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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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Name given to Esau because he craved the red pottage of Jacob, Edom signifying red, Genesis 25:30 ; Genesis 36:1,8,19 ; but the name is more usually given to his tribe and the territory they possessed. This extended from the land of Moab, southward to the Gulf of Akaba, in length about 100 miles, from about 29 30' to 31 N, and about 35 30' E. It is a remarkably mountainous district with lofty peaks and deep glens, but also with very productive plains. It had been called mount Seir. Genesis 36:8 . Some of the rocks were so precipitous that Amaziah killed 10,000 of the children of Seir (Edomites) by casting them down from the rocks, whereby they were dashed to pieces. 2 Chronicles 25:11 . Bozrah and Sela, or Selah, were its chief cities.

When Israel was approaching the land of Palestine, Moses appealed to Edom to let them pass through their country, but they refused. The Israelites therefore returned south by way of the Red Sea (Gulf of Akaba) in order to compass the land of Edom, and then kept to the east of Edom until they reached the land of Moab. Numbers 21:4 .

Edom is constantly referred to in the prophets as having had relations with Israel, and is judged because of its perpetual hatred against them. Ezekiel 35:5 . God at one time stirred up the king of Edom to punish Israel (1 Kings 11:14 ), and then again strengthened Israel to punish Edom. 2 Chronicles 25:10,11 . Some of the prophecies however extend to the future. Edomtook pleasure in the punishment of Judah when judgement was falling upon it. Of Jerusalem they said, "Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof," Psalm 137:7 , evincing, as also do other passages, the hatred and jealousy of the descendants of Esau.

Many prophecies speak of its punishment. When the king of the north in a future day invades Palestine and overthrows countries as far as Egypt, "Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" will escape, being reserved to be subdued by Israel. Daniel 11:41 ; Isaiah 11:13,14 ; Obadiah 18,19 . It is from 'Edom' that the Lord Jesus is represented as coming 'with dyed garments' because of His having executed judgements. Isaiah 63:1 . Its destruction will be complete. Obadiah 10 .

During the captivity the Edomites extended their dominion in the West and possessed Hebron; and some 300 years B.C. the Nabatheans took Petra (which is supposed to be the same as Sela, q.v. ), and established themselves in the district. They settled down and engaged in commerce, and formed the kingdom called by Roman writers Arabia Petraea. Under the Maccabees the Edomites in the west were conquered, and Hebron was recovered. After possession by the Romans, under the withering influence of Islamic rule the district came to ruin.

The Greek form of Edom is IDUMEA,which occurs only in Isaiah 34:5,6 ; Ezekiel 35:15 ; Ezekiel 36:5 ; Mark 3:8 .

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Edom'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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