Ezekiel chapter 35 has only 15 verses. Containing bad news for the Country once called “Edom!” Yet good news for the Israelites! Herein God denunciates, promises judgment upon those Jew-hating people.
Yet the name “Edom” per se does not occur in the whole chapter, not in English. Instead, the “enemy” is called “Mount Seir,” four times in fact. “Seir” in Hebrew means “shaggy” and may be a description of the whole area (geographically) occupied by the Edomites. South of Judah, way down past the Dead Sea. Once in our chapter, its last verse, this land is called “Idumea.” Which virtually is the word “Edom,” but in Hebrew.
One interesting fact about this chapter is that God gives His “Reasons” for judging that Country, its inhabitants.
One … because the Edomites (descendants of Isaac through Esau, not Jacob) despised the Jewish people (their distant relatives) so much that they cooperated when Babylon conquered Judah! “BECAUSE thou hast had a perpetual (everlasting) hatred, and hast shed the blood of (helped murder) the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity (when Babylon attacked Judah), in the time that their iniquity had an end (when God fiercely judged her sin). Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee. Thus will I make mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it him that passeth out and him that returneth. And I will fill his mountains with his slain men: in thy hills, and in thy valleys, and in all thy rivers, shall they fall that are slain with the sword.” Verses 5-8, “one reaps what one sows!”
Two … because Mount Seir wanted to conquer and possess and rule over Judah, a sovereign nation in God’s Eyes! Edom wanted “to own” Israel. (Jew haters today, beware!) “BECAUSE thou hast said, These two nations (Israel and Judah) and these two countries (Israel and Judah) shall be MINE, and we will POSSESS it; whereas the LORD was there. Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will even do according to thine anger, and according to thine envy which thou hast used out of thy hatred against them.” Verses 10-11, Whose land is it? Sounds like it’s God’s! And He has given it to Israel!
Three … because Mount Seir blasphemed (spoke against, verbally abusive, cursed) the Jewish people! Sins of the tongue, here! “And thou shalt know that I am the LORD, and that I have heard ALL THY BLASPHEMIES which thou hast spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to consume. Thus with your mouth ye have boasted against me, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard them.” Verses 12-13, clearly what Edom spoke against Israel … she also spoke against God!
Four, and last of all … because Mount Seir “rejoiced” when Judah fell to the Babylonians! “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will make thee desolate, as THOU DIDST REJOICE at the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do unto thee: thou shalt be desolate, O mount Seir, and all Idumea, even all of it.” Verses 14-15, reminds me of Proverbs 24:17, about not rejoicing over the tragedies of another! (According to Nahum’s 12th verse Edom wrongly “rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction.” Wow!)
I’ve called this chapter an “encouragement,” but only from the perspective of the Jewish people. One less enemy to attempt her destruction.
By the way, all God’s “threats” against Mount Seir have been fulfilled. In fact, there is no Country called Edom today. Only ruins remain!
Looks like other nations and factions would “wise up!”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell