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Thread: The Most Significant Gentile Nation in the Bible

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    The Most Significant Gentile Nation in the Bible

    The Most Significant Gentile Nation in the Bible
    Original by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1997; transcribed and edited by David Sielaff, July 2006
    Related Audio Interview: Part I | Part II

    {Though the article may have its flaws, it might be of interest.}

    What is the most significant Gentile nation of the Bible? I suppose when you enquire about the word “significant” a person should ask, significant in what way? What I am getting to is this: what is the most significant Gentile nation in relationship to the nation of Israel in the entirety of the Bible, from Genesis all the way through the Book of Revelation. There is one nation mentioned, constantly coming in contact with Israel, and most people do not really know much about these people called “the most significant Gentile nation,” because they have not really looked at the prophecies related to them in a proper way.

    Some might say the most significant people would be the Egyptians. After all, the Egyptians were adjacent to the Israelites on the south and represented one of the great riverine civilizations of the past. Indeed, the Egyptians were very important as far as Israel was concerned. Another might say that the Babylonians would be the most significant. They certainly would be a contender because we also find a considerable amount of information about them in the Bible. Others might say the Assyrians. Or get a little closer. Some might say the Philistines. The Philistines were always in close association with Israel usually near the cities of Judah in the southwest area of Jerusalem down on the coast. Others might say maybe it was the Tyrians, the people of Tyre who lived north of the area of Israel.

    All of these nations are significant in their own way. From time to time, at particular periods of time, each one could have been considered the most significant. But overall from the beginning of the history of Israel down to the end of the New Testament, and prophetically still down to a time future to us when Jesus Christ will come back to this earth, there is one people, one nation that has been mentioned throughout the Scripture which has far greater significance than all others that I have mentioned. I am not going to say far greater than all of them put together; but if you single out one people and one nation from a biblical point of view, the one I am going to mention now stands out par excellence.

    Indeed in the Old Testament, in the prophecies uttered by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and almost all the 12 Minor Prophets, you will find a mention of these people. You will not find a mention of the Assyrians in all of them. You will not find the Babylonians. You will not find the Egyptians. But you will find these people mentioned in almost every single prophecy, major or minor, of the Old Testament. By ramification, and by that I mean by reference, back to the Old Testament, particularly from the Book of Revelation, you will find these people continually being mentioned by John in the Revelation. They are not mentioned by name, but all you have to do is to go back to the references and the references are in a context of dealing with these people.

    Who Are They?
    Who are these people who represent the most significant Gentile nation as far as Israel is concerned, the most significant in the entirety of the Bible as far as not being part of Israel. It happens to be the Edomites, the descendants of Esau.

    This is made quite clear in the Scripture. You will find Edomites mentioned all over the place in the Bible, in the most unusual places in some cases, a prophecy couched, shall we say, among others in maybe only three or four verses, but what those three or four verses contain happen to be the most significant teachings you can imagine, prophetically speaking.

    Sometimes we have whole sections of books that are given to Edom. In one case one whole book is written concerning the Edomites alone. That is the Book of Obadiah. I will refer to it just a few moments. If a person would read the history of Israel from the very beginning he would find, even prophetically, these people of Esau called Edom.

    They were called Edomites. The word means "red people". Edom means red. Compare Genesis 25:25, 30. It does not necessarily mean that the descendants of Edom were colored red, that they had a red complexion, although it could mean that. They were people of the flesh. It is a takeoff of the word Adam. Adam itself means “made out of red earth or red clay.” Look at us. We have red blood in us. The whole connection is there with the red. That is Adam, but they vowel point it differently and they get Edom. Edom/Adam it is virtually the same thing, but it means “red men,” “fleshly men,” “men of the flesh.”

    In actual fact when you analyze the characteristics of the Edomites as revealed in the Scripture I suppose you would say they are men of the flesh, whereas the Israelites, though they were not spiritual all of the time, symbolically speaking you would say they were men of the spirit and the Edomites are men of the flesh. I think this is well shown throughout the Scripture.

