Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Edomites and the Color Red

Alice C. Linsley

The point of origin for humans is Africa and from the beginning humans exhibited a wide range of physical traits, including skin color, hair textures, eye shape, etc. The San (Bushmen) are one of the oldest people groups of Africa and they have a yellow skin tone. The peoples of the Upper Nile had both black and red skin tones. Images of black and red Nubian appear on ancient Egyptian monuments.

Petrie's study of ancient images suggested to him that Egypt was the product of racial mixture. He found images of Nubians in which some have black skin, others red skin, and some have brown skin. This confirmed what had been discovered by the 1828 Franco-Italian expedition to Egypt led by Jean-Francois Champollion and Ippolito Rosellini. Below is a detail from one of Rosellini's drawings showing both black and red Nubians taken captive by the Egyptians under Rameses II (1279-1213 B.C.).

The red skin tone is especially evident in peoples of Haplogroup R1b. Among these peoples were the Edo of Nigeria and Benin and the Edomites.

The Edo and the Edomites are related genetically. These are among Abraham's ancestors who came out of Africa. These were originally river peoples who moved along river systems and mountain ridges (the "high places"). They dispersed rather widely and settled in different regions including the Tigris-Euphrates River Valley and Southern Europe. Some lived in the red city of Petra, the capital of the Nabataean territory in Edom (modern Jordan).

The Greeks called the Edomites the "Idumea" or red people. Esau of Edom was described as having a red skin tone in Genesis 25:25. He was also described as hairy. Abraham's Ainu ancestors also were hairy and had a red skin tone. Abraham's father was called Tera (Terah) a royal name associated with the Ainu of the Upper Nile. These spread as far as Japan where only about 300 pure-blooded Ainu still remain on the island of Hokkaido. The original name of Tokyo was Edo. Among the Ainu the word "Tera" (Terah) means priest. Abraham's father was Terah, a ruler-priest whose territory along the Tigris River extending between Ur and Haran.

The Edomites of the Bible are related to the Edo or Idu of Nigeria and Benin. The title of their rulers is further evidence. The ruler of the Edo is called "Oba" and the first ruler of Petra was the deified Nabataean King Obodas.

The Clan of Seir the Horite (Genesis 36).

Esau the Elder and Seir were contemporaries and possibly brothers. Therir lines intermarried.

The biblical Edomites are associated with the color red. Edom means red and Genesis 25:25 links Esau to the Edomites. Esau was the name of at least two Edomite rulers. Isaac’s sons were not Jews, but Horites like their father and grandfather Abraham. That is why Esau the Elder married into the line associated with Seir the Horite (Gen. 36) and why Jacob married into the Horite line of Na-Hor. See diagram and note that there are 2 named Esau.  Esau the Elder married Adah, the daughter of the Horite ruler Elon.  Esau the Younger was Esau the Elder's grandson.  Esau the Younger married Oholibamah, a high-ranking Horite maiden.

The Edomites, along with the Jebusites, appear to have belonged to the Horite Confederation which originated in the Upper Nile region.  This is the homeland of Abraham's ancestors and is called Kush in Genesis 10. From ancient Kush, the peoples spread in many directions. Some live today in Nigeria and Benin as the Edo or Idu. 

Edo ruler called "Oba"  (Benin)
Likewise, the Biblical Jebusites have living descendants in Nigeria. They are called the Ijebu. The Jebusites built and controlled Jerusalem. Melchizedek was the priest-king of Jerusalem in Abraham's time. Very likely he and Abraham were kin. Read more here.

The Shasu were related to the Horites of Edom and according to monument inscriptions in Nubia, they called upon the God YHWH.

Related reading:  The Nubian Contecxt of YHWHThe Genesis Record of Horite Rule; Two Named Esau; A Kindling of Ancient Memory; Edo, Edom, Idumea; Edom and the Horites; The Red Heifer; The Bible and the Question of "Race"; Intermarriage Between the Dedanites and the Edomites


  1. Thanks for this fascinating info. I learned a lot about Edo people I'll have to have my DNA test done to know my Haplogroup.

  2. Hi! I'm very much still learning, so bare with me, but is it possible that the Esau and Edom referred to in the book of Obadiah could be considered Jebusites?

  3. The words "Obadas" and "Oba" refer to a ruler or royal official such as a priest or prophet. In Japan, the word "Obita" refers to a regional chief. The name Obadiah or Obadyah, means servant of God.

  4. Hi! I'm also still learning. You said there are two Esau's in the Bible, but I only read one. Or let me put it this way: Genesis 36 says that Esau married both Adah & Oholibamah. I don't see another Esau after this chapter with a bloodline starting with Oholibamah. What I'm trying to ask is: is the Younger and Elder Esau not the same Esau?

  5. Study the green diagram. You will see that Esau the Elder married Adah, daughter of Elon. Elon was a contemporary of Seir the Horite (Gen 36).

  6. Very interesting article indeed. It sheds new light on Biblical and human history.

  7. Alice I would love to receive more of your research how can I purchase or receive this

    1. All my research is free. If you wish to delve more deeply into topics of interest, you might consider joining the international Facebook group The Bible and Anthropology.

    2. So Alice you are a descendant of the edomites. When the LORD speaks of Esau in his book (the bible) it is you and those who look like you he is referring to correct?

  8. Given the intermarriage of the early Hebrew ruler-priest caste, to which the Horites of Edom were related, my guess is that they were descended from the red Nubians.

    You appear to be laboring under the false modern equation of Africa = black. Yet Africa is the point of origin of all humans.


Your comments are welcome. Please stay on topic and provide examples to support your point.