The purple dye mentioned in the article may be the same valuable purple dye used in the New Testament.
Tomorrow we’re going to step back in time with Joshua and King David and once again visit the city of…
Fall of Edom Shows God’s Love
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
“I hated Esau” – if Israel doubts god’s covenant love, she should consider the contrast between God’s ways with her and His ways with Jacob’s brother Esau (Edom). Paul explains God’s love for Jacob and hatred for Esau on the basis of election (Rom 9:10-13).
God chose Jacob but not Esau. “Love” and “hate” are covenant words throughout the ancient Near East. Clearly then, the idea is that God made a covenant with Jacob but refused to make one with Esau.
For other possible meanings of “love’ and “hate,” cf. how Leah was “hated” in that Jacob lived Rachel more (Gen 29:31, 33; cf. Deut 21:16-17).
Likewise, believers are to “hate” their parents (Lk 14:26) in the sense that they love Christ even more (Matt 10:37).
“Waste” – Malachi’s words about Edom echo those of the earlier prophets. Between c. 550 and 400 B.C. the Nabatean Arabs gradually forced the Edomites from their homeland, resulting in the formation of Idumea in New Testament.
4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation forever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
6 A son honored his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honor? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
“Rising of the sun” –Malachi brackets his book with this metaphor, as it is a common Old Testament phrase that usually means, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield.”
12 But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Sidon is located at a natural harbor on the coast of Lebanon, in ancient Phoenicia, between Tyre and Beirut. It was, in fact, one of the oldest and most important cities in the region. Sidon’s prominence is reflected in the fact that it is mentioned in Hittite, Ugaritic, Egyptian and Assyrian records.
The Sidonians were engaged throughout their long history in fishing, seafaring, commerce and the manufacture of purple dye. An enormous mound of murex shells, from which this striking dye was extracted, still exists in modern Sidon.
Its inhabitants were also known for their fine craftsmanship; they produced beautiful works in materials such as ivory and silver.
References to “Greater Sidon” in Josh 11:8 and 19:28 reflect a precise knowledge of the name of the town.
The Assyrian record of Sennacherib’s campaign in 701 B.C. states that he captured both “Greater Sidon” and “Little Sidon.”
When Joshua divided the Promised Land, Sidon was allotted to the tribe of Asher, but this tribe was unable to drive out the Sido-nians (Jdg 1:31, 3:1-3).
Later, during the divided monarchy period, Ahab married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon, in a union that resulted in the introduction of pagan worship into the northern kingdom (1 Kgs 16:31-33). The prophets Jeremiah (Jer 25:22, 27:3-6, 47:4), Ezekiel (Eze 28:20-24), Joel (Joel 3:4-8) and Zechariah (Zec 9:1-2) all pronounced judgment against Sidon.
She was among the cities God had given to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Jer 27:6), and a text excavated at Babylon lists the king of Sidon among Nebuchadnezzar’s captives. Sidon was also a center for the Persian fleet during the reign of Xerxes.
Excavations at ancient Sidon have been limited by recent military hostilities, as well as by urban development.
Recently there have been indications of the possibility of excavating remains of ancient Sidon under the sea (Greek historians indicate that in 146 B.C. the city was struck by an earthquake, which caused a large portion of it to sink beneath the ocean).