A Semitic-speaking people who established a kingdom in the mountains of southwestern Jordan in the ninth century B.C. In the Bible, the Edomites are descendants of Esau; they often appear as the enemies of the Israelites. After the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C., Edomites settled in the Judean hill country. Their descendants are called the Idumeans.

Jebel Haroun

Literally, “the Mountain of Aaron,“ a peak southwest of Petra traditionally held to be the burial place of Moses’ brother, Aaron.


Referring to the territory east of the Jordan Rift Valley, between Mount Hermon in the north and the Gulf of Aqaba in the south.

Umm el-Biyara

A seventh-century B.C. Edomite settlement just west of Petra. It was once mistakenly thought to be the site of the ancient biblical battle of Sela (see 2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25).


A Hellenistic Near Eastern dynasty founded after Alexander the Great’s death in 323 B.C. by one of his generals, Seleucus I Nicator (358–281 B.C.). At its height, in the third century B.C., the Seleucid Kingdom stretched from Asia Minor to northwest India.