Timeline of “Esau” and “Jacob” as nations



2000 BC  –    “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot Isaac. 20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian. 21 Now Isaac pleaded with the Lord for his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her; and she said, “If all is well, why am I like this?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.  23 And the Lord said to her:

“Two nations are in your womb,  Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.”

24 So when her days were fulfilled for her to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb.”
(Genesis 25:19-24)  (Note: this is the only thing God said about them before they were born)

1970 BC    –   “Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.… 8 “And what were all the flocks and herds I met as I came?” Esau asked. Jacob replied, “They are a gift, my lord, to ensure your friendship.” 9 “My brother, I have plenty,” Esau answered. “Keep what you have for yourself.”
(Genesis 33:3)        (Note – Esau never served Jacob, and Esau was stronger than Jacob – at this time)

1967 BC   –  “So Esau, also known as Edom, settled in the hill country of Seir.”
(Genesis 36:8)

1447 BC  – Amalekites (named after the grandson of Esau) attack Israel
(Exodus 17:8)

1407 BC   –  “While Moses was at Kadesh, he sent ambassadors to the king of Edom with this message:
“This is what your relatives, the people of Israel, say: You know all the hardships we have been through. … 17 Please let us travel through your land. We will be careful not to go through your fields and vineyards. We won’t even drink water from your wells….”
18 But the king of Edom said, “Stay out of my land, or I will meet you with an army!”
19 The Israelites answered, “We will stay on the main road. If our livestock drink your water, we will pay for it. Just let us pass through your country. That’s all we ask.”
20 But the king of Edom replied, “Stay out! You may not pass through our land.” With that he mobilized his army and marched out against them with an imposing force. 21 Because Edom refused to allow Israel to pass through their country, Israel was forced to turn around.
(Numbers 20)

1407 BC    –   “Then at last the LORD said to me, …“You will pass through the country belonging to your relatives the Edomites, the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. The Edomites will feel threatened, so be careful. 5 Do not bother them, for I have given them all the hill country around Mount Seir as their property, and I will not give you even one square foot of their land. 6 If you need food to eat or water to drink, pay them for it.”
(Deuteronomy 2)
(Note: God has given this land to Edom, and commands the Israelites to not bother them, because God has blessed the Edomites this land as their inheritance and therefore it will not be given to the Israelites.)

~1400 BC     –    “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother.”  (Duet 23:7)

1050BC  –  “Doeg the Edomite turned on [the priests] and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats.”  (1 Samuel 22:18cf)

960 BC     –   “[David] put garrisons in Edom. In all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. And the LORD helped David wherever he went.” (2 Samuel 8:14)  (Note: Finally, “Esau” serves “Jacob”)

850BC   –     In [King Johoram’s] days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves.”         (2 Kings 8:19-20)

600 BC
(Prophets record Edom’s evil deeds against the Jews and the coming judgment against them)

“Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance upon them, therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom, and cut off from it man and beast…”  (Ezekiel 25:12)

“Because you cherished perpetual enmity, and gave over the people of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, at the time of their final punishment; therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; because you are guilty of blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. …”Because you said, `These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will take possession of them ,’—although the LORD was there—therefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, I will deal with you according to the anger and envy which you showed because of your hatred against them… And you magnified yourselves against me with your mouth… As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so I will deal with you….” (Ezekiel 35:1-15)

“For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you… you should not have gloated over the day of your brother in the day of his misfortune…you should not have looted his goods in the day of his calamity. You should not have stood at the parting of the ways to cut off his fugitives; you should not have delivered up his survivors in the day of distress. For the day of the LORD is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you, your deeds shall return on your own head.”  (Obadiah)

(Note: the Hebrew word for “violence” that Edom did to the Jews is “Hamas.” Coincidence?)


430 BC  –   The word of the LORD to Israel… “I have loved you,” says the Lord.  “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’  “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”  But this is what the Lord Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish.  (Malachi 1:1-5)  (Note: This is the first and only time God says ”Jacob I have loved, But Esau I have hated.”)

150BC – 30AD   –  During the Maccabean wars (150BC), the Edomites were conquered by the Jews and forced to convert to Judaism. Yet the Edomites maintained their old hatred for the Jews. When Greek came to prominence, the Edomites were called Idumaeans.  As the Roman Empire grew, an Idumaean whose father had converted to Judaism was named king of Judea. That Idumaean is known as King Herod the Great, the tyrant who ordered the massacre in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the Christ child (see Matthew 2:16-18). All the Herods of the New Testament were Idumaens – Edomites. At the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD, an army of 20,000 Idumeans slaughtered many Jews.

Clearly, God did not hate Esau. However, He foresaw the great evil that many of his descendants would freely commit. God only judged them – “hated” them – for the evil deeds they did after they freely chose to do them. God does not hate anyone without cause – certainly not a little baby yet to be born.