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Edom in Old Testament prophecy

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posted on May, 12 2017 @ 05:00 PM
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“For three transgressions of Edom and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
Because he pursued his brother with the sword and cast off all pity” (Amos ch1 v11).

The people of Edom are part of Israel’s world from the time of Moses onwards, but they don’t enter into prophecy until Jerusalem has been destroyed by the Babylonians.

Obadiah describes what happens next.
All the peoples of the area descend like a flock of vultures to exploit the new vulnerability of the Jews remaining on the land.
Edom takes full advantage along with the rest.
“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 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 his distress.
You should not have entered the gate of my people 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 his distress” (Obadiah vv10-14).
So apart from sharing in the general looting, they are making slaves out of individual refugees and selling them on.

Of course they were not the only ones making the most of their opportunities.
There were also the tribes on the eastern side of the Jordan.
“Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord God…
Because you said Aha! Over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when it went into exile…
Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within you against the land of Israel, therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you and will hand you over as spoil to the nations” (Ezekiel ch25 vv1-7).
The rest of that chapter complains about, and threatens chastisement to, the Moabites and the Philistines as well as the Edomites.

Similar complaints and warnings come in the later chapters of Jeremiah, after his description of the fall of Jerusalem and its aftermath.
“Concerning the Ammonites.
Thus says the Lord; Has Israel no son? Has he left no heir?
Why, then, has Milcom dispossessed Gad, and his people settled in its cities?
Therefore behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will cause the battle cry to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites…
Then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him” (ch49 vv1-2).
Concerning Moab; “Was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves, that whenever you spoke of him you wagged your head?” (ch48 v27).
Therefore “the destroyer” would come up against all the cities of Moab, and they would be taken into exile.
And once again calamity is threatened to Edom; “Hear the plan which the Lord has made against Edom and the purposes which he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman” (ch49 v20).

Indeed the chief complaint about Tyre and the Philistines, at least in Amos, is that they both “delivered up a whole people to Edom” (Amos ch1 vv6-10).

Historic Edom always appears on maps as the territory south of the Dead Sea.
However, the destruction of the kingdom gave them hopes of expanding northwards.
“I speak in my hot jealousy against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, who gave my land to themselves as a possession with wholehearted joy and utter contempt, that they might possess it and plunder it” (Ezekiel ch36 v5).
“You said; These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them” (ch35 v10).
That was being over-ambitious.
By the time of Christ, nevertheless, what was once the southern portion of Judah had become the Roman province of Idumaea.

Judah’s grievance concerning Edom is not satisfied within the timespan of the Old Testament.
It even intrudes into the promises being made at the end of Isaiah.
Those last chapters are focussed upon a theme of redemption, but perhaps not everybody notices that redemption begins with an attack upon Edom;
“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?
It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save.
Why is thy apparel red, and thy garments like his that treads in the wine-press?
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…
For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come” (Isaiah ch63 vv1-4).
In order to understand this, we need to appreciate the connection between vengeance and vindication, on the one hand, and salvation and redemption on the other.
They are two sides of the same coin.
The task of saving God’s people from oppression must begin by overcoming the cause of the oppression.
The “day” of vengeance and vindication is what makes possible the long-term final peace, “the year of redemption”.
So God begins the operation by going out against all the enemies of his people, and at that stage Edom heads the list.

Indeed the very last book of the Old Testament offers the opening statement that “I have loved Jacob but I have hated Esau” (Malachi ch1 v2), precisely because the issue remains unresolved.
On the question of their lost territory, the Jews seem to have taken half the advice that Gambetta gave to the French people after the disaster of 1870- “Think of it always, speak of it never”.

The Ammonites and the other eastern tribes continued to be troublesome when Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
We don’t know exactly when the Ammonites and Moabites disappeared from the scene.
We do know what happened to the Edomites.
Their fate came in the time of the Maccabean kings, when they were conquered and their land annexed by John Hyrcanus.
This was not to their total destruction. They were, instead, forcibly included within the ranks of the Jews.
The best-known result of this conquest is that the Herod family, who came from Idumaea themselves, were counted as Jews and followed (very loosely) the Jewish religion.
The most permanent result is that the name of their nation has disappeared from the world.
In that sense, God fulfilled his promise to “vindicate” his people against Edom..




posted on May, 12 2017 @ 05:48 PM
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Good reading. Always enjoy your writing, because you read the Bible, very few people do these days.

