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The Romans Were Not Edomites

Updated on October 3, 2017

Where This Doctrine Came From

Welcome. Today we are going to go over the doctrine that says that the Edomites are the progenitor of the Romans, and show how this is entirely false according to scripture. Before we do that we need to understand where this idea came from. We will be reading "Picture History of Jewish Civilization" and "The Secrets of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai" in this lesson. But first we need to get some info on that last book. Rabbi Simon did not write this book. It is a commentary on his teachings. He was a 2nd-century tannaitic sage in ancient Israel, said to be active after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE. This book about his writings was written in the 8th century A.D.

Where This Doctrine Came From

"Picture History of Jewish Civilization"

This is where it quotes "The Secrets of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai"

  • "And when he saw that the kingdom of the sons of Ishmael would eventually spread throughout the world, Simeon Bar Yochai reept and said, lord of the universe, is it not enough for your sons what the evil kingdom of Edom [Rome] did to them, that you must also send the kingdom of Ismael against us? The holy one blessed be he answered, "Do not fear, son of man, for the holy one be he brings the kingdom of Ishmael only to save you from this evil one, and He sets a prophet of his choice over them, and they will come and restore it [to the Jews], and there will be a great hatred between them and the children of Esau [Rome]."

There is a lot more information we need to get on "The Secrets of Rabbi Simon ben Yohai". It is a Jewish amyth of the mid-eighth century, which present a Judaic messianic interpretation of the Arab conquest of the early 7th century. This was a Judaic messianic story, meaning they did not believe in the Savior of the New Testament. This story was about the first coming of whom they believed might be the Savior that would bring about the end. The 8th century has gone by us. So this itself is not a reliable source. Now we need to understand where the idea of an Edom-Rome connection came about. Why did they refer to Edom as Rome?

In Jewish history, the Roman Empire was identified with Edom, specifically the Amalekites. Spanish Rabbinic leader Rambam and Ezra, French Rabbinic leader Rashi, and more use Edomite to refer to Rome, the Byzantine Empire. Here is an excerpt from Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon in his book "Gate of Redemption" in regards to Rambam.

First Gate

  • "The ships will come from the coast of Kittim (Numbers 24 24).... I have just said that the Kittim are Romans, we find Kittim to be one of the children of Javan, the ancestors of the Greeks. Kittim, however became the head of the large family which eventually became the seperate nation named for Kittim, their ancestor. Thus we have found in the Torah of Moshe (Moses), peace be upon him, a clear promise of the future redemption which is to come upon us."

Third Gate

  • "We who rely on the opinion of our Rabbis of blessed memory believe that we are presently in the exile of Edom (Rome) and that we shall have no respite from it until the coming of the Messiah (Their firstcoming of the Messiah, not the true Second Coming as he had already came before that point). The Edomites, the nation around Mount Seir, descended from Esau, who were the first to mistakenly follow after the man who claimed that he was the Messiah. They also ascribed Elohimliness to him."

These men do not even acknowledge the true Savior. They are saying the Edomites acknowledged him.

  • "When they came to the land of Italy, their errors spread to the nearby city of Rome. There in the days of Constantine who ruled over Rome, the council under the authority of the bishop of the city of Rome determined their belief in him and established it as the religion of the empire. This above all else is the main cause and reason that Rome and Edom are considered as one kingdom although they are different nations. In spite of that difference they are related because of their uniformity of belief which makes them one people and one nation."

So even when they called Rome and Edom the same thing, they established a clear distinction between them as races. It was never used to refer to them as the same exact race of people.

"The Jewish Encyclopedia: Use Of Name:"

  • "The name "Edom" is used by the Talmudists for the Roman empire, and they applied to Rome every passage of the Bible referring to Edom or to Esau. In Leviticus Rabbah (xiii.) Rome, under the name of "Edom," is compared to a boar, and the symbolic name "Seir" was used by the poets of the Middle Ages not only for Rome (comp. Ecclus. 1. 26, Hebr.), but also for Christianity (Zunz, "Literaturgesch." p. 620). On this account the word "Edom" was often expunged by the censor and another name substituted (Popper, "Censorship of Hebrew Books," p. 58). In place of "Edom," the word "Ḥazir" (swine) was occasionally used, perhaps as a mere term of reproach (but see Epstein, "Beiträge zur Jüd. Alterthumskunde," p. 35). In Midrash Tanḥuma Bereshit, Hadrian is called "the King of Edom." The Talmudists, however, made an exception in favor of Antoninus Pius, whom they assured would attain paradise, because he had not acted in the manner of Esau ('Ab. Zarah 10b). 'Abodah Zarah 10a, however, explaining Obadiah, verse 2, says that Edom had neither written nor spoken language. This is inconsistent with its application to Rome."

