Edom Or Elam?

Q. I have a question regarding the descendants of edom. In Joel Rosenberg’s novel The Ezekial Option, some Iranians claim that they are descended from the Edomites and that Iran is in danger of God’s judgment upon the edomites. Are some Iranians descended from edom? And if so, could Obadiahs prophecy against edom be a warning for Iran? Thanks for your ministry and God bless.

A. The Iranians are the modern day Persians who originated in Elam, not Edom. Edom was the birthplace of the Ammonites and the Moabites and was later inhabited by the family of Esau, Jacob’s brother. Edom got its name from Esau, and is called Jordan today. Elam was located further east on the other side of Iraq, where Iran is today.

Obadiah prophesied against the Edomites who were driven out of their capital (Petra) by the Nabateans, a Bedouin people descended from Ishmael, in fulfillment of Obadiah’s prophecy. Many believe that during the Great Tribulation, the Jordanians will hide believing Jews in Petra where God will protect them against the anti-Christ. The area is called Bosrah in Isaiah 63.

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