Thursday, August 03, 2006

Edom (אֱדוֹם)

Map showing kingdom of Edom (in red) at its largest extent, c. 600 BCE. Areas in dark red show the approximate boundary of classical-age Idumaea.Edom (אֱדוֹם), a Hebrew word meaning "red", is a name given to Esau in the Hebrew Bible (Gen. 25:30), as well as to the nation purportedly descended from him. The nation's name in Assyrian was Udumi; in Greek, Idoumaía; in Latin, Idumæa or Idumea.

The Edomite people were a Semitic-speaking tribal group inhabiting the Negev Desert and the Aravah valley of what is now southern Israel and adjacent Jordan. The region has much reddish sandstone, which may have given rise to the name "Edom". The nation of Edom is known to have existed back to the 8th or 9th Century BCE, and the Bible dates it back several centuries further. Recent archeological evidence may indicate an Edomite nation as long ago as the 11th Century BCE, but the topic is controversial. The nation ceased to exist with the Jewish-Roman Wars.


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