Question:

What is Edom's name today?


Answer:

The country of Edom was founded by Jacob's brother Esau. He picked up the nickname "Edom" or "Red" when he sold half of his massive inheritance for a simple bowl of red bean stew.

Edom was located in the region to the southeast of Israel. Mount Seir was a notable landmark in this region.

Edom and Israel, the people who descended from Jacob, never got along with each other. Skirmishes between the people happened often. Edom never got over its hatred of Israel. "Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem, who said, "Raze it, raze it, to its very foundation!"" (Psalm 137:7). In other words, Edom was cheering the Babylonians on. When Israel fell because of their sins, Edom rejoiced at its fall and took the opportunity to raid the country. They even helped the Babylonians collect the stragglers left from the war (Obadiah 10-15).

God made several prophecies against Edom (Isaiah 35; 63:1-6; Jeremiah 49:7-22; Amos 1:11; Obadiah; Ezekiel 25:12-14; 35). However, the one that tells us what happened to Edom is found in Ezekiel 35.

In delivering punishments to various nations, we learn that God often turns the sin against the sinner. Edom rejoiced at the emptying of Israel and five years later, Nebuchadnezzar swept through again, destroying several nations and emptying their lands -- including Edom. Here is what God promised Edom:

"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; I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. 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, 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. Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. 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. I will make you perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I am the LORD" (Ezekiel 35:3-9).

God promised that travelers would no longer pass that way; the country would be so littered with slain that people would avoid the stench. But most importantly, God states that the country would never be rebuilt. Just as Edom had perpetual hatred for Israel, their country would remain perpetually empty.

The country of Edom would remain perpetually desolate.

That has remained basically true. Various countries have controlled the territory that was once Edom, but Edom as a nation disappeared. When the edict was made allowing people to return to the homelands, Israel and many other countries rebuilt, but Edom never did. During the time of the Greeks and Romans, the region was known as Idumea, which is the Greek transliteration of Edom. The territory is currently controlled by Jordan.

"He who mocks the poor reproaches his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished" (Proverbs 17:5).