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Who Is Modern-Day Edom?

Updated on February 1, 2013

An In-Depth Bible Study On Edom - By Gary Stearman

If you study Jewish commentaries on latter-day prophecy, you will soon run across the following statement: "Edom is Rome." This is usually asserted in the context of an impending great battle, which they call "Gog and Magog." Christians generally refer to the same protracted battle as Armageddon. Under either title, it marks the conclusion of the era of Gentile rule.

At this time, Messiah comes to lead the Jews in a victorious was over the nations, just before establishing His thousand-year Kingdom. Thus, to the Jews, Edom is the final Gentile kingdom, which will be smashed by Messiah Himself.

A typical interpretation of this kind is found in Tehillim (Psalms), in a commentary on Psalm 60:8,9:

"Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.

"Who will bring me to the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom?"

The Jewish commentary on this passage, is from a Targum, or Aramic translation of the Hebrew Bible: "Targum identifies matzor ["strong city"] as the city tzor, which is synonymous with Rome" (Tehillim, Vol. I, p. 756).

Similarly, Jewish commentators interpret David's words in Psalm 109: 1-5, as applying to their great enemy, Rome:

"Do not keep silent, O God of my praise!

"For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful have opened against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

"They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, and fought against me with a cause.

"In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer.

"Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love." (Psalms 109:1-5)

Of these verses, their rabbinic sages are quoted: "According to Ibn Ezra, Radak and Sforno, David says: Despite their animosity, I loved my adversaries, but they repaid my love with hate.

"Ibn Yachya adds: I love the Romans because the Torah commands, You shall not despise the Edomite, for he is your brother (Deuteronomy 23:7)" (Tehillim, Vol. 2, p. 1329).

The Jew of the current era interprets Edom futuristically. In other words, Edom is seen by them as a biblical metaphor for the Gentile world system in its latter-day form. The Old Testament prophecies against Edom are taken as prophecies against what Christians refer to as the "Revived Roman Empire."

We find similar Jewish interpretation or prophecy when the two verses quoted above from Psalm 60 are repeated in Psalm 108: 9,10:

"Moab is my washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Over Philistia I will triumph.

"Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me to Edom?"

About these verses, the editors write, "According to Rashi, [a rabbinic authority] these words are not part of the question but rather form an answer. God, Who led me [i.e., Israel] against Edom (in David's time) and conquered their impregnable bastions, will also bring me victory over these fortified cities in Messianic times." (Tehillim, Vol. 2, p. 1323)

The "fortified cities" referred to here are always seen by the Jews as Edom/Rome. "Messianic times" refer to the future overthrow of the world system and the establishment of the Kingdom of Messiah.

Yet, Christians usually view Edom as a nation of the distant past, a long-dead culture that first rose to power under Esau's rule, around the 18th century, B.C. Four centuries later, during the time of Moses and the Exodus, Edom was a great power. It was bounded by the Dead Sea on the north and the Gulf of Aquaba on the south.

Four centuries after that, when David came to the throne, Edom was still in power, and functioning as the sworn enemy of Israel. During the millennium between David and Christ, their offspring were still a major force in the area.

Then, from the New Testament, we read that Judea at the time of Christ was ruled by the house of Herod, a dynasty of Idumeans (Edomites). His wicked rule is well chronicled by the Apostles. Most importantly, as the Idumeans gained power in the first century, they functioned as Roman vassals, extending and intensifying the consolidation of power by the Caesars.

The Herodian dynastic rulers... Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Herod Agrippa I and Herod Agrippa II ... were quite close to the Roman upper class. A good (and typical) example of this is found in Drusilla, the daughter of Herod Agrippa I. She married Felix, the Roman procurator of Judea, around A.D. 52.