    The Beginning of Esau and Jacob
    In the very beginning when Isaac wanted to have children, Rebecca finally became pregnant (Genesis 25:21). In her womb came to be twins and one of them was Esau and the other was Jacob. You know what they were doing from the very beginning? It is mentioned in the Scripture; they were struggling with each other, even before birth (Genesis 25:22–24). That was looked on in the Old Testament as a sign that these two peoples, twins though they were, would continue to struggle even after birth and continue all the way through time unto the end. Indeed that is exactly the case as we are told in the books of Moses.

    This is reiterated by Paul in Romans chapter 9 which gives the significance of Esau and Jacob and what was to happen to their posterity as time goes on. In verse 8 it speaks about “the children of the flesh” and then about “the children of God.” Who are these children of the flesh? It means anyone who lives fleshly, I know. But there was one group of people that symbolized “the children of the flesh” and that group was the children of Edom, and that is the children of the red, “the children of the flesh.” Do you see the point?

    That is what the takeoff is all about. And there are “the children of God” or the children of the Spirit and they would be considered the Israelites. I hasten to add, however, and the Bible makes it quite clear, that though Israelites were called “the children of God” or the children of the Spirit, they had as much flesh in them as anybody else. We all know that. Here then is Paul speaking about “the children of the flesh” in contrast to “the children of God,” as he says beginning at verse 9:


    The Edomite Distribution
    Where do these Edomites live? They were given territory south of the Dead Sea. Their central area was the region of Petra, the red rose city of ancient times. They lived in that area. They also spread toward the Mediterranean Sea in later times in southern Judah in that region there. They became associated with the Jews in the time of Christ. Herod, for example, who in the time of Christ ruled over the Jews, was himself an Edomite. The Edomites always had some contact, in one way or another, with the Jews, and we certainly see it throughout the Scripture.

    As I said before, there are more references to the nation of Edom in the Bible, as far as a Gentile nation is concerned, than any other, so it must mean that they are important. Indeed they are. I will turn to one section of Scripture, and go through it quickly. In fact I am going to go through the whole book. It will not take long to do it because it is 21 verses long. It is the Book of Obadiah.

    The information in this book has never happened before in history. A few incidences mentioned here we might consider as having happened before, but when you take all of these 21 verses into account, and try to look on them as having a historical relevance in the past at one given time (which you must have when you read this section), it has never occurred in history. Therefore I say it is a prophecy of the future because it has never happened before.

    After we go through Obadiah I want to go to a section of Scripture in the Book of Isaiah which most people do not even realize exists, yet it is one of the most important prophetic chapters dealing with the end times that you can imagine, showing a people that will call together Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, and all types of other nations. It is quite true that an “Assyrian” will lead this coalition at the end, but the Edomites are going to be fundamentally involved in dealing with the nation of Israel at the end of the age just prior to the Second Coming of Christ. It is most significant.

    Look at the Book of Obadiah. This book was probably written in the later part of the 8th century or early 7th century B.C.E., long before Christ was on earth, and long before the Babylonian captivity of the Jews.

    However, most commentators today would say (incorrectly) that the Book of Obadiah was written just about the time of Jeremiah.


    Militant Atheism Exposed
    Last edited by allodial; 04-27-16 at 09:12 PM.
    All rights reserved. Without prejudice. No liability assumed. No value assured.

    "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2
    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Thess. 5:21.

  2. #2
    Obadiah in the Book of Jeremiah
    Indeed you will find virtually all of this prophecy of Obadiah repeated in Jeremiah 49:7–22. Jeremiah utters this prophecy virtually the same, word for word. What Jeremiah really is doing is copying from the earlier work of Obadiah. This shows that Obadiah’s prophecy is a very old one. The Book of Obadiah deals with this brother people to Israel, the Edomites. 5 This is most significant. As I said, this has never happened in the history of the world — yet — but it will happen one of these days.

    "The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumor from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen [the nations], Arise you, and let us rise up against her [Edom] in battle." Obadiah 1

    Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? Isaiah 63:1-2
    P.S. It seems that Isaiah 63 is referring to someone coming from Edom, rather than in the sense of original nativity, in the sense one on a journey being questioned and explaining why his garments are red (some suggest primarily with the blood of those of Edom). Consider in the sense of: "Who is this emerging from that fancy car?" rather than "Who is this that was born in a car?"
    Last edited by allodial; 04-28-16 at 05:11 AM.
    All rights reserved. Without prejudice. No liability assumed. No value assured.

    "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2
    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Thess. 5:21.

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