The Bozrah Deliverance: The Flight of the Remnant from Jerusalem at Mid-Tribulation
Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?— “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. 4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. 5 I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. 6 I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people. (Micah 2)
14 But the woman (Israel) was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent (Revelation 12)
(all emphasis are mine)
God's Judgment on Edom
The Edomites are the descendants of Esau, Jacob's brother, Esau sold and lost his birthright to Jacob which included a blessing, and in jealous envy Esau’s descendants, tried repeatedly to capture territory from the descendants of Israel. The strife, which began as sibling rivalry (Genesis 25:30), turned Esau's resentment, and his descendants, into never-ending "ancient hatred" (Ezekiel 35:5) and "anger," "envy" and "hatred" (verse 11). "These two nations" in verse 10 refers to Israel and Judah (see 37:15-28). Once ancient Israel and Judah both had gone into captivity, Edomites thought they could move in and take over the land. “This 'ancient hatred', is also translated as 'everlasting enmity', 'perpetual hatred' or 'unrelenting hostility, and it goes “right back to the initial conflicts between Sarah and Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Israel and Amalek / Edom." This will again be Edom's attitude in the end time. Edom as the territory allotted to Jacob's brother Esau is documented in Genesis 36 where a man named Bozrah a descendant of Seir the Horite who inhabited the land "before there were any kings in Israel." The historical record in Deuteronomy includes this parenthetical note: “(The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; like the Anakim they are also known as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. The Horites also lived in Seir formerly, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them, and destroyed them from before them, and settled in their stead; as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the LORD gave to them.)”
“(The Emim formerly lived there, a people great and many, and tall as the Anakim; like the Anakim they are also known as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim. The Horites also lived in Seir formerly, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them, and destroyed them from before them, and settled in their stead; as Israel did to the land of their possession, which the LORD gave to them.)”
Edom was once an empire that ceased to be one and the book of Obadiah deals specifically with Edom’s judgment. The Edomites were proud (Obadiah 1:3), violent (verse 10), and apathetic to the destruction of Israel (verse 11), and God promised a reckoning.
Obadiah is a prophecy of two halves. The first is a prophecy of Edom’s downfall. The second is a prophecy of the conquest by Israel of a greatly extended territory prior to and at the establishment of the Kingdom of God, when the prophecy of judgement on Edom widens into a judgement involving all nations. God declared that Edom would be a wasteland, occupied only by wild animals (Malachi 1:2–5). This began to come to pass when Edom was pushed out of their land and taken over by the Nabateans (Craig Blaising, “Malachi,” Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, ed. by J. Walvoord and R. Zuck, David C. Cook, 1983. p. 1,576). God justly dealt with the Edomites because of their actions and attitude toward Israel. After the Edomites were driven from their land by the Nabateans, they migrated to the southern part of Israel and were known, during the Grecian and Roman Empire the Edomites as the Idumaean (the Greek name for the land of Edom). The Idumeans were forcibly converted to Judaism by the Sadducee-influenced (Jewish aristocratic class) Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus, descendant of the Maccabees. King Herod, an Edomite / Idumean, was granted the title “king of the Jews” by the Roman senate (Josephus, War, 1.284). The title “king of the Jews,” proved to be marred by another problem to Herod’s Jewish subjects: Herod was only “half-Jewish”; his father was an Idumean from south of Judea, who had converted to Judaism (Josephus, Ant. 14.403), and his mother the Arab princess, Cypros, from Nabatea (Josephus, War 1.181). Much later in biblical history, Herod the Great, an Idumean, appears on the scene. It was Herod who tried to kill the infant Jesus in Bethlehem—through Herod, the rebellion of Edom continued.
But Who are the Edomites/ Idumaeans Today and Where are they Located?
Some Christians sites state that after Herod’s death, the "Idumaean people slowly disappeared from history." Interestingly, just as the Romans gave the Edomites / Idumaean charge of Judah and Samaria, so did the Europeans powers after WW1. A further evidence of how history repeats itself, for Rome will rise again as the Revived Roman Empire and it will be their leader who will take charge of Jerusalem and Judaism’s most holy site, the Temple Mount. The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council as an outgrowth of the Paris Peace Conference, held at Villa Devachan in Sanremo, Italy, from 19 to 26 April 1920. It involved the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East by the victorious powers. This agreement between post-World War I allied powers, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan with the United States as a neutral observer, was adopted on April 25, 1920. During the San Remo Conference, Prime Minister David Lloyd George (Britain), was charged with establishing a "national home for the Jewish people" in Israel or “Palestine”. In 1921, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill severed nearly four-fifths of Palestine (Jewish land), some 35,000 square miles to create a brand-new Arab entity, Transjordan, this was accomplished by the creation of the Emirate of Trans-Jordan in 1946 (now Jordan). "Jordanians are the custodians of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, which dates back to 1924, when the Supreme Muslim Council, the highest body in charge of Muslim community affairs in Mandatory Palestine, accepted Hussein bin Ali (Hashemite Sharif of Mecca) as custodian of al-Aqsa Mosque." Before the Six-Day War, Israeli-held West Jerusalem from Jordanian-held East Jerusalem. Eastern Jerusalem was not enough for Jordan, so in 1967, Jordan attacked West Jerusalem in the Six-Day War, despite pleas from Israel to stay out of the war. East Jerusalem was Islamized during the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank between 1948–1967, as Jordan sought to alter the demographics and landscape of the city to enhance its Muslim character at the expense of its Jewish and Christian ones. At this time, all Jewish residents were expelled, and restrictions were imposed on the Christian population that led many to leave the city. Ghada Hashem Talhami states that during its nineteen years of rule, the government of Jordan took actions to accentuate the spiritual Islamic status of Jerusalem. Raphael Israeli, an Israeli professor, described these measures as "Arabization".