The close affiliation between the Herods and Roman royals had been sealed in marriages and contracts in the period just preceding the birth of Christ. F.F. Bruce writes of the close relationship between Caesar Augustus (known as Octavian) and Herod the Great:

"The growing tension in the Roman Empire between Anthony and Cleopatra on the one hand and Octavian on the other came to a head in 31 B.C. at the Battle of Actium, in western Greece, where Anthony and Cleopatra were completely defeated. They fled back to Egypt, where both committed suicide the next year. Octavian was now the undisputed master of the Roman world, and he was the representative of Roman power with whom Herod had to deal for the remainder of his life. Soon after his victory at Actium, Octavian summoned Herod to meet him at Rhodes.

Herod went with some trepidation, for it was well known that he had been Anthony's friend.

He did not attempt to disguise from Octavian his friendship with Anthony, but assured him that he would find him as a good friend and ally as Anthony had done. Octavian, for his part, recognized how well the interests of Rome would continue to be served in the East if Herod was confirmed in his kingdom.

He was given back the region around Jericho, which Cleopatra had detached from his kingdom, and he received in addition a number of Greek cities on the Mediterranean coast and on both sides of the Jordan. In January, 27 B.C., Octavian, having established peace throughout the Roman world, 'handed the republic back to the Senate and people of Rome.' He himself was acclaimed as princeps, chief citizen of the republic, and among other honors was given the name Augustus, by which he was thenceforth known." (F.F. Bruce, New Testament History [England: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd. 1969] pp. 15-16)

To the Jewish mind, Rome, Edom and the state religion of Roman Christianity came to be viewed as the descendants of the idolatries that had begun centuries earlier in ancient Babylon.

A little over a half century after the destruction of their Temple, Jews continued to suffer the unbelievable cruelty of the Roman Empire under emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Under the rule of these men, they were finally expelled from their Holy Land to the four corners of the world, in the Bar Kokhba revolt of 135, A.D.

In A.D. 325, under the Edict of Toleration, the Roman emperor Constantine made Christianity the religion of Rome. Later rabbis of the diaspora - Kimchi, Ibn-Ezra, Maimonides, Abarbanel and others came to regard Christianity as the seed of Rome, which they saw as simply the latest manifestation of Edom.

Later, in the fifth century A.D., Augustine popularized the idea that the Roman Church had replaced Israel as the inheritor of the Lord's Kingdom.

Of course, the Jews refused to accept this concept, and became increasingly adamant in their position that God's plan for the Kingdom went all the way back to the birth of Jacob and Esau, the father of the Edomites.

The Blessed Seed

That takes us back again to the eighteenth century, B.C. Abraham and Sarah had become the parents of Isaac. Then, the Lord had asked of Abraham that he take Isaac to a place of sacrifice and bind him on an altar.

It must be remembered that the Lord had decreed that, "... in Isaac your seed shall be called" (Genesis 21:12).

After Abraham lifted his knife to slay Isaac, the Lord stopped him, and provided a sacrificial ram, which Abraham duly offered. In the narrative, his action confirmed the Lord's earlier decree about Abraham's seed:

"And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided."

"Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven,

"And said: "By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son:

"Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

"In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." (Genesis 22: 14-18)

Abraham's actions resulted in a blessing for the entire planet. The Lord assured him the through his son Isaac, the promised seed of blessing and redemption would come. As we discover in the New Testament, that seed is Christ:

"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to your Seed, who is Christ." (Galatians 3:16)

When Jesus came to Earth, He was opposed by powerful forces that had combined into a single, great resistance against His rise to power as King of kings. As we have seen, they were the Herodians and Romans. They were quickly joined by the politically motivated Jewish religious leadership.

Jesus arouse out of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He represented a blessed seed that went all the way back to the great patriarch and his son. But the Bible prophesied that he would be opposed by another, competing seed ... the seed of Satan in the world system.

Two Nations - Jacob and Esau

Here, we come to a great prophecy of Edom. It is a prophecy that divides humanity into two clean segments ... one that is led by the world system and the other, that follows the Lord by faith. In the second generation from Abraham, a strange dual birth was observed. It is unique in many ways. But its real emphasis is that it produced the two conflicting households that constitute the focal point of latter-day prophecy:

"Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

"But the children struggled together within her, and she said, If all is well, why am I like this? So she went to inquire of the Lord.

