Saturday, August 23, 2014

Is Edom now Rome/The West

Rabbinic Judaism for the last two thousand years has called Rome, and from that Europe/The West in general, Edom. Even the United States is included, because we've inherited a great deal of Roman influence in our form of government.

Rarely do Christians inherit this concept, and some that do tie it into British Israelism ideas (the "white" people who aren't Israelite are Edomite). The opposition to it I think is because these Jews also view Christianity as a religion as synonymous with Rome/Edom. But coming from an Independent Baptist or Pentecostal or Hebrew Roots viewpoint, one could easily view paganized Christianity (or Christianized Paganism), who have been very Anti-Semitic as religious Edom. Chiefly the Catholic Church, but also the obscure Old Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican and other Protestant Churches that didn't actually reform much besides breaking with the Papacy. And to an extent also the Orthodox churches and the Mormons, and JWs.

Many Rabbis might argue that it's symbolic or spiritual, and does not require an actual genealogical/biological descent from Esau. But I think that possibility is worth looking at. Britam takes the descent literally, and identifies Edom today mostly with Germany, Italy and less definitively Japan. If you see a certain Axis there, that's not a coincidence.  I think their logic behind seeing Germany as Edom is flawed, Germany is clearly much more culturally linguistically and biologically akin to the tribes they see as Israelite.  I also think that if Italy is Edom then probably so is Spain/Portugal to some extent, and western Mediterranean islands like Malta and Corsica.

One could argue this is a purely extra-Biblical association, but it does have a Biblical basis I'll get to soon. But first, I know many would argue the Genesis 10 origin of Rome should be viewed as Kittim based on Daniel 11:30, where the "Ships of Chittim" refered to Rome's thwarting of Antiochus Epiphanes's designs on Egypt in 168 B.C.

This event took place on the Island of Cyprus (and is sometimes cited as the origin of the expression "draw a line in the sand" because that's what Laenas did). And Bill Cooler in After The Flood Appendix 3 documents that Kittim's original settlement before spreading further west was on Cyrpus and the most ancient names for Cyprus derive from Kittim.
11. Kittim: This is a collective name of a people who are spoken of in the Old Phoenician inscriptions as the kt or kty, and who settled on the island of Cyprus. They were to give their name to the ancient Cypriot city of Kition (modern-day Larnaka). The Romans preserved the name when they named the city Citium, and Josephus gave the name as Cethimus. (Refs: 1DB 3:40-1. JA P 1:26)
Elsewhere in Bible Prophecy (like in Isaiah 23 where Alexander's Conquest of Tyre is in mind) Kittim/Chittim is treated as synonymous with the peoples of his father Javan and thus Greece.

Before I get into this however I want to say one more thing. Certain Prophetic references certainly mean the Land of Edom geographically. Particularly Isaiah 63 and Daniel 11:36-45.  But I wouldn't always assume references to specific locations within Edom mean it's to be understood geographically.  Mount Seir for example was Edom's sacred Holy Mountain, their equivalent to Sinai or Zion or Moriah, or for a Pagan analogy Olympus.   If Edom is now Rome then maybe Seir is now Vatican hill?

Now, to get into why I consider this view valid.

Any Biblical Study of Rome ought to begin with Daniel 2 and 7, if you disagree the Fourth Empire is Rome I have a study on that, and I also address those that insist 7 doesn't correlate to 2. But for now, let's start with Daniel 7:11-12 when the Messianic Age begins.
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.  As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time."

The first three beasts will be part of the Millennium, one could argue all three are alluded to in other Millennial Age prophecies outside Daniel concerning Assyria, Persia and Javan, though for Persia that's true only with a Post-Millennial interpretation of Ezekiel 38.

The Fourth Beast is not however, it's completely destroyed. Outside Daniel cities are sometimes foretold to never be inhabited again like Babylon.  But a whole nation having it's destiny to be completely cut off is unique to Edom (Obadiah 9&10 and 18) and it's Bastard offshoot Amalek (Numbers 24:20).   Even Sodom is foretold to be restored in Ezekiel 16.  Jeremiah 46-49 also foretells judgment on several nations, but with Edom lacking a promise of restoration.

That Amalek comes from Edom is documented in Genesis 36:12.  Genesis 14's reference to "the land of the Amalekites" is Moses describing that location as his readers would have known it.

I don't believe this means that no descendants of Esau or Amalek will ever be saved and walk the Earth during the Millennium and the New Heaven and New Earth. It simply means that as a national identity Edom will cease to exist.

Isaiah 34 and Ezekiel 35-36 also speak of the future Judgment of Edom as being the last Nation destroyed before the Millennium begins.  Isaiah 63's reference to Edom is possibly further testimony of that.

It's also interesting that in Genesis 36 the earliest Kings of Edom were not a father-son inherited position.  Which is like how the earliest Kings of Rome were from Romulus till the Etruscan dynasty.

