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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Idumæans, or Edomites (ĭd'u-mç'anz, or ç'dom-îtes). The inhabitants of Idumæa or Edom, descendants of Esau, Genesis 36:1; Genesis 36:8, and dwellers in the clefts of the rocks in the Sinaitic peninsula. Jeremiah 49:16. Petra, called "Selah" or "Joktheel," their stronghold in Amaziah's day, 2 Kings 14:7, and chief city, was literally cut in the rocks, and the southern part of the country abounds in cave-dwellings. They had kings long before the Hebrews. Genesis 36:31. Though they were of the same primitive parentage as the Hebrews, they were by no means friendly to them. They perpetuated the enmity between Esau and Jacob. They opposed their passage through their country when Israel came from the wilderness. Numbers 20:20-21. But finally they allowed a passage through their eastern border, accepting also Israel's offer to pay for provisions. Deuteronomy 2:28-29. The Edomites were conquered by Saul in the early part of his reign, 1 Samuel 14:47, and by David likewise, 2 Samuel 8:14; but at the instigation of Hadad they revolted against Solomon. 1 Kings 11:14. Edom was for a long time a vassal of the kingdom of Judah, but again revolted, and after a straggle got its independence in the reign of Jehoram. 2 Kings 8:20-22. The later kings attacked and were attacked by the Edomites. The prophets foretold the desolation of the descendants of Esau and their country. Jeremiah 49:17-18; Obadiah 1:8. Thirty ruined towns within three days' journey from the Red sea attest their former greatness and their present desolation.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Idumaeans'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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