"And the Lord said to her: Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger.

"So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb.

"And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau.

"Afterward his brother came out, and his hand took hold of Esau's heel; so his name was called Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

"So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents." (Genesis 25: 21-27)

This strange birth was the result of Isaac's prayer. His wife Rebekah could not conceive, but after prayer, she found herself pregnant with two babies that struggled within her. She questioned God, saying, "If this pregnancy is right, why is this happening?" Upon laying her concern before the Lord, she received an answer.

The Lord told her that she was carrying "two nations." Curiously, the Hebrew text uses the term goyim for "nations." Usually, this term is reserved for Gentiles. But in this case, it speaks of two divisions of the Semitic race, one stronger, indicating a competition that would take place between the two, with one emerging superior.

The twins were anything but identical. One came out "red," and hairy like a robe. Presumably, the text is speaking about a woolen robe. The color of the first twin, expressed by the Hebrew word admoni, contains the basic wood root from which comes the word "Edom." But they named him Esau, meaning "hairy." Some commentators also add that the word for his name may also mean, "to be made, or fully prepared" in the sense that his hair at birth was growing in the same way that is ordinarily seen only in an adult male. He came into the world in a curious state of maturity.

In a strange sense, he was more vigorous and robust than his brother. His red color becomes a metaphor for his entire life. It bespeaks an aggressive, "take charge" sort of personality.

Then came his brother, named for his action at birth, as he grabbed Esau's heel. He was called Jacob, from the Hebrew word for "one who supplants, or takes hold." The word has even been translated "a heeler," or "one who trips up." At the very moment of birth, he attempts to realize that which had been prophesied about him. The younger was trying to dominate the elder. In the New King James Bible, he is called a "mild man," in the King James he is called a "plain man," however these phrases come from the Hebrew ish tam, meaning, "a pious man; one who finds pleasure at home." His brother was a man of field and forest; Jacob was a civilized, urbane man.

One could say that one was a man of war, and the other was a man of peace. At this point, the Bible seems to mark the color red as the designator of war. Furthermore, it was not just from his red hair that Esau received his ultimate title. He is forever branched by his voracious appetite, so dominant that he renounced his title to get a little bit of red stew:

"And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

"Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary.

"And Esau said to Jacob, Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary. Therefore his name was called Edom.

"But Jacob said, Sell me your birthright as of this day.

"And Esau said, Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?

"Then Jacob said, Swear to me as of this day. So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.

"And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arouse, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25: 28-34)

Here, in one of the most prominent narratives of the entire Bible, we see the story of two men, negotiating for control of the entire world. In reality, neither of them realizes that the stakes are that high.

Esau, the man of power and control, is typical of the "type A" man of the world, who relies far more upon his own power than the authority that might be delegated to him by someone else. It follows, then, that he would disregard the importance of something so intangible as a birthright.

On the other hand, Jacob, who stays at home, has a much better conception of the value of a birthright. He has been eyewitness to his father's affairs, even to the point that he occasionally accesses the kitchen, to whip up a tasty stew. (He cooks!)

About that stew, it is apparently made with red lentils, probably seasoned in traditional fashion, with peppers, spices, and perhaps, other vegetables. It probably also contained chunks of meat! Here, we see documentation of what would pass in our day as a bowl of chili, which we all know, is reddish in color. It must have smelled wonderful to Esau, who had been working or hunting in the surrounding fields. He was famished. For that and a little bread, he would sell his soul.

Clearly, Jacob saw that he had a decided advantage over Esau. He had probably waited for a moment like this for some time. He obviously knew that Esau took his right of accession for granted, attaching little value to it.

That historical moment showed the truth about Esau. The red stew was a picture of his soul, which ever after that, stained his entire reputation. More than that, it established his destiny. For emphasis, we repeat a verse from the passage above, Gen. 25:30:

"And Esau said to Jacob, Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary. Therefore his name was called Edom."