One of Rome's major national symbols was an Eagle, and it's from this Roman usage that America and Nazi Germany chose the Eagle as a national symbol as well. People when talking about the Tribe of Dan theories keep citing references from the Targums to support viewing the Eagle as a symbol of Dan.  But The Bible never links Dan with Eagles, however Obadiah 4 and Jeremiah 49:16&22 use an Eagle as a symbol of Edom.  Jeremiah also mention an Eagle here when talking of Moab but form a different angle, the soaring Eagle soars above Moab while it is Edom.  Moab and Amon were also dispersed and I think I agree with the theory that they're now Spain and Portugal.

In the sense that the U.S. is the inheritor of Rome's legacy, it's interesting to look at Obadiah verse 4 "Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah." And remember that the U.S. was the first nation to set foot on another celestial body. And that when we landed on the moon Neal Armstrong said "Houston, the Eagle has landed."

Before I talk briefly on the Hebrew Bible's history of Edom, I want to say I feel some offshoots of Edom traveled to other lands outside Biblical Edom proper long before even the time of Moses. Lots of Esau's sons and grandsons listed in Genesis 36 are never mentioned again, only a few are linked to specific cities, lands, or tribes of Edom that come up later.

The medieval manuscript claiming to be the Book of Jasher I by no means consider a credible source in-spite of it's popularity in some circles.  However I feel it's worth mentioning that it identifies  Zepho/Zephi son of Eliphaz as the grandson of Edom who contributed to Rome's pre-history. But the narrative it uses to explain this is ridiculous to any historically literate scholar.  Ken Johnson takes it seriously though and imagines a made up connection between Zepho and Latin words for Wolf.

Many of my fellow Creationists have considered linking Esau with the Neanderthals. Because of his hairiness being emphasized, and the meaning of the word Edom possibly implying red hair. Meanwhile the Edomites intermarried with the Horites, and Horite is often interpreted to mean "cave dweller". Likewise the same Obadiah and Jeremiah verses that link Edom with an Eagle also talk of them "that dwellest in the clefts of the rock". I believe the Neanderthals inspired the Woodwoses of Celtic/Germanic mythologies, who are often linked to the Roman god Silvanus.

In that context it's interesting to note that a map of sites were Neanderthal remains have been found reveals that almost all of them are within the borders of what would become the Roman Empire at it's greatest extent, and do include cites on the Italian peninsula. And geneticists now believe Neanderthals did intermarry with "normal humans" and have descendants alive today.

The last references in the Historical books of The Bible to the main Edomite nation interacting with Israel all occur in both II Kings and II Chronicles before the reign of Hezekiah. The last reference to the Amalekites chronologically is documented in I Chronicles 4:41-43 where it records them being wiped out by the Simeonites when they conquered the areas around Mt Seir in the time of Hezekiah.

The last reference to Edom in Assyrian inscriptions is during the reign of Esarhaddon (681 – 669 BC). I think it's possible many of them were deported like the Northern Israelites and others Assyria conquered. It'd be interesting if some of the same peoples British Israelim and Franco Israelism and Britam traces back to "The Lost Tribes" are actually of partially Edomite stock.

Psalm 137 and Obadaih are cited as referring to Edom being involved in Jerusalem's destruction in 588 B.C. But the Historical books during this period never mention Edom, they seem to have mostly disappeared generations earlier. Obadaih is a Prophetic book and Psalm 137 is a poem, many Psalms even if not blatantly defined as Prophetic have Prophetic qualities. This could refer to Rome and/or the Idumeans involvement in the 70 A.D. destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple, and the poetic link to Babylon in the Psalm to Rome being one of the many cities where Mystery Babylon has resided until she returns to Shinar (Zachariah 5). People of Idumean descent fought on both sides in the 66-73 A.D. Jewish-Roman war. I'll discus the Idumeans later.

The pre-Aeneas inhabitants of Italy are discussed by Eusebius quoting others.
The Aborigines sound a little like they could be Neanderthals to me. Pelasgians were a specific tribe of the pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece, often used as a general term for all of them. Julius Pokorny derives Pelasgoi from *pelag-skoi ("flatland-inhabitants"). Which Biblically sounds like Peleg, son of Eber and ancestor of both Jacob and Esau. The Thalassocracies listed by Diodorus and preserved by Eusebius list The Pelasgians as the dominant Sea Power from about 1057-972 B.C. Which happens to be about when Ussher dated the reigns of David and Solomon, and Biblically I consider Ussher correct on the Kingdom period. So maybe these Pelasgians could be Edomites who traveled to Italy.

The Sabine Tribe of Italy are important to Rome's origin, Numa the second King was a Sabine, a number of later individuals claimed descent form Numa.  According to Plutarch the Sabines claimed descent from an ancient Spartan colony.  I discus evidence of a possible Edomite connection for Sparta on my Revised Chronology Blog discussing the Hycsos.

