02.01.12 Idumeans. The Idumeans, also known as the Edomites, were descendants of Esau. In the Inter-Testamental Period they relocated from the Petra region of modern Jordan, westward into the Negev Desert of southern Israel. They were eventually absorbed into the larger Arab people group. For that reason, some scholars have traditionally said that the Arab people per se did not exist in the biblical land of today’s Israel/Palestine during the first century. The vast majority of Arabs were a nomadic people who lived in the area that is modern day Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, one of the reasons the Jews hated Herod the Great was that he was an Idumean – a hated descendant of Esau.
. Thompson, “Idumea.” 2:682.