Edom Falls (Jeremiah #30)

Text: Jeremiah 49:7-22

The prophecies are organized in a way that puts the judgments against the Gentile (non-Jewish) nations at the end of Jeremiah. We’ve heard a judgment against Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, and now Edom.

Edom is Esau (Genesis 36:1). Esau and Jacob were twins born to Isaac, grandchildren of Abraham and Sarah. Jeremiah says as much in verse 8, identifying Esau as the figurehead of the nation.

What does God have against the Edomites?

  • It seemed to begin with parental favoritism. His mother Rebekah came up with a scheme to get Esau’s brother, Jacob, the family blessing. This favoritism really embittered Esau. He hated Jacob and hated his mother from that point on. Easu would go on to marry wives just out of spite for his parents. Along with that, Esau also believed Jacob stole the blessing from him, and he never let that go. He passed it on to his children.
  • This bitterness was passed on to Esau’s generations.
  • Amalek became the Amalekites who violently hated Israel. They denied Israel passage through their country during the Exodus.
  • The Edomites for generations harassed and aided Israel’s enemies in hopes that they would be wiped off the map.
  • Amos 1:11 …he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath forever:
  • Ezekiel called it the perpetual hatred.
  • At that point in Jeremiah’s time, the Edomites had been a nation for a thousand years. The Satanic hatred against Jacob and his descendants was unresolvable for all that time. The nation was ripe for judgment and the LORD identified a larger-than-life man who could perform the demolition.

National judgment on Edom (vss 7-11)

  • Once again the idea of God visiting people is about judgment in 49:8.
  • The national judgments of God
    • Nationally, the culture loses its identity. Language, beliefs, and whatever is valuable to the culture, the treasures, become the property of someone else. The corporate organization that allows the nation to be a nation will become a memory that fades with time.
    • One of the highlights of the Edomite culture was their wisdom. Kind of the way we think of the Greek philosophers, or geometry and Pythagoras. They were associated with intelligence. And they knew it too; hence the question in verse 7.
    • (There are several similarities between national judgment and individual judgment here.)
  • Verse 10 describes this demolition process:
    • Edom was uncovered. So the nation is exposed, vulnerable, and unable to defend itself.
    • Edom was spoiled. So the national treasures including the economic system now belong to the spoiler. The nation has been looted.
    • Edom is not. So the nation lost its identity and individuality.
  • In every national judgment, there are remnants of faithful people and people the LORD finds to be innocent in the whole thing. (This is where national and individual judgments differ. National destruction doesn’t mean killing every individual in the nation.) God will protect and care for the fatherless and widows in verse 11.

National pride prevented any help (vss 12-19)

  • Edomites believed they could get away with things that other nations couldn’t.
  • Edomites had successfully negotiated terms between very powerful nations, sometimes nations more powerful than they, and they relied on this ability to deal with others. At this time in history, they’ve come across an enemy who isn’t making a deal in order to get along with them. He’s made a deal in order to destroy them. But they feel like even if the deal goes bad, they’re still positioned militarily to handle the situation.
  • Obadiah preaches the full details of Edom’s judgment.
  • Finally, the LORD says in verse 19 that he can’t find any shepherd in Edom who has the ability to stand in the gap and take on the sins of the nation. Thus mediate between God and man. Therefore the nation will have to die in its sin.

A time to every purpose (vss 20-22)

  • God has purposed destruction on the Edomite nation: a time to be born and a time to die.
  • Language of war in verse 21 says the earth is moved
  • Nebuchadnezzar is the strong arm of God here. Look at 49:22 as it interprets part of Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7:4.