Monday, August 19, 2019
Identifying Edom through Scripture and History
“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Luke 4:5-7
One of the longest held traditions of the Babylonian Talmud and kabbalistic prophecy is that Christianity is Edom and that when Messiah comes to judge the earth, he will destroy Christianity, leaving only a remnant of Christians and Gentiles to assist Israel in building the earthly kingdom of God in Jerusalem. This legendary fable has no Biblical basis, but was conceived and passed down beginning in the period following the destruction of the second Temple. The Encyclopaedia Judaica states:
“The identification of Edom with Rome is never found in the literature of the Second Temple period…attempts at detecting it in the…Pentateuch have no real basis. The identification appears first, apparently, in an aggadah [non-legal rabbinic writings recorded in the Talmud and Midrash] of the period following the Bar Kokhba War…The identification is also found in a conversation between [Rabbi] Akiva and Tinneius Rufus [Roman ambassador to Judea at the beginning of the second century]…Thereafter it became very widespread.” 1
Lately, we are hearing more and more about the prophetic significance of the mysterious kingdom known as Edom. However, the true identity of Edom is to be found within the pages of Scripture and in the chapters of real history, not in the traditions and predictions of men that are so prevalent today.
The main prophecy dealing with the destruction of Edom is found in the book of Obadiah with additional Scripture references found in Isaiah 34:5-15, Jeremiah 49:7-22, Ezekiel 25:12-14, 35:1-15 and Amos 1:11-12. The passage in Isaiah 34:5 clearly identifies who the prophecy is speaking about. “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment.” Idumea is “Edom, the elder twin-brother of Jacob; hence, the region (Idumaea) occupied by him – Edom, Edomites, Idumea.” (Strong’s; Idumea, 123)
In Numbers 20:14-21 the Edomites refused to let Moses and the Israelites pass through their country. We read in verses 18-21, “And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword…And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand. Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.” The hostility of Edom towards Israel is further seen in Edom’s willingness to assist Israel’s enemies, which included aiding the Babylonians in the burning and captivity of Jerusalem. The Jewish Encyclopedia notes, “In the time of Nebuchadnezzar the Edomites took an active part in the plunder of Jerusalem and in the slaughter of the Jews.” 2 For this reason, the judgment of God against Edom was prophesied by Obadiah, “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (Verse 10)
History records that in 582 B.C., just four years after Jerusalem was burned, Edom was conquered by the Babylonians, leaving only a remnant of Edomites confined to a region in southern Judea, where they continued to exist for four centuries. 3 What happens next is one of the most fascinating historical facts concerning the true identity of Edom and the role of the Edomite kings during the time Jesus Christ was on the earth.
In 126 B.C. the Edomites were conquered by the Maccabean ruler, John Hyrcanus and were “absorbed into the Jewish state” where they “were forced to observe Jewish rites and laws” and “the Edomites became a section of the Jewish people.” 4 From this time onward Edom became known as Idumea, from which arose the Herodian dynasty. The historian Flavius Josephus tells us, “Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans…at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.” 5 By 63 B.C. the Romans conquered Palestine and the Herods of Idumea were placed in power over Judah. 6
Under the control of Rome, the Herods of Edom left a legacy of violence and murder. In 37 B.C.E. the Romans appointed Herod king of Judea. It was the Idumean Edomite king, Herod the Great, who slaughtered all of the male infants two years and under in an evil plot to kill the child Jesus who was the prophesied Messiah and King of the Jews. (Matthew 2:1-18) In Mark 3:1-6 we read that after Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Both Matthew 14:1-12 and Mark 6:14-29 tell us that it was Herod the tetrarch, who beheaded John the Baptist after he had John put in prison. (See Luke 3:19-20) Acts 12:1-3 records that it was King Herod (Agrippa I, grandson of the Edomite King Herod the Great) who persecuted the church, killed James the brother of John with the sword, and had Peter arrested. 7
Edom: The “Hazir” That Will Be Destroyed
“The name “Edom” is used by the Talmudists for the Roman empire, and they applied to Rome every passage of the Bible referring to Edom or to Esau…Rome, under the name of “Edom,” is compared to a boar, and the symbolic name “Seir” was used by the poets of the Middle Ages not only for Rome…but also for Christianity…In place of “Edom,” the word “Hazir” (swine) was occasionally used, perhaps as a mere term of reproach.” 8
The Chabad-Lubavitch website, Chabad.org, explains in an article titled “Moshiach 101” that “Edom is the perpetual enemy of Israel and its final foe: the present galut [exile] is referred to as the galut of Edom and Edom will be defeated ultimately by Mashiach.” 9 Referencing the Babylonian Talmud as its source, the article continues, “The principal and final function ascribed to Mashiach ben Yossef is of political and military nature. He shall wage war against the forces of evil that oppress Israel. More specifically, he will do battle against Edom, the descendants of Esau. Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel, and it will be crushed through the progeny of Joseph.” 10
Admittedly from the statement above, we see that according to Talmudic tradition, not only is Edom defined as the descendants of Esau – which is the correct Biblical definition – but Edom is inclusive of anyone who is perceived as an enemy of Israel, especially if that enemy is erroneously accused of being the cause of Israel’s exile and the hindrance to their final redemption!
