1 “Now these are the generations of Esau, who
2 “Esau took his wives of the daughters of
the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the
Hivite; 3 And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.”
Esau took his wives (the expression refers in this place not to the marriage, but to
the removal, of his wives) of the daughters of
the name also of one of Lamech's wives (compare ch. 4:19) - the daughter of Elon –
"Oak" (Gesenius) - the Hittite, and Aholibamah - "Tent of the High Place"
(Gesenius) - the daughter of Anah - "Answering" (Gesenius) - the daughter –
i.e. the grand-daughter, though, after the Septuagint and the Samaritan, some read
the son, as in v. 24 (Gesenius, Kalisch, Furst, et alii) - of Zibeon - "Colored"
(Gesenius); "Wild," "Robber" (Furst) - the Hivite; and Bashemath - "Sweet-
smelling" (Gesenius) - Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth - "High Place"
(Gesenius). The difference between this account and that previously given
1. Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite. 1. Aholibamah, daughter of Anah,
daughter of Zibeon the Hivite
2. Bashemath, daughter of Elon 2. Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite.
3. Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael, 3. Bashemath,
sister of Nebajoth sister of Nebajoth.
The two lists agree in saying:
The discrepancy between the two is greatest in respect of the first wife, who
appears with a different name and a different parentage in the two lists; while
with reference to the second and the third wives, it is only the difference of name
that requires to be accounted for. Now since the two lists belong to the so-called
Elohistic document (Tuch, Bleak, Stahelin, Davidson, et alii), the hypothesis must
be discarded "that the Hebrew text, though containing several important coincidences,
evidently embodies two accounts irreconcilably different" (Kalisch) - a conclusion
which can only be maintained by ascribing to the author the most absolute literary
incompetence. Equally the conjecture must be set aside that the two lists refer to
different persons, the second three being names of wives which Esau took on the
decease of the first. The solutions that appear most entitled to acceptance, though
all are more or less conjectural, proceed upon the supposition that Esau had only
three wives, or at most four.
1. On the hypothesis that Esau had not more than three wives, it is only needful
to presume that each of them had two names, a not unusual circumstance in
Oriental countries (Rosenmüller, Havernick) - one of them, probably that
contained in the present list, bestowed on the occasion of marriage; and that
Anah, the father of Aholibamah, was the same person with Beeri, or the
Well-Man, who received that cognomen from the incident related in v. 24, viz.,
that he discovered certain
(Hengstenberg, Keil, Kurtz) - the peculiarity that in one place (ch. 26:34) he is
being explained by the conjecture that:
the district to which he belonged (Keil, Lange, 'Speaker s
2. Another solution gives to Esau four wives, by supposing Judith to have died
without issue (Murphy, Jacobus), or, in consequence of being childless, though
still living, to have been passed over in silence in the former genealogical register
(Quarry), and Aholibamah to have been the fourth partner whom Esau espoused.
The Samaritan version reads Mahalath for Bashemath in the second list, which it
regards as an error of transcription (W. L. Alexander in Kitto's ' Cyclopedia');
while others think that Adah has been written by inadvertence for Bashemath
(Inglis)'; but such conjectures are as unnecessary as they are manifestly arbitrary.
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
Eliphaz; - "The Strength of God" (Gesenius); afterwards the name of one of Job's
(Gesenius); the name of Moses' father-in-law (Exodus 2:18) - and Aholibamah
bare Jeush, - "Collector" (Furst, Lange); "whom God hastens" (Gesenius);
afterwards the name of a son of Rehoboam (II Chronicles 11:19) - and Jaalam, -
"whom God hides" (Gesenius); "Ascender of the Mountains" (Furst) - and Korah: -
"Baldness" (Furst, Gesenius); the name of a family of Levites and singers in the
time of David to whom ten of the psalms are ascribed - these are the sons of Esau,
which wore born unto him in the
other sons were born to him in
were born before he left the
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
brother Jacob.” And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and
all the persons (literally, souls) of his house, and his cattle (mikneh), and all his
beasts (behe-mah), and all his substance (literally, all his acquisitions), which he
had got in the
not ἐκ τῆς γῆς – ek taes gaes – a land away (Septuagint), or in alteram regionem
(Vulgate), but either into the
clause, into a land apart (Murphy, Lange) - from the face of - or, on account of
(Rosenmüller, Kalisch) - 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.”
For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land
wherein they were strangers - literally, of their wanderings (compare ch. 28:4; 37:1) –
could not bear them because of their cattle. This does not necessarily imply that
Jacob was established in
the impossibility of two so rich and powerful chieftains as himself and his brother
8 “Thus dwelt Esau in
continuation of this verse is to be found in v.1 of the next chapter so that vs. 9-40 are
parenthetical in their character; but whether originally written by Moses, or inserted
by a late redactor, as some maintain, may legitimately be regarded as an open question.
Esau Separates from Jacob (v. 8)
allied to the true kingdom, but is not one with it. We may keep in mind the
relationship between the descendants of the two brothers, that we may
learn the more clearly to distinguish the true heirs of the blessing.
rest of the Book of Genesis follows the course of the one family in whose
midst the ark of the covenant, as it were, was already resting, where was:
Ø the revelation of God and
Ø the special manifestation of His favor, and out of which should come
o the people among the peoples,
o the kingdom among the kingdoms,
o the seed of life in the world of death.
