There are various other views on the identity of Edom, which I think would be helpful to discuss.Edom is such an important entity in Prophecy , I think it is important to be clear on who Scripture is talking about.
Orthodox Jews have long believed that Edom is Rome, and by extension, the West.
For example of Talmudic teaching on the identity of Edom, here is an excerpt from the Midrash Tachuma:
After Hadrian, king of Edom conquered the world, he returned to Rome and said to his officers: “I want you to make me a god, since I have conquered the world.” They said to him: “But you have not yet established your rule over his (God’s) city and his house.” He went, succeeded, destroyed the Temple, exiled Israel, and returned to Rome. He said to them: “I have now destroyed his house and burned his Temple and exiled his people. Make me a god.”
Esau’s name means “Red”, as does the name “Edom”. King Herod was an ethnic Edomite who arose after the forced conversion of Edom by John Hyrcannus the High Priest during the intertestamental period. Herod was definitely Roman also in outlook and education. Furthermore Roman armies wore Red tunics, and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 ad, thus Orthodox Judaism considers the scriptures speaking of Edom to refer to the West.
The Patristic Fathers of the early church held to a kind of replacement theology, and taught typologically that the Church is now Israel, and that the Jews are the new Edom, as this sermon from Tertullian is a sample of,
[T]hat from Rebekah’s womb two peoples and two clans were about to come forth. They are, of course, the Jews—that is, Israel—and that Gentiles—that is, us…. For indeed, God designed two peoples and two clans to come forth from the womb of one woman, not to separate grace on the basis of the name but on the order of the birth, such that the one who would come forth from the womb first would be subjected to the younger—that is, the later….
And so, although the people or clan of the Jews is anterior in time and older, graced with the first honour in relation to the law, ours is understood accurately as younger in the ages of time. This is so, as in the final lap of our age we have grasped the notion of divine compassion. Without doubt, according to the decree of the divine utterance, the first, the elder people, namely the Jewish, inevitably will serve the younger. The younger people, namely the Christian, will rise above the elder… https://www.thetorah.com/article/esau-the-ancestor-of-rome
I have seen modern day cultists, such as the black supremacists Hebrew movement, teach that Edom is the white western world.
A number of other cults, (including Some Muslims) teach that the Jews who currently inhabit the State of Israel and have been coming back into the Promised Land since 1948 are not really Jews at all, but that they are Edom.
No one wants to be Edom. Many people want the name of Edom to be applied to people who they have a grievance against; Jews want Christians and Westerners to be Edom, Liturgical Eastern Christians believe the Jews are Edom, as do many Muslims and cultists.
I had an interesting post on this very forum, which rightly traced the history of Edom to it’s Geographical location, until the time when Edom was forcibly converted to Judaism, and (somewhat) assimilated into the Jewish world of the inter-testimental period. The writer is definitely correct historically and even ethnically in his making a distinction between Ishmael and Edom and I see where He is coming from, in calling me out for my generalization that the Arab Muslim world is the modern equivalent of Edom.
Yet the Scriptures clearly portray an entity named “Edom” which will be the subject of incredible Divine fury in the last days, so who are they? Jesus Christ himself will return to the earth, first visiting Edom, Teman and Bozrah in Judgment. Who is Scripture talking about when it states,
Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.( Isaiah 63:1-3)
God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting. ( Habbakuk 3:3-6)
Both of these passages are vivid descriptions of the second coming of Jesus to the earth!
Who Is Edom?
* Note that Geographical references are used; Teman, Bozrah, Mt Seir, all of these are in the area south of the Dead Sea and Northwest of Arabia, the geographical location of the once Kingdom of Edom
* Who lives there now? Arabs, Moslems… Spiritual children of Ishmael and Edom, if not direct descendants.
* Note that as in Psalm 83 Edom’s allies are listed, and all happen to be Muslim nations.
* Ezekiel 35 and 36 point out that this entity seeks to dispossess the Jews, and to take for themselves the Holy Land and the Holy places within it, whether they be Jewish or Christian, Edom claims them as His own.
* This entity has nurtured an “Everlasting hatred “ against the Jews, which is why Judgment must come upon it. It is a relentless nd unyielding hatred throughout history, and has manifested itself in a willingness to shed innocent blood of Jews.
* Isaiah speaks of the “Controversy of Zion”. Zion , Zionism and the “Zionist Entity” are hated and opposed by Edom and her fellow travelers.
* The tribulation is called “The time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30, a reference to Jacob’s wrestling and trepidation at the advent of Esau.
We are not required to spiritualize Edom, as the Rabbis and the Orthodox Christians do, nor to find direct descendants to identify them ,Biblical prophecy instead refers to regions, and the people who happen to inhabit them in the last days. For example there are numerous prophecies against Philistia in the last days, but there hasn’t been a Philistine people in a couple of millennia.
But there is a region, which we now call Gaza, it is where the Philistines once had a foothold on the Holy land and menaced Israel, until David subdued them. Furthermore there is an Arab people who have taken on themselves the name, “Palestinians” and claimed an identity which gives them a (false) claim to the Holy Land and allows them to feel justified in waging a terror war against Israel.
God calls out the geopolitical situation in the last days, and makes plain those nations which He is personally coming to wage war against. Edom happens to be the Muslim/Arab Levant and Middle East. if they aren’t the physical sons of Ishmael and Esau, they are the moral and spiritual sons of those two.
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea.Isaiah 34:5-6)