The statement about Edom in Isaiah 63:1-4 is very interesting indeed.

As you show in Malachi 1:1-5 Edom in prophecy represents or is symbolic of those who oppose and oppress God's people. Today that would aptly represent the religious leaders of Christendom who take the lead in opposing Jehovah and persecuting his witnesses. Although they do use their political influences to do so.

They both oppose Jehovah and his word, and his son Jesus, and his named people on earth. So in those prophecies Edom fittingly represents Christendom as a whole.

Getting back to Isaiah 63. The imagery should remind you of some striking prophecies about the end times in Revelation.

Edom, if you remember means red. And in that prophecy the Divine Warrior comes forth with bloodstained clothes from Bozrah, Edom's most prominent city, he is said to have tread the winepress (obviously referring to the shedding of blood). Interestingly some have thought that this prophecy here referring t Bozrah could be a play on the Hebrew word batsir - grape gathering.

"Then I saw, and look! a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was someone like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.  Another angel emerged from the temple sanctuary, calling with a loud voice to the one seated on the cloud: “Put your sickle in and reap, because the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.”  And the one seated on the cloud thrust his sickle into the earth, and the earth was reaped.
 And still another angel emerged from the temple sanctuary that is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle.
 And still another angel emerged from the altar, and he had authority over the fire. And he called out with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, saying: “Put your sharp sickle in and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for its grapes have become ripe.”  The angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and he hurled it into the great winepress of God’s anger. The winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress as high up as the bridles of the horses for a distance of 1,600 stadia. (Revelation 14:14-20).

That divine warrior in Revelation rides a white horse (the same white horse of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse), he has a name written on his forehead, "Faithful and True," and he is called by the name "The Word of God."

The angel in prophecy at Revelation 19:11-16 is Jesus Christ (he is The Word (logos) of God, who rides forth on the symbolic white horse as king of God's kingdom to conquer and to complete his conquest.

Some have pointed to the fact that the warrior in Isaiah 63:1 to be Jesus Christ. Others say the Jewish military leader Judas Maccabaeus. Isaiah 63:1b tells us the warrior refers to himself as: “I, the One speaking in righteousness, the One abounding in power to save.”

That would indicate it is Jehovah God himself. Isaiah 40:26 refers to God's abundant dynamic energy (he being full of power) and in 45:19, 23 as a God "speaking what is righteous."



This prophetic vision for the future, and pronouncement against Edom would be God's denunciations against false religion, in particular Christendom. And when he pours out the cup of her wrath he will have the nations devastate her, make her naked, tear her apart, and burn up what is left of her.

Just as in the past God used the nations to met out divine punishment on both nations round about, and his own people, so in the future he will do the same. And the prophecy shows us how that will be accomplished, because Jehovah is strong:

"That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong." - Revelation 18:8.
edit on 12-5-2017 by ofnoaccount because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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originally posted by: ofnoaccount
So in those prophecies Edom fittingly represents Christendom as a whole.

I note that you set yourself in opposition to "Christendom", which is enough to identify your community.
I wish you people would drop that attitude and learn to accept community with ALL who belong to Christ. I say the same thing to Roman Catholics, who are taught exactly the same attitude.
If Edom represents anything in the modern world, it is the opposition of those who are outside the Christian community altogether, not just those who are outside one particular segment of it.



edit on 12-5-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 12 2017 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Well I didn't come to argue. Just add some insight to the thread. I do understand what you are saying about the thought on Christendom though. If you don't want to take that one, leave it out. It is still good reminders of God's word. Because when Jehovah did discipline his people in 607 B. C. E. the Edomites went overboard with their hatred of the Jews. And he noted that. And because of it (not just one instance either...but a protracted hatred of the Jews for centuries) God foretold their downfall and destruction.

Good reminders to anyone who thinks about touching God's people. They will have to answer to him for how they treat them.



posted on May, 12 2017 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: ofnoaccount
I appreciated your other comments, which were very constructive (hence the star).



posted on May, 14 2017 @ 03:00 PM
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This thread continues a series which began with
Egypt in Old Testament prophecy

Continuing with;
Assyria
Babylon


edit on 14-5-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



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