Genesis 36 - Outline of Genesis (Book Notes menu page)
36:1 Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom.
36:2 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;
{Gen 26:34,35}
36:3 And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
{Gen 28:8,9}
36:4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
36:5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah:
these [are] the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
36:6 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.
36:7 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.
36:8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau [is] Edom.
Esau is also called Edom. cp. Gen 25:30; 32:3
Esau is typical of the man of the world, the fleshly man, who considers himself sufficient unto himself, having no desire or appreciation for the things of God. cp. Psa 17:14
Elsewhere, God refers to Esau and his descendants as proud, wicked, and hated (in comparison to Jacob). cp. Obad 1:3,4; Mal 1:2-4; Rom 9:13.
The character of Esau and his descendants are reflected, in this chapter, in...
  1. his departure from the land of promise (v.6; cf. 37:1). Esau departed from Jacob at his own initiative for worldly advantage (as Lot had departed from Abraham, 13:10,11).
    ''Esau's sons were born in Canaan and went out of it.
    Jacob's sons were born out of Canaan and went into it.'' [GWms]
  2. the ranking of his descendants as 'dukes' {ie., chiefs} and 'kings' (eg., v.15; 31).
    These terms designate men who possess earthly power. The first 'kingdom' was that of Nimrod, whose ungodly pride infects the kings and kingdoms of this world (Gen 10:8-10). All the nations which surrounded Israel had kings. But Israel's King was to be the LORD, and the children of Israel were to be a brotherhood under Him (1Sam 8:4-8).
  3. his family's assimilation with the world (v.20-f). Esau and Seir became indistinguishable.
36:9 And these [are] the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: {1Chr 1:35-37}
36:10 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.
36:11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
36:12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek:
these [were] the sons of Adah Esau's wife.
Amalek - was the father of the Amalekites, who became enemies of Israel, and
opposed Israel's return to Canaan, in the time of Moses. cp. Ex 17:8-14; 1Sam 15:1-3
36:13 And these [are] the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah:
these were the sons of Bashemath Esau's wife.
36:14 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.

36:15 These [were] dukes {ie., 'chiefs'} of the sons of Esau:
the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn [son] of Esau;
{ie., chief} Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
36:16 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.
36:17 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.
36:18 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.
36:19 These [are] the sons of Esau, who [is] Edom, and these [are] their dukes.
36:20 These [are] the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land;
{1Chr 1:38-42}
The Horites dwelt in this region, during the time of Abraham, long before Esau was born (Gen 14:5,6).
Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
36:21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan:
these [are] the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
36:22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister [was] Timna.
36:23 And the children of Shobal [were] these;
Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
36:24 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.
Details, like this (which has no other biblical reference), would have been well known to people of that time, and served to resolve ambiguity between men with similar names. The parallel genealogy (in 1Chronicles 1, written about 1000 years later) does not include such incidents, because they were no longer meaningful or necessary.
36:25 And the children of Anah [were] these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
36:26 And these [are] the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
36:27 The children of Ezer [are] these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
36:28 The children of Dishan [are] these; Uz, and Aran.
36:29 These [are] the dukes [that came] of the Horites;
duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
36:30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan:
these [are] the dukes [that came] of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land-
The land of Edom lies to the east and south of the Dead Sea.
The land of Moab borders it on the north.
- - When Esau moved there, it was called the land of Seir, for the people who were already there. Interestingly, the names Esau and Seir both mean 'hairy' (cp. 25:25). Esau and his descendants intermingled with Seir and his descendants. (The descendants of Esau and also of Seir the Horite are listed together, here, and in 1Chr 1:35-42.) In scripture, the names Esau, Edom and Seir are used synonymously of this geographic region and its occupants. eg., v.8,9,21; 32:3; Judg 5:4
- - This region will be the scene of several prophesied events at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. cp. Isa 34:1-8 (Idumea = Edom); 63:1-6; Jer 49:17-22; Eze 25:12-14; Obad 1:1-21 [The judgments pronounced upon the descendants of Esau have been fulfilled. Aspects of the final judgments, upon the gentile nations, will be played out in the land of Esau, in the Day of the LORD. For further discussion, see the Book Notes on Obadiah.]
36:31 And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, {1Chr 1:43-50}
before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
36:32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city [was] Dinhabah.
36:33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
36:34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
36:35 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.
36:36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
36:37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth [by] the river reigned in his stead.
36:38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
36:39 And Baalhanan 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.
kings... reigned in the land of Edom (v.31)- before any king reigned in Israel.
The Lord had foretold that the line of Abraham and Jacob would include kings (cp. Gen 17:6,16; 35:11).
God knew that eventually Israel would have kings. However, it was not by His design. The gentile nations set one man above another with their hierarchy of chiefs and kings. But God's desire for His people was that they all be equal before Him. cp. Deu 17:14-20; 1Sam 8:4-8
36:40 And these [are] the names of the dukes [that came] of Esau, {1Chron 1:51-54}
according to their families, after their places, by their names;
duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
36:41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
36:42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
36:43 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.
The biblical record does not follow Esau's line closely.
In the remainder of Genesis, the narrative turns again to the line of promise through Jacob.

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