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Isaac, son of Abraham, had twin sons named Esau and Jacob. Esau, as the first born, was entitled to succeed their father, but he did not necessarily take that responsibility seriously. After all, as Genesis 25:29-34 tells us, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob in exchange for vegetable stew “making little account” of it because he was hungry and thirsty at the time. Despite having sold his birthright, when Isaac was upon his deathbed, Esau still sought his blessing over Jacob, but their mother, Rebecca, encouraged Jacob to go to their ailing father as Esau to receive the blessing, which he did (Genesis 27:1-29). In turn, Esau was rather blessed to “live by the sword” and to serve his brother, and, for that, he hated and wanted to murder Jacob (27:40-41). Instead, Esau would come to dwell in the area of Mount Seir and took many wives including Basemath, the daughter of Ishmael, father of the Arabs (Genesis 36). His descendants were the Edomites, and they would often find themselves at odds with the descendants of Jacob. For example, the concubine Thamna bore Amalek, the son of Eliphaz, son of Esau (Genesis 27:12). Amalek and his people—the Amalekites—fought Moses, and the Lord told Moses to record the events as He would “destroy the memory of Amalec from under heaven” and that “the war of the Lord shall be against Amalec, from generation to generation” (Exodus 17:8-16).

Why is this relevant today? As it happens, there are Christians and Jews who each accuse the other of being the cursed descendants of Esau. Indeed, while it is commonly known that Rabbinic Jews claim to be “God’s Chosen,” it is a little known fact that the Talmud teaches that gentiles, and more specifically Romans (Europeans), are the modern Edomites, cursed to be in opposition to Israel and to God (Source). Some go so far as to suggest that Rome/Edom is synonymous with Babylon with Christianity being “mystical Babylon” (Source). Naturally, this casts Jews in the role of the followers of the one, true God whereas Christians are demon-worshiping scum who oppose Jews because they oppose God.

In contrast, many among the so-called “Christian Identity” movement believe that whites are the true Israelites whereas modern Jews are actually the Edomites. Such thinking has naturally been declared Antisemitic by Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (Source) and Southern Poverty Law Center (Source). As evidence, the “Christian identitarians” point to the fact that Jesus told the Pharisees that they were children of Satan, not God (John 8:42-47), and that Revelation 3:9 speaks of the “synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie.” It is known that modern Rabbinic Judaism is what became of the Pharisaic sect following the destruction of the Second Temple, and we can obviously see who claim to be the people of Judea today. That certainly suggests that “Jews” as we know them today are something other than descendants of Israel and certainly are not God’s Chosen. But are they really Edomites?

The Kingdom of Edom was located in the area of modern Jordan, which placed it to the south of the Kingdom of Judah, which was itself below the northern Kingdom of Israel. In the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 605-562 BC), Judah fell to the Babylonians, and that allowed the Edomites to move into the region, plundering (Obadiah 1:1-14) and becoming known as the Idumeans. It should be noted here that Israel had fallen to the Assyrians more than a century before with the subsequent deportations of the Hebrews resulting in the “Lost Tribes.” This is important since only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin along with remnants of Levi and Simeon were in the southern kingdom. Writing in the 1st century AD, Strabo suggested that the Idumeans were numerous in western Judea and had adopted the customs of the Jews after having moved there (Source), albeit many had been forced to convert by John Hyrcanus I, ethnarch and High Priest (Source). While we cannot be certain what percentage of “Jews” were actually Edomites by the 1st century AD, it is worthy of note that King Herod the Great was actually the son of Antipater the Idumaean and Cypros, a Nabataean (Arab). That certainly adds an interesting dimension to the Massacre of the Innocents.

So, are modern Jews actually Edomites? We can safely say that, yes, they are, at least in part. As we have seen, King Herod himself was an Edomite, and it was openly acknowledged in the time of Jesus that Edomites—living as Hebrews—populated swaths of Judea and had for centuries at that point. Indeed, the Idumeans took part in the Judean revolts against Roman rule leading up to the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70 (Source). Following that event, the Edomites seemingly vanished from the historical record (Source). Where then did the Edomites go? There are two logical possibilities: namely, they were entirely eradicated by the Romans, or they were absorbed into the broader Judean population as the factional lines broke down. Obviously, we know that the Romans did not exterminate the Judean factions, so why would we assume that the Idumeans would have been singled out for uniquely brutal treatment? Thus, it seems far more likely that they survived the Great Revolt and were absorbed into the broader diaspora.

Are Christians also Edomites? We must admit that it is at least possible that some Idumeans would go on to convert to Christianity during the earliest days of the faith, but this is nonetheless speculation as there is no record of the Idumeans converting to Christianity as they had done previously with Judean customs. Additionally, Christianity as we know it would come to be defined by Europeans, and the Jewish claim that Romans (and, more broadly, all of Europe) descend from Esau is false on its face. After all, European cultures existed at least contemporaneously with the Kingdom of Edom, and there is no evidence for the Edomites, in part or whole, moving into Europe. It must also be said, however, that there is equally no evidence for the Lost Tribes of Israel appearing in Europe, which is often claimed as part of the Christian Identity movement. Regardless, Christians worship the one, true God, and the “synagogue of Satan” known to us today as Judaism is at odds with Christ the Lord because they are of their father, Satan, and not of God the Father.

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