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masc. proper name, fourth of the Twelve Prophets of the Old Testament, from Hebrew Obhadyah, literally "servant of the Lord," from abhadh "he served, worshipped," related to Arabic 'abada "he served," 'abd "slave, worshipper."
servant of the Lord. (1.) An Israelite who was chief in the household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3). Amid great spiritual degeneracy he maintained his fidelity to God, and interposed to protect The Lord's prophets, an hundred of whom he hid at great personal risk in a cave (4, 13). Ahab seems to have held Obadiah in great honour, although he had no sympathy with his piety (5, 6, 7). The last notice of him is his bringing back tidings to Ahab that Elijah, whom he had so long sought for, was at hand (9-16). "Go," said Elijah to him, when he met him in the way, "go tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here." (2.) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3). (3.) A descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38). (4.) A Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16). (5.) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9). (6.) A prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19). (7.) One of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7). (8.) A Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12). (9.) One who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra 8:9). (10.) A prophet, fourth of the minor prophets in the Hebrew canon, and fifth in the LXX. He was probably contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Of his personal history nothing is known.