses 1b-4 A Message concerning Edom
Verses 5-7 Edom’s Allies Prove Treacherous
Verses 8-10 Edom’s Wisdom and Power Destroyed
Verse 11 The Core Charge against Edom
Verses 12-14 Edom’s Treachery Described
Verses 15-18 Edomite Treachery to Be Repaid.
Verses 19-21 Edom Dispossessed

Obadiah and Deuteronomy
Obadiah and Psalm 137
A Conclusion

Brief Bibliography


From Little Things Big Things Grow
On Reading Haggai
Haggai and Israel’s Prophetic Tradition
Haggai in Historical Context
The Prophet Haggai
On Haggai, Zerubbabel and Joshua
Aramaic or Hebrew?
Prophetic Insight
Literary Features of Haggai
Haggai and Deuteronomy
Dating Haggai
Haggai and its Theological Ideas

Haggai 1
Outline of Contents
1.1-15a First Dated Message
1.1-2 The Editor’s Introduction
1.3-11 Call to Rebuild the Temple
1.5-6 ‘Consider . . .’ I
1.7-11 ‘Consider . . .’ II
1.12-15a The People Respond

Haggai 2
1.15b—2.9 Second Dated Message
1.15b–2.1 Second Message: October 17, 520 BCE
2.10-19 Third Message: December 18, 520 BCE
2.10-14 A Priestly Ruling on Holiness
and Haggai’s Application
2.15-19 Two Calls to Reflect on the Future
2.18-19 ‘Consider . . .’ IV
2.20-23 Fourth Message: December18, 520 BCE

Haggai and the Modern Reader
On Being Chosen
On God and Nature
God and the Nations
On Prophecy
Theological Exclusivism
Analogical Application


Appendix A
Haggai and Prophetic Forms