In the previous Q&A, we saw that the modern Babylonian system under Assyria’s lead will conquer Edom (modern Turkey) and enslave it, after Edom had at first escaped the “king of the North,” while participating in the defeat of the modern houses of Israel (mainly the USA and GB) and Judah (the modern Jews).
We also saw in the last Q&A that God expressly stated that He will bring about Edom’s defeat to punish them for their conduct.
Psalm 137:7 tells us one reason for God’s anger with Edom: “Remember, O LORD, against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, ‘Raze it [Lit., make it bare], raze it, To its very foundation!’”
Joel 3:19 tells us: “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land.” Note, in passing, that Egypt’s desolation will end, as Egypt will become a major power in the Millennium, and Esau’s desolation will also end, even though it will not become a major power in the Millennium.
Amos 1:11-12 adds:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; his anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever. But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.’” [As an aside, however, when Edom is punished, God will in turn punish those nations who act indecently and with unrestrained cruelty towards Edom, compare Amos 2:1].
Ezekiel 25:12-13 is even more specific, stating: “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,’ therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword [or, as the margin has it, even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword]…’”
Ezekiel 35:1-15 adds more reasons for God’s anger with modern Edom. In that passage, the term, “you shall know that I am the LORD” is used several times. In prophecy, this expression is a reference to the time when God directly intervenes in human affairs, which He will begin to do about one year prior to Christ’s return. The prophecy in Ezekiel 35 states in detail:
“’Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will… make you most desolate; I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Because you have had an ancient [or everlasting] hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood [better: bloodshed], therefore blood shall pursue you. Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. I will make you perpetually desolate [until circumstances change], and your cities shall be uninhabited [for a while, as major Israelite cities will first be uninhabited for a while]; then you shall know that I am the LORD.
“‘Because you have said, “These TWO NATIONS and these TWO COUNTRIES [referring to the houses of Israel and Judah] shall be mine, and we will possess them,” although the LORD was there, ‘therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will do according to your anger and according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, ‘they are desolate; they are given to us to consume’… Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate. As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom—all of it. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.’”
Edom will become desolate for a while, but not for all eternity. Ezekiel emphasizes that they will realize that God is THE Lord—and many will turn to Him and believe in Him.
In this context, Ezekiel 36:3-5, 10 adds: “… Because they made you [the mountains of Israel, verse 1] desolate and swallowed you up on every side, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations… therefore, O mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD… ‘Surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with whole-hearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country… I will multiply men upon you [the mountains of Israel], all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt…”
Obadiah sheds further light on the reasons why God will punish modern Edom so severely. In the previous Q&A, we showed that Obadiah’s entire prophecy applies to the time of the end—the Great Tribulation and the Day of the LORD. We read God’s words, beginning with verse 10:
“For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. In the day that you stood on the other side—In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem—Even you were as one of them. But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity Nor laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. You should not have stood at the crossroads to cut off those among them who escaped; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress (Menge: the Great Tribulation). For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you…”
We have seen that Israel and Judah will have to go into slavery, and that Edom will actively participate in this future war against Israel and Judah which will bring about the complete downfall of those two nations. We also saw that Edom will possess at least parts of Israel’s and Judah’s territories. But what will happen in respect to Esau when the returning Jesus Christ frees Israel and Judah from their slavery and brings them back into the Promised Land? What will Israel and Judah do?
Let us now analyze what is prophesied regarding the role of the modern houses of Israel and Judah, in respect to the future of modern Edom.
We find a few amazing passages shedding some light on those future occurrences.
First, we read in Ezekiel 25:14 that God says:
“‘I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,’ says the Lord GOD.”
Some commentaries say that this prophecy was fulfilled at the time of the Maccabees, but we need to note that this is an end-time prophecy, relating specifically to God’s vengeance, fury and anger. In what way will God act “by the hand of His people”?
Obadiah 17-21 adds:
“‘But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance [margin: salvation], And there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, and no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ For the LORD has spoken. The South (Negev) shall possess the mountains of Esau… Then saviors shall come to Mount Zion To judge the mountains of Esau, And the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.”
Even though it says in Obadiah 9 that no survivors shall remain of the house of Edom, we already saw—and will also show below—that some Edomites (for instance, the fatherless and widows) will survive. The reference in Obadiah seems to be to those “mighty men” in the Edomite army who fought against Israel and Judah, and who might be fighting with the Babylonian system against Christ at His return.
In what way will the house of Jacob and of Joseph become a flame, and the house of Esau stubble? Does this mean that when the house of Israel will be freed from slavery, they—mortal human beings–will fight in war against Esau and destroy them completely? This is hardly to be assumed, as by that time, “the kingdom shall be the LORD’S,” and the house of Israel will follow God’s ways and will therefore be unwilling to fight in war anymore (Isaiah 2:1-4). In fact, when at the beginning of the Millennium, Asiatic hordes try to overrun and conquer Israel, it will be God who will be doing the fighting for Israel by sending fire on those hostile armies—Israel will not fight at all (compare Ezekiel 38 and 39).
We read in Isaiah 10:17 that “the Light of Israel will be for a fire, And his Holy One for a flame; It will burn and devour His thorns and his briers in one day.” It will be Christ Himself and His angels who will punish His enemies through fire, when He returns (compare Malachi 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10). At the same time, God’s followers (“the saints”) who will be resurrected and changed to immortality at the time of Christ’s return, will also participate in the judgment and the execution of unrighteous people, compare Psalm 149:5-9. Today, true Christians are spiritual Israelites, and once they have become immortal God beings, they will of course have every right to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26-27). Those from the house of Israel and Joseph, who will have become immortal God beings, will be part of the “Light of Israel” and “the flame.”
As mentioned, the passage in Obadiah 9, 17-21 does not convey that the country of Esau will be a wasteland forever and that no one in Esau will survive; otherwise, what would there be for the nations of Israel and Judah to possess, and why would saviors come to Esau to judge them? This conclusion is also confirmed by the following passages.
Amos 9:11-12 states:
“‘On that day [referring to the end time when God begins to actively intervene in human affairs] I will raise up The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, And rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the REMNANT OF EDOM, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ Says the LORD who does this thing.”
There will be still in existence a “remnant” of Edom. Not all Edomites will have died—there will be those who will live in the Millennium, and many of those will become converted.
Also, note Isaiah 11:11-14:
“It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left… And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth… they [especially Ephraim and Judah, verse 13] shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west… they shall plunder the people of the East; they shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them…”
As we have seen earlier, God will bring Israel and Judah into the Promised Land and replace those nations (including Edom) who took illegal possession of the territory. No illegal acts on the side of the Israelites and Jews are implied here; they “plunder” or “rob” their enemies by taking back or receiving from them what had been illegally taken away from them in the first place. Regarding the statement that Edom will obey Israel and Judah, please read our Q&A on slavery in the Millennium.
In conclusion, God will punish Edom or modern Turkey severely due to Edom’s hatred and violence towards Israel and Judah. However, many of the surviving Edomites [the remnant of Edom] will convert to God in the Millennium, and their hatred towards their brother Jacob will end at that time.
Lead Writer: Norbert Link