Abarbanel Identifies the Edom – Rome Connection

Sunlit picture of the Colosseum in Rome

The Abarbanel Explains How Ancient Edom and Modern Rome Are Connected

The following excerpt is translated from the Abarbanel’s commentary on the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 35.

In a recent post, we brought the translated Zohar on Parshat Balak 65 which made the following statement:

“In the month of Cheshvan the haters of Israel will fall and all those idols that remain in the holy land there will be [destroyed/removed/burned] and nullified. And from there will go out and awaken wars in the world, and whilst they are making wars in the world, the people of Edom will gather against the holy land and seize it and will rule over it for 12 months.

At the end of the 12 months, the entire world will shake and will be filled with noise, and between these times the Shechina will go and return to the cave of Moshe. The king Moshiach will be hidden for 9 months, like the months of childbirth, and in these 9 months how much suffering and [destruction] he will take upon himself to atone for Am Yisrael.”


In THIS post, we explained that the process of Moshiach being revealed in the world begins with earthquakes, as follows:

“Next, the Zohar talks about a series of earthquakes that starts rocking the world, in order to ‘wake up’ the three Patriarchs, Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov. This is connected to Hashem ‘remembering’ the Shechina, and remembering the Jewish people, and re-activating our ancestral merits and claim to the land of Israel, as embodied by the three Patriarchs.”


Over the last couple of weeks, the number of big quakes and volcanic blasts have increased notably, not least in America. On July 4th, 2019, South California was hit by a 6.4 earthquake, and then 100s of smaller aftershocks.

On July 6th, California was rocked by a 7.1 earthquake – and it’s very possible that more big quakes are still to come.

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Below, we bring a translation of the Arbarbanel’s description of how Edom and Rome are intrinsically related, to help try to shed more light on the Zohar’s statement, quoted above, that:

“And from there will go out and awaken wars in the world, and whilst they are making wars in the world, the people of Edom will gather against the holy land and seize it and will rule over it for 12 months.”


The Abarbanel’s Statement on Rome – Edom (Isaiah 35)

…All the more so, that we already found a bit support for this in the words of Yosef Ben Gurion, who wrote that when Yosef and his brothers came up from Egypt to bury Yaacov their father, together with a great multitude who came with them, then on the way the chieftains of Esav came out against them and fought with them.

And the hand of Yosef was greater than them.

And they captured Zafo ben Elifaz ben Esav and his people. And they took them prisoner, back to Egypt. And Zafo and his people fled from Egypt and came to Africa, to Agneas, the King of Carthage and Africa. And they received Zafo with great honor and they made him the head of the army.

And Zafo fought wars of the king, against the Kuttim (the people of Italy), who were the enemies of the people of Africa and Carthage.

Afterwards, Zafo fled from there, and came to the land of the Kuttim, which is Italy, him and all of his people. And they received him with great happiness and made him the head of their army.

And he fought against the legions from Africa and Carthage, and they fled from him. He also conquered the Bnei Tuval, who dwell in Pisha. And when the Kuttim saw his success in the wars and all of his heroic deeds, they crowned him king over them, and they called him by the name: Zafo-Janus.

Because Zafo was his name, and they called him Janus (Cyril Saturno). Because they called him by the name Shabtai (Saturn) that they worshiped in those days, because they thought he had its strength and spiritual attributes. He ruled over the Kuttim for 50 years, in the valley of Campagna, and he was the first king who ruled Italy.

And according to many opinions from the books, it was he who built Genoa, and called it after his name.

And he is buried there – this is the grave of Janus which is known even today. And also Palermo, the city of the main island, which [Yitzilia?] wrote that he built, because he ruled over all of the land of Italy, including this island.

And afterwards, his son ruled, and so continued kings after him, from his lineage. And according to the received wisdom of the Sages, z’l, one of them was the Chief Magdiel, who was the first person who settled the state of Rome, before Romulus came, who only built its walls and hung its doors after him.

Behold, you have clear testimony from the words of Josephus, who was the head of the chroniclers, even amongst them, that:

in the land of the Kuttim the sons of Edom ruled.

And there is no doubt that since the Edomite kings were ruling, lots of people from Edom also came to dwell there in Italy, on account of the kings who ruled there.

And they increased and multiplied greatly, and the land of Italy was full of them, and from them Rome was built.

And you should know that in the books of the chronicles of days of the Romans, this Janus is remembered, and it’s written that he was the first king of Italy. And they would call him the ‘head of the gods’ and the ‘god of the gods’ and the ‘gate of the heavens’.

And the first month of the year was given his name, especially, and it was called January, after his name.

The entire matter was all because he was the first king of that whole land, and the greatest of the kings and the rulers.

And since they made out to people that he was a ‘god’, who had tremendous powers ‘above nature’, and he was the first of them in that country, therefore they called him the ‘father’ of the gods, and the ‘god’ of the gods.

And to show the flow of bounty from the planet Saturn, that was called in their language ‘Janus’, they called him ‘Janus’, and they also called him the Gate of Heaven. And in all their chronicles, they wrote that “Saturno (who is Janus) came to Italy, and he was the first king.”

But they don’t write anything about his family or people, or the place of his birth, in the same way that they do about the rest of Italy’s kings. All they say is that Janus came from the Eastern land. And this also shows the truth of Josephus’s words, because he came from Egypt, and from the land of Edom first.”

The Abarbanel continues:

“I will also give you a different proof of the truth of this.

Because when they wrote that when Janus came from the land of the East to Italy, it was 1,500 years before the birth of Yeshua notzri. Go and count, and you’ll find that this is six years after the death of Yaacov, and his burial, and the battle with Yosef.

And you’ll find that the truth matches up on all sides, that in those years they were imprisoned in Egypt and in the land of Africa, as Josephus says. And also, I thought that Latinus, who was also an Italian king, about whom they said that he was the first to start the latin language. And from his writings he was also an Edomite, because amongst them they were used to using this name, [as we see in the Torah] Aluf Lotan, the chief of Lotan.*

  • See Genesis Chapter 36.
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