What the scriptures say about
EDOM
Country south of Israel, also referred to as "Mount Seir" | see Maps below
another name for Jacob's older twin, ESAU; red
References:
Easton's Bible Dictionary | Smith's Bible Dictionary | International Standard Bible Encyclopedia | Thompson Chain Reference

EDOM in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]   Site search: FreeFind search

select Cross Reference Bible links
  Genesis 25:30   |   Genesis 36:9   |   Numbers 20:14   |   Ezekiel 35:1 ff (Mt. Seir)  


Psalm 137:7 - Edomites rejoiced when Jerusalem fell
Jeremiah 9:25-26 - punishment for uncircumcised Edom et al
Jer 49:7-22 - judgment fate of Edom
Ezekiel 25:12 - fate of Edom
Ezek 32:29 - fate of Edom
Daniel 11:41 (all of Dan 11) - exploits of the king of the North in end times
Obadiah 1 - Edom ignored Israel's time of trouble
Joel 3:19 - Egypt & Edom punished for violence done to Israeli people
Amos 1:6 ff - the Lord remembers what Edom has done
Amos 1:11-12 - for 3 sins of Edom...
Malachi 1:3-4 - Edom, beaten down then building up, will be beaten down over and over as Yahweh shows His wrath against those people forever. Others will call Edom the "Wicked Land".


EDOM [Easton's Bible Dictionary]

  • The name of Esau (q.v.), Genesis 25:30, "Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage [Heb. haadom, haadom, i.e., 'the red pottage, the red pottage'] ...Therefore was his name called Edom", i.e., Red.

  • Idumea (Isaiah 34:5,6; Ezekiel 35:15). "The field of Edom" (Genesis 32:3), "the land of Edom" (Genesis 36:16), was mountainous (Obadiah 1:8,9,19,21). It was called the land, or "the mountain of Seir," the rough hills on the east side of the Arabah. It extended from the head of the Gulf of Akabah, the Elanitic gulf, to the foot of the Dead Sea (1 Kings 9:26), and contained, among other cities, the rock-hewn Sela (q.v.), generally known by the Greek name Petra (2 Kings 14:7). It is a wild and rugged region, traversed by fruitful valleys. Its old capital was Bozrah (Isaiah 63:1). The early inhabitants of the land were Horites. They were destroyed by the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2:12), between whom and the kings of Israel and Judah there was frequent war (2 Kings 8:20; 2Chr 28:17).

    At the time of the Exodus they churlishly refused permission to the Israelites to pass through their land (Numbers 20:14-21), and ever afterwards maintained an attitude of hostility toward them. They were conquered by David (2 Samuel 8:14; Compare 1 Kings 9:26), and afterwards by Amaziah (2 Chronicles 25:11,12). But they regained again their independence, and in later years, during the decline of the Jewish kingdom (2 Kings 16:6; RSV marg., "Edomites"), made war against Israel. They took part with the Chaldeans when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, and afterwards they invaded and held possession of the south of Palestine as far as Hebron. At length, however, Edom fell under the growing Chaldean power (Jeremiah 27:3,6).

    There are many prophecies concerning Edom (Isaiah 34:5,6; Jeremiah 49:7-18; Ezekiel 25:13; 35:1-15; Joel 3:19; Amos 1:11; Obad.; Malachi 1:3,4) which have been remarkably fulfilled. The present desolate condition of that land is a standing testimony to the inspiration of these prophecies. After an existence as a people for above seventeen hundred years, they have utterly disappeared, and their language even is forgotten for ever. In Petra, "where kings kept their court, and where nobles assembled, there no man dwells; it is given by lot to birds, and beasts, and reptiles."

    The Edomites were Semites, closely related in blood and in language to the Israelites. They dispossessed the Horites of Mount Seir; though it is clear, from Genesis 36, that they afterwards intermarried with the conquered population. Edomite tribes settled also in the south of Judah, like the Kenizzites (Genesis 36:11), to whom Caleb and Othniel belonged (Joshua 15:17). The southern part of Edom was known as Teman.


  • E’DOM, IDUMAE’A [Smith's Bible Dictionary]

    (red). The name Edom was given to Esau, the first-born son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob, when he sold his birthright to the latter for a meal of lentil pottage. The country which the Lord subsequently gave to Esau was hence called "the country of Edom," (Genesis 32:3) and his descendants were called Edomites. Edom was called Mount Seir and Idumea also.

    Edom was wholly a mountainous country. It embraced the narrow mountainous tract (about 100 miles long by 20 broad) extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from the northern end of the Gulf of Elath to near the southern end of the Dead Sea. The ancient capital of Edom was Bozrah (Buseireh ).

    Sela (Petra) appears to have been the principal stronghold in the days of Amaziah (B.C. 838). (2 Kings 14:7) Elath and Ezion-geber were the seaports. (2 Samuel 8:14; 1 Kings 9:26)

    History.

