Tuesday, March 28Exploring The Black Presence In The Bible

Finding Edom: Who Are The Edomites Today? – Part 1

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." - Hosea 4:6

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Esau was the father of the Edomites, his sons and grandsons were the Dukes of Edom, but where did they go and are they really today’s white people as some groups believe? Ever since I heard the belief that the Edomites are today’s white people, I’ve had plenty of questions for many reasons. In an effort to find answers to those questions, I’ve decided to share that journey each step of the way.

Important: I use the word “black” as an all inclusive description of people with dark skin. Those skin tones range from brown to black skin, and also includes albinos of Hamite and Shemite descent. It is not used to refer to people with literal black skin.

Tough Questions That Require Answers

There seems to be a lot of pressure for people to just accept that the Edomites are white without question, but I always question everything. My mind won’t allow me to just believe something because I’m told to.

Based on the information I’ve been given, conversations I’ve been in, and forums I’ve read online, I’ve developed seven main questions concerning the Edomites. Those questions will be addressed as follows:

Part 1

  • Who was Esau?
  • Who were the Edomites?
  • Where was Edom Located?

Part 2

  • Did Edomites look like Israelites?
  • Did the Edomites hide within Judah?

Part 3

  • What is the role of Edomites in Bible prophecy?
  • Who are the Edomites today?

In addition to the main questions above, I’ll also be adding other secondary questions that are meant to inspire us to dig deeper into the subject before accepting any of the conclusions without question. Feel free to ask any of these questions to your teachers and see how they respond. After they respond, make sure that you compare their answer to scripture. If it doesn’t align with scripture, they are wrong. Period.

Suggested Reading

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The Birth of Esau

We are first introduced to Esau through his father Isaac. According to the story, Esau came out red and hairy, while his twin brother Jacob (Israel) came out like a normal baby.

“And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau’s heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.” – Genesis 25:25-26

In Hebrew culture, the lineage is traced through the father. We know that Abraham was a Hebrew, therefore his son Isaac was a Hebrew, and so were Isaac’s sons Jacob and Esau.

Inconsitency #1 – Twin Brothers

Those that take the position that Israel was black and Esau is the origin of today’s white people, need to explain why they believe in twins of two different races born to Rebekah, who had only been sexually intimate with Isaac. We are not talking about an albino twin, but according to the theory, Esau was white.

Secondary Questions

  • How were Jacob and Esau born as two different races?
  • Why don’t these groups recognize Esau as a Hebrew like his twin brother Jacob?

Inconsistency #2 – Esau Was Red

Those that believe that Esau is the origin of today’s white people, are victims of the false belief that the words “red” and “ruddy” refer to white skin. They use this as evidence to support their claim. However, in depth research on ruddy skin in the Bible, reveals that “ruddy” is used in scripture to describe various shades of reds and browns.

Secondary Questions

  • Are there any examples in scripture showing the terms “red” and “ruddy” used to refer to white skin?
  • How is white skin consistently described in the Bible?

Suggested Reading

The Wives of Esau

In order to stay on topic, we are going to move straight to the wives of Esau. We’ll cover the birthright, blessing, and land of Edom in Part 2. If Edom became today’s white people, then there is a huge inconsistency when it comes to the wives Esau chose and the children born to them.

“And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:” – Genesis 26:34

Let’s start by establishing a few facts:

  • The Hittites descended from Heth.
  • Heth was the son of Canaan.
  • Canaan was the son of Ham.
  • Esau’s first two wives were Hamites.

If we accept that Ham is the father of the black African races, then we also have to accept that Esau’s wives were very likely black, based on who they descended from.

“Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.” – Genesis 28:9

Mahalath was Ishmael’s daughter, and Ishmael was half Egyptian. Again, here are a few facts:

  • Ishmael’s mother Hagar was full Egyptian.
  • Egyptians descended from Mizraim.
  • Mizraim was the son of Ham.
  • Ishmael married an Egyptian woman.
  • Ishmael’s daughter was 3/4 Hamite and 1/4 Hebrew (Shemite)

“Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;” – Genesis 36:2

We’ve talked about the Hittites, but the Hivites were also descendants of Ham’s son Canaan (Genesis 10:17). Throughout Genesis, Esau’s preference for Hamite women is clear. Let’s look at all four wives of Esau:

  • Judith (Hittite) – Genesis 26:34
  • Bashemath (Hittite) – Genesis 28:9
  • Adah (Hittite) – Genesis 36:2
  • Aholibamah (Hivite) – Genesis 36:2

Inconsistency #3 – Ethnicity

According to the Bible, all of Esau’s wives were women of color, with African (Hamite) heritage. The fact is that we don’t see entirely white lineage coming from people of African lineage. There are albinos, but they are not the norm.

Secondary Questions

  • If Esau exclusively chose Hamite women as wives, how did he come to be known as the father of a white nation?
  • If Hebrews were black and Hamites were black, how did a mix of Hebrew and Hamite children become white?

