Against Mount Seir (Ezek 35:1-35:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

Son of man!

Set your face

Against Mount Seir!


Against it!’”

Once again, there was an oracle of Yahweh to Ezekiel, the son of man. This time, Ezekiel was to face and prophesize against Mount Seir. Where and what was Mount Seir? Mount Seir was between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, on the southeastern border of Judah with Edom. In fact, this is a diatribe against the country of Edom. Quite often, Mount Seir was another name for Edom. Mount Seir was named after Seir, the Horite, in Genesis, chapter 14. The children of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, defeated the Horites, to take possession of this land.

King Amaziah worships foreign gods (2 Chr 25:14-25:16)

“After King Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir. He set them up as his gods. He worshiped them, making offerings to them. Therefore Yahweh was angry with King Amaziah. He sent to him a prophet, who said to him. ‘Why have you resorted to a people’s gods who could not deliver their own people from your hand?’ But as he was speaking, the king said to him. ‘Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you not be put to death?’ So the prophet stopped, but said. ‘I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this. You have not listened to my counsel.’”

This biblical chronicler then explained why Judah was about to be defeated by Israel. King Amaziah had defeated the people of Seir in Edom. He took their gods and their statues and images back to Jerusalem. There he offered sacrifices to them and worshipped them. Obviously, Yahweh was angry. Once again, it is an unnamed prophet who calls King Amaziah out. He wanted to know why the king was worshiping a god that could not save his own people. However, the king was upset and said stop. He was not his counselor. He should be put to death. Then the prophet stopped. However, he warned that God would destroy him because he had not listened to his counsel.

The successful Edomite campaign (2 Chr 25:11-25:12)

“King Amaziah took courage. He led out his people. He went to the Valley of Salt. He struck down ten thousand men of Seir. The people of Judah captured another ten thousand alive. He took them to the top of Sela. They threw them down from the top of so that all of them were dashed to pieces.”

The first verse is pretty much from 2 Kings, chapter 14. The second verse is an addition to the story. King Amaziah led an expedition to Edom, where he killed over 10,000 people as in 2 Kings. However, not only did they kill 10,000 Edomites, he then had another 10,000 thrown from the top of a rock at Sela so that they were smashed to pieces. Edom was southeast of Judah and had revolted against his great grandfather King Jehoram earlier. The Valley of the Salt is where King David also had defeated the Edomites.

The descendents of Seir, the Horite (Gen 36:20-Gen 36:30)

“These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.  These are the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom.  The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman. Lotan’s sister was Timna. These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.  These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. This Anah found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon.  These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.  These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.  These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.  These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.  These are the chiefs of the Horites.  The chiefs were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,  Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.  These are the chiefs of the Horites, according to their clans in the land of Seir.”

            The Horites seem to be a branch of the Hivites.  Seir is both a leader and the name of a place, where Esau was living.   They seem to inter-marry with Esau and the Edomites. Seir had seven sons.

1)      Lotan’s sons were Hori and Heman. The sister of Lotan was Timna, the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau.

2)      Shobal’s sons were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.

3)      Zibeon’s sons were Aiah and Anah, who found springs in the wilderness.  Anah is both the name of the son of Zibeon and Zibeon’s brother.

4)      Anah’s son was Dishon and his sister Oholibamah married Esau.  Once again, Dishon is listed as the son of Anah and his brother.

5)      Dishon’s sons were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.

6)      Ezer’s sons were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.

7)      Dishan’s sons were Uz and Aran.  Uz is a name connected with Aram and a place.

Most of the other names only appear here.  This appears to be an attempt to show how Esau and the others lived in Edom.

Jacob separates from Esau (Gen 33:12-33:17)

“Then Esau said, ‘Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.’  But Jacob said to him, ‘My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me.  If they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die.  Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.”

Esau wanted to stay with Jacob.  However, Jacob wanted to move more slowly because of the animals and children.  So Esau left first to go to Seir. Jacob continues to refer to his brother, as lord, and himself as your servant.

“Then Esau said, ‘Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.’ But he said, ‘Why should my lord be so kind to me?’  So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir.  But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle.  Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.”

Instead of going to Seir, Jacob went to Succoth and built a house there with tents for his cattle, refusing the help of Esau.  This could be trouble brewing. Succoth is east of the Jordan, north of the Dead Sea, probably not too far from Penuel, while Seir is further south of the Dead Sea.