    --Esau’s bitter hatred to his brother Jacob for fraudulently obtaining his blessing appears to have been inherited by his latest posterity. The Edomites peremptorily refused to permit the Israelites to pass through their land. (Numbers 20:18-21)

    For a period of 400 years we hear no more of the Edomites. They were then attacked and defeated by Saul, (1 Samuel 14:47) and some forty years later by David. (2 Samuel 8:13,14) In the reign of Jehoshaphat (B.c. 914) the Edomites attempted to invade Israel, but failed. (2 Chronicles 20:22) They joined Nebuchadnezzar when that king besieged Jerusalem.

    For their cruelty at this time they were fearfully denounced by the later prophets. (Isaiah 34:5-8; 63:1-4; Jeremiah 49:17) After this they settled in southern Palestine, and for more than four centuries continued to prosper. But during the warlike rule of the Maccabees they were again completely subdued, and even forced to conform to Jewish laws and rites, and submit to the government of Jewish prefects.

    The Edomites were now incorporated with the Jewish nation. They were idolaters. (2 Chronicles 25:14,15,20) Their habits were singular.

    The Horites, their predecessors in Mount Seir, were, as their name implies, troglodytes, or dwellers in caves; and the Edomites seem to have adopted their dwellings as well as their country. Everywhere we meet with caves and grottos hewn in the soft sandstone strata.


    EDOM [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia]

    e'-dum, e'-dum-its 'edhom, "red"; Edom):

    1. Boundaries:

    The boundaries of Edom may be traced with some approach to accuracy. On the East of the `Arabah the northern border ran from the Dead Sea, and was marked by Wady el-Kurachi, or Wady el-Chasa. On the East it marched with the desert. The southern border ran by Elath and Ezion-geber (Deuteronomy 2:8). On the West of the `Arabah the north boundary of Edom is determined by the south border of Israel, as indicated in Numbers 34:3 f: a line running from the Salt Sea southward of the Ascent of Akrabbim to Zin and Kadesh-barnea. This last, we are told, lay in the "uttermost" of the border of Edom (Numbers 20:16). The line may be generally indicated by the course of Wady el-Fiqrah. How much of the uplands West of the `Arabah southward to the Gulf of `Aqaba was included in Edom it is impossible to say.
    2. Character and Features:
    The land thus indicated varies greatly in character and features. South of the Dead Sea in the bottom of the valley we have first the stretch of salt marsh land called es-Sebkha; then, beyond the line of white cliffs that crosses the valley diagonally from Northwest to Southeast, a broad depression strewn with stones and sandhills, the debris of an old sea bottom, rises gradually, and 60 miles to the South reaches a height of about 700 ft. above the level of the Red Sea, 2,000 ft. above that of the Dead Sea. From this point it sinks until it reaches the shore of the Gulf of `Aqaba, 45 miles farther South. The whole depression is known today as Wady el-`Arabah (compare Hebrew ha-`arabhah, Deuteronomy 2:8 the Revised Version (British and American), etc.). On either side the mountains rise steeply from the valley, their edges carved into many fantastic shapes by the deep wadys that break down from the interior (see ARABAH ). The northern part of the plateau on the West forms the spacious grazing ground of the `Azdzimeh Arabs. The mountains rise to a height of from about 1,500 ft. to a little over 2,000 ft. This district was traversed by the ancient caravan road to South Palestine; and along the eastern side traces of the former civilization are still to be seen. The desert region to the South is higher, reaching to as much as 2,600 ft. The mountain range East of the `Arabah is generally higher in the South than in the North. Jebel Harun beside Petra, is 4,780 ft. above sea-level; while East of `Aqaba, Jebel el-Chisma may be as much as 5,900 ft. in height. Limestone, porphyry and Nubian sandstone are the prevailing formation; but volcanic rocks are also found. The range consists mainly of rough rocky heights with many almost inaccessible peaks separated by deep gorges. But there are also breadths of fertile land where wheat, grapes, figs, pomegranates and olives are grown to advantage. The northern district is known today by the name el-Jebal, corresponding to the ancient Gebal. Seir is the name applied to the eastern range in Genesis 36:8; Deuteronomy 2:1,5; 2 Chronicles 20:23. It is also called Edom, and the Mount of Esau (Obadiah 1:8 f). Seir, however, is used for the western highlands in Deuteronomy 33:2. This seems to be its meaning also in Judges 5:4, where it appears as the equivalent of "the field of Edom." With this same phrase, however, in Genesis 32:3 it may more fitly apply to the eastern range.

    See illustration under DESERT .

