The iconic buildings at Petra were built by the Nabateans in the second century after Christ, but the Edomites lived here among the rocks long before that.
The rivalry between Jacob and Esau continued throughout the Old Testament. When Judah was exiled to Babylon, the Edomites (descendants of Esau) still wanted to get their hands on Jacob’s blessing (the Promised Land). The prophet Obadiah told them off. He described them as living “in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwellings” (Obadiah 3).