We Are Brothers in Conflict: Reading Prophet Obadiah Against the Context of Socio-Political and Ethno-Religious Hostility and Violence in Nigeria

  • Joel Kamsen Tihitshak Biwul ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos (JETS), Nigeria Research Associate Fellow, Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University
Keywords: Brotherhood, Conflict, Edom, Edomites, Hausa-Fulani, Hostility, Israel, Nigeria, Obadiah, Socio-economic, Socio-political, Socio-religious

Abstract

This article discusses the semblances between the text of Prophet Obadiah and Nigeria within the socio-political, socio-economic, socio-ethnic, and the socio-religious contexts of conflict and hostility of the latter. It puts forward the divine scandal, parental attitude of favouritism, and the careless disposition as well as the manipulative role of the Israelite and Edomites’ progenitors as the foundational root factors for the expression of generational hostility presented in this prophetic book. In contrast, the article holds the British colonial legacy and the Hausa-Fulani political manipulative domination and its self-imposed superiority de facto status accountable as the propelling aggravating factors for the incessant conflicts and hostility in Nigeria. It concludes by proposing the application of divine moral laws by people in governance in order to achieve for the country a just, fair, equitable, and a cohesive Nigerian society of true brotherhood and nationhood.

Author Biography

Joel Kamsen Tihitshak Biwul, ECWA Theological Seminary, Jos (JETS), Nigeria Research Associate Fellow, Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University
Theology/lecturer

References

Abubakar, Sa’ad. “The Northern Provinces Under Colonial Rule: 1900-1959.” Pages 447-481 in Groundwork of Nigerian History. Edited by Obaro Ikime. Nigeria: Heinemann, 1980. Repr. edition, 2004.

Adu-Gwamfi, Yaw. “Prevention of Civil War in Joshua 22: Guidelines for African Ethnic Groups.” OTE 26/2 (2013): 247-262.

________. “God’s Wrath and Judgment on Ethnic Hatred and Hope for Victims of Ethnic Hatred in Obadiah: Implications for Africa”, OTE 28/1 (2015): 11-30.

Afolabi, Oluwaseun Olawale. “The role of religion in Nigerian politics and its sustainability for political development.” Net Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 3 (2), May 2015: 42-49.

Agang, Sunday Bobai. The Impact of Ethnic, Political, and Religious Violence on Northern Nigeria, and a Theological Reflection on Its Healing. Cumbria: Langham Monographs, 2011.

Allen, Leslie C. The Books of Joel, Obadiah, Jonah and Micah – NICOT. Michigan: Eerdmans, 1976.

Anderson, Bradford A. “Poetic Justice in Obadiah.” JSOT Vol 35.2 (2010): 247-255.

Armerding, Carl E. “Obadiah.” Pages 333-357 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Volume 7. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Michigan: Zondervan, 1985.

Assis, Elie. “Structure, Redaction and Significance in the Prophecy of Obadiah.” JSOT Vol 39 no. 2 (December 2014): 209-221.

Baker, David W. The NIV Application Commentary: Joel, Obadiah, Malachi. Michigan: Zondervan. Ebook edition, 2006.

Baker, Walter L. “Obadiah.” Pages 1453-1459 in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. Edited by John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, 1985. Repr. USA: SP Publications, 1987.

Block, Daniel Isaac. Obadiah: The Kingship Belongs to YHWH. Michigan: Zondervan, 2013.

Botha, Phil J. “Social values in the book of Obadiah.” OTE 16/3 (2003): 581-597.

Bridge, Edward J. “Polite Israel and Impolite Edom: Israel’s Request to Travel through Edom in Numbers 20.14-21.” JSOT Vol 35.1 (2010): 77-88.

________. “The ‘Slave’ Is the ‘Master’: Jacob’s Servile Language to Esau in Genesis 33.1-17.” JSOT Vol 38.3 (2014): 263-278.

Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis: Interpretation. Georgia: John Knox Press, 1982.

Bullock, Clarence Hassell. Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books. Updated ed. Illinois: Moody, 2007.

Dicou, Bert. Edom, Israel's Brother and Antagonist: The Role of Edom in Biblical Prophecy and Story. Sheffield, England: JSOT Press. Ebook edition, 1994.

Eidevall, Gӧran. Sacrificial Rhetoric in the Prophetic Literature of the Hebrew Bible. United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen, 2012.

Gasque, W. Ward. “Obadiah.” Pages 914-915 in The International Bible Commentary. New ed. Edited by Frederick Fyvie Bruce. Michigan: Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1986.

Glover, Neil. “Your People, My People: An Exploration of Ethnicity in Ruth.” JSOT Vol 33.3 (2009): 293-313.

Hays, J. Daniel. The Message of the Prophets: A Survey of the Prophetic and the Apocalyptic Books of the Old Testament. Edited by Tremper Longman III. Michigan: Zondervan, 2010.

Jega, Attahiru Muhammadu. Democracy, Good Governance and Development in Nigeria. Nigeria: Spectrum, 2007.

Jenson, Philip Peter. Obadiah, Jonah, Micah: A theological commentary. London: T & T Clark, 2008.

