Where Is Edom In The Bible

Edom, in the Bible, is a nation mentioned on multiple occasions near the end of the Old Testament. Its geographical position and its relationship with other nations make it an important part of the biblical worldview. The Bible states that Edom was situated south of Judea, the land of the ancient Jews, and east of Moab. Its other borders were located in the Transjordanian region and the Negev desert.

Edom appears in the Bible from the time of the Israelites’ entrance into the Promised Land. The Edomites and Israelites were believed to have a shared ancestor in the form of their grandfather, Abraham. However, this did not prevent a tumultuous relationship between the two nations. In the Bible, the Edomites are referred to as enemies of Israel and regularly hostile. This conflict persisted for a few centuries throughout the Books of Numbers, Deuteronomy, Journals, and Kings.

The hostility between Edom and Israel is heightened in the accounts of the displacement of both groups. The Edomites were present during the siege of Jerusalem ordered by the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. The Edomites were also very active in assisting the Babylonians during the siege of Jerusalem, allowing them to take captives and plunder the city. This action is seen in the Bible as a betrayal to their Abrahamic relatives and is punished accordingly.

Edom is also encountered in the later books of the Bible, such as Isaiah and Obadiah. In the first, Edom is compared to Tyre, a wealthy and important trading nation. Isaiah judges them both with harsh words concerning their immorality. In Obadiah, Edom’s punishment for its acts against its relatives is issued, with the assurance of redemption if the nation repents.

In the Christian Bible, Edom resurfaces in the New Testament book of Revelation. Here, the Edomites are condemned with their enemies, accused of idolatry and their murderous nature. Throughout these passages, Edom can be seen as a representation of the struggles between Judea and its hostile neighbors, who, in the eyes of the author, were linked by their common ancestor.

Why Edom Is Still Relevant

Given the importance of Edom in the Bible, many experts have focused their attention on its context and meaning, especially linking it to the long-lasting struggles between Jewish and their antagonists. This can be seen in the historical accounts of the Persian period and the Roman domination. The idea is that, since the Edomites were geographically located in the region, they were subjected to the same conflicts.

To further understand the relevance of Edom and its relationship with Israel, some have studied archaeological evidence from sites in Judaea and the surrounding area. This includes coins, documents, and inscriptions that have helped to narrate the history of the region and its inhabitants. In this way, Edom can be appreciated as part of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies and as an early archetype of the Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and its neighbours.

Relationship With The Kingdom Of David

The Bible states that Edom was controlled by the Kingdom of David, which extended from the Jordan River to the Red Sea. The Edomite-Israelite conflict stopped when King David of Israel emerged as the most powerful state in the region. This was partly due to a military agreement between the two nations, securing a peaceful coexistence and allowing both sides to benefit economically.

However, things changed when the Kingdom of David fell. As a result, the Edomites rose to power, ruling the south-eastern region of what is today known as Jordan. This rule was strengthened when the area was conquered by the Babylonian Empire. Archaeological activities in the region have discovered numerous artifacts related to the period, revealing their military, political, and religious structure.

The Edomites’ rule started to decline when the Assyrian Empire conquered the Babylonian. The Edomites retreated to their previous homeland in the Transjordanian region and the Negev Desert. Years later, during the Persian period, the Edomites were able to regain some of their power. It was during this period that they established connections with Judea and were able to influence local politics.

Daily Lives Of The Edomites

The Edomites were known as sheepherders, farmers, and traders. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Edomites had contacts with the Nile Valley in Egypt and the surrounding valleys, increasing their economic power. Despite their wealth and power, the Edomites struggled to survive due to their desolate environment. In the biblical account, the lack of resources often led to a nomadic lifestyle, with Edomites migrating from place to place.

In addition to their difficult terrain, the Edomites were also subject to the conquering armies of neighboring peoples. This hostile environment forced them to develop a militaristic culture that enabled them to protect their land, an essential step in their struggle for power and independence.

From the evidence available, it is clear that Edom was an important part of the biblical worldview. Though the Edomites’ rule eventually ended, they were able to survive and influence the cultures around them. Their presence in the Bible highlights their role as a small but significant part of the ancient world.

Interaction With West Asian Nations

The Edomites interacted and traded with the nations of West Asia, forming a complex network. This network included the lands of Assyria and Babylon, as well as cities like Jerusalem and Tyre. According to the biblical narratives, Edom profited economically from the trade routes between these cities, which offered prosperity for a certain period. These interactions, however, had their consequences, with Edom suffering the consequences of their involvement in wars between their allies and enemies.

This was especially notable when Assyrian king, Sennacherib, marched against Israel and showed Edom shameless disregard. This experience highlights the tight network between nations in the ancient world and the Edomites’ place in it. In the Bible, Edom is considered as a powerful nation but subject to the same fate as its allies and enemies.

Edom In The Modern Times

Though Edom is no longer a political entity, it still has a presence in the modern world. Some experts believe that it is possible to trace the Edomites in today’s Jordan and the neighbouring Arab states. In these nations, there are a variety of ethnicities that, according to some experts, are descendants of the Edomites.

The influence of Edom is also evident in Western culture. For example, the phrase ‘Mount of Esau’, which is used to refer to Edom, can be found in some 19th and 20th-century literature. This phrase is still used today and can be seen in academic works and popular culture.

Though Edom has been reduced to a footnote in the history books, its presence in the Bible is evidence that the nation was once an influential political and cultural force. Despite its turbulent history, the legacy of Edom has shaped the cultural and political landscape of the Middle East and has had a lasting effect on modern societies.

Symbolism Used To Describe Edom

When thinking of the Edomites, many immediately think of the symbolism used to describe them. In the Bible, Edom is often used as an allegory for destruction, violence, and hopeless despair. This is seen in the references to Edom as ‘the Red One’ and its association with the colour red, which is symbolically linked to destruction and death.

In addition to this, Edom is referred to as being ‘bitter’. This is a reference to the harsh environment in which the Edomites existed, as well as the physical and emotional struggles they had to endure. This symbolism can also be seen in the diaspora of the Edomites and the fact that despite their wealth, they were unable to establish a permanent home.

Edom is also used in the Bible as a way to describe moral decline. This is evident in its identification with the enemy of Israel, as well as in the harsh words used against it in the books of Obadiah and Isaiah. All these references to Edom drive home the idea that the nation was a sign of evil and despair in the biblical world.


Edom is an important part of the biblical worldview. Its presence in the Bible provides us with a glimpse into the struggles of the ancient Middle Eastern world and its complex network of nations. Despite its hostile environment and its decline in power, the Edomites managed to survive and influence their surrounding cultures even in the modern world. The legacy of Edom is an important part of Judaism, Christianity, and the Middle Eastern political and cultural history.

Hilda Scott is an avid explorer of the Bible and inteprator of its gospel. She is passionate about researching and uncovering the mysteries that lie in this sacred book. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise to bring faith and God closer to people all around the world.

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