Edomite territory east of the rift, Wadi Punon (BiblePlaces.com)
The name refers to a people and the territory they occupied south and east of the Dead Sea, in Hebrew it suggests the reddish soil of the area. This area was relatively remote, though the "kings' highway" passed through. In Egyptian references as in the Bible this area is also called Seir. The Edomites were thought of as the descendants of Esau, Jacob's elder brother. Biblical traditions claim Edom as a Judean posession from the time of David till that of Jehoram (2 Kgs 8:20).
However, by about 800bce Edom is claimed in Assyrian texts as a tributary state (ANET, 281).
That the history of Edom is little attested, and archaeological evidence is largely lacking, means that it is difficult to assess claims that the descriptions in Am 1:11-12 do not fit cirtcumstances in Amos' day.
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.