Mount Seir

Mount Seir (Shaubak)

Mount Seir (Hebrew: הַר-שֵׂעִיר; Har Se'ir) also known as Jibāl ash Sharāh, was a mountainous region stretching between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqabah, demarcating the southeastern border of Edom with Judah. It may also have marked the older historical limit of Egypt in Canaan.[1] A place called "Seir, in the land of Shasu" (ta-Shasu se`er, t3-sh3sw s`r), thought to be near Petra, Jordan, is listed in the temple of Amenhotep III at Soleb (ca. 1380 BC).


Desert Camp, with Mt Seir in the distance, 1849[2]

Mount Seir was named for Seir, the Horite, whose offspring had previously inhabited the area (Genesis 14:6, 36:20). The children of Esau (the Edomites) battled against the Horites and destroyed them (Deuteronomy 2:4-5, 12, 22). It is specifically noted as the place where Esau made his home (Genesis 32:3; 33:14, 16; 36:8; Joshua 24:4).

The prophet Balaam, predicting Israelite victories over the Trans-Jordanian nations at the end of their Exodus from Egypt, stated "Edom shall be a possession; Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession" [3]

Mount Seir is also given as the location where the remnants "of the Amalekites that had escaped" were annihilated by five hundred Simeonites (I Chronicles 4:42-43). In 2 Chronicles 20:22-23, the "inhabitants of Mt Seir", i.e. the Edomites, came along with the Ammonites and Moabites against Jehoshaphat of Judah, however "YAHWEH set ambushments" against them, causing their forces to annihilate one another. Mount Seir is also referenced in the prophetic books as a term for Edom, as in Isaiah 21:11, Ezekiel 25:8, 35:10.

There is also another Seir mountain near Hebron which was allotted to Judah in Joshua 15:10, near the modern town of Sa'ir in the West Bank of the State of Palestine.

See also


  1. GoogleBooks Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations, By Steven Elliott Grosby, Edinburgh University Press, 2007
  2. Encampment in the desert, with Mount Seir in the distance. Coloured lithograph by Louis Haghe after David Roberts, 1849.
  3. Numbers 24:18

Coordinates: 30°11′03″N 35°19′00″E / 30.1843°N 35.3166°E / 30.1843; 35.3166

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