Here we see that the Talmudists decided to refer to every mention of the Edomites as the Roman Empire without the use of context. There is no scriptural proof that links the Edomites and the Romans.

Who Built Petra?

One could make the connection between Roman architecture and the ruins in Petra, which was the land of the Edomites. But the Edomites did not build those monuments. We will be reading the Sarcophagus of an Ancient Civilization by George Livingston Robertson.


  • "Shortly after Jerusalem's fall and Judah's exile to Babylon in 586 B.C., the Edomites migrated, for some reason, from their particular home in Mt. Sier, to southern Judah and the adjacent portions of the Negeb, and from that time onward they were known as Idumeans."
  • "Their migration was apparently due to the northern movement of the desert Arabs known as the Nabateans, who suddenly emerged out of the wilds of Central Arabia, until at some time during the sixth century B.C., they succeeded in expelling the sons of Esau from their mountain fastnesses, and took possession of the rock-city of Petra."

So the Edomites were kicked out of Petra in the 6th century B.C. The Nabateans inhabited that place. Remember this.

Pages 370-371

  • "The coming of the Romans into Palestine during the first century B.C. greatly changed the complexion of the country. Not only did they take full possession of Palestine proper, they eventually took Petra and reduced the whole territory formerly known as Edom to the status of a Roman province."

So the Edomites were kicked out of Petra in the 6th century B.C. The Nabateans inhabited that place. Now in the 1st century the Romans have taken over.

"The Monuments of Petra" Page 79

  • "Today all of these splendidly carved tombs and temples are marred, and in the process of decay. The slow but persistent effects of natural erosion has been accelerated by reckless Oriental iconoclasm (that's people from the East who painted over things), until every sepulcher has been completely emptied, and not even an inscription remains to identify the dead. It is accordingly impossible to date Petra's monuments with any precision. We can only guess from the different types of architecture (Remember this. They can date it from the different types of architecture.) and a few other hints that are left at hand that probably the great majority of them belong to the period 200 B.C.-200 A.D."

We read earlier that the Edomites were kicked out of Petra in the 6th century B.C. But a majority of Petra's architecture was done at a completely different time period.

Page 85-86

  • "The Khazneh (The building above, the same one they always use to say Esau is the white man), which greets the eye long before the explorer has actually issued from the Siq, is the glory of the gorge. It is the most remarkable monument, as we have already seen in the entire Necropolis. It faces the exit of the Siq. No other rock-hewn edifier, even in Petra, can really be said to compare with it., It dates very probably from the first century A.D., as its style is not Roman, but Hellenistic: the pomp and decoration of the late Roman architecture being entirely wanting."

So the Khazneh was built around the 1st Century A.D., at the time when the Edomites did not even live in the land.

  • "On the other hand, the Corinthian capitals, the elaborate moldings, the decorative reliefs on flat surfaces, and the free use of statues and carved animals, show that either the Nabateans were themselves capable of such workmanship, or they employed, like Solomon when constructing the Temple in Jerusalem, foreign architects and foreign workers to execute it."
  • "One authority groups the Kahzneh with the Corinthian Tomb and the Dair and makes them all based on foreign models, which may be supposed to have been carried out to the order of foreigners, with foreign designers, and possibly foreign workmen."

So it is most likely not native to the land of Petra and was not constructed by the Nabateans, but by foreigners.


These coins are used as evidence to say that the Edomites and the Romans are the same people, specifically the first one. But there is more information behind this coin and this man known as Agrippa. The reason it says "M Agrippa" is because this is Marcus Agrippa, the son-in-law of Augustus. This is not Herod Agrippa. How did they get the name Agrippa?

  • "The Jewish king Herod the Great had many sons and one of them was Aristobulus. However, the prince and the king were not on speaking terms; after two trials before the Roman emperor Augustus, Herod had his son executed in 7 BCE. Aristobulus' son Agrippa, named after Augustus' friend Marcus Vispanius Agrippa, was spared." (Herod Agrippa I)

Herod was named Agrippa because his father admired Marcus Vispanius Agrippa and named his son after this man. Agrippa is a Roman name. So this man in the coin is not in the Herodian dynasty, nor is he an Edomite. If we compare this with an actual coin of Herod Agrippa, we can see that there is a clear distinction even though the coin itself is in bad shape.

The Macedonians Were Not Edomites

Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty.
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty.

