The Mountains Of Idumaea

ike so many other believers who first encounter the place/names in Scripture, I spent years failing to understand the significance of names like Idumaea, Mount Seir, or even the name Edom – not realizing they are all actually speaking of the same wicked presence. At the same time, I was led into the widespread misunderstanding that Scriptures addressing the Kingdom of God -- which speak of the “mountains of Israel” being inhabited and blessed -- must surely be referencing physical locales. 

The name Idumaea is derived from Edom, which is the name given to Esau, the son of Isaac who fell away from the LORD. Mount Seir is the ancestral home of Edom, in the land of Idumaea, and Edom is a name which is associated with the infamous deeds of Esau – who refused the blessing of being the seed of Abraham, and instead bartered away his birthright for a meal. 

However, if a Bible student has been taught the racist “gospel” of flesh and blood, he or she will perceive that God has forever cursed any descendant of Esau: 

“For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumaea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment” (Isaiah 34:5).

Some would say this verse references a specific time in the Old Testament, when God destroyed the people of Idumaea, but they are at a loss to explain just when that occurred, or how that “curse” could last forever, as stated a few verses later:

“…for the Lord hath….a great slaughter in the land of Idumaea…And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever” (Isaiah 34:6, 9, 10). 

The same Christians who commonly tell us the land of Israel will be blessed forever by the LORD, never explain how Idumaea and Mount Seir can be a smoking land of “burning pitch” which smolders forever, when it is directly adjacent to contemporary Judaea, which the same prophet supposedly says will be exalted with a wondrous abundance: 

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose…for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:1, 6). 

Others who are vision impaired in the Spiritual realm boast of how the modern state of Israel has worked wonders in agriculture, and say that “burning pitch” will be the result of the Gog and Magog war, which has yet to occur. Thus, the alleged redemption of the “wilderness” has already occurred, but the “brimstone” which will last “forever” on the other side of the river is yet to come – as is the righteousness which is promised to the Remnant of Israel: 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth” (Isaiah 10:20).

Thus, the LORD has yet to place that promised “new spirit” into the hearts of His chosen, or so we’re told:

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh….” (Ezekiel 36:26).

In stark contrast to the everlasting “brimstone” associated with Edom, the prophet Isaiah described a time when everlasting “water” would come to the parched desert, and the Israel of God would rejoice, even as the LORD makes the mountains to sing: 

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12). 

Along with the absurd claim that all prophecy is literal, believers are also being programmed with racist theology – and they don’t even realize it. For instance, once we learn the aforementioned Edom – and his ancestral home Mount Seir – are all historically associated with the Arabs (as Esau married the daughters of Ishmael), we’ve been conditioned to believe it makes sense prophetically that God refers to the Idumaeans as those who are forever cursed. 

“….and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever” (Malachi 1:4).

In reviewing such texts, the discerning believer will see the literalists are all blind guides who are leading masses of believers into the proverbial ditch, as they ignore the metaphoric identity of place/names, such as the often mentioned Assyrian, referenced by both Isaiah and Ezekiel: 

“Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs” (Ezekiel 31:3).  

We note how the prophet did not say the Assyrian “was like” a cedar in Lebanon, he said the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, so if the literalists have their way, they might as well burn down what is left of the forests of Lebanon, in order to protect their holy ground – land which they claim is the literal acreage the LORD has forever promised to the physical descendants of Jacob: 

“And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword…when he treadeth within our borders” (Micah 5:7). 

If the mountains are “singing” in the holy land, and the trees are “clapping their hands” at the righteousness of God, when our prophets “literalize” such deeply Spiritual concepts, and assign physical coordinates to places such as “the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14), are we not just asking to be deceived? Worse yet, If the evil is nested in a dusty land which the prophet tells us is scheduled to “become burning pitch” (Isaiah 34:9), don’t we feel just bit justified if we take part in that destruction – especially if we believe we are defending the LORD’s chosen at the same time? 

Conversely, since the Spirit of the LORD is upon me, to preach deliverance to the captives, I speak the truth that those who perceive these extraordinary promises (and/or curses) in a physical or literal sense, will always end up on the wrong side of the equation. Indeed, the religious racists who believe JESUS prefers one people over another based on their DNA can’t explain how God could have “indignation” against the Idumaeans, who flocked to Christ when He preached:

“…and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea. And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him” (Mark 3:7, 8). 

Interestingly enough, in one of the great “coincidences” of history, the people from Idumaea embraced Jesus because He performed miracles which were described in the very same prophecies which spoke about eternal “burning pitch” coming to Idumaea – a prophetic judgment which obviously applies to those who refused to hear the LORD’s words, even when they saw the Spiritual “waters” and “streams” which were prophesied to “break out” in the desert in that day!

For instance, in Isaiah’s epic description of blessing, in the very same verse describing a wondrous blossoming in the land, the prophet describes miracles which will occur at that time:

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert…And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem….” (Isaiah 35:5, 6; Zechariah 14:8). 

One would have to ignore many verses in the New Testament in order to deny (I John 2:22) that Jesus fulfilled these marvelous promises:

“And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them. [And He said] he that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (Matthew 15:30; John 7:38). 

Even though the prophets all spoke of the LORD’s blessing on His chosen, very few truly realize that since there is no racial element impacting the LORD’s election of those He chooses to save, there can be no racial component to those he rejects:

“For there is no respect of persons with God. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Romans 2:11, 10:12).

Thus, when we encounter place/names such as the “mountains of Esau” (Malachi 1:3), and the “mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:4), the Scriptures clearly teach there is a Spiritual identification involved. Further, those who insist on a preferential racial identification are clearly racists – whether they themselves realize it or not.  

The truth is, those who refused Him when His salvation arrived – Jew and Gentile alike – are described as the people who are the object of the LORD’s eternal indignation: 

“And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever… when they shall see the smoke of her burning. And [the] smoke rose up for ever and ever.” (Isaiah 34:9, 10; Revelation 18:9, 19:3). 

But the glorious Kingdom of God, which arrived when JESUS CHRIST healed the lame and gave sight to the blind, is the redemption of Israel, as He poured His spirit into all – physical Jews and Gentile alike -- who received Him with joy: 

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and s +-ighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:9). 

-- James Lloyd

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