Brief History and Final Destiny of Edom

The Coming Exile of Israel in Edom

Obadiah: The Death of Edom

Jacob's Crisis at Peniel

Immediate Jewish Family History

The immediate family history of Jacob and Esau, the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah, begins in Genesis Chapter 25 and continues through the end of Genesis.

The Descendants of Jacob's Twin Brother Esau (Edom):

Genesis 36, which records the family tree of Esau, lists many names still associated with the land of Edom in Southern Jordan, and also mentions individuals whose unfavorable interactions with the people of Israel are recorded for us elsewhere as the Old Testament unfolds.
These are the descendants of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath, Ishmael's daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. And Adah bore to Esau, Eliphaz; Basemath bore Reuel; and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, his cattle, all his beasts, and all his property which he had acquired in the land of Canaan; and he went into a land away from his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together; the land of their sojournings could not support them because of their cattle.

So Esau dwelt in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom. These are the descendants of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.

These are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Basemath the wife of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. (Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, Esau's son; she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.) These are the sons of Adah, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon, Esau's wife: she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the first-born of Esau: the chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam, and Amalek; these are the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Adah. These are the sons of Reuel, Esau's son: the chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah; these are the chiefs of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau's wife: the chiefs Jeush, Jalam, and Korah; these are the chiefs born of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife.

These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these are their chiefs. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom. The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman; and Lotan's sister was Timna. These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah; he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he pastured the asses of Zibeon his father. These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah. These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. These are the chiefs of the Horites: the chiefs Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the chiefs of the Horites, according to their clans in the land of Seir.

These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of his city being Dinhabah. Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead. Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his stead, the name of his city being Avith. Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his stead. Shaul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead, the name of his city being Pau; his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab. These are the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their families and their dwelling places, by their names: the chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram; these are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of Edom), according to their dwelling places in the land of their possession." (Genesis 36).
A further historical note is found in I Chronicles:
These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites: Bela the son of Beor, the name of whose city was Dinhabah. When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead. When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his stead; and the name of his city was Avith. When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his stead. When Shaul died, Baal-hanan, the son of Achbor, reigned in his stead. When Baal-hanan died, Hadad reigned in his stead; and the name of his city was Pai, and his wife's name Mehetabel the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. And Hadad died. The chiefs of Edom were: chiefs Timna, Aliah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram; these are the chiefs of Edom. (1 Chronicles 1:43-54)

Edom Denies Israel Passage Through Their Land During the Exodus|

Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, "Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the adversity that has befallen us: how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers; and when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel and brought us forth out of Egypt; and here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. Now let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, neither will we drink water from a well; 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." But Edom said to him, "You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you." And the people of Israel said to him, "We will go up by the highway; and if we drink of your water, I and my cattle, then I will pay for it; let me only pass through on foot, nothing more." But he said, "You shall not pass through." And Edom came out against them with many men, and with a strong force. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

And they journeyed from Kadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, "Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron shall be gathered to his people, and shall die there." Moses did as the LORD commanded; and they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days. (Numbers 20:14-29)

God's Coming Slaughter of Nations; Edom to be a Perpetual Wasteland

"Draw near, O nations, to hear, and hearken, O peoples! Let the earth listen, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host, he has doomed them, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.

"For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom, upon the people I have doomed. The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood, it is gorged with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall be soaked with blood, and their soil made rich with fat. For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of Zion. And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into brimstone; her land shall become burning pitch. Night and day it shall not be quenched; its smoke shall go up for ever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plummet of chaos over its nobles. They shall name it No Kingdom There, and all its princes shall be nothing. Thorns shall grow over its strongholds, nettles and thistles in its fortresses. It shall be the haunt of jackals, an abode for ostriches. And wild beasts shall meet with hyenas, the satyr shall cry to his fellow; yea, there shall the night hag alight, and find for herself a resting place. There shall the owl nest and lay and hatch and gather her young in her shadow; yea, there shall the kites be gathered, each one with her mate. Seek and read from the book of the LORD: Not one of these shall be missing; none shall be without her mate. For the mouth of the LORD has commanded, and his Spirit has gathered them. He has cast the lot for them, his hand has portioned it out to them with the line; they shall possess it for ever, from generation to generation they shall dwell in it." (Isaiah 34:1-17)

