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The Land of Edom

Introduction to Edom

The name Edom, meaning red, was given to a man known to readers of the Bible as Esau, the first-born son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. This name was given to Esau when he sold his birthright to the Jacob for a meal of lentil pottage. After this event, the two brothers separated and the Bible tells us that the Lord gave to Esau the country that was from then on known as Edom, and his descendants were from then on called Edomites. In the Bible we discover that the land of Edom was also called Mount Seir and later Idumea.

Map of EdomVisit Dr. Burton MacDonald's webpage on the Tafila-Busayra survery at:

This land, which readers of know as the Inner Nabataean Kingdom was a very mountainous country. It embraced a narrow mountainous tract about 100 miles long and 20 wide, extending along the eastern side of Wadi Arabah from the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to near the southern end of the Dead Sea. The ancient capital of Edom was Bozrah, or present day Busharis. Selah appears to have been a stronghold in the days of Amaziah (BC 838). Aila and Ezion Geber were the seaports.

Over the years there has been some recent discussion about how large Edom was. Here on we have two papers that discuss this.

1. The Hyksos and the Edomites
2. Did Edom's Original Territories Extend West of Wadi Arabah?
Below: Dan Gibson of (left) with Dr. Burton MacDonald, St. Francis Xavier University. Dr. MacDonald has spent many years studying the Edomites.
 Dan Gibson of (left) with Dr. Burton McDonald, St. Francis Xavier University.

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