Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Esau is Edom
August 13, 2010
Issue #04-1089, August 11, 2010, The Struggle Begins―Esau & Jacob , is about the struggle between
the twin sons of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau, the elder son, sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob
for some red stuff and then was wronged by Jacob when he deceived their father into giving him the
blessing of dominion.
Thus, Esau lost both the birthright and the blessing; a subject that was explained in the last issue (#04-
1090, August 12, 2010, Prophetic Blessings & Birthright ). This set the stage for a centuries-long
struggle in which Esau sought to regain the land that he lost by losing the birthright and the blessing to
rule over the land of Canaan. This struggle is discovered throughout ancient times; but, as will be shown
in subsequent issues, the struggle continues in our day and will soon be resolved.
However, before moving on to the weightier issue of prophecy, there are a few things that need to be
highlighted regarding Esau’s character and the various names by which he is identified in Scripture. It
goes without saying; once Esau passed off the scene, his descendants became known by many names,
and these names reveal Esau’s character that was passed along to them and manifested throughout
their history.
First, red is definitely Esau’s color. Here are a few “red facts” about Esau.
Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.
(Genesis 25:25 NASB)
Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am
famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom [red] .” (Genesis 25:30 NASB)
The word Edom means “red.” In these two verses, we can see that his skin tone at birth and the red stuff
that he bought from Jacob are both prophetic of the name that would be most associated with him and
his descendants. If I were to give him a nickname, I would call him Red. Nevertheless, Esau is Edom.
Edom is the most commonly used name for Esau, especially in prophecy.
The Greek word for Edom is Idumea , and Esau became the father of the Edomites or Idumeans , but his
descendants are identified with or known by several names, such as Seir , Amalek , and Teman .
Second, the territory that Esau occupied after leaving his brother Jacob also became known as Edom.
(8) So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom. … (9) Esau the father of the
Edomites in the hill country of Seir. (Genesis 36:8, 9)
As if prophetic in its own right, the central area of Seir, the territory of Edom, had red sandstone cliffs
that rose to heights of 5,000 feet. Sela, the capital of Edom (2 Kings 14:7), later known as Petra, was
located in one of the most inaccessible parts of the sandstone highlands (now part of modern Jordan).
When first discovered, archeologists called it the “red-rose city.”
So, whenever you see the word Seir , think of Edom.
Third, the color red can also signify “blood,” which prophetically speaks of Edom’s history of violence
and bloodshed.
“Therefore as I live,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will give you over to bloodshed, and
bloodshed will pursue you; since you have not hated bloodshed, therefore bloodshed will
pursue you. (Ezekiel 35:6 NASB)
Genesis 36 records the generations of Esau-Edom. Esau’s son Eliphaz begat a son named Amalek, and
the Amalekites became enemies of Israel. If you recall, the Amalekites fought against the sons of Israel
as they journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin (Exodus 17:1). They were a bloodthirsty people
that the Lord was against.
“The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to
generation.” (Exodus 17:16 NASB)
Later, Saul was commanded by the Lord to utterly destroy the Amalekites, but he disobeyed the Lord
when he spared Agag the Amalekite king, along with all that was good. For this act of disobedience, the
Lord rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 15).
The ancient prophets all agree that Edom was profane, proud, boastful, and full of hatred for Israel. The
descendants of Esau were enemies of Israel, and their end would not be good. In fact, the prophecy of
Obadiah is devoted entirely to the overthrow of Edom, the house of Esau, in the latter days. However,
the strongest indictment comes through Malachi.
(2) “I have loved you,” says the LORD. But you say, “How have You loved us? Was not
Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the LORD. “Yet I have loved Jacob; (3) but I have hated
Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the
jackals of the wilderness.” (4) Though Edom says, “We have been beaten down, but we
will return and build up the ruins”; thus says the LORD of hosts, “They may build, but I
will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom
the LORD is indignant forever.” (Malachi 1:2-4 NASB)
Fourth, Genesis 36 records that Esau’s son Eliphaz also begat a son named Teman. Later, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, and Obadiah all prophesied against Edom-Esau in reference to Teman.
Concerning Edom. … “Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman?” (Jeremiah 49:7, 8-10; also
Ezekiel 25:13; Obadiah 1:9).
Fifth, Genesis 36 records that Esau took Ishmael’s daughter Basemath as one of his wives, who bore
Reuel, who bore Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These became chiefs, and later, Jobab, the son
of Zerah became king (Genesis 36:3, 13, 33, 43). Thus, Esau and Ishmael united with each other
through marriage, at least through one branch of the family of Edomites. We could say that Ishmael
lives in Edom as well as in his own clan, which today are known as Arabs.
Talk about adding fire red to one’s bloodline. The blood of Ishmael being injected, so to speak, into the
mix makes for a pretty interesting gene pool that seems to be more comfortable with the sword and war
than with peace.
(11) The angel of the LORD said to her further, “Behold, you are with child, and you will
bear a son; and you shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has given heed to
your affliction. (12) He will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone,
and everyone’s hand will be against him; and he will live to the east of all his brothers.”
(Genesis 16:11-12 NASB)
Of course, Edom is not Ishmael, but this reveals something about the company that Edom kept and the
character of his descendants; all of which plays into end-time prophecy.
The Upward Call: #04-1091
by: Stuart H. Pouliot