Cultures > Edom

Edom

Background

During the revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid kingdom (early 2nd century BE), II Maccabees refers to a Seleucid general named Gorgias as "Governor of Idumaea"; whether he was a Greek or a Hellenized Edomite is unknown. Some scholars maintain that the reference to Idumaea in that passage is an error altogether. Judas Maccabeus conquered their territory for a time around 163 BC.[38]

They were again subdued by John Hyrcanus (c. 125 BC), who forcibly converted them, among others, to Judaism,[39] and incorporated them into the Jewish nation,[20] despite the opposition of the Pharisees. Antipater the Idumaean, the progenitor of the Herodian Dynasty along with Judean progenitors, that ruled Judea after the Roman conquest, was of mixed Edomite/Judean origin. Under Herod the Great, the Idumaea province was ruled for him by a series of governors, among whom were his brother Joseph ben Antipater, and his brother-in-law Costobarus.

The evangelist Mark[40] includes Idumea, along with Judea, Jerusalem, Tyre, Sidon and lands east of the Jordan as the communities from which the disciples of Jesus were drawn. According to Josephus, the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, 20,000 Idumaeans, under the leadership of John, Simeon, Phinehas, and Jacob, helped the Zealots fight for independence from Rome, who were besieged in the Temple.[41] See Zealot Temple Siege for more information. After the Jewish Wars, the Idumaean people are no longer mentioned in history, though the geographical region of "Idumea" is still referred to at the time of St. Jerome.[20]

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