The book of Obadiah is a prophecy written for the people of Israel, but the prophecy has to do with the nation of Edom located to the south of Israel. The people of Edom were the descendants of Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, making them close relatives of the Israelite people. This is why Israel was forbidden to hate the Edomites (Deuteronomy 23:7). But the tense relationship between Jacob and Esau continued among their descendants.
The Edomites wouldn’t allow the Israelites to pass through their land during their journey to Canaan (Numbers 20:14–21). And Edom stood by when Jerusalem was ransacked (Obadiah 1:11–14). Because of this indifference to their brother’s plight, Edom would be brought down (v. 4). This prophecy is repeated in Ezekiel 35. After the death of Herod the Great (an Edomite), the nation and people of Edom eventually disappeared from the historical record, fulfilling the prophecies against them.