Genesis 36 : Genealogy of Esau and Seir

July 6, 2023 ·

Esau had multiple wives, mostly Canaanites, and they resided in Seir, separate from Jacob. Among Esau’s sons were Eliphaz and Reuel, and one of his wives was Oholibamah. The descendants of Eliphaz, Reuel, and Oholibamah became the chiefs of Edom, the nation of Esau. In addition to Esau’s lineage, Seir, a Horite, also resided in Edom/Seir. His sons—Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan—served as the Horite chiefs. Notably, one of Zibeon’s sons, Anah, discovered hot springs in the desert.

Prior to the establishment of Israelite kings, the succession of Edomite kings unfolded as follows: Bela, Jobab, Husham, Hadad, Samlah, Shaul, Baal-Hanan, and Hadad II.

Key verse:

7. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together. The land of their sojournings could not support them because of their livestock.

My thoughts:
This genealogy represents a divergence from Israel, as the Edomites eventually become enemies of Israel.

God had made a promise to Jacob that he would become the father of a nation and that they would inhabit Canaan. At that time, this may have seemed unlikely. However, this chapter highlights Esau, Jacob’s brother, already being the father of a nation in Canaan long before Jacob’s descendants arrived. Edom had numerous kings even before the Israelites emerged. For Jacob to believe that he would become the father of a nation, he had to place his trust in God rather than relying solely on what he observed in the present. Ultimately, God did fulfill His promise, and even now, thousands of years later, Israel still exists as a nation, while Edom has faded into obscurity.

Verse 31 mentions future Israelite kings, which indicates that it could not have been written by Moses, as Moses passed away centuries before Israel had kings. Traditionally, Moses is credited with writing Genesis; however, at least this particular verse appears to be a later addition or an editorial update.

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