Edom (ēˈdŏm) [key], Idumaea, or Idumea both: Īdyōmēˈə, mountainous country, called also Mt. Seir. According to the Book of Genesis, it was given to Esau, also called Edom, and his descendants. It extended along the eastern border of the Arabah valley, from the Dead Sea to Elat. Edomite history was marked by continuous hostility and warfare with Jews, Assyrians, and Syrians. At the end of the 2d cent. B.C., they were subdued by Hasmonaean priest-king John Hyrcanus I, forcibly circumcised, and merged with the Jews. Herod the Great was Idumaean. The Romans grouped Idumaea with Judaea and Samaria in one procuratorship. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Idumaea was included in Arabia Petraea.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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