Edom: The Ancient Enemy
“Again, the sons of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if I and my livestock do drink any of your water, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on my feet, nothing else.” But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against him with a heavy force and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.” (Numbers 20:19–21, NASB95)
As the Chosen Nation approached entrance to the Promised Land, the Edomites blocked the way. Even with a generous provision for safe-passage, the King of Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through Edomite territory (modern day Jordan) to enter Canaan.
God had promised, over 400 years earlier, that He would bless those who bless Israel, and curse those who curse her. If we believe the promises of God, we can presume that a curse is on its way! In fact, when we get to Malachi 1, we read some of the most startling words of all the Bible, when God declares, “…I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness” (Malachi 1:3, NASB95).
Who is Esau? He is the brother of Jacob (Israel), the one who sold his birthright. He is also the father of the Edomites. The Edomites and their nation always hated Israel. God declared His hatred of the Edomites in fulfillment of the Genesis 12 promise of blessing and cursing. The Edomite hatred toward the Jews continued through history. King Herod was Idumean, that is, an Edomite. The modern Palestinians trace their roots to the Edomites, and the animosity continues.
When we study the Bible, we gain a lot of insight into what we read in the newspaper!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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