As explained in my book, Kabbalah Secrets Christians Need to Know, it was Rabbi Itzhak Shapira’s application of the destruction of Edom to Christianity that first prompted me to research some of the more extreme rabbinic ideas of eschatology. I wish I could say these radical traditions faded into history with the Middle Ages, but this is not the case. The Encyclopaedia Judaica explains the early origin and evolution of how Christianity came to bear the label of Edom by the Talmudists:
“The intense hatred of Rome after the cruel crushing of the revolt of the Diaspora in the time of Trajan and still more after the harsh suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt and the decrees of persecution in Hadrian’s days; the fact that Rome, like Edom, had destroyed the Temple; the similarity of Edom, compared to a pig, with Rome, for whom the pig (or, more correctly, the sow) was a most important symbol; the allusions to Edom dwelling on high like an eagle and the fact that the eagle, too, was an important Roman symbol; and perhaps finally even the similarity to the name Rome and Romans in several verses that speak of Edom, Seir, and Esau – all these apparently combined to cause the application to Rome of the biblical references to Edom, the eternal enemy of Israel. At the end of the tannaitic period, and still more in the amoraic, the identification became very widespread, and the overwhelming majority of homilies about Edom speak explicitly of Rome. Thus it was stated that Rome was founded by the children of Esau, and Rome was identified as one of the cities of the chiefs of Esau…At a still later period the term became a synonym for Christian Rome and thence for Christianity in general…(these identifications occur…in the Midrashim and the Talmuds).” 11
The False Prophecy of the Fourth Exile and Final Redemption
“In fact if the midrashim are anything to go by, Esav is the pig which represents in a historical time line: pagan Rome, Christian Rome and present day worldwide Christianity at large which includes messianic Judaism, which in the end undergo a transformation which renders them Kosher by their rejection of Yeshua.” 12
As quoted above, the rabbis of Chabad state that the current exile or galut of Israel is “referred to as the galut of Edom,” an exile of almost 2,000 years; the burden of which Itzhak Shapira and his fellow sages place upon Christianity. Drawing always from the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrash, the rabbis of Kabbalah advance their futuristic thesis onto the world stage like a scene from the Armageddon Script in a desperate attempt to usher in a carnal utopian kingdom of G-d on earth. Like a broken record that has been skipping for millennia, the harbinger is heralded again and again:
“The Midrash speaks of four exiles in advance of Mashiach’s arrival and the Final Redemption: Babylonian, Median, Greek, and Roman.” 13 “The first was Babylon, the second Media/Persia, the third Greece, and finally Edom, commonly identified as Rome…All the sages agree that the word “Edom” typically refers to the Romans.” 14
The following statement from the Chabad site, Kabbalah Online, comes from the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, and reveals that they are right on cue in the timeline as outlined by the oracle of the Zohar:
“God told Abraham that the Jewish people would be subjugated over the course of history by four kingdoms. The final subjugation, which immediately precedes the messianic age, will be under Rome. Our present exile is seen as an extension of the Roman subjugation, since culturally and legally western civilization shares the values and worldview of ancient Rome…the Midrash (Bereishit Raba 83:4) describes [Rome/Esau] as gathering treasures for the Messiah, [and] refers to the time when “Rome” will no longer battle G‑d but will in fact use its “treasures,” i.e., its resources, to contribute to the unfolding of the messianic era.” 15
In step with the Kabbalah of Hasidism, Shapira puts forth the clarion call to Messianic believers to join the ranks in the struggle against Edom! Referencing four promises of God to Moses in Exodus 6:6-8 to lead the children of Israel out of bondage from Egypt, he applies the classic Talmudic interpretation of the four promises as relative to four future exiles:
“Remember, those four promises represent the four exiles…The first exile is the exile of Babel. The second exile is Persia. The third one is Greek (Greece?). The fourth one is the kingdom, the last terrible kingdom is the kingdom of Edom, okay, Edom; Edom is the name of Christianity, Esav, Yeshua…This is the kingdom of Christianity; that’s the last yoke that is to be broken. The question in the back of the mind of everybody today should be, how do we break the last yoke? How do we overcome the last yoke?” 16