Jeremiah Prophesies: Edom to Become a Wasteland

Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time when I punish him. If grape-gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings? If thieves came by night, would they not destroy only enough for themselves? But I have stripped Esau bare, I have uncovered his hiding places, and he is not able to conceal himself. His children are destroyed, and his brothers, and his neighbors; and he is no more. Leave your fatherless children, I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me." For thus says the LORD: "If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you must drink. For I have sworn by myself, says the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse; and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes." I have heard tidings from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: "Gather yourselves together and come against her, and rise up for battle!" For behold, I will make you small among the nations, despised among men. The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill.

Though you make your nest as high as the eagle's, I will bring you down from there, says the LORD. "Edom shall become a horror; every one who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbor cities were overthrown, says the LORD, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her. Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a strong sheepfold, I will suddenly make them run away from her; and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me? Therefore hear the plan which the LORD has made against Edom and the purposes which he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Even the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea. Behold, one shall mount up and fly swiftly like an eagle, and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her pangs." (Jeremiah 49:7-22)

Some Reasons for Divine Judgment on Edom According to Ezekiel

"Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance upon them, therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom, and cut off from it man and beast; and I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword. And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel; and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath; and they shall know my vengeance, says the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 25:12-14)

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, and say to it, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and a waste. I will lay your cities waste, and you shall become a desolation; and you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you cherished perpetual enmity, and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment; therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you are guilty of blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. I will make Mount Seir a waste and a desolation; and I will cut off from it all who come and go. And I will fill your mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those slain with the sword shall fall. I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the LORD. "Because you said, `These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them ,'---although the LORD was there---therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy which you showed because of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among you, when I judge you. And you shall know that I, the LORD, have heard all the revilings which you uttered against the mountains of Israel, saying, `They are laid desolate, they are given us to devour.' And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and multiplied your words against me; I heard it. Thus says the Lord GOD: For the rejoicing of the whole earth I will make you desolate. As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you; you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 35:1-15)

Obadiah's Prophecy Against Edom

The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: "Rise up! let us rise against her for battle!" Behold, I will make you small among the nations, you shall be utterly despised. The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, "Who will bring me down to the ground?" Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, thence I will bring you down, says the LORD. If thieves came to you, if plunderers by night---how you have been destroyed!---would they not steal only enough for themselves? If grape gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings? How Esau has been pillaged, his treasures sought out! All your allies have deceived you, they have driven you to the border; your confederates have prevailed against you; your trusted friends have set a trap under you--- there is no understanding of it. Will I not on that day, says the LORD, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of Mount Esau? And your mighty men shall be dismayed, O Teman, so that every man from Mount Esau will be cut off by slaughter.

For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, and you shall be cut off for ever. On the day that you stood aloof, on the day that strangers carried off his wealth, and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them. But you should not have gloated over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune; you should not have rejoiced over the people of Judah in the day of their ruin; you should not have boasted in the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of my people in the day of his calamity; you should not have gloated over his disaster in the day of his calamity; you should not have looted his goods in the day of his calamity. You should not have stood at the parting of the ways to cut off his fugitives; you should not have delivered up his survivors in the day of distress. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you, your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk upon my holy mountain, all the nations round about shall drink; they shall drink, and stagger, and shall be as though they had not been.

But in Mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau stubble; they shall burn them and consume them, and there shall be no survivor to the house of Esau; for the LORD has spoken. Those of the Negeb shall possess Mount Esau, and those of the Shephelah the land of the Philistines; they shall possess the land of Ephraim and the land of Samaria and Benjamin shall possess Gilead. The exiles in Halah who are of the people of Israel shall possess Phoenicia as far as Zarephath; and the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad shall possess the cities of the Negeb. Saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD's."