Here, it is very important to note that in the original Hebrew, when Esau asks for "stew," he does so in a most emphatic way. He says, "Now feed me of the red, the red!" Twice, he repeats ha-adam, ha-adam... the red, the red! Divinely-inspired Scripture uses this moment to reveal Esau's true character, his drives and appetites. In his coloration - red hair and red stew - he is branded as the archtype of the man of the flesh.

Soon after that, Rebekah helped Jacob obtain Isaac's blessing. She concocted a covering of goatskins, so that he would appear like Esau, the elder son who had renounced his birthright. Jacob then went into Isaac, who asked, "Are you really my son Esau?" Jacob answered, "I am." He lied in order to obtain Isaac's blessing of the firstborn:

"Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine.

"Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!" (Genesis 27: 28,29)

Notice that here, as Jacob receives the blessing, it passes the key element of the Abrahamic covenant on to his heirs. Jacob, father of the twelve tribes, receives the covenantal promise of cursing and blessing.

Esau is also given the blessings of heaven and of Earth, but also the destiny of living by the sword. Later, by conquest, he acquired the territory south of the Dead Sea. His regime there, was centered upon Mt. Seir, which apparently means, "rough, shaggy or hairy." Today, the northern elevations of Petra may be viewed from this mountain. Tradition has it that Esau took the land by force, driving out "Seir, the Horite" (Genesis 36:20), who gave his name to the territory.

Actually, Seir, the mountain of Esau, has a much darker context. In Hebrew, it has the same spelling as Seir, the hairy he-goat. The name of the mountain reminds us that Esau was called a "hairy man." We remember that Jacob deceived Isaac with a goatskin.

The three names associated with Esau are given in Genesis 36:8:

"So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau is Edom."

Esau becomes an archtype for the scapegoat, later instituted into Jewish Law:

"He shall take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the door of the tabernacle or meeting.

"Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat.

"And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord's lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering.

"But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness." (Leviticus 16: 7-10)

Here, we find two goats ans two destinies. One is for sacrifice leading to ultimate redemption; the other is for exile and death in the desert wilderness that reminds us of the land of the damned. It is odd that the goatskin plays such a key role in the story of Jacob and Esau.

The Wilderness Journey

During the Exodus, when Moses lead the twelve tribes through the wilderness, Edom refused help, even though Moses promised to pay them for any services rendered. His letter to Edom is a scriptural classic:

"Now Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that has befallen us:

"How our fathers went down to Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians afflicted us and our fathers.

"When we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice and sent the Angel and brought us up out of Egypt; now here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border.

"Please let us pass through your country. We will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink water from wells; we will go along the King's Highway; we will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.

"Then Edom said to him, You shall not pass through my land, lest I come out against you with the sword.

"So the children of Israel said to him, We will go by the Highway, and if I or my livestock drink any of your water, then I will pay for it; let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.

"Then he said, You shall not pass through. So Edom came out against them with many men and with a strong hand.

"Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him." (Numbers 20: 14-21)

Virtually everywhere the Edom are seen in Scripture, they are characterized by an unappeasable bitterness.

The Competing Nation

It had all started with the stolen blessing. When Isaac gave Jacob that blessing, he launched the nation of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Jacob returned to Haran to obtain a wife. Upon his return, he feared Esau, but the Lord favored him, giving him the name Israel. He then made peace with Esau, which apparently lasted during the remainder of their lifetimes.

But Esau had founded another nation, dark and warlike. When the Bible records his genealogy, it begins with a stark statement of his identity, lest there be any mistake:

"Now this is the genealogy of Esau, who is Edom." (Genesis 36:1)

There is much that can be said with regard to Esau's genealogy. But its opening segment tells a remarkable story. His offspring are so wicked that they become the scourge of all the Bible's faithful. Observe in these first few verses that Israel's archenemy is Esau's grandson:

"And this is the genealogy of Esau the father of the Edomites in Mount Seir.

"These were the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, and Reuel the son of Basemath the wife of Esau.