    3. Origin of Name:
    The name Edom, "red," may have been derived from the red sandstone cliffs characteristic of the country. It was applied to Esau because of the color of his skin (Genesis 25:25), or from the color of the pottage for which he sold his birthright (Genesis 25:30). In Genesis 36:8 Esau is equated with Edom as dwelling in Mt. Seir; and he is described as the father of Edom (36:9, Hebrew). The name however is probably much older. It may be traced in the records of the Twelfth Dynasty in Egypt. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters (Brit Mus No. 64) Udumu, or Edom, is named; and in Assyrian inscriptions the name Udumu occurs of a city and of a country. The latter may have been named from the former: this again may have been derived from a deity, Edom, who may be traced in such a name as Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:10).
    4. History:
    The children of Esau are said to have "destroyed" the Horites who dwelt in Seir before them (Genesis 14:6; Deuteronomy 2:22). This only means that the Horites were subdued. Esau married the daughter of Anah, a Horite (Genesis 36:20 -- in verse 2 he is called a Hivite); and the lists in this chapter show that the races intermingled. The Horite government was in the hands of "dukes" (Genesis 36:29 f, the Revised Version (British and American) "chiefs"). They were succeeded by dukes of the house of Esau (Genesis 36:40 ff). This form of government gave way to that of an elective monarchy (Genesis 36:31 ff); and this had existed some time before Israel left the wilderness. The then reigning king would not permit Israel to pass through the land (Numbers 20:14 ff; Numbers 21:4). Israel was forbidden to "abhor an Edomite," on the ground that he was a brother; and children of the third generation might enter the assembly of the Lord (Deuteronomy 23:7 f). War with Edom was out of the question.

    Some thirty years after the Exodus, Ramses III "smote the people of Seir." The Israelites could not have been far off. We first hear of war between Israel and Edom under Saul (1 Samuel 14:47). David prosecuted the war with terrific energy, slaying 18,000 Edomites (so read instead of "Syrians") in the Valley of Salt (2 Samuel 8:13 f) ; Joab remaining for six months in the country, which was garrisoned by Israelites, "until he had cut off every male in Edom" (1 Kings 11:15 f). Hadad of the blood royal of Edom escaped to Egypt, and later became a source of trouble to Solomon (1 Kings 11:14 ff,25). The conquest of Edom opened to Israel the ports of the Red Sea, whence the expeditions of Solomon and Jehoshaphat set out. In Jehoshaphat's time the king is called a "deputy" (1 Kings 22:47). Its king acknowledged the supremacy of Judah (2 Kings 3:9, etc.). Under Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, Edom revolted. Jehoram defeated them at Zair, but was unable to quell the rebellion (2 Kings 8:20 ff). Amaziah invaded the country, slew 10,000 in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela which he named Joktheel (2 Kings 14:7). Uzziah restored the Edomite port of Elath (2 Kings 14:22). In the Syrian war Rezin regained Elath for Syria, and cast out the Jews. It was then permanently occupied by Syrians--here also probably we should read Edomites (2 Kings 16:6). From the cuneiform inscriptions we learn that when Tiglath-pileser subdued Rezin, among the kings from whom he received homage at Damascus was Qaus-malaka of Edom (736 BC). Later Malik-ram paid homage to Sennacherib. To Ezarhaddon also they were compelled to render service. They gave what help they could to Nebuchadnezzar, and exulted in the destruction of Jerusalem, stirring the bitterest indignation in the hearts of the Jews (Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 25:12; 35:3 ff; Obadiah 1:10 ff). The Edomites pressed into the now empty lands in the South of Judah. In 300 BC Mt. Seir with its capital Petra fell into the hands of the Nabateans.

    5. Idumaea and the Idumeans:
    West of the `Arabah the country they occupied came to be known by the Greek name Idumaea, and the people as Idumeans. Hebron, their chief city, was taken by Judas Maccabeus in 165 BC (1 Macc 4:29,61; 5:65). In 126 BC the country was subdued by John Hyrcanus, who compelled the people to become Jews and to submit to circumcision. Antipater, governor of Idumaea, was made procurator of Judea, Samaria and Galilee by Julius Caesar. He paved the way to the throne for his son Herod the Great. With the fall of Judah under the Romans, Idumaea disappears from history.

    The names of several Edomite deities are known: Hadad, Qaus, Koze, and, possibly, Edom; but of the religion of Edom we are without information. The language differed little from Hebrew.

    W. Ewing


    EDOMITES [Thompson Chain Reference]
        * (descendants of Esau)
        * Genesis 36:9
        * Numbers 20:18
        * Deuteronomy 2:4
        * Deuteronomy 23:7
        * Judges 11:17
        * 1 Kings 11:1


    More on EDOM:
    * Wikipedia * Edom/Bozrah info * Coming Exile of Israel in Edom, Dolphin * Moab and Edom * Bozrah-Petra * Petra, tribulation.com
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