Amos prophesies against Edomite cities of Teman and Bozrah

Bible passage: Amos 1:11-12
Prophet: Amos
Written: About 750 BC

In Amos 1:11-12, the prophet Amos delivers a prophecy that Edom will face destruction, including fire on the city of Teman and on the fortresses of the city Bozrah:

11 This is what the Lord says: "For three sins of Edom, even for four, I will not relent. Because he pursued his brother with a sword and slaughtered the women of the land, because his anger raged continually and his fury flamed unchecked, 12 I will send fire on Teman that will consume the fortresses of Bozrah." (Amos 1:11-12, NIV)

Edom is also known as Idumea.

Teman was the name of a grandson of Esau, as mentioned in Genesis 36:11, and later became the name of a place within Edom. Bozrah, also a place in Edom, is mentioned in Genesis 36:33 as being the city of Jobab, one of the early Edomite kings. Some Bible scholars say that is it possible that the city of Bozrah straddled the countries of Edom and Moab.

Esau was the brother of Jacob. The Edomites are descendants of Esau. And the Israelites are descendants of Jacob.

Although the Israelites and Edomites are brothers, the Edomites showed animosity toward the Israelites.

When the Israelites returned from captivity in Egypt, the Edomites refused to allow the Israelites to pass through Edom to return to the land of Israel, as described in Numbers 20:14-21. And the Edomites confronted the Israelites with a large army, from which the Israelites turned away and looked for another route to get into the land of Israel. These events happened about 3,400 years ago. Amos lived about 2,700 years ago.

It is possible that the Assyrians first fulfilled this prophecy from Amos about 2,700 years ago when the Edomites were punished for rebelling against the Assyrian Empire.

The prophecy also might have found fulfillment about 2,200 years ago, during the time of the Greek empire. Jews had regained sovereignty for part of their homeland, including Jerusalem, and fought against the Edomites, completely subduing them.

To read more about the prophet Amos:

People in the Bible: Amos

The prophecies of Amos