The terrible actions of Edom (Ob 1:10-1:11)

“The slaughter

With the violence

Done to your brother Jacob

Means that shame

Shall cover you!

You shall be cut off forever!

On the day

That you stood aside,

On the day

That strangers

Carried off his wealth,

On the day

That foreigners

Entered his gates,

On the day

That they cast lots

For Jerusalem,

You too were

Like one of them.”

For all the violence and slaughter that was done to Edom’s brother Jacob, shame would come upon the Edomites.  They would be cut off forever.  In other words, these Edomites were as guilty as the strangers who attacked Jerusalem.  On that day of attack on the holy city, when the foreigners and strangers entered the gates of Jerusalem and took their wealth, the Edomites were like the attackers who were casting lots for Jerusalem.  They were just like these invaders in their complicity.  They did nothing to help the people of Jerusalem and Judah.

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The desolate desert of Edom (Ezek 35:14-35:15)

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘As the whole earth

Rejoices,

I will make you desolate.

You rejoiced

Over the inheritance

Of the house of Israel,

Because it was desolate.

Thus,

I will deal

With you.

You shall be desolate!

Mount Seir!

All of Edom!

All of it!’

Then they shall know

That I am Yahweh.”

Yahweh God, via Ezekiel, said that the whole earth rejoiced because he was going to make Mount Seir a desolate desert. Just as the Edomites had rejoiced over the desolation of the house of Israel, now everyone would rejoice over the desolation of Mount Seir, the whole country of Edom, with everything in it. Finally, they would know that Yahweh was truly God.

Powerful Yahweh (Jer 50:44-50:44)

“Like a lion

Coming up

From the thickets

Of the Jordan River

Against a perennial pasture,

I will suddenly

Chase them

Away from her.

I will appoint over her

Whomever I choose.

Who is like me?

Who can summon me?

Who is the shepherd

That can stand before me?”

Interesting enough, this section is almost word for word what Yahweh said against the Edomites in the preceding chapter. These Babylonians would be like lions that come out of the thickets on the Jordan River to find a beautiful pasture land. Suddenly, Yahweh would chase them away from this perennial green field. There is no one like Yahweh. Who could oppose him? The shepherds had no chance against Yahweh.

Drink the cup (Jer 49:12-49:12)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘If those who did not deserve

To drink the cup

Still have to drink it,

Shall you be the one

To go unpunished?

You shall not

Go unpunished.

You must drink it.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, said that the Edomites still had to drink from the cup of Yahweh’s wrath. Even if they did not deserve it, they would not go unpunished. Here Yahweh seems to indicate that the Edomites did not deserve the punishment that they were getting. However, they could not go unpunished. Thus they had to drink from this cup of wrath.

The Judeans return (Jer 40:11:40:12)

“Likewise,

All the Judeans,

Who were in Moab,

Or among the Ammonites,

Or in Edom,

As well as in other lands,

Heard that

The king of Babylon

Had left a remnant

In Judah.

They heard

That he had appointed

Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

The son of Shaphan,

As governor over them.

Then all the Judeans returned

From all the places

To which they had been scattered.

They came

To the land of Judah,

To Gedaliah,

At Mizpah.

They gathered wine

They gathered summer fruits

In great abundance.”

Jeremiah presents a mini-post exilic time. This was particularly true of those Judeans who had migrated to the southeastern neighboring countries on the other side of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, living among the Moabites, the Edomites, and the Ammonites. They heard the news that the war with Babylon was over. They then decided to return, when they heard that Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, was the new governor appointed by the king of Babylon. Thus they returned to Judah, more precisely to the Benjamin area that had not been destroyed. Mizpah became the new capital city of this remnant left In Judah. They were going to have wine and summer fruits in abundance. This seems like a happy time with a lot of returning Judeans from the devastated Judah area and the area east of the Jordan River in Moab, Edom, and Ammon.

The false circumcision (Jer 9:25-9:26)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The days are surely coming

When I will attend to

All those who are circumcised

Only in the foreskin.

This includes

Egypt,

Judah,

Edom,

The Ammonites,

Moab,

As well as all those with shaven temples

Who live in the desert.

All these nations are uncircumcised.

All the house of Israel

Is uncircumcised in heart.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, criticizes those who are uncircumcised in their hearts. He seems to indicate that that Egyptians, the Edomites, the Moabites are also circumcised, as it must have been a common custom. He also indicates that Judah is also circumcised along with the Arabs in the desert with their shaven temples. However, the harshest treatment is for the house of Israel that is uncircumcised in the heart.

Numerical proverb (Sir 50:25-50:26)

“Two nations

My soul detests.

The third

Is not even a nation.

They are

Those who live on Mount Seir,

The Philistines,

And the foolish people

That live in Shechem.”

Sirach uses the numerical concept of Proverbs. He detests 2 countries. They appear to be the Edomites of Mount Seir and the Philistines or pagan Hellenists. The third group are the foolish Samaritans who live in Shechem.