Genesis Chapter 36

Abraham and Isaac have both passed away at this point in the book of Genesis. They were both promised great blessings through their posterity if they lived faithful to the Lord, which they did. Among their descendants, who would branch out and eventually cover the earth, is Esau and his family.

A Family Tree

Genesis continues:

1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
3 And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.
7 For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.

Esau, who lives in the land of Edom within Canaan, has many children of Canaanite blood. We learn in earlier scripture (Genesis 25), that Esau was called Edom, and this was his land. Those who lived here were called Edomites. His wives were Adah (a Hittite), Aholibamah (a Hivite), Bashemath (granddaughter of Abraham). Their children are Esau Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. He moved with his family to mount Seir because they needed more space then they had sharing with his brother Jacob.

9 And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
14 And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.
17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.

Esau’s grandchildren through his son Esau Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. Esau’s grandchildren through his son Reuel were Eliphaz Amalek, Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. All of these are listed as dukes or having dukes. Duke Korah is also listed with these. In the footnotes, the word dukes means tribal chiefs. So, my understanding is that the grandsons of Esau, were the chiefs or leaders of the land where the Edomites lived.

18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.
19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.

Esau’s sons Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah are listed as dukes or as having dukes, and again I think that this means that his sons had been the leaders in the land as well.

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.
23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.
25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.
29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.

In the land of mount Seir was a man named Seir with his children and dukes or tribal leaders.

31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
35 And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
38 And Saul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
39 And Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.

This is a list of the kings of Dinhabah, Avith, and Pau. And all this was related by family line and location, to Esau, the son of Isaac.

This chapter may seem a bit confusing, because it seems to be confusing to me, but I think that I understand it better now. Really, this is another list genealogy, which should help us to understand the roles of some of these people later on in the scriptures. This to me, is a record of the fulfillment of some of the promises given to Abraham and Isaac. Here is a nation being developed with Esau at its head, he being the son of Isaac. This is where kings and leaders can begin to be found in their family lines. Part of the promises given to them by the Lord, was that they would be the fathers of great nations and kings. This chapter builds a foundation of knowledge as to were the Edomites came from, which I believe we read of later in the Bible.

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