These prophecies had a literal fulfillment against three nations to the east of Israel: Ammon, Moab, and Edom. All three were close relatives of Israel. Ammon and Moab were direct decedents of Abraham’s nephew Lot. (See Genesis 19:30-38). While Edom descended from Esau, the twin brother of Jacob (Israel), who sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:29-34).
Despite this kinship, Ammon, Moab and Edom worked together against Israel, and the Ezekiel 25 prophecy highlights some of their final sins and final judgments.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate…” (Ezekiel 25:13,14).
Two chief elements of judgment are mentioned by the prophet – slaughter by the sword, and desolation of the land. “And I will make it desolate from Teman; even unto Dedan shall they fall by the sword.” Teman was a district in the south of Edom, and Dedan was in the north; so that “from Teman unto Dedan” signifies over the entire country. No one event alone fulfilled this prediction, but several events culminated in the desolation.
In the time of the Maccabees, Judas the Maccabee (~163 B.C.) slew more than forty thousand Edomites (1 Macc. 5:3; 2 Macc. 10:15-23). About thirty years afterwards, John Hyrcanus attacked the remnant in Edom, completely subdued the country, and forced male circumcision in order to conform to the Jewish religion. The Edomites were so desirous of remaining in their country that they yielded to his conditions, and, as Josephus says, "they were hereafter no other than Jews" (Josephus, Antiquities 13:9.1).
The Lord pronounced judgment against Ammon and Moab in verses 9-11: “therefore I will expose the flank of Moab, beginning at its frontier towns—Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim—the glory of that land. I will give Moab along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations; and I will inflict punishment on Moab.”
The desolation of Edom, Ammon, and Moab was at length accomplished by the Mohammedans, “the children of the East” in the seventh century. The Mohammedan conquest gave a death-blow to its commerce and prosperity. Trade routes changed and left magnificent trading cities like Petra to fall to ruin.
Are Ammon, Moab, and Edom a larger picture of some end time coalition against either natural or spiritual Israel?
This is possible, but we need to be cautious about types. Certainly, some of the enemies of Israel, both natural and spiritual have been deceived leaders. For spiritual Israel we read, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30 For natural Israel, present day Jordan covers the territory of these three nations and more. Jordan continues to be a foe to Israel – its neighbor and blood relative.