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Chapter 35

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A Prophecy Against Edom (ch. 35:1 - 18)


This chapter deals with Ezekiel speaking the Word of the Lord against Edom.  Edom is the descendents of Esau, Jacob's brother.  You will remember that Jacob and Esau for the most part were always at odds with one another.  This has been the case from Jacob and Esau's time right down throughout history.


Some scholars suggest Edom as a people no longer exist.  Others suggest that they have been amalgamated with the other ethnic groups of the Old Testament that form the people of Turkey, Palestinians, and others 


Edom traditionally had been Israel's number one enemy. Edom as a geographic area is south of Judah, south of Jerusalem.  In modern days it would be southern Israel and southern Jordan.  Many people suggest Edom's borders are somewhat unknown for sure.  The main city of Edom is Bazrah, sometimes called Petra in Greek.  Petra is well known in certain prophetic passages as the place where Israel finds refuge during the last seven years of this age.  


Edom as a nation was overthrown by the Maccabees in 125 B.C. and no longer exists, but Edom, like Egypt and Babylon, often represents the world in the Bible, and sometimes needs to be understood in that light.


You see "Mount Seir"  in verse 2.  That is simply another name for Edom since this mountain is in Edom.


The Word of the Lord to Edom is simple.  The first five verses state that God will stretch out his hand and make Edom into ruins. 


Verse 5 and onward tell us why God is so upset with Edom.  In verse 5 you see the word "ancient hostility".  The hostility between Edom and Israel go all the way back to the hostility between Esau and Jacob, the fathers of these two nations.


The  main reason why God is going to wipe Edom out is because they "delivered Israel over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax".  The time of punishment on Israel that is mentioned here is the time when Edom helped Babylon overtake Jerusalem and take captive most Israelis back to Babylon.  This is the common consensus among scholars.  This would have just recently taken place when Ezekiel wrote these words.   


So, we see the Abrahamic Covenant coming into play here.  He that curses Israel will be cursed.  Edom cursed Israel and now God is punishing her for it. He eventually does the same to Babylon, but not right away.  There is a difference between Babylon and Edom in one respect.  God used Babylon to punish Israel for their sins, but it appears He did not use Edom.  They joined in with Babylon because of their ancient hatred of Israel.  They actually took some of the towns south of Jerusalem for themselves.


We need to note in verse 5 the Israel's punishment reached its climax.  Over and over again in the Bible you see that both sin and punishment has a climax.  People and nations sin, but they don't get punished right away, but, when the sin reaches a climax, a certain point in the mind of God, then punishment is pronounced.  The same with the punishment.  There is a set time for the punishment to last, unless otherwise stated.  Israel's punishment during Ezekiel's day lasted 70 years. 


Verse 6 basically says, "what you give, you get".  Because Edom was willing to shed blood, there blood would be shed.  It is an interesting thing to note why God punishes nations.  One of the main reasons why God punishes nations is their treatment of Israel, but here we can see another reason.  The shedding of innocent blood is grounds for punishment.  I would suggest the killing of unborn babies at our abortion clinics is the shedding of innocent blood and is grounds for punishment.


Among the Edomites and other nations, people who die must be buried right away.  The text says here that dead bodies will lie in the mountains and valleys. This would be totally disgusting to the Edomites.  


Verse 9 states that the towns of Edom will be desolate forever.  To this day, there isn't much population in this specific area.


The two nations spoken of in verse 10 that Edom wanted to take possession of are commonly thought of as being the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel. 


Note the results of this punishment in verses 12 to 14.  It is for Edom to know who really God is.  God does all things, whether blessing or cursing, to make people know and understand that He is the only God of this universe.


Verse 15 states the ongoing importance of the Abrahamic Covenant.  Because  Edom rejoiced in Israel 's defeat at the hands of Babylon, God would judge them.  Nations today need to take note of this, but you know they won't.  Our western nations have lost the importance of their roots.  They have forgotten their Judeo Christian heritage that made them great.  Therefore they do not understand the spiritual nature of the conflicts of the world.


Again in verse 15 you see the words, "then they will know that I am the Lord".  This is indeed the end result of all of human history.  That man would know that Yahweh is Elohim, Yahweh is the Lord God of all things.

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