 The Children of Esau – The Edomites

Logic dictates that if Esau married women of African descent, then his children would also be of African descent, even though they would be counted as Hebrews via Esau. Jesus because Esau was Hebrew does not mean that the mothers of the children didn’t pass on their traits. In this case, one of those traits was likely dark skin. Because the list of Esau’s children and grandchildren is so long, we’re going to break them down into groups (Genesis 36:1-28):

The Children of Judith

  • N/A (not mentioned)

The Children of Bashemath

  1. Reuel

The Children of Adah

  1. Eliphaz

The Children of Aholibamah

  1. Jeush
  2. Jaalam
  3. Korah

The Grandchildren of Esau – The Edomites

As we can see, Esau had five sons that are named in scripture. There is no mention of his daughters or other sons. In order for Esau’s son’s to have children, they would’ve needed wives, which they likely found in their immediate area. Before we get into Edomite geography, let’s break down Esau’s grandchildren:

The Children of Reuel

  1. Nahath
  2. Zerah
  3. Shammah
  4. Mizzah

The Children of Eliphaz

  1. Teman
  2. Omar
  3. Zepho
  4. Gatam
  5. Kenaz
  6. Amalek

The Children of Jeush

  • N/A (not mentioned)

The Children of Jaalam

  • N/A (not mentioned)

The Children of Korah

  • N/A (not mentioned)

All of the children and grandchildren of Esau were collectively referred to as The Dukes of Edom. However, these were not the only Dukes of Edom. There were also Dukes that lived in Edom that descended from Seir The Horite, but they were not from Esau’s lineage (Genesis 36:20-29).

The Land of Edom

The Land of Edom - Map of Edomite Territory - Edom Israel Border

By looking at the map above, we can see that Edom use to occupy part of what is modern day Jordan. This territory directly borders Israel. In order to cover this subject properly, we’re going to come back to the very unbrotherly and unneighborly like conduct going on between these two nations in Part 2.

Read More About Black History & The Bible In My Book

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Edom: Israel’s Brother

What’s interesting about those that believe the Edomites are white people today, is that they often leave out the verses that refer to the Edomites as the brother of Israel, and there are a few. As always, please read the full chapter for context.

“And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:” – Numbers 20:14

“Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite; for he is thy brother: thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian; because thou wast a stranger in his land.” – Deuteronomy 23:7

“Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because 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 for ever:” – Amos 1:11

Inconsistency #4 – Related Nations

We know that Israel and Edom are brothers by blood according to scripture, but the same is not said about the Europeans (Gentiles) and the Shemites. They are never presented as brothers after the migrations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Secondary Questions

  • If the Bible teaches that Edom is the brother of Israel, why don’t the groups that teach a white Edom, also point out these verses when making their argument?

Inconsistency #5 – Hating Edom

As we look at the above verses, we notice that many who believe that Edom refers to white people today, are in violation of Deuteronomy 23:7. This is due to the apparent hatred that many of them have toward white people.

Secondary Questions

  • Why is Deuteronomy 23:7 ignored by those that hate whom they believe to be Edomites?
  • How can these groups that hate Edomites claim to keep The Law, while ignoring parts of The Law?

American Slavery and The Edomites

There are two camps when it comes to the Edomites and slavery in America. First, let’s look at those beliefs, and then let’s look at scripture.

  • The Edomites are the white oppressors that held slaves in America.
  • The Edomites were onlookers and accomplices to the Gentile oppressors that held slaves in America.

In the book of Obadiah, we find a reference to “strangers” making slaves of the Hebrews while Esau stood by, celebrated, and looted their city. Obadiah also seems to indicate that they may have aided in preventing the escape of some Hebrews as well.

For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress. Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity; Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.” – Obadiah 1:10-14

Scripture seems to indicate that the Edomites were not the antagonists, but played a supporting role in Israel’s enslavement. This prophecy goes on to pronounce judgement on the Edomites for what they’ve done.

Suggested Reading

The Breakdown

In order for myself or anyone else to accept that the Edomites are now white, the above questions need to have serious answers, backed by scripture and history, because it just doesn’t add up. Far too often, believers are easily swayed by any form of doctrine that sounds good (itching ears), and not often enough do we question teachers that hold the above beliefs.

 I have always encouraged people to question all teachings, regardless of who they come from. Those that don’t like questions tend to be leading a cult, or at the very least, sucked into the belief of a cult. Teachers of the truth don’t mind being challenged with questions, and they will change their beliefs to fit the evidence, not try to explain away the evidence to fit their beliefs.

Leave Your Evidence and Thoughts

If you have answers to any of the above questions, please feel free to leave your response and include links if you have them. They are greatly appreciated. If you just want to comment and leave your opinion, you are welcome and encouraged to do so as well.


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  • Ryder

    Can you explain the prophecy of the two nations rising against each other in reference to Esau and Israel? Who would that be in modern times? And how can we be certain that we are chosen and not from another nation or tribe?

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