(For Ray Stedman's commentary see Obadiah: Death to Edom)

Malachi on God's Perpetual Enmity Against Edom

The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How hast thou loved us?" "Is not Esau Jacob's brother?" says the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob but I have hated Esau; I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert." If Edom says, "We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins," the LORD of hosts says, "They may build, but I will tear down, till they are called the wicked country, the people with whom the LORD is angry for ever." (Malachi 1:1-4)

Esau: A Type of the Flesh

One of the most valuable lessons to be learned from the family history of the descendants of the brothers Jacob and Esau concerns the New Testament application. The New Testament views the conflict between the flesh and the spirit as typified by the conflict between Jacob and Esau:
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.

But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another. (Galatians 5:13-26)
Jacob in many ways typifies the average believer. He was deceitful, manipulative, clever and bent on advancing his own causes for many years. After wrestling all night with The Angel of the Lord at the Brook Jabbok near Peniel, his name was finally changed to Israel (Genesis 32). Though he may have been somewhat slow to fully believe and trust God, Jacob's heart was inclined from his birth towards the things of the Lord.

Esau's heart and motives, on the other hand, were perpetually set on the goals and rewards of the world. He cared not at all about the things that were important to God.
"See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no 'root of bitterness' spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled; that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears." (Hebrews 12:15-17)
As noted above, the entire book of Obadiah tells us why God hated Esau but loved Jacob, and why it is that perpetual enmity exists within the Christian, between the spirit and the flesh:
The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, whose dwelling is high, who say in your heart, "Who will bring me down to the ground?" Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, thence I will bring you down, says the LORD.
When the people of Israel left Egypt under the leadership of Moses the first opposition they encountered was from a people known as the Amalekites. Genesis 36 tells us that Amalek was the grandson of Esau!
Then came Amalek and fought with Israel at Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose for us 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 told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua mowed down Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

And the LORD said to Moses, "Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD is my banner, saying, "A hand upon the banner of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17:8-16)
Later King Saul was told by the prophet Samuel to completely eradicate the Amalekites, (1 Samuel 15ff). Saul's incomplete obedience not only cost him his throne and his life, but reveals clearly how easy it is for us as believers to compromise with our own flesh---which God has said is utterly worthless. (See Ray Stedman's "First Samuel: The Death of the Flesh.").

In the book of Esther, the arche-fiend and enemy of the Jews is the infamous Haman, an Agagite. Sure enough, Agag's name is to be found listed as the king of the people of Amalek! (See Ray Stedman's commentary, "The Struggle for Power.")

Herod Antipas, before whom Jesus remained silent, (Luke 23:9) was an Idumean, that is one of the last of the Edomites. God has nothing further to say to the flesh, nor to the descendants of Edom. Their fate was sealed long ago.

King David's successful military dealings with Edom are recorded in 2 Samuel 8. Solomon's compromises with his "many foreign wives" caused the Lord to raise up against him an adversary, Hadad, from the royal line of Edom, (2 Kings 11). Thus there is a long history of antagonism between the descendants of Jacob and of Esau throughout Old Testament history.

King Amaziah's famous (but ill-fated) raid into Edom is recorded in 2 Chronicles 25,
Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, yet not with a blameless heart. And as soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand he killed his servants who had slain the king his father. But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the law, in the book of Moses, where the LORD commanded, "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.

Then Amaziah assembled the men of Judah, and set them by fathers' houses under commanders of thousands and of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He mustered those twenty years old and upward, and found that they were three hundred thousand picked men, fit for war, able to handle spear and shield. He hired also a hundred thousand mighty men of valor from Israel for a hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him and said, "O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the LORD is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But if you suppose that in this way you will be strong for war, God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help or to cast down." And Amaziah said to the man of God, "But what shall we do about the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel?" The man of God answered, "The LORD is able to give you much more than this." Then Amaziah discharged the army that had come to him from Ephraim, to go home again. And they became very angry with Judah, and returned home in fierce anger.

But Amaziah took courage, and led out his people, and went to the Valley of Salt and smote ten thousand men of Seir. [Edom] The men of Judah captured another ten thousand alive, and took them to the top of a rock and threw them down from the top of the rock; and they were all dashed to pieces.

But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, not letting them go with him to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth-horon, and killed three thousand people in them, and took much spoil.

After Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir, and set them up as his gods, and worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore the LORD was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, "Why have you resorted to the gods of a people, which did not deliver their own people from your hand?" But as he was speaking the king said to him, "Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be put to death?" So the prophet stopped, but said, "I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel." Then Amaziah king of Judah took counsel and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, "Come, let us look one another in the face." And Joash the king of Israel sent word to Amaziah king of Judah, "A thistle on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying, `Give your daughter to my son for a wife'; and a wild beast of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thistle. You say, `See, I have smitten Edom,' and your heart has lifted you up in boastfulness. But now stay at home; why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?"

But Amaziah would not listen; for it was of God, in order that he might give them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought the gods of Edom. So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his home. And Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem for four hundred cubits, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. And he seized all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God, and Obed-edom with them; he seized also the treasuries of the king's house, and hostages, and he returned to Samaria. Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived fifteen years after the death of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. Now the rest of the deeds of Amaziah, from first to last, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? From the time when he turned away from the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there. And they brought him upon horses; and he was buried with his fathers in the city of David.

All of this history serves to illustrate for us that no good ever comes from our best efforts, our self effort in the Christian life, which is the root source of what the Bible calls "the flesh." Only the works of God, the works of the Holy Spirit done through us when we are obedient and submissive to God---have any lasting worth. All else will, in the end, be destroyed.

Additional References

1. Hutchings, Noah W., Petra in History and Prophecy, Hearthstone Publishing, PO Box 815, Oklahoma City, OK 73101. (Southwest Radio Church, 1991).

2. Franciscan Fathers, Guide to Jordan, 1978. Franciscan Fathers Press, PO Box 14066, 91-140 Jerusalem, Israel.

3. Iain Browning, Petra, Chatto and Windus Ltd., 20 Vauxhall Bridge Rd., London SW1V 2SA, Third Edition, 1995.

4. G. Lankester Harding, The Antiquities of Jordan, The Lutterworth Press, London, 1990, (Jordan Distrubution Agency, Amman).

5. Jane Taylor, Petra, Aurum Press Ltd., 25 Bedford Avenue, London, WC1B 3AT. 1993.

6. Burton MacDonald, Ammon, Moab and Edom, Al Kutba Publishers, PO Box 9446, Amman, Jordan, 1994.

7. Graeme Donnan, The King's Highway, Al Kutba Publishers, PO Box 9446, Amman, Jordan, 1994.

April 3, 1996. November 23, 2022.

Addenda (November 2013)

Comment on Edom by Lynn Berntson

Regarding relatives of Edom today it's such a mix. Starting with Esau and his children (Genesis 36:31) they include daughters of Canaan, Hitites, Hiivites, Temanites and probably others. David put soldiers throughout Edom and all the Edomites became servants to David. (II Samuel 8:14) This would add more integration as the soldiers mixed with Edomite women. During the siege and destruction of Jerusalem many Israelites fled to Edom (Jordan) and other areas further mixing the DNA. From 70 A.D. to today that area has been a further mix including European blood. Similar to the dispersed Israelite tribes so are the Edomites. Regardless of all this mix we can see the anger and hatred toward Israel by those living in Jordan and other areas surrounding Israel. There remains today the DNA of Esau who hates all that is called Israel. God knows who they are.
The major and minor prophetic texts show Edom in judgment in the end times context.

Ezekiel 36:5 (KLV) Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land unto themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey.

Part 1: from Chuck Missler, "Who Are the Edomites?"  

Part 2: The Next Holocaust and the Refuge in Edom

by Chuck Missler • September 1, 2006

What is the purpose of the Great Tribulation? Where do those who are in Judea flee? (Matthew 24:16) Which mountains? What is the prophetic role of Ammon, Moab, and Edom (now known collectively as Jordan)? Where does Jesus return? On the Mount of Olives or in Bozrah?

Israel's Enemies

As we read and watch todays media coverage of world events, its not hard to see Zechariah's prophecy being fulfilled in every newscast:

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. - Zechariah 12:2,3

This article will begin an exploration of some of the less familiar prophecies of the End Times, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. But first, some background history is needed. Where did Ammon, Moab and Edom come from and what are their prophetic destinies? It appears they escape the rule of the coming world leader (commonly known as the Antichrist):

He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. - Daniel 11:41 


The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is not an ancient kingdom, but rather a European creation of 1946. Prior to World War I, the areas of Ammon, Moab and Edom had previously been populated by unaffiliated Bedouin tribes. During the war, when the British and the Allies were fighting the Germans and the Ottoman Turks, Major T.E. Lawrence organized his widely publicized Arab Revolt. General Allenby was ultimately victorious in the Middle East and so the League of Nations awarded the British a Mandate on April 25, 1920 (which was to endure until May 14, 1948).

