Verses used to substantiate this: Genesis 25:25
Type of Error: Conjecture; Ignoring History
Category: Appearance of People
Response: The Hebrew Israelites claim that the modern day "white-man" are the descendants of Easu, the literal Edomites of the Old Testament. There are two significant problems with this theory:
- 1. The Edomites no longer exist. It is impossible to punish people who have already disappeared from the face of the earth many centuries ago.
- 2. The propocies towards the destruction of Edom/Idumea have been fulfilled
- 3. The prophet Malachi, writing about 400 BC, speaks of God’s judgment of Edom as having already taken place: “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” (Malachi 1:3)
And, these men not only predicted the defeat of Edom, but also their near total disappearance. Desolation of the Edomites/Idumeans Following the establishment of Babylonian superiority in the Ancient Near East at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BC, Edom eagerly assisted in the destruction of Jerusalem. During the two-part besiegement of Jerusalem (597/586 BC), Edom aided Babylon in destroying the city, slaughtering and pillaging the rival nation of Judah. For Edom’s role in subjection and participation in Jerusalem, Babylon rewarded them with a portion of land just south of Judah that would later be known as Idumaea. This area included the entire plateau between southern Palestine and Egypt. Unfortunately, though, Edom’s hatred for Judah also came with a cost. While taking Jerusalem, Edom-proper was exposed to invasion. The Nabateans made Edom-proper and expelled the Edomites from their homeland. Having no home to return to, they settled in Idumaea, where they prospered for about 400 years. After entering the land of Idumea, the Esau/Jacob rivalry continued and would reach strain during the time of the blood-stained Maccabean revolt against Greece. The Israelites took revenge against the Edomites, slaughtering and subduing the peoples. The remnant of Edom was subsumed into the Jewish nation, and the Edomites became the Idumaeans. This event was documented by Jewish Historian, Josephus (125BC).
The Idumaeans continued to live in this area until the time of the Roman emperor Titus’ invasion of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Immediately preceding the attack, 20,000 Idumaeans were allowed into Jerusalem and filled its walls with thievery and murder. The Romans then entered the city and destroyed everyone. The Edomites as a separate people ceased to exist at this point. The few stragglers that were left became dispersed amongst the Arab nations and were never again reestablished as a people. Destruction of the Land of Edom After expelling the Edomites, the Nabateans rebuilt the decimated land and carved the great city of Petra in the rocks. Petra would burgeon and ultimately become one of the ancient wonders of the world. The Nabateans flourished in Edom-proper until 106 BC when the Romans utterly destroyed Petra. The Romans utilized the land well for a couple of centuries as a trade route, including the time of Christ. The trade route eventually became abandoned during the collapse of the Roman Empire until the time of the Muslim invaders of the 7th c. AD. Following the invasion, the land fell into disuse until about the 12th century AD.
During the 12th century AD, the crusaders attempted to revive the city by building a castle they named Sel. Even then, though, the city did not revive, the castle was abandoned, the people moved on, and the land was forgotten. After 600 years of utter barrenness, Edom was rediscovered by Johann Burckhardt in 1812. By this point, the city had been ravaged by scavengers and had become a place for wild beasts. The once prosperous and wonderful city of Petra and land of Edom were eternally desolate…
Edom was an evil and powerful nation and Petra was not only a great city but Edom’s capital. Located next to Mount Seir, others often referred to Petra as “Mount Seir”—a symbol of their strength. There are many prophecies about Edom in the Bible including God’s judgment of their actions and a description of their future destruction. The Old Testament book of Obadiah is completely devoted to this topic.
Other examples include the following:
- Ezekiel 25 (circa 593-570 B.C.) - 12 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword.” ’
- Ezekiel 35 (Estimated date of writing, 593-570 B.C.) - 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it, 3 and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; - I will stretch out My hand against you, And make you most desolate; 4 I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. - 5 “Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, - 6 therefore, as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. - 7 Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. 8 And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall.’ ”
- Jeremiah 49 (Estimated date of writing, 626-580 B.C.) 15 “For indeed, I will make you small among nations, Despised among men. 16 Your fierceness has deceived you, The pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there,” says the LORD. 17 “Edom also shall be an astonishment; Everyone who goes by it will be astonished And will hiss at all its plagues. 18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah And their neighbors,” says the LORD, “No one shall remain there, Nor shall a son of man dwell in it.”
- Isaiah 34 (Estimated date of writing, 740-680 B.C.) 10 It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever. 11 But the pelican and the porcupine shall possess it, Also the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. And He shall stretch out over it The line of confusion and the stones of emptiness. 12 They shall call its nobles to the kingdom, But none shall be there, and all its princes shall be nothing. 13 And thorns shall come up in its palaces, Nettles and brambles in its fortresses; It shall be a habitation of jackals, A courtyard for ostriches. 14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals, And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion; Also the night creature shall rest there, And find for herself a place of rest. 15 There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs And hatch, and gather them under her shadow; There also shall the hawks be gathered, Every one with her mate.
