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Edom and the Edomites: Part 1 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 11, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 


  1. We entered the land of Jordan, 
    1. the part that was once Edom, 
    2. at Aqaba on the northern end of the Red Sea. 
  2. By the way, a famous wise man used to live in Edom, 
    1. before it was known as Edom. 
    2. The Bible says that Job lived in the land of Uz, and 
      1. that he was the greatest of the children of the East:

        1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job…this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

        – Job 1.1, 3
      2. Also, one of his three good friends, Eliphaz, lived in Teman. 
        1. Teman was part of what became Edom, and 
        2. Lamentations 4.21 refers to Edom as the land of Uz. 
  3. You have heard of Edom and the Edomites, and 
    1. their famous city that we know by what the Greeks called it, 
      1. Petra, 
      2. the Greek word for Rock or Stone, but 
    2. in Scripture the Holy Spirit calls it 
      1. Sela, 
      2. the Hebrew word, or 
    3. as history calls it Rekem, 
      1. after the name of one of its famous citizens, and 
      2. some other names also. 
    4. Second Kings 14 says of King Amaziah of Judah:

      14 He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela [Petra] by war, and called its name Joktheel to this day.

      – 2 Kings 14.7


  1. Who Is Edom? 
    1. Isaac married Rebekah, but 
      1. she could not have children initially. 
      2. Therefore, Isaac pleaded to the Lord for his wife, and 
        1. the Lord heard Isaac and 
        2. Rebekah was able to conceive. 
    2. However, something was not right, 
      1. leading Rebekah to ask a question and 
      2. to seek help:

        22 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.

        – Genesis 25.22
        1. She received an answer as no woman has ever received before:

          23 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.”

          – Genesis 25.23
          1. With those few words, 
          2. the Lord revealed much about the history of those two nations. 
        2. When she delivered two boys, 
          1. they continued their struggle even during birth:

            24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. 26 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.

            – Genesis 25.24–26
          2. What little the Bible reveals about their relationship, 
            1. shows that their struggles continued into adulthood. 
            2. They had a moment when they reconciled, but 
              1. things turned sour between their descendants. 
              2. The land of Esau’s descendants suffered also because 
                1. his descendants did things 
                2. that they should not have done. 
                  1. We can see the evidence today 
                  2. of what the Lord did to their land. 
    3. Later in Genesis 25, 
      1. the Bible reveals how Esau’s name became Edom:

        29 Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

        – Genesis 25.29–30
      2. As you know, the Lord changed Jacob’s name to Israel. 
        1. Therefore, the two nations of whom the Lord had spoken to Rebekah, 
        2. became Edom or the Edomites and Israel or the Israelites. 
    4. The Bible reveals that Esau became a nation:

      3 Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.

      – Genesis 32.3

      43 Chief Magdiel, and Chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their dwelling places in the land of their possession. Esau was the father of the Edomites.

      – Genesis 36.43
  2. The Nation of Edom 
    1. Esau had a background of believing in Yahweh God. 
      1. However, as happens eventually with most peoples, 
      2. his descendants abandoned that belief and 
        1. followed idols and 
        2. committed other sins. 
    2. When you read of Edom in the Bible, 
      1. you are reading of Esau’s descendants and 
      2. the struggles that you see them have with Israel, 
        1. began in the womb of Rebekah. 
        2. Edom eventually did things to Israel 
          1. that angered the Lord and 
          2. He made them cease as a nation and 
            1. changed their land. 
    3. There is biblical evidence and evidence in the land, 
      1. that both Edom, and Egypt, 
      2. were not in the past as we see now. 
        1. When I first learned this many years ago, 
        2. it initially surprised me, but 
          1. the more I learned about the Lord and 
          2. the more I learned of His word, 
            1. it did not surprise me and 
            2. the evidence is clear. 
              1. Edom and Egypt are desolate wildernesses now, 
                1. not because of any changes in the weather or 
                2. anything else natural, but because 
              2. of their sin 
                1. the Lord changed their land 
                2. from a Garden of Eden-like paradise 
                  1. to the barren deserts that they are now. 
  3. The Sins and Punishment of Edom 
    1. After Israel had been in the land of Egypt for about 400 years, 
      1. the Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt and 
      2. to lead them to the land that the Lord had promised them. 
        1. However, as you know, when Israel first reached the border of Land of Canaan, 
        2. after a two-year journey, 
          1. they rejected God’s gift of the land. 
          2. So they roamed the wilderness, 
            1. having no permanent home 
            2. for the next 38 years. 
      3. As they journeyed, 
        1. they needed to pass through the edge of the Land of Edom:

          14 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, 15 how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians afflicted us and our fathers. 16 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. 17 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.”

          – Numbers 20.14–17
          1. Moses addressed Edom as brother. 
          2. That is how the Lord wanted Israel to treat Edom. 
        2. In Deuteronomy 23, 
          1. the Lord instructed Israel on how to deal with their neighbors. 
          2. Concerning the Edomites and the Egyptians, He said:

            7 “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.”

            – Deuteronomy 23.7
        3. Moses also indicated 
          1. that they would not consume or use anything 
          2. as they passed through Edom’s territory. 
        4. He even asked nicely, 
          1. just like we teach our children, 
          2. that they say, “Please.” 
      4. However, Edom forgot that Israel was his brother, and 
        1. would not allow him passage and 
        2. even threatened violence against Israel:

          18 Then Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through my land, lest I come out against you with the sword.” 19 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.” 20 Then he said, “You shall not pass through.” So Edom came out against them with many men and with a strong hand. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

          – Numbers 20.18–21
      5. I believe that this was in fulfillment of prophecy. 
        1. You see, after Israel escaped from Egypt, 
        2. which followed the pouring out of ten plagues upon the Egyptians, and 
          1. when you think of how those plagues had devastated Egypt, 
          2. in all ways, economically, agriculturally, their health, militarily, 
            1. who would want Israel in their land? 
            2. Any other nation would fear Israel greatly. 
        3. Exodus 15 prophesied of Israel’s neighbor’s reaction. 
          1. After passing through the Red Sea and 
          2. after wiping out Egypt’s army, Moses sang:

            14 “The people will hear and be afraid;
            Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
            15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
            The mighty men of Moab,
            Trembling will take hold of them;
            All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.”

            – Exodus 15.14–15
            1. I just showed you Edom’s response and 
            2. the Canaanites all fought against Israel, 
              1. except one town, 
              2. who tricked Israel.