Israel and Edom: Nations in Conflict

Jacob and Esau, the grandsons of Abraham, were to be fathers of nations in conflict. Esau (the older) ultimately would serve Jacob, and Jacob’s people would be stronger than Esau?s people. Esau’s descendents were called the Edomites. Edom means “red” and the Edomites lived in the mountains to the east and south of the Dead Sea.

Balaam prophesied that a “star” would come out of Jacob and a scepter would rise out of Israel. (These were both symbols of royalty). This person would conquer Edom, and Israel would grow strong.

Both nations hated and sought to destroy each other. Because of Edom’s attacks on Judah, God promised to take revenge on the Edomites.

Jesus’ life reflected the prophecies about Israel and Edom. Herod the Great came from Edom. Although Herod appeared to be in control, he was powerless to stop God’s plan for Jesus, the King of heaven and earth. The ruins of the Herodion illustrate Herod’s ultimate defeat by Jesus, who reigns today in heaven and in the hearts of his followers.


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