Obadiah meaning | Obadiah etymology

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Obadiah in Biblical Hebrew
Biblical male character
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The name Obadiah in the Bible

The name Obadiah is among the most popular in the Bible. Besides the prophet who probably lived in the 9th century BC and who wrote the Book of Obadiah, there are up to twelve Obadiahs mentioned:

  • King Ahab's chief housekeeper (1 Kings 18:3) ;
  • A descendant of Solomon (1 Chronicles 3:21) ;
  • A descendant of Issachar (1 Chronicles 7:3) ;
  • A descendant of Saul (1 Chronicles 8:38) ;
  • One of David's 'mighty-men' (1 Chronicles 12:9) ;
  • The father of the chief of Zebulun during the days of king David (1 Chronicles 27:19) ;
  • A teacher in the time of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:7);
  • A temple repair worker in the time of king Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:12) ;
  • A chief in the second wave of return to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:9) who may or may not be the same as the Obadiah who signed the covenant of Ezra (Nehemiah 10:5) or even the Obadiah mentioned among the returning Levites (1 Chronicles 9:16), or the Levite Obadiah who was a gatekeeper (Nehemiah 12:25).

Etymology of the name Obadiah

The name Obadiah consists of two parts. The final bit is יה, which is the abbreviated form of יהוה, the Name of the Lord: YHWH.

The first part of the name Obadiah comes from the root עבד (abad), meaning servant or to serve:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Obadiah meaning

For a meaning of the name Obadiah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Servant Of Yahweh. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Servant Of The Lord.

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