The prophesies of Edom have now all been fulfilled:
- Edom was overthrown as a nation.
- - The nation and city have become a desolation, as Ezekiel 25:13; Ezekiel 35:4,7 and Isaiah 34:11-13 predicted.
- During the fifth century (400-499) B.C. the “Edomites” were overwhelmed by other Arab groups. In turn, these groups were taken over by the Nabataeans, who started living in the area sometime around 312 B.C.
- Under the Nabataeans, the city of Petra flourished until 106 A.D., when the Romans conquered Petra
- It has never been populated again as Jeremiah 49:16-18 predicted.
- In Jeremiah 49:16, the prophet said that Edom, a long-time enemy of Israel, would be destroyed. Edom's capital city, Petra, was carved out of a mountain side and had great natural defenses. Nonetheless, it was destroyed, and the kingdom of Edom no longer exists. Today, Petra is part of Jordan. The city was conquered by the Romans in the year 106 AD but flourished again shortly after that. A rival city, Palmyra, eventually took most of the trade away from Petra and Petra began to decline. Petra gradually fell into ruin.
- It has had a bloody history as Ezekiel 25:13-14 and 35:6,8 predicted.
- In Ezekiel 25:14, the prophet said that the Jews would one day take vengeance on Edom, a nation that had often warred with the Jews. When Ezekiel delivered this prophecy, he and many other Jews were living as captives in Babylon. They didn't have control of their own country, let alone anyone else's. But, about 400 years later, Jews regained independence for Jerusalem and the surrounding area during the "Hasmonaean Era or Period." During this time, the Jewish priest-king John Hyrcanus I defeated the Edomites. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition: "Edomite history was marked by continuous hostility and warfare with Jews... At the end of the second century B.C., they were subdued by Hasmonaean priest-king John Hyrcanus I..." - Edom became populated with wild animals and birds (instead of people) as Isaiah 34:11, 13-15 predicted.
- The people of Edom, Edomites/Idumeans are no longer a people.
- According to Josephus (Antiquities XIII, 9, 1), the Hasmonean John Hyrcanus (Hyrcanus I) "conquered in Idumea the cities of Adora [Adoraim] and Marisa [Maresha] and subjected all the Idumeans [Edomites]. He allowed them to stay in the land, however, if they were willing to introduce circumcision and live by the other Jewish laws. In truth, out of love for their homeland they accepted circumcision with the other Jewish customs and were henceforth likewise Jewish (125BC)."
- This account has lately been qualified by Peter Richardson, pp. 54-62, following Aryeh Kasher, pp. 46-78 From that time it slid into disuse, to the point that Edom was almost uninhabited from the 7th to the 12th century A.D. It revived slightly in the 12th century when the Crusaders built a castle there called Sel.
- Afterward, it remained so forgotten that it had to be rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss traveler Johann. L. Burckhardt. In 1865, George Smith included two accounts that described what Petra was like in his day. Compare these descriptions with the prophecies written in the Bible 2,400 years earlier.
- Captain Mangles, who visited these ruins, says, that when surveying the scenery of Petra, ‘the screaming of the eagles, hawks, and owls, who were soaring over our heads in considerable numbers, seemingly annoyed at any one approaching their lonely habitation, added much to the singularity of the scene.’ - So plentiful, as observed by Mr. Cory, ‘are the scorpions in Petra, that, though it was cold and snowy, we found them under the stones, sometimes two under one stone!’ The sheik, and his brother, who accompanied Mr. Cory, assured him that ‘both lions and leopards are often seen in Petra, and on the hills immediately beyond it, but that they never descend into the plain beneath.’
Interesting Fact : King Herod was a descendant of Idumea, however, according to the Hebrew Israelites, their ancestors accepted and converted this pagan to their Jewish religion.... How did that happen? I thought if you were not of the pure blood of Jacob you could not be an Israelite but here we see the directed descendants of Easu were accepted, converted and intermarried with the Israelite people?As Herod's family were converts to Judaism, his religious commitment was questioned by some elements of Jewish society. When John Hyrcanus (Jewish High Priest) conquered the region of Idumaea (the Edom of the Hebrew Bible) in 140–130 BCE, he required all Idumaeans to obey Jewish law or to leave; most Idumaeans thus converted to Judaism, which meant that they had to be circumcised, and many had intermarried with the Jews and adopted their customs. While Herod publicly identified himself as a Jew and was considered as such by some, this religious identification was undermined by the decadent lifestyle of the Herodians, which would have earned them the antipathy of observant Jews. And it was not some no name that allowed them to convert it was the high priest himself John Hyrcanus (Yohanan Hyrcanus – יוחנן הורקנוס, Ιωάννης Υρκανός) was a Hasmonean (Maccabeean) leader and Jewish High Priest of the 2nd century BCE (born 164 BCE, reigned from 134 BCE until his death in 104 BCE). In rabbinic literature he is often referred to by the epithet, Yoḥanan Cohen Gadol (Hebrew: יוחנן כהן גדול).