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Edom sounds like the Hebrew word for 'red' and is an alternative name for Esau. How he gained this name is explained in the Book of Genesis 25:29-34 where Esau trades his birthright to his younger twin brother Jacob in exchange for a meal of red stew.

Thus, the land of Edom is the land of Seir in which the descendants of Esau settled, displacing the Horites, and the Edomites are the people of the nation they formed there.

The land of Edom is generally believed to be the hill country immediately to the east of Wadi Arabah, which is today part of the Kingdom of Jordan.