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About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period

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This volume is devoted to the regions of Idumea and Edom and their inhabitants in the Persian period. As recent findings and research suggest, in the aftermath of the the elimination of Edom as a kingdom in the Neo-Babylonian period, Edomites continued to inhabit their traditional territory east of the Arabah Valley as well as the region west of the Arabah. The biblical texts contain memories informed by the Persian-period reality.

The eighteen essays collected in this volume highlight new developments in the study of Edom by researchers from the disciplines of archaeology, Near Eastern studies, epigraphy, cultural history, and Hebrew Bible studies. Collectively, they draw a broad-stroke, complex image of historical Edom in the previously understudied Persian period.

Published: May 1, 2022

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period: An Introduction to the Volume Benedikt Hensel
Part I: Overviews
1. The Complexity of a Site: “Edom” in Persian Period from the Perspectives of Historical Research, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies Benedikt Hensel
2. Edom in the Persian Period, Relations with the Negev, and the Arabian Trade: The Archaeological Evidence Piotr Bienkowski
3. The Genesis of Idumea Yigal Levin
4. The Evolution of an Edomite/Idumean Identity: Hellenistic Maresha as a Case Study Ian Stern
Part II: Case Studies
5. Edom in Judah: Identity and Social Entanglement in the Late Iron Age Negev Andrew J. Danielson
6. Dry Climate During the Early Persian Period and Its Impact on the Establishment of Idumea Dafna Langgut, Oded Lipschits
7. A Tale of Two Provinces: Judah and Edom During the Persian Period Alexander Fantalkin, Oren Tal
8. Idumean in Light of the Votive Deposits of Terracotta Figurines Adi Erlich
9. A Monumental Hellenistic-Period Ritual Compound in Upper Idumea: New Findings from Ḥorbat ʿAmuda Michal Haber, Oren Gutfeld, Pablo Betzer
10. Edom in the Nabonidus Chronicle: A Land Conquered or a Vassal Defended? A Reappraisal of the Annexation of North Arabia by the Late Babylonian Empire Hanspeter Schaudig
11. Have There Been Prophets in Edom? An Ostracon from Ḥorvat ‘Uza Once More Bob Becking
12. Economic and Administrative Realia of Rural Idumea at the End of the Persian Period Diana Edelman
13. The Aramaic Divination Texts Esther Eshel, Michael Langlois, Mark Geller
Part III: Literary Constructions of "Edom": The Hebrew Bible Traditions
14. Edom as a Complex Site of Memory among the Literati of Late Persian/early Hellenistic Judah: Some Observations Ehud Ben Zvi
15. Think Positive! How the Positive Portrayal of Edom in Late Biblical Texts Leads to New Perspectives on Understanding the Literary-History of Genesis, Deuteronomy, and Chronicles Benedikt Hensel
16. The “Edom Texts” in Samuel–Kings in Inner- and Extrabiblical Perspective Stephen Germany
17. Late Historical Edom and Reading Edom, Seir, and Esau in the Prophetic Literature through Persian Lenses: Preliminary Observations Diana Edelman
18. The Contribution of Chronicles to the Memory Argument about Edom as Reflected in the Core Repertoire of the Yehudite Literati of the Late Persian/Early Hellenistic Period Ehud Ben Zvi