The spoils of plunder (Ezek 38:13-38:13)

“Sheba,

Dedan,

The merchants of Tarshish,

With all its young warriors,

Will say to you.

‘Have you come

To seize spoil?

Have you assembled

Your troops

To carry off plunder?

Do you want

To carry away

Silver,

Gold,

Cattle,

With other goods?

Do you want

To seize

Great spoil?’”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, now suddenly has the trading partners of Tyre from Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish, as found in chapter 27, show up in here. They realized that there would be a lot of things to plunder in Israel and Jerusalem. Tarshish had both merchants and warriors to gather up things. They wanted to know if Gog was there to plunder Israel? Would he take away its silver, gold, cattle, and other precious items? Would there be a great amount of stuff to take?

Dedan (Ezek 27:20-27:20)

“Dedan traded

With you

In saddlecloths

For riding.”

Tyre traded with a series of other Arab countries that included Dedan in west central Arabia. Apparently they had very good horseback riding saddlecloths.

The punishment of Edom (Ezek 25:13-25:14)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will stretch out

My hand

Against Edom.

I will cut off from it

Humans,

As well as animals.

I will make it desolate.

From Teman

Even to Dedan,

They shall fall

By the sword.

I will lay my vengeance

Upon Edom

By the hand

Of my people

Israel.

They shall act

In Edom

According to my anger.

They shall act

According to my wrath.

They shall know

My vengeance.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Unlike Moab and Ammon, Yahweh was going to destroy Edom with the Israelites, and not with the people from the East. Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand against Edom, so that it would be cut off from all humans and animals. He was going to make it a desolate place from Teman to Dedan. Teman was perhaps a tribal group in northern Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce in the south of Edom. They would all fall by the sword or they would end up in captivity. However, this vengeance was to come at the hands of Yahweh’s people, Israel. They would carry out the anger and wrath of Yahweh. Thus the Edomites would know the vengeance of Yahweh God.

The questions for Edom (Jer 49:7-49:9)

“Concerning Edom!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts!

‘Is there no longer wisdom

In Teman?

Has counsel perished

From the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?

Flee!

Turn back!

Get down low!

O inhabitants of Dedan!

I will bring

The calamity of Esau

Upon him,

Like the time

When I punished him.

If grape-gatherers

Came to you,

Would they not

Leave gleanings?

If thieves came

By night,

Would they not pillage

Only what they wanted?”

Edom was south of the Dead Sea, south of Moab and south of Judah. Its biblical origin was the place where Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, went to live in Genesis, chapter 36. Yahweh has a series of questions for Edom. What happened to their wisdom, especially at Teman, perhaps a tribal group in Edom, since Teman was the name of the grandson of Esau. One of Job’s friends Eliphaz was a Temanite. Obadiah, an almost unknown minor prophet, seemed to take some of this diatribe against Edom into most of his work. Something has happened to the counsel and prudence of Edom. Has all their wisdom vanished? Dedan was a tribe involved in commerce. Both grape gatherers and thieves would leave something behind. They would not take everything. Thus the grape pickers would leave some grapes for the later gleaners to come along and get some of these overlooked grapes. The same is true about nightly thieves who would only take what they needed.

Arabian tribes (Jer 25:23-25:24)

“I went to

Dedan,

Tema,

Buz.

I went to

All who have shaven temples.

I went

To all the kings

Of Arabia,

To all the kings

Of the mixed peoples

That live in the desert.”

Dedan, Tema, and Buz were desert tribes in northern Arabia. The shaven temple people were mentioned in chapter 9 as people who lived in the desert of Arabia. Thus Jeremiah went to all the kings of Arabia as well as all the mixed people who lived in the desert among the various Arab tribes.

The descendants of Keturah (Gen 25:1-25:6)

“Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.  She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.  Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.  The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.  Abraham gave all he had to Isaac.  But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still living, and he sent them away from his son Isaac, eastward to the east country.”

Now we find out about another wife of Abraham.  Wow, number 3 after Sarah and Hagar. There is no indication of a time frame, after Sarah’s death or during her lifetime.  If after her death he would have been over 137 years old when he had these 6 children.  In fact, there may have been other concubines. Abraham gave everything to Isaac, who was lucky since he had a hard time with Ishmael. Abraham gave these children of Keturah gifts and sent them away from Isaac to the east country.  We might call these people the wandering Arabs. This is an attempt to show how other Arab tribes can be traced to Abraham.

Three of these children are only mentioned here  and nowhere else except in the Chronicles: Zimran, Medan, and Ishbak.  The name Shuah appears elsewhere in biblical literature.  However, only two are mentioned as having further children.  Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan.  There are at least 4 different people named Sheba in the biblical literature.  Then Dedan’s sons are mentioned.  Perhaps there is a link to Cush since one of his sons was named Dedan.  However, Dedan’s sons Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim, are only mentioned here and nowhere else. The descendents of Midian become important on the western territory between Canaan and Egypt.  In fact, Moses will go to their territory and marry the daughter of a Midian priest.  There are at least 3 people named Ephah and Epher, while this is the only mention, except for Chronicles, of  Abida and Eldaah.