Kalejaiye, Peter O. and Nurudeen Alliyu. “Ethnic Politics and Social Conflicts: Factors in Nigeria’s Underdevelopment.” The Journal of International Social Research Vol 6, issue 27 (Summer 2013): 252-262.

Krause, Joachim J. “Tradition, History, and Our Story: Some Observations on Jacob and Esau in the Books of Obadiah and Malachi.” JSOT Vol 32.4 (2008): 475-486.

Kukah, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan. Religion, Politics and Power in Northern Nigeria. Nigeria: Spectrum, 1993. Repr. 2011.

Limburg, James. Hosea – Micah: Interpretation. Georgia: John Knox Press, 1988.

McComiskey, Thomas Edward. “Introduction.” Pages xi-xii in The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary Volume 2 – Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, and Habakkuk. Edited by Thomas Edward McComiskey, 1993. Repr. Michigan: Baker Academic, 2006.

Michael, Matthew (Rabbi Mikhail). “Anger Management and Biblical Characters: A Study of “Angry Exchange” among Characters of Hebrew Narrative”. OTE 28/2 (2015): 451-480.

Niehaus, Jeffrey J. “Obadiah.” Pages 495-541 in The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary Volume 2 – Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, and Habakkuk. Edited by Thomas Edward McComiskey, 1993. Repr. Michigan: Baker Academic, 2006.

Nyirimana, Eraste. “Patrimonialism in the Causes of the Division of the Kingdom in Israel: A Reading of the Division Narrative from the Perspective of the Rwandan Context of Social Conflict”. OTE 24/3 (2011): 708-730.

Odeyemi, Jacob Oluwole. “A Political History of Nigeria and the Crisis of Ethnicity in Nation-Building.” International Journal of Developing Societies, Vol 3, No. 1 (2014): 87-95. DOI: 10.11634/216817831403459.

Olanisebe, Samson O. “The Justice of God in his Anger: A Narrative Analysis of Isaiah 5:1-7 and its Implications for Socio-Economic and Security Challenges in Nigeria”. OTE 28/2 (2015): 481-496.

Oluniyi, Olufemi Olayinka. The Council of Ulama and Peaceful Co-existence in Nigeria. Nigeria: Frontier, 2006.

Osaghae, Eghosa E. Nigeria Since Independence: Crippled Giant. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1998.

Payne, David F. “Genesis Chapters 12-50.” Pages 123-148 in The International Bible Commentary. New ed. Edited by Frederick Fyvie Bruce. Michigan: Marshall Morgan Scott, 1986.

Potgieter, Henk (J H). “A poetic analysis of Obadiah,” OTE 16/3 (2003): 653-667.

Premnath, D. N. “Obadiah.” Page 145 in The Old Testament and Ethics. Edited by Joel B. Green & Jacqueline E. Lapsley. Michigan: Baker Academic. Ebook edition, 2013.

Ross, Allen P. “Genesis.” Pages 15-101 in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament. Edited by John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, 1985. Repr. USA: SP Publications, 1987.

Sailhamer, John H. “Genesis.” Pages 1-284 in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Volume 2. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Michigan: Zondervan, 1990.

Seidl, Theodor. “Conflict and Conflict Resolution: Inner Controversies and Tensions as Places of Israel’s Self-Conception in the Patriarchal Traditions of Genesis.” OTE 26/3 (2013): 840-863.

Stuart, Douglas. Word Biblical Commentary Volume 31: Hosea – Jonah. Texas: Word, 1987.

Tamuno, T. N. “British Colonial Administration in Nigeria in the Twentieth Century.” Pages 393-409 in Groundwork of Nigerian History. Edited by Obaro

Ikime. Nigeria: Heinemann, 1980. Repr. 2004.

Tebes, Juan Manuel. “The Edomite Involvement in the Destruction of the First Temple: A Case of Stab-in-the Back Tradition.” JSOT Vol 36.2 (2011): 219-255.

Turaki, Yusuf. The British Colonial Legacy in Northern Nigeria: A Social Ethical Analysis of the Colonial and Post-Colonial Society and Politics in Nigeria. Nigeria: Challenge, 1993.

________. Tainted Legacy: Islam, Colonialism and Slavery in Northern Nigeria. Virginia: Isaac Publishing, 2010.

Ukiwo, Ukoha. “Politics, ethno-religious conflicts and democratic consolidation in Nigeria.” Journal of Modern African Studies, 41, 1 (2003): 115–138. DOI: 10.1017/S0022278X02004172.

Wenham, Gordon J. Word Biblical Commentary Volume 2: Genesis 16-50. Texas: Word, 1994.

Zvi, Ehud Ben. “De-Historicizing and Historicizing Tendencies in the Twelve Prophetic Books: A Case Study of the Heuristic Value of a Historically Anchored Systematic Approach to the Corpus of Prophetic Literature.” Pages 37-56. In Israel’s Prophets and Israel’s Past: Essays on the Relationship of Prophetic Texts and Israelite History in Honor of John H. Hayes. Edited by Brad E. Kelle & Megan Bishop Moore. Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies series 446, eds. Claudia V. Camp and Andrew Mein. New York: T & T Clark, 2006.

Published
2017-04-01