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Techies NYC July 17, 2018

If Eisov lived in Seir, near Israel, why do we always call Rome as Eisav? Reply

Rabbi EK for July 19, 2018
in response to Techies:

The short answer: Edom is a nation which descended from Esau. In the rabbinic texts, Edom is often equated with Rome.
See also Bereishit 36:1,8,20,43 and Obadiah 1.

A bit of background.

Avraham Ibn Ezra on Bereishit 27:40 notes: Rome comes from the Kittim as is stated in Numbers 24:24. They were a small group who believed in the one that people made into a diety. Few Edomites accepted the new religion and it began to spread until Rome by an Edomite priest and that is why Rome is equated with Edom.

Ramban also notes this idea, the Edomites were the first people to believe in this [religion] and their newfound faith ended up in Rome, that is why Edom and Rome are equated as they had the same beliefs, although they are two separate countries.
He also cites an ancient Targum on Eicha 4:22 where this idea is expressed.

David Kimchi on Joel 4:19 also notes that the Rome was comprised of Edomites. Reply

Rose Smith July 23, 2020
in response to Rabbi EK for

Thank you Reply

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