view from Tel Arad eastward toward Ein Gedi & Masada on the Dead Sea
Region south of Judea
originally inhabited by the reputed descendents of Jacob's
brother Esau. Edom was periodically subjected to Judea [under
David & Solomon (10th c.
BCE) & the Maccabees
Homeland of the house
of Herod. There were no
natural boundaries between Idumea & Judea, so the borders
were always in flux. The distinction between Edomites & Jews
was blurred by Johanan
conversion of Idumea to Judaism (ca. 130
During the 1st c.
CE pressure by the Arab Nabateans pushed the territory of the
Edomites to within 15 miles of Jerusalem.
The region was bounded by the city state of Gaza
on the west & the Dead Sea on the east. Herod's
wilderness fortress of Masada
that served as the final base of Jewish resistance to Roman rule
lay within its borders. After 70
CE Idumea was detached from
Judea until it was occupied by modern Israel in the 6 days war (1968).
road to oasis of Ein Gedi
where David hid from Saul (left:);
bathing in upper pool
For further information about archaeological & historical evidence, see:
Buttrick, G. A., ed. Interpreter's
Dictionary of the Bible. vol. 2 (NY/Nashville: Abingdon Press,
1962) p. 678.
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