ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west and the Arabian Desert to the south and east, today part of Israel and Jordan

Edom is a name given to Esau, the brother of Jacob, in the Hebrew Bible. It also means the nation that came from him. The nation's name in Assyrian was Udumi. In Syriac it was ܐܕܘܡ. In Greek, it was Ἰδουμαία (Idoumaía). In Latin, it was Idumæa or Idumea.

Map showing kingdom of Edom (in red) when it was largest, at about 600 BC. Areas in dark red show the estimated boundary of classical Idumaea.

The Edomite people were a Semitic-speaking tribal people. They lived in the Negev Desert and the Arabah valley. The Arabah valley is now the south of Dead Sea and next to the Jordan. The area has much red sandstone. This may have made the name "Edom". The nation of Edom is known to have existed back to the 8th or 9th century BC. The Bible dates it back several centuries further. Recent archaeological proof may show an Edomite nation as long ago as the 11th century BC. However, people are not completely sure. Others argue that the 8th or 9th century dates are right.[1] The nation stopped being a settled state after the Jewish-Roman Wars.


  1. van der Steen, Eveline; Piotra Bienkowski How Old is the Kingdom of Edom [1][permanent dead link]