Esther 16 10

  • "Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, I Aman the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received being a stranger by us:"

Here it says that Aman was referred to here as a Macedonian. Now if you have the red book of the Apocrypha, you will find this note at the top of chapter 16.

  • "Placed in the Greek after Ch. 8:12 of the Hebrew".

This lets us know that this book is translated from the Greek, also known as the Septuagint. There are many different versions of this. But we will get to that later on.

Esther 3 1

  • "After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him."

Here it refers to him as an Agagite, a descendant of Hagag. That means that if you say that the Amalekites or Agagites are Macedonians, that would mean that all the descendants of Hagag started Macedonia. But this is false. Let's look in the Septuagint version of Esther 3 1.

Esther 3 1

  • "And after this king Artaxerxes highly honoured Haman{gr.Aman} [son] of Amadathes, the Bugaean, and exalted him, and set his seat above all his friends."

It called him a Bugaean, or "Bougean". A Bougean is a word that carries a sense of scorn. There is no certain origin of this word, but the meaning of it carries scorn. Later Greek additions replaced this word with Macedonian. ("Women in Scripture" by Carol L, Meyers, Toni Craven, & Ross Kraemer Pg. 172). If we read chapter 8 in the Septuagint, we will find that Haman was referred to as a Macedonian.

Esther 8 13

  • " For whereas Haman{gr.Aman}, a Macedonian, the son of Amadathes, in reality an alien from the blood of the Persians, and differing widely from our mild course of government, having been hospitably entertained by us, obtained so large a share of our universal kindness, as to be called our father, and to continue the person next to the royal throne, reverenced of all; [he, however], overcome by the pride [of his station], endeavoured to deprive us of our dominion, and our life; having by various and subtle artifices demanded for destruction both Mordecai{gr.Mardochaeus} our deliverer and perpetual benefactor, and Esther the blameless consort of [our] kingdom, with their whole nation."

He is referred to in the Septuagint also as a Bugaean and a Macedonian.

If you look up a document online known as ESTHER TO THE READER" you will find the following:


  • "Esther is one of three books in the Hebrew canon to have survived in two distinct Greek versions. The Cottingen critical edition of Esther prints both Greek texts. The "Septuagint" (Old Greek = OG) version is printed on the top half of the page with the siglum o'. The second Greek version is known as the Alpha Text (AT) and is printed on the bottom of the page with the signum I., because at the time of its printing, this Greek version was thought to be Lucianic."

Just because one text is referred to as Old Greek (or OG) does not make it any older.

  • "Recent scholarship has challenged the traditional view that the o' text of Esther was the first Greek translation made of the Hebrew and that the AT (Alpha Text) was a later revision of it."

So the old text is most likely not older.


  • 'Of the two versions, the o' text of Esther follows the Hebrew MT (Masoretic Text) more closely and when the six additional chapters are excluded, agrees with it semantically in about 87% of its translation units and formally in about 62% of its translation units. In comparison, the AT, which is about 20% shorter than the MT even including the additional chapters, exhibits about 81% semantic agreement with the MT and about 52% formal agreement."

The Alpha text is inferior to the Old Greek in comparison to the Masoretic text. Let's compare them.

Left (Old Greek) Right (Alpha Text)
Left (Old Greek) Right (Alpha Text)

We see that in the Alpha Text it says he is a Macedonian. But the Old Greek says he is a Bugaean. Both of these words contain a sense of scorn. The Macedonians were the enemies of the Persians during this era and Bugaean is a word of scorn.

Bougean is not a word of national origin. And the word Macedonian here is not referring to a national origin, but it is referring to a word of scorn. Now we are going to look at another document you can find online called "THE APOCRYPHA: with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books" Zaine Ridling, Ph.D. EDITOR."

We find that this verse also refers to him as a Macedonian, but he is really an alien to the Persian blood. We see that this is not in terms of nationality. We are given his nationality in the Septuagint.

Esther 12 6

  • “Howbeit Aman the son of Amadathus the Agagite, who was in great honour with the king, sought to molest Mardocheus and his people because of the two eunuchs of the king.”

It agrees with the statement made by Josephus that Haman was an Amalekite.

"Antiquities of the Jews 11.6.5 by Flavius Josephus."

  • "Now there was one Haman, the son of Amedatha, by birth an Amalekite, that used to go in to the King: and the foreigners and Persians worshipped him; as Artaxerxes had commanded that such honour should be paid to him. But Mordecai was so wise, and so observant of his own country's laws, that he would not worship the man. When Haman observed this, he inquired whence he came? and when he understood that he was a Jew, he had indignation at him, and said within himself: that “Whereas the Persians, who were free men, worshipped him; this man, who was no better than a slave, does not vouchsafe to do so.” And when he desired to punish Mordecai, he thought it too small a thing to request of the King, that he alone might be punished. He rather determined to abolish the whole nation. For he was naturally an enemy to the Jews: because the nation of the Amalekites, of which he was, had been destroyed by them."

It says he was a natural enemy to the Jews because the Amalekites were destroyed, and he was a survivor of the carnage. We read about this in Deuteronomy 25 17-19 and 1 Samuel 30 17 where David fulfilled this when Saul did not. There is no mention of them becoming the Macedonians. This is refuted once you read 1 Chronicles 4 41-43, which says they escaped to Mount Seir and they were killed, and took the rest of those who escaped.

Comparison of Macedonia and Edom
Comparison of Macedonia and Edom

Here is a scripture that is used to say that Phillip and Alexander the Great were Edomites.

1 Maccabees 1 1

  • ."“And it happened, after that Alexander son of Philip, the Macedonian, who came out of the land of Chettiim, had smitten Darius king of the Persians and Medes, that he reigned in his stead, the first over Greece,”"

"See? They are both Edomites. He was the first king over Greece and ruled over it. And Phillip came out of a dynasty of Macedonian rulers." But according to "The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography & Mythology", the first Macedonian ruler was Caranus, who ruled from 808–778 BC. He started the dynasty of the Macedonians, who Phillip and Alexander came out of. At this time, the remnant of the Amalekites in Seir were wiped out. They were there in 715 B.C-687 B.C. And Caranus and the Macedonian rulers came from the land of Argos, not Edom. So it is impossible for either of these men to have been Edomites.

  • "Caranus was first over Macedonia."- Theopompus the Historian.

It says Phillip was the first over Greece. Phillip united Greece.


We read in Jasher how they became one kingdom. "See? It says they all mixed together. All of Japheth was whited out." While there is still the possibility that this book is not credible, we see one mistake in the argument. It says they became one kingdom. It never said they all mixed together. Now could there have been some mixing? Possibly, but not on this large of a scale. They became one kingdom, meaning all of them were under one rulership. For example, America is one country. All Americans have to obey its laws. Are all Americans related? No. They all have different backgrounds. And it never said this was never gonna change.

When Yasharal split into two kingdoms, was it because they were different nationalities? No. It was because of indifference. By this logic, kingdom means becoming the exact same people through mixing. But not only do they share a common ancestor (Jacob), in this case they were called two different kingdoms because they were split.

Who Are The Romans?

If you look at a map of the Table of Nations, you'll notice that Japheth's children occupy European countries.
If you look at a map of the Table of Nations, you'll notice that Japheth's children occupy European countries.

The land of Kittim was a settlement in present-day Larnaca on the west coast of Cyprus, known in ancient times as Kition, or (in Latin) Citium. So Kittim and Javan are both the descendants of Japheth. And there is no blood relation to Esau mentioned. Their ancestor is Japheth. They are not descendants of Esau. We see more proof in 1 Maccabees 1-4. It says Alexander, son of Phillip, came out of the land of KITTIM. The seed of Javan. And he also became the FIRST to rule over Greece after slaying Darius. So a man of Kittim became ruler over Egypt. Read on and it says that they made many wars and conquered. The children of Japheth, just like scripture said they would, are taking over and ENLARGING THEMSELVES. Look at that map. The Greeks come from Japheth. Esau and Japheth are two separate people. 1 Maccabees 5 shows us a distinction between the Romans and the Edomites due to them being referred to by different names and the fact that they are recognized as two seperate people.

  • "The first of Noah’s grandsons mentioned is Gomer. Ezekiel locates the early descendants of Gomer, along with Togarmah (a son of Gomer), in the north quarters (Ezekiel 38 6). In modern Turkey is an area which in New Testament times was called Galatia. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus records that the people who were called Galatians or Gauls in his day (c. AD 93) were previously called Gomerites."
  • "They migrated westward to what are now called France and Spain. For many centuries France was called Gaul, after the descendants of Gomer. North-west Spain is called Galicia to this day."
  • "Some of the Gomerites migrated further to what is now called Wales. The Welsh historian, Davis, records a traditional Welsh belief that the descendants of Gomer ‘landed on the Isle of Britain from France, about three hundred years after the flood’. He also records that the Welsh language is called Gomeraeg (after their ancestor Gomer)." (The sixteen grandsons of Noah).

Peace and blessings. All praises to the Most High.

The Edomites were not white

What happened to the Edomites? Who Is Esau: The Book of Obadiah


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