In the weeks leading up to war, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had expelled UN peacekeeping forces from Sinai, initiated a massive troop buildup on the border with Israel, promised the imminent destruction of Israel and blockaded the Straits of Tiran, Israel’s southern shipping route......That same morning, Jordan’s King Hussein, who had signed a military pact with Egypt, launched a bombardment against Jewish neighborhoods in West Jerusalem. Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol sent a message to Hussein: Cease firing and we won’t attack. Hussein, convinced by Nasser that victorious Egyptian forces were on their way to Tel Aviv, ignored the appeal. But then, as Jordanian artillery hit hundreds of Israeli apartments in West Jerusalem, the paratroopers were dispatched to Jerusalem and given 12 hours to prepare for the attack. The mission was, at least initially, confined to stopping Jordanian shelling of Jewish neighborhoods and rescuing a besieged Israeli unit stationed on Mount Scopus, the sole Israeli enclave in East Jerusalem. The limited operation excluded the Old City and its sacred sites. On the morning of June 7, Eshkol sent one last appeal to Hussein: If you agree to peace talks, we won’t invade. Hussein didn’t respond and the government ordered the paratroopers to enter the Old City. Even at this late stage, the paratroopers had little idea of what awaited them in the narrow alleys within the walled Old City. In fact, most of the Jordanian troops stationed inside the walls had slipped out the night before; the Old City lay open. Gur’s half-track led the attack, crashing through the massive bronze doors onto the Via Delarosa, then turning left and onto the Temple Mount.... Gur radioed headquarters: “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” He wasn’t just making a military report, but staking a historic claim. The focus of centuries of Jewish longing, the place toward which Jews prayed no matter where they lived, was now in Israeli hands. The brigade’s chief communications officer, Ezra Orni, retrieved an Israeli flag from his pouch and asked Gur whether he should hang it over the Dome of the Rock. “Yalla,” said Gur, go up. Achmon accompanied him into the Dome of the Rock. They climbed to the top of the building and victoriously fastened the Israeli flag onto a pole topped with an Islamic crescent. Except then the flag was quickly and unceremoniously lowered. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan,....demanded: Do you want to set the Middle East on fire? Gur told Achmon to remove the flag. But Achmon couldn’t bear the notion of lowering the Israeli flag, and so he instructed one of his men to do it instead. The astonishing, untold story of the battle for Jerusalem was how ill-prepared Israel was for the most mythic battle of its history: The paratroopers’ conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City, including the two sites holiest to Judaism, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Few battles with such fateful consequences were as haphazard and unplanned. It is, in retrospect, an astonishing moment of religious restraint. The Jewish people had just returned to its holiest site, from which it had been denied access for centuries, only to effectively yield sovereignty at its moment of triumph. Shortly after the war, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan met with officials of the Muslim Wakf, who governed the holy site, and formally returned the Mount to their control. While Israeli soldiers would determine security and stand at the gates, the Wakf would determine who prayed at the site, an arrangement that would effectively bar non-Muslim prayer. The Temple Mount was no longer in Gur’s hands." The Astonishing Israeli Concession of 1967, The Atlantic
As well as Obadiah, Ezekiel also records prophecies against Edom, using the name Mount Seir. The final mention of Mount Seir is a warning in Ezekiel 35:15: “Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of Israel became desolate, that is how I will treat you. You will be desolate, Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
King Abdullah of Jordan
While much of the Arab world has been starting to change its attitude toward Israel, King Abdullah of Jordan has not been following the change that his father, King Hussein, had begun. King Hussein launched an attack on Israel in 1967, but after Israel agreed to his urgent request and intervened to save his regime in 1970 by stopping Syrian troops from supporting his attempted ouster by the Black September terrorist organization, Hussein changed his attitude. The King renounced Jordan's ties to the West Bank in 1988 after the Palestine Liberation Organization was recognized internationally as the sole representative of the Palestinians. He lifted martial law and reintroduced elections in 1989 when riots over price hikes spread in southern Jordan. In 1994 he became the second Arab head of state to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
However, “just a few years ago, Jordan asked UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to reclassify the Western Wall as a Muslim site, and also attempted to classify the Tomb of the Jewish patriarchs and Matriarchs, both the Cave of Machpela in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem, as solely Muslim holy sites, with only Muslim names.”