"And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.

"Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau's son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These were the sons of Adah, Esau's wife." (Genesis 36: 9-12)

Here, we discover Amalek, as the son of Eliphaz, son of Esau. He is the head of the tribe that would oppose and harass Israel for the next thousand years. During the Exodus from Egypt, Amalek made life miserable for the traveling Israelites:

"Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

"And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.

"So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

"And so it was, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

"But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

"So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

"Then the Lord said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

"And Moses built an altar and called its name, The-LORD-Is-My-Banner, for he said, Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17: 8-16)

What we are seeing in this action is one faction of what will later be included under the general heading of "Edom." Amalek had the same visceral hostility that characterized Edom from its very beginning. Nor was Amalek a brave and honorable enemy. Moses well recalls their brutish and cruel behavior, attacking the weak and sickly among Israel's tribes, rather than going up against the strong:

"Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt;

"How he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God." (Deuteronomy 25: 17,18)

The infamous prophet for hire, Balaam, later spoke a prophecy about this fanatical tribe. Speaking in the Spirit of the Lord, he uttered an eternal curse:

"Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said: Amalek was first among nations, but shall be last until he perishes." (Numbers 24:20)

The characteristic madness of the Amakelites perished down through the ages. Later, in the period of the Judges, they were still harassing Israel. There are numerous accounts that show the Amakelites supporting the Canaanites in wars against Israel.

Still later, during the reign of Israel's King Saul, the prophet Samuel told him to put an end to the Amakelite line forever. He was instructed to annihilate their people, their animals and their possessions. But Saul disobeyed God, and had to answer to the prophet:

"Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?

And Saul said to Samuel, But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amakelites.

"But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things that should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal." (I Samuel 15:19-21)

For this act of disobedience, Saul was rejected as king of Israel. Soon afterward, Samuel was sent by the Lord to the house of Jesse, where he anointed young David as king over Israel.

Amakelites in Persia

But Amakelite zeal doesn't end there. Once again... this time in the fifth century B.C., we find another obsessive and vicious Amakelite.

This one, the infamous Haman, of the Persian court, displays all the obsessive insanity of his forbearers. Scripture calls him an "Agagite," meaning that he is descended from the very same King Agag, whom Saul was supposed to dispatch. Instead, he was spared, and his offspring continued on as Israel's enemies:

"After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

"And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid Homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

"Then the king's servants who were within the king's gate said to Mordecai, Why do you transgress the king's command?

"Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.

"When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.

"But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people or Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus - the people of Mordecai." (Ester 3:1-6)

Through devious political policy, Haman tried to destroy the Jews. It meant nothing to him that they were under divine protection in the covenant that had come through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That covenant, which has been called, "curse for curse in kind," acts in a divine reversal: Whatever you attempt, either for or against the Jews will be done to you, in the same way you intended it. You will be blessed or cursed according to your own actions.

Haman sought to hang Mordecai, and was hanged upon his own gallows.

Latter-Day Edom

The shortest book in the Old Testament is a concise denunciation of Edom, as it now exists, in the contemporary days, just prior to the Great Tribulation.

It is the vision of the prophet Obadiah, set in the context of the Day of the Lord. It has been called a sort or trial, in which the Lord names the charges against Edom. It constitutes an indictment, a trial and a sentence.

Here, we quote a few of its 21 verses, beginning with verse 10, which is a list of charges:

"For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off forever.

"In the day that you stood on the other side - In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem - Even you were as one of them.

"But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

"You should not have entered the gate of My people in the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.

"You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained in the day of distress." (Obadiah 10-14)

Some of these charges, we have detailed earlier in this lense/article. Others, we have only mentioned briefly. Many, we have omitted to keep this lense at a certain length. But the recitation above makes it clear that Edom will be accountable for four thousand years of opposition to Israel.

