36 These are the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. And Adah bore to Esau, Eliphaz; Basemath bore Reuel; and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, his livestock, all his beasts, and all his property that he had acquired in the land of Canaan. He went into a land away from his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together. The land of their sojournings could not support them because of their livestock. So Esau settled in the hill country of Seir. (Esau is Edom.)
These are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Basemath the wife of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. (Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son; she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.) These are the sons of Adah, Esau’s wife. These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: the chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam, and Amalek; these are the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah. These are the sons of Reuel, Esau’s son: the chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah; these are the chiefs of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Basemath, Esau’s wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau’s wife: the chiefs Jeush, Jalam, and Korah; these are the chiefs born of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife. These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these are their chiefs.
These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom. The sons of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna. These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah; he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness, as he pastured the donkeys of Zibeon his father. These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah. These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. These are the chiefs of the Horites: the chiefs Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the chiefs of the Horites, chief by chief in the land of Seir.
These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of his city being Dinhabah. Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his place, the name of his city being Avith. Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his place. Shaul died, and Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place. Baal-hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his place, the name of his city being Pau; his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab.
These are the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their clans and their dwelling places, by their names: the chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram; these are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of Edom), according to their dwelling places in the land of their possession.
Genesis 36 Commentary
by Hank Workman
After the passing of their father Isaac, Esau and Jacob separated. What follows is the lineage of Esau known as the Edomites. Although this chapter is simply a list of names, this piece of history is fascinating.
The Edomites are mentioned some 130 times in scripture and obviously were blood brothers to Israel, but this did not mean they were friendly. They refused the Israelite’s passage when they left Egypt. Even though this took place, God told them they were not to hate these people as they were relatives. Under Saul’s kingship, he made Edom subject to Israel; David built garrisons there and it wasn’t until Ahab took the throne they became independent once again. Yet, prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel spoke harshly of these. More interesting is Herod the Great, who tried to kill Jesus as a baby was an Edomite. They were a people who much like their forefather Esau, did not like or tolerated their kinsmen but also did not come against.
The word of God spoken thousands of years ago to Isaac and Rebekah and then the blessing given to Jacob have stood. Although Esau and his children flourished as a tribe and people, they were not chosen for the critical role in God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ, who came through Jacob.
The far-reaching plans of God go way beyond the generation of which these people lived and yes, beyond our own. In effect, He has a plan until the end of time, of which we all in our own way play out. Truly it’s a bit overwhelming when we think of such things, but show how God is at work in our lives and lineage beyond this life we live. We get so hung up on things, don’t we? We become so preoccupied with things that on many levels don’t matter. Where is our own focus been lately and how does it play toward the larger picture of God’s plan of redemption for generations to come that follow?
Genesis 36 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The bullet points of Esau’s life were not great. God blessed him and his family, but the blessings were only material in nature. Long before, Isaac and Rebekah were concerned about Esau’s choice to intermarry with Canaanite women and that choice proved to be detrimental to his people. We can gather this by looking at the names of his descendants in this genealogy account. Many translate simply as animals. Baal-hanan would be a tribute to the false god Baal.
There are two different people groups that eventually settled in this area. The Horites settled in Seir and the Edomites settled in Edom. Both were considered a mountainous region while Edom was also part of the Transjordanian plateau. Eventually, Seir would become part of Edom and the names would be used interchangeably.
Another interesting aspect of this chapter is the mystery that surrounds Eliphaz. If you remember, Eliphaz was one of Job’s friends who tried to “comfort him” during his afflictions.
“Now one of the sons of Esau, verse ten, is Eliphaz. And one of Eliphaz’s sons in verse eleven is Teman. Now you remember in the book of Job, one of the comforters of Job was named Eliphaz, the Temanite. And so it is very possible that this Eliphaz that we have here, one of the sons of Esau was in actuality one of the comforters of Job. And so this probably dates for us the book of Job; which means that it is one of the oldest books in the Bible. For Genesis was written by Moses some five hundred years later. But the book of Job poetry was kept intact and it makes Job one of the oldest books in man’s literature. So the name of Eliphaz, whose son was Teman and in Job, Eliphaz the Temanite; it is very possible that here is the time of Job.”Chuck Smith