Edom

Synonyms:
Edom, e-DOM, אֱדוֹם
Edom (Wikipedia)
Kingdom of Edom

𐤀𐤃𐤌
c. 13th century BCE–c. 125 BCE
The region around 830 BCE, with Edom in yellow.
The region around 830 BCE, with Edom in yellow.
StatusMonarchy
CapitalPetra
History 
• Established
c. 13th century BCE
• Conquered by the Hasmonean dynasty
c. 125 BCE
Today part of Israel
 Jordan
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 (/ˈdəm/;Hebrew: אֱדוֹםʼEdom, lit.: "red"; Akkadian: 𒌑𒁺𒈠𒀀𒀀 Uduma; Syriac: ܐܕܘܡ‎) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west and the Arabian Desert to the south and east. Most of its former territory is now divided between Israel and Jordan. Edom appears in written sources relating to the late Bronze Age and to the Iron Age in the Levant, such as the Hebrew Bible and Egyptian and Mesopotamian records. In classical antiquity, the cognate name Idumea was used for a smaller area in the same general region.

Edom and Idumea are two related but distinct terms relating to a historically-contiguous population but two separate, if adjacent, territories that were occupied at different periods of their history by the Edomites/Idumeans. The Edomites first established a kingdom ("Edom") in the southern area of modern Jordan and later migrated into southern parts of the Kingdom of Judah ("Idumea", or modern southern Israel/Negev) when Judah was first weakened and then destroyed by the Babylonians, in the 6th century BCE.

Edom is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and also in a list of the Egyptian pharaoh Seti I from c. 1215 BC and in the chronicle of a campaign by Ramesses III (r. 1186–1155 BC). The Edomites, who have been identified archaeologically, were a Semitic people who probably arrived in the region around the 14th century BC. Archaeological investigation showed that the country flourished between the 13th and the 8th century BC and was destroyed after a period of decline in the 6th century BC by the Babylonians. After the loss of the kingdom, the Edomites were pushed westward towards southern Judah by nomadic tribes coming from the east; among them were the Nabataeans, who first appeared in the historical annals of the 4th century BC and already established their own kingdom in what used to be Edom, by the first half of the 2nd century BC. More recent excavations show that the process of Edomite settlement in the southern parts of the Kingdom of Judah and parts of the Negev down to Timna had started already before the destruction of the kingdom by Nebuchadnezzar II in 587/86 BCE, both by peaceful penetration and by military means and taking advantage of the already-weakened state of Judah.

Once pushed out of their territory, the Edomites settled during the Persian period in an area comprising the southern hills of Judea down to the area north of Be'er Sheva. The people appear under a Greek form of their old name, as Idumeans or Idumaeans, and their new territory was called Idumea or Idumaea (Greek: Ἰδουμαία, Idoumaía; Latin: Idūmaea), a term that was used in New Testament times.

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