Also included in this message by Itzhak Shapira is the “great secret” of Jacob being transformed by the letter Vav. This is classic Kabbalah and is based on the Zohar’s futuristic interpretation of the redemption from Leviticus 26:42, “I will remember my covenant with Jacob,” in which Israel will be mystically transformed by the letter Vav of the YHVH Tetragrammaton and will break the yoke of Edom. It is significant to note that the Hebrew letter Vav equals six and the Zohar states that Israel “will be redeemed under the secret of the letter ‘vav’. And it will be in the sixth millennium.” 17
In a disturbing article posted on April 17, 2019, the kabbalistically based media platform, Breaking Israel News, released yet another “secret” story centering on a global prayer for redemption. The prayer is based on the writings of kabbalist and Rabbi, Moshe Chaim Luzzato, also known as the Ramchal. Luzzato is listed in Itzhak Shapira’s book, The Return of the Kosher Pig, in the Appendix A: List Of Rabbis By Era, as a “philosopher, Kabbalist, and ethicist.” 18 The Breaking Israel News article noted, “A prayer to hasten the Messiah is circling the globe, with millions of copies transferred from hand to hand, one copy at a time…a prayer based on teachings of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato, an 18th-century Italian kabbalist, and philosopher known by the acronym Ramchal…‘the Ramchal had studied secret teachings about how to pray for the Messiah.’” 19
A portion of the prayer reads as follows:
“May it be your will, God and God of our Fathers, that you will receive willingly the prayers of your nation Israel, who have prayed to you in every generation and in every place in the world, and particularly in the holy land of Israel, and in the merit of this prayer, may it be your will to judge us favorably, to grant Israel a complete redemption in kindness and mercy, with wonders and miracles, and subjugate the blood that is the Kingdom of Edom, and the fat which is the kingdom of Ishmael, and in the merit of all the truly righteous that are with us today and for the longing we have to see the complete redemption…” 20
SUBJUGATE – to bring under domination or control, especially by conquest…to conquer, vanquish, defeat, crush, quell, quash, gain mastery over, gain ascendancy over, gain control of, and bring under the yoke.
Will Jesus Destroy Those Whom the Father Has Given Him?
In John 17, just before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His disciples and for all who would believe on Him throughout the course of history. Knowing full well what He was about to endure on the cross, the Son of God once again emptied Himself on behalf of those the Father had given Him, as well as all those whom the Father would give Him throughout time. I quote Jesus’ prayer in part here:
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost…
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
This prayer of Jesus Christ is one of the most significant passages of Scripture. It reveals the love and grace of the Father given freely through the death of His Son and that true redemption is neither a future corporate event, nor is it based on carnal political and military alliances of this world! After Jesus prayed this prayer He was arrested. Standing accused before Pilate, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
If Rome or Christianity at large are truly Edom – which they are not – then the exile that Itzhak Shapira and the Talmudic rabbis speak about is of their own choosing; for when Pilate would have released Jesus, the chief rulers at that time said, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15) As prophesied in Genesis 49:10, the gathering of redemption that Jesus began is being fulfilled to this day. Meanwhile, the rulers of the kingdoms of this world continue to rage.
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed…He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” Psalm 2:1-4
- Encyclopaedia Judaica, articles on Edom and Esau, pp. 379, 858.
- Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925, Vol. 5, p. 41; www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAgPQgDmU6Y
- Halley’s Bible Handbook, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1965), p. 362.
- Ibid. p. 362; Jewish Encyclopedia, 1925, Vol. 5, p. 41; The Encyclopaedia Judaica, article on Edom, p. 378.
- Halley’s Bible Handbook, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1965), p. 362.
- Ibid. (Emphasis added)
- Encyclopaedia Judaica, article on Edom, p. 379.
- https://menashedovid1.wordpress.com/messianic-update/; (Emphasis added); Quoted in Kabbalah Secrets Christians Need to Know, p. 139.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJZWSJINpM0&t=743s; (6:04-6:42, Emphasis added).
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXF_UeVc09Q; (18:06-19:33).
- Itzhak Shapira, The Return of the Kosher Pig (Clarksville, MD: Lederer Books, 2013), p. 301.
- Ibid. (Emphasis added)