From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

IDUMÆA . The Greek equivalent (in RV [Note: Revised Version.] only in   Mark 3:8 ) of the name Edom , originally the territory east of the Jordan-Arabah valley and south of the land of Moab. This country was inhabited, when we first catch a glimpse of it, by a primitive race known as Horites, of whom little but the name is known. The apparent meaning of the name (‘cave-dwellers’) and comparison with the remains of what seems to have been an analogous race discovered in the excavations at Gezer, shew that this race was at a low stage of civilization. They were partly destroyed, partly absorbed, by the Bedouin tribes who claimed descent through Esau from Abraham, and who were acknowledged by the Israelites as late as the date of the Deuteronomic codes as brethren (  Deuteronomy 23:7 ). They were governed by sheiks (EV [Note: English Version.] ‘dukes,’ a lit. tr. [Note: translate or translation.] of the Lat. dux ), and by a non-hereditary monarchy whose records belonged to a period anterior to the time of Saul (  Genesis 36:31-39 ,   1 Chronicles 1:43-54 ). See Edom.

After the fall of Babylon the pressure of the desert Arabs forced the Edomites across the Jordan-Arabah valley, and the people and name were extended westward. In 1Ma 5:65 we find Hebron included in Idumæa. Josephus, with whom Jerome agrees, makes Idumæa extend from Beit Jihrin to Petra; Jerome assigns the great caves at the former place to the troglodyte Horites. The Herod family was by origin Idumæan in this extended sense. In the 2nd cent. a.d. the geographer Ptolemy restricts Idumæa to the cis-Jordanic area, and includes the original trans-Jordanic Edom in Arabia.

R. A. S. Macalister.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

IDUMaeA ( NT ἰδουμαία, which is also used in the LXX Septuagint for the Heb. ʼĔdôm ).—This land is mentioned once only in the NT ( Mark 3:8), but is also notable as the native land of Herod and his family. The Edom of the OT lay between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akabah. In the early part of the Jewish exile many of the Edomites overran the south of Judaea, and when the Nabataeans, at some time during the Persian period, conquered their own land, many more joined the earlier settlers in South Judaea, and that district became known as Idumaea. Thus Idumaea at the time of Christ was ‘practically the Southern Shephelah with the Negeb’ (G. A. Smith, HGH L [Note: GHL Historical Geog. of Holy Land.] p. 239), i.e. roughly, all south of a line from Beth-sur to Gaza. Judas Maccabaeus fought against the Idumaeans with much success ( 1 Maccabees 5:3) in 164. Fifty-five years later, John Hyrcanus conquered the country, and compelled the people to be circumcised (Josephus Ant . xiii. ix. 1; BJ i. ii. 6). By the law of  Deuteronomy 23:7-8 they thus became full Jews in the third generation, though Herod himself was sometimes reproached as a ‘half-Jew’ (Josephus Ant . xiv. xv. 2). Although the Idumaeans were ‘sons of Esau,’ their interests from this time were entirely merged with those of the Jews, and their country was reckoned to Judaea, Idumaea being counted one of the eleven toparchies of Judaea in Roman times (Josephus BJ iii. iii. 5).

G. W. Thatcher.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [3]

is properly the Greek name for the land of Edom, which lay to the south of Judea, and extended from the Dead Sea to the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea, where were the ports of Elath and Ezion-Gaber. But the Idumaea of the New Testament applies only to a small part adjoining Judea on the south, and including even a portion of that country; which was taken possession of by the Edomites, or Idumaeans, while the land lay unoccupied during the Babylonish captivity. The capital of this country was Hebron, which had formerly been the metropolis of the tribe of Judah. These Idumaeans were so reduced by the Maccabees, that, in order to retain their possessions, they consented to embrace Judaism: and their territory became incorporated with Judea; although, in the time of our Saviour, it still retained its former name of Idumaea,  Mark 3:8 . The proper Idumaeans, or those who remained in the ancient land of Edom, became in process of time mingled with the Ishmaelites; the two people thus blended, being, from Nabaioth, or Nabath, the son of Ishmael, termed Nabathaeans; under which names they are frequently mentioned in history. See Edom .

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Idumae'a. (Red). See Edom .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

 Isaiah 34:5,6 Ezekiel 35:15 36:5

Morrish Bible Dictionary [6]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Idumaea'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.