Obadiah's indictment is scheduled for the end times. His whole prophecy is centered upon the Day of the Lord, which I take to be the seven years of the Tribulation. During the horrific period, the first clause of the Abrahamic covenant, from Genesis 12:3 ("I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curse you;") is brought to pass. Note also, that Edom on several occasions, sought to take possession of the Temple Mount, for which violation it will pay a terrible price:

"For the day of the Lord upon all the nations is near; as you have done, it shall be done to you; Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.

"For as you drank on My holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, and they shall be as though they had never been.

"But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

"The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph as flame; but the house of Esau shall be a stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.

"The South shall possess the mountains of Esau, and the Lowland shall possess Philistia. They shall possess the fields of Ephraim and the fields of Samaria. Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

"And the captives of this host of the children of Israel shall possess the land of the Canaanites as far as Zarephath. The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the South.

"Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord's." (Obadiah 15-21)

Obadiah's prophecy is Edom's death knell. In the end, as seen here, the two opposing mountains will stand as symbols of God's truth. One of them - Zion - will be exalted as the Lord's throne in the Kingdom. The other will be forever humbled.

Who Is Edom Today?

A final question needs to be asked, namely, where are the Edomites today? There is no Edomite country or city. No one carries an Edomite passport. No one claims to be an Edomite by descent. But prophecy tells us that they exist, and will be judged at the Second Coming of Christ.

We know that the Edomites joined with King Nebuchadnezzar when, in 587 B.C., he captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple:

"Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!" (Psalms: 137:7)

The Edomites were delighted that their traditional enemies, the Jews, were about to be destroyed.

In 164 B.C., Judas Maccabeus conquered the Idumeans (Edomites) in the battle of Akrabattene.

A bit later, when the Romans took control of Israel, they befriended the Indumeans, one of whom, Antipater, was the father of Herod the Great. He was set up as a governor of Israel in 63 B.C. In 37 B.C., his son became the head of the final dynasty of rulers in Israel. Edom proudly occupied the Temple Mount.

When the Herodian Temple was destroyed in A.D. 70, the Edomites dropped out of sight ... except for one thing. We know that during the preceding century, they had intermarried with the Roman upper class, including the household of the Caesars. Hence, the current Jewish insistence that the Edomite genealogy is alive and thriving: Edom is Rome.

But the Edomites doubtless also exist among the various tribes of today's Middle East. Without a question, over the last four millennia, Edomite blood has infiltrated into the tribes that descended from Abraham through his second wife Keturah, whose children inhabited the territory to the east of Israel. And also without a doubt, the Edomites intermarried with the sons of Ishmael, titular head of today's Arab tribes.

We may conclude that Edomites are everywhere. As is their custom, they exist with a primeval obsession to destroy Israel. They operate outside the boundaries of reason and compassion. They are above any logical or rational appeal. They are totally enslaved to their own passions. They show no mercy, even to Israel's children, whom they kill with glee.

Does that sound like anyone you've read about lately?

This article was written by Gary Stearman of Prophecy in the News.

To learn more about this ministry visit http://www.ProphecyintheNews.com

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      anelson805 4 years ago

      I have long thought that modern day Islam is in fact the descended line of Esau. Originiating in the Jordabn. There is some tie between Arabia (where Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed is located) and Esau, however I admit I haven't found anything concrete yet except a reference to Muslims calling Yeshua/Jesus "'Isa." However, His name in Arabic is "Yasu'e". 'Isa is a twisted name for Yeshua. It is actually "Esau". It is also said that "Isa" was the name of a false god! Basically Esau is supposed to be the Islamic version of Jesus Christ.

      I agree that the Catholic church is defined in Prophecy somewhere. I don't necessarily agree with it being a modern day Edom.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      It sounds just like the christian church. Christianity IS EDOM!!!!!!

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      HeLives LM 5 years ago

      @Bile-Gran-Vieira-Correa: one thing we can always go by though is that they are always warring against each other the way the Bible describes.

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      Bile-Gran-Vieira-Correa 5 years ago

      You have good points but the same applies to Jewish people ..they are on everywhere .....so Who is Jewish or Edomite? Only God Knows.