Posts Tagged ‘esau’

What means Edom

January 7, 2015

I had an interesting conversation with a Rabbi about the use of the name Edom in the Bible.

James the Apostle quotes the prophecy of Amos 9:12 in Acts 15. He (or the writer of acts) cites literally from the Septuaginta. This text has ‘mankind’ instead of Edom. So my question was why the translators of the Septuaginta used mankind. Or put simply, how do we have to read Edom throughout the bible.

James lived in Israel under the Roman empire. We can easily understand that they used Edom used for the nations, other than the Jews. Because ‘all’ nations were under the Roman empire that time. We only have to suppose that Edom was a term used to describe Rome. Then Edom means the nations, the Gentiles, mankind.

But what about the broader picture of the use of Edom in the Bible? Does it support reading ‘mankind’ for it? We can go back to the very first existence of ‘Edom’. That is in the womb of Rebecca. There it states that there are two nations. In fight with each other. (Esau is called Edom, Gen.25:30) This is in line with the explanation of James. James points to the Messianic era where peace will reign between those two rebelling nations. Thus does he explains Amos 9.

The word Edom means red. It relates to Adam. Here the two nations (Israel and the nations) sprung from Adam. It began from the creation of mankind from the dust of the earth. They parted into rebelling nations. But they will end together in the Messianic era.Verenigde_Naties

Then it will be like James Amos 9:12 told the disciples: “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things.” (Acts 15:16)

They saw the beginning. Hopefully, we will see the fulfilment.