When you drive in The Arava road down the road toward Eilat, you can see the towering mountains of Edom. Those mountains are made of granite and are notable red.
When you read the Bible in Hebrew, it is no surprise that the mountains of Edom are red: the word Edom in Hebrew (אֱדוֹם) is derived from the word red (Adom: אדוֹם).
The Edomites, the ancient people who lived in Edom were the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob.
And this is the genealogy of Esau the father of the Edomites in Mount Seir. (Genesis 36:9)
Here we see that there is another name for Edom and this is Seir. The name Edom and Seir are interchangeable in the Bible.
You shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom. (Ezekiel 35:15)
The Hairy and Red Esau
The name Seir in Hebrew means “hairy” (שֵׂעִיר). So the mountains of Edom have two names, each has an attribute: Edom – “red” and Seir – “hairy”
When Esau was born, as the firstborn twin brother of Jacob, we read that he was “red” and “hairy“. We also hear that he was called Esau because he was hairy
And the first came out red. He was like a hairy garment all over; so they called his name Esau. (Genesis 25:25)
Those two characters of Esau: Red and Hairy play critical roles in his life and his struggles with his twin brother Jacob.
As we remember, Jacob deceived Esau twice:
First time, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a red stew:
And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. (Genesis 25:30)
Second time, Jacob steals the blessing of Esau. In order to do so, his mother put fur on his body, so Isaac, whose eyes were dim, would think that this is the “hairy” son – Esau:
And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck (Genesis 27:16)
The story goes on, and after the double deceiving, Jacob has to run away from Esau to Aram. When they meet after many years, Jacob is still afraid that Esau will kill him.
But Esau is happy to meet him!
But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept (Genesis 33:4)
The reconciliation, between Israel (Jacob) that deceived his brother and the deceived brother has special meaning in the future and restoration of Israel.
Who is this who comes from Edom,
With dyed garments from Bozrah,
This One who is glorious in His apparel,
Traveling in the greatness of His strength?—
“I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2 Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
And from the peoples no one was with Me.
For I have trodden them in My anger,
And trampled them in My fury;
Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments,
And I have stained all My robes.
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come.
This beautiful prophecy of Isaiah speaks about the year of redemption.
The redeemer will come from Edom (perhaps a symbol of a betrayed brother?) and will be red like one who treads in the winepress. But the red color is in fact blood!