In 1921 an aggressive young man named Abdallah, the son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca in Arabia, moved into the land east of the Jordan river with his troops. The British Colonial Secretary recognized Abdallah as the Emir of Trans-Jordan. Abdallah then consolidated control with his British-trained Arab Legion. In 1946, Abdallah was crowned King of Trans-Jordan. (His great-grandson, Abdullah II, has been the current king since 1999).

In 1948 Jordan joined the attack against Israel in its War of Independence and successfully fought the Haganah and held the West Bank. In 1967, however, again joining Egypt in the Six-Day War, they lost it. In 1998, having previously repudiated any rights to the West Bank, Jordan signed a Peace Treaty with Israel at Camp David. (Our government offered King Hussein the waiving of $950 million of debt owed by Jordan, and assistance in modernization of his armed forces, as an incentive for the meeting with Yitzhak Rabin.)

And, indeed, the Bible says this area will be a refuge for the remnant that flees Jerusalem when under attack during the Great Tribulation (Dan 11:41Isa 16:163:1ff; Mic 2:12Mt 24:15-22).


Ammon was the name of the descendants of Benammi, Lots younger son by his daughter, born in a cave near Zoar (Gen 19:38). Regarded as their relatives, the Israelites were commanded to treat them kindly (Deuteronomy 2:19). At the time of the Exodus, Israel did not conquer Ammon (Deuteronomy 2:1937Judges 11:15). However, the Ammonites were condemned for joining the Moabites in hiring Balaam and were forbidden to enter the congregation of Israel to the 10th generation (Deuteronomy 23:3-6). Rabbah Ammon is now Amman, the capital of Jordan.


Moab was the son of Lot by an incestuous union with his eldest daughter (Gen 19:37). Balak, king of Moab, distressed by the Israelite successes, called for the prophet Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers 22-24Josh 24:9). As Israel prepared to cross the Jordan, they camped in the plains of Moab (Numbers 22:1Josh 3:1).

When Israel sought permission to travel along the Kings Highway, which crossed the plateau, Moab refused (Judges 11:17), but they may have had commercial contact (Deuteronomy 2:28-29). Moses was forbidden to attack Moab despite their unfriendliness (Deuteronomy 2:9), although the Moabites were henceforth to be excluded from Israel (Deuteronomy 23:3-6Neh 13:1).

In the days of the Judges, Eglon, king of Moab, invaded Israelite lands as far as Jericho and oppressed Israel for 18 years. Ehud the Benjaminite assassinated him (Judges 3:12-30). Elimelech of Bethlehem migrated to Moab and his sons married the Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Ruth later married Boaz and became the ancestress of David (Ruth 4:18-22Mt 1:5-16).

At the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. some Jews found refuge in Moab, but returned when Gedaliah became governor (Jeremiah 40:11ff). Moab was finally subdued by Nebuchadnezzar (Josephus, Antiquities, 10. 181) and fell successively under the control of the Persians and various Arab groups. The Moabites ceased to have independent existence as a nation, though in post-exilic times they were known as a race (Ezra 9:1Neh 13:123). Alexander Jannaeus subdued them in the 2ndcentury B.C. (Josephus, Antiquities, 13. 374).

The archaeological story of Moab is slowly being unraveled: the Moabite stone, a block of black basalt found near Dibon, Jordan, in 1868, bears an inscription in the Moabite language describing a 9th-century B.C. victory of King Mesha of Moab over the Israelites. Its now in the Louvre museum in Paris.


The term Edom denotes either: the name of Esau, given in memory of the red pottage for which he exchanged his birthright (Gen 25:3036:1819); the Edomites collectively (Numbers 20:18-21Amos 1:6, 119:12Malachi 1:4); or the land occupied by Esau's descendants, formerly the land of Seir (Genesis 32:336:20-21,30Numbers 24:18Ezekiel 35:3-5, 10, 1236:2, 3, 5).