My favorite Christian scholars talking about the Herodian dynasty love to emphasize their "Edomite" status, (which they assume is indisputable) but the New Testament itself never does so.  It doesn't even confirm his presumed Idumean status, it only makes one reference geographically to Idumaea in Mark 3:8. Strangely the NT doesn't discus Edom as a nation at all it would seem, which is odd. Malachi ends the Hebrew Bible setting up the New Testament in a few ways, one by giving a key Prophecy of John The Baptist in 3:1. But perhaps all the talk about Esau also sets up Rome's key role in the New Testament narrative. This same Malachi reference is interestingly alluded to by Paul in his Epistles to The Romans 9-11. Indeed one of the only two NT references to Esau is in the Epistles to The Romans.  And those references are speaking of Esau in a typological sense, which Calvanists don't understand.

Jospehus is our main source on Herod, and he is ultimately a critic of the dynasty, he says Herod was Idumean. Herod's official court historian claimed he descended from Exilarchs, that is easy to write off as propaganda. What we do know for certain is his Paternal Grandfather and Father both first rose to power as governors of Idumea, and that the Hasmoneans had forcibly converted the Idumeans to Judaism under Hyrcanus.

Idumea refers to a geographical region in Greeco-Roman Judah that overlapped mostly with the original allotment of Simeon. It doesn't geographically equate to Edom, places like Seir, Bozrah and Teman where part of the Nebatean kingdom ruled by Aretas, Petra was his capital.

Any time you see Idumea in the KJV of the Old Testament, that was the same Hebrew word always used for Edom, no variant of pronunciation there. The KJV translators were just being arbitrarily selective because of an assumption.

The modern Palestinians being sometimes refereed to as Edomites is also probably because of partial descent from the Idumeans. The Idumeans are not the only aspect of their ancestry of course. They descend from many local populations who converted to Islam (including Samaritans) and Arabs who migrated there after the Islamic conquests. Today Palestinians make up about 75% of Jordan's population, in addition to their settlements in Israel.

Dumah was a son of Ishmael mentioned in Genesis 25.  Bill Cooper in After The Flood Appendix 1 says of them.

59. Dumah: The Assyrians and Babylonians knew Dumah's descendants as the Adammatu. Nabonidus later tells us how he conquered the Adummu. Ptolemy referred to them as the Domatha; and Porphyry recorded their name as the Dumathii. We know them today as the Idumaeans. The name of Dumah is still preserved in the modern Arab city of Dumat-al-Jandal, the erstwhile capital of his tribe (see Map 2.) (Refs: 1DB 1:873-4. NBD 328)
Cooper also records that this tribe had ties to Kedar when he discuses that nation.

So, is the popular Idumeans=Edomites assumption in fact wrong? I firmly thought so, until I read Isaiah 21:11 "The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?". This prophecy goes on to mention other tribes and places, including Tema of Ishmael, Arabia, as well as descendants of Dedan (most likely the Keturite Dedan).

So it might be there was some intermingling between Edom and Dumah.  Or maybe that prophecy from Isaiah just alludes to the fact that those lands would one day be inhabited by Ishmaelites.  Which was the case by NT times.

The Herodian Dynasty also intermingled with Roman Aristocracy, chiefly via Antonius Felix's marriage to Drusilla daughter of Herod Agrippa, and a son and grandson of Alexander who ruled Armenia (as Tigranes V and VI) who obtained Roman citizenship. There are also speculations about the Aristobulus of Romans 16 going to Britan, and Antipas & Antipater being exiled to southern France. And how those might tie into British Israelism and Merovingian-Rex Deus theories.

Some have guessed these intermarriages are the origin of the Rome-Edom connection, but as I've argued there's much more to it then that.

 I think It's interesting actually that the Herodians were an Idumean dynasty given rule of the Holy Land by an Edomite Empire, during The New Testament era.

I discus Edom and Rome's relationship to Yahweh here.

I speculate more on how Edom became Rome here.

One of the Edomite Kings of Genesis 36 was named Samlah.  I've recently wondered is Samlah could be related to the Samnites.  The Samnites were a tribe in ancient Italy, one of many that fought Rome at first but in time become Romans citizens after being annexed by Rome.

They were fighting wars with Rome during the time of Alexander The Great.  The most notable Samnite of that period was Gaius Pontius.  Because of the name many historians think it's probably that Pontius Pilate was a descendant of that Pontius.  So that is interesting, Roman history can perhaps link a Genesis 36 King of Rome to the Roman Prefect who authorized Jesus Crucifixion.

In between those two Pontius, was Lucius Pontius Aquila.  He was one of the killer of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March of 44 BC.  It's also interesting that Aquila is the Latin word for Eagle.  He also owned land near modern Naples, which was arguable within traditional Samnite territory.

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