These incidents and many more of these years reflects the hostility Jordanians feel toward Israel despite the two countries’ 1994 peace agreement and despite Jordan benefiting from “Israel’s security, cooperation in facing off against terrorists and access to Israeli water and energy”.
The Bozrah Deliverance
Most Bible scholars believe this godly remnant will find refuge in the ancient rock-hewn cliff city of Petra, or least in the land of Edom (Southern Jordan). They will survive, protected by God, for three and a half years.
Bible identifies Bozrah (Hebrew), or Petra (Greek), as one of the significant areas during the end times.
The ancient capital of Edom was the city of Bozrah---the Hebrew bosra means sheepfold or Petra (Greek). It lies 30 miles southeast of the Dead Sea in present-day Jordan. The present Jordanian city of Buseirah is not on any modern road but is a remote mountain village of difficult access. Ancient Bozrah at the same location, however, was on the main North West trade route known as the King's Highway (Numbers 20:17). The city was noted for its weaving industry and export of dyed garments. A study of the end time events described in the bible, is the mentioned of Bozrah, which gives a wonderful picture of GOD’s supernatural protection concerning His People Israel. During the past part of the Tribulation Jews will be forced to flee from ‘the face of the serpent” as the Anti-Christ rules 3 ½ years on the earth. Revelation 12 describes a specific location within the wilderness, rather than merely fleeing to the wilderness in general. This is “her place” which the eagle takes her to (Rev. Rev. 12:14). It is a specific place which was prepared beforehand by God (Rev. Rev. 12:6). Isaiah and Micah (2:12-13) also speak of a future end-time event. In Isaiah Chapter 63, the dialog takes the following form: Isaiah: Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments (Heb.: "garments of glowing colors") from Bozrah, he who is glorious in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? Messiah "It is I, announcing vindication, mighty to save." Isaiah: Why is thy apparel red, and thy garments like his that treads in the wine press? Messiah: "I have trodden the wine press alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my raiment. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me victory, and my wrath upheld me. I trod down the peoples in my anger, I made them drunk in my wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth."
Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, from Sela (rock) to the wilderness, To the mount of the daughter of Zion. 2 For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; So shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.....Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; be a shelter to them from the face [presence cf. Rev. Rev. 12:14+] of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, devastation ceases, oppressors are consumed out of the land. In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness. (Isa. Isa. 16:3-5)
We also understand from Daniel’s prophecy that the Antichrist “will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape," (Daniel 11:41) Moab, Edom and Ammon are all in Jordan. In fact, Ammon which is now known as Amman, is the capital and most populous city of Jordan.
Could it be that the path by which the Moabites should have sent lambs from Petra via the wilderness to Jerusalem is to be retraced by the sheep of Israel who are scattered in the time of the end (Zec. 13:7-9)? Google search, from biblical and secular sites, allocate the area of Transjordan as the location of the present day Edomites. For example, in 2019, it was reported by the mainstream media that "Scientists have discovered evidence of an ancient kingdom previously thought to have been a mythical creation in the Bible. The Old Testament described Edom as a neighbouring enemy state of Judea, located southeast of the Dead Sea where explorers would now find parts of Jordan and Israel. It was spoken of extremely harshly, with some biblical texts indicating that it was complicit in the destruction of Judea and the holy city of Jerusalem.".
What about Palestinians?
Some say that they are descendants of the Edomites:
Easton's Bible dictionary gives us a good summary of Edom and the Edomites....They took part with the Chaldeans when Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, and afterwards they invaded and held possession of the south of Palestine as far as Hebron. At length, however, Edom fell under the growing Chaldean power (Jer 27:3, Jer 27:6)."
Although the Palestinians are made up of a mish mash of ethnicities, many of them are Esau's Edomite descendants....." because the "'perpetual or ancient hatred' against Israel is only spoken of concerning two nations: the Philistines and Edomites. And where were they based? One of the main cities of the Philistines was Gaza and, as we have seen above, the last known main city of the Edomites was in Hebron, in what today is called the West Bank."Ezekiel Chapter 35 - The everlasting hatred - jesusplusnothing.com
"The word Palestinian has its roots in a Hebrew word meaning “Philistine.”.....Until Israel was re-established as a nation in 1948, Palestine was the term for the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.......The modern-day “Palestinians” represent a mixture of local inhabitants and many other groups of Muslims brought from Bosnia, the Balkans, and the Caucasus by the Turks in the 16th to 19th centuries; and from the Sudan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon by the British in the 20th century."