Modern archaeology has shown that the land was occupied before Esaus time. We conclude that Esaus descendants migrated to that land and in time became the dominant group, incorporating the original Horites and others into their number (Gen 14:6). Joshua allotted the territory of Judah up to the borders of Edom, but did not encroach on their lands (Josh 15:1, 21). Two centuries later King Saul fought the Edomites (1 Sam 14:47), although some of them were in his service (1 Sam 21:722:9, 18). Edom proper fell into Arab hands during the 5th century B.C., and in the 3rd century B.C. was overrun by the Nabataeans. Judas Maccabaeus later subdued them, and John Hyrcanus compelled them to be circumcised and incorporated into the Jewish people (1 Macc 5:65). When the Romans conquered Judea, they appointed Herod, an Edomite (Idumean) as their vassal.

The Prerequisite to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

The purpose of all history (Mt 23:37) was that God might gather His children together. (Jerusalem is a synecdoche for all of Israel.) Jesus did die for the sins of the world, including the nation of Israel, but His own received Him not (Jn 1:11). This is the tragedy of all history (Mt 23:37b, 38). But there is hope.

Jesus left the nation with a promise: He would one day return; the nation would see Him and say, Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord! (Mt 23:39). Because of disobedience, Israel would be scattered over the world. Their blessings and promises are conditioned upon confessing their iniquity (Lev 26:40-42Jer 3:11-18). Iniquity (Lev 26:40) is singular and specific. Israel must look unto (not upon as in KJV) Him whom they have pierced (Zech 12:10). Israels offense was the rejection of H

Part 2: from Chuck Missler, "Who Are the Edomites?"  

Followup on November 14, 2013:   See "The Magog Invasion: An Alternative View"  

This article suggests Israel will defeat the combined armies of Isalm without any help except from Yahweh. Chuck Missler suggests this victory and the demise of Isalm prior to the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies (Gog/Magog) makes better sense. I found this article after discovering that there are eleven YouTube videos by Chuck covering this material. He encourages us all to keep studying; he is still learning after 60 years.

My question is:  Could this war occur before the Rapture? If so, it could turn into a great victory for the church in assaulting the gates of hell in prayer, as soon as this war breaks out??

Messiah returns to Jerusalem by Way of Edom

Isaaiah Chapter 63 is another picture of the judgment of God. It portrays the Messiah coming to Jerusalem from the south and entering into a dialogue with the believers there. He comes from Edom, in the Negeb, with blood-soaked garments. Those who see him coming ask,

Who is this that comes from Edom,
  in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he that is glorious in his apparel,
  marching in the greatness of his strength? (Isaiah 63:1a RSV)

Jesus answers,

"It is I, announcing vindication,
  mighty to save" (Isaiah 63:1b RSV)

They respond,

Why is thy apparel red,
  and thy garments like his that treads in the wine press? (Isaiah 63:2 RSV)

His answer comes,

"I have trodden the wine press alone,
  and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
  and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments,
  and I have stained all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
  and my year of redemption has come." (Isaiah 63:3-4 RSV)

The parallel to this is found in Chapter 14 of the book of Revelation, where the apostle sees an angel coming out from heaven, having a great sickle in his hand,

Then another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has power over fire, and he called with a loud voice to him who has the sharp sickle, "Put in your sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe." So the angel swung his sickle on the earth and gathered the vintage of the earth and threw it into the great wine press of the wrath of God, and the wine press was trodden outside the city and blood flowed from the wine press as high as a horse's bridle for one thousand six hundred stadia. (Revelation 14:18-20 RSV)

That measurement is about two hundred miles -- which is the distance from Lebanon in the north down to Edom in the south of Israel. The whole land will be covered with blood from the great battle of Armageddon, the warfare that ends the struggles of earth, as depicted in other Scriptures. This is a terrible picture of the treading of the wine press. The "harvest" always deals with Gentiles, while the "wine press" is always a picture of God's judgment of Israel. This will be "the time of Jacob's trouble" which Jeremiah mentions. (Ray Stedman, Then Comes the End).

Notes by Lambert Dolphin 

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November 22, 2022