9 “And these are the generations of Esau the
father of the Edomites in
And these are the generations of Esau - "the repetition of this clause shows that it
does not necessarily indicate diversity of authorship, or a very distinct piece of
composition" (Murphy) - the father of the Edomites (i.e. the founder of the
Edomitish nation) in
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.” 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 (see v. 4). And the
sons of Eliphaz were Teman, - the name was afterwards given to a district of Idumea
(Gesenius), "Mountain-dweller" (Furst) - Zepho, - "Watch-tower" (Gesenius); called
Zephi in I Chronicles 1:36 - and Gatam, - "their touch" (Gesenius), "dried up"
(Furst) - and Kenaz - "Hunting" (Gesenius). And Timna - "Restraint" (Gesenius,
perhaps given to him by Adah, so that her children were reckoned Adah's (Hughes)
and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek - "Inhabitant of the Valley," or "Warrior" (Furst);
"a nation of head-breakers" (Lunge); "Laboring" (Gesenius, Murphy). It is probable
that this was the founder of the
Amalekite nation who attacked
(Keil, Kalisch, Murphy), though by others (Gesenius, Michaelis, Furst) these
have been regarded as a primitive people, chiefly on the grounds that Amalek
is mentioned in ch. 14:7 as having existed in the days of Abraham, and that
Balaam calls Amalek the first of nations (Numbers 24:20); but the first may
simply be a prolepsis (Hengstenberg), while the second alludes not to the
antiquity of the nation, but either to its power (Kalisch), or to the circumstance
that it was the first heathen tribe
for the reason specified above) 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.” And these are the sons of Reuel;
Nahath, - Nachath, "Going down" - and Zerah, - or Zerach, "Rising" - Shammah, -
Wasting (Gesenius, Murphy); "Fame, "Renown" (Furst) - and Mizzah: - "Trepidation"
(Gesenius); "Fear," "Sprinkling" (Murphy); if from mazaz, "Fear, if from nazah, "Joy"
(Furst) - 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.”
(See vs. 2 and 5).
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
These were dukes of the sons of Esau. The אַלּוּפים, derived probably from אָלַפ,
to be familiar, whence to join together, or associate, were Edomite and Horite
phylarchs or tribe-leaders, ἡγεμόνες – haegemones - chiefs (Septuagint), chieftains
of a thousand men (Gerlach). At a later period the term came to be applied to the
Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke
Kemaz (see on v. 11), duke Korah, - inserted here probably by clerical error from
v. 18 (Kennicott, Tuch, Knobel, Delitzsch, Keil, Murphy, Quarry), and accordingly
omitted in the Samaritan Pentateuch and Version, though still retained by Onkelos
and the Septuagint, and on the hypothesis of its genuineness explained by some as
the name of a nephew of Eliphaz (Junius); of a son by another mother (Ainsworth);
of a son of Korah (v. 18) by the widow of Timua (I Chronicles 1:36), who, having
died without issue, left his wife to his brother (Michaelis); of some descendant of
Eliphaz by intermarriage who subsequently rose to be the head of a clan (Kalisch),
duke Gatam (see v. 11), and duke Amalek (see v. 12): these are the dukes that
came of Eliphaz in the
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
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.” In the two previous instances it is the grandsons
of Esau that become the alluphim or heads of tribes, while in this it is the sons,
which Havernick regards as a mark of authenticity.
19 “These are the sons of Esau, who is
- These are the sons of Esau, who is
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
These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land. The primitive
inhabitants of Idumea were Horites (see ch. 14:6), of whom the ancestor, Seir
("Rugged"), either gave his name to, or took his name from, the district in which
he lived. Though ultimately driven out by the Edomites (Deuteronomy 2:12),
they were probably only gradually dispossessed, and not until a portion of them
had coalesced with their conquerors, as Esau himself had a Horite wife,
Aholibamah, and his son Eliphaz a Horite concubine of the name of Timna.
They were, as the name Horite, from chor, a hole or cavern, imports a race of
troglodytes or cavemen, who dwelt in the sandstone and limestone caves with
have been excavated in
(This is of particular worldly interest to me as I am an amateur archaelogist
and have explored many caves in
this work of spiritual value, but, if interested, enter my name in your browser
and it will take you to a lot of archaelogical material – Carl Yahnig –
December 8, 2018) Lotan, - "Wrapping up" (Gesenius) - and Shobal, -
"Flowing" (Gesenius) - and Zibeon, and Anah (this Anah was the uncle of
the Anah mentioned in v. 25), and Dishon, - "Gazelle" (Gesenius, Furst) –
and Eser, - "Treasure" (Gesenius) - and Dishan: - same as Dishon
(Gesenius, Furst); "Threshing" (Murphy) - these are the dukes of, the Horites,
the children of Seir in the
22 “And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister
was Timna.” And the children of Lotan were Hori - the name of the tribe
(v. 20) - and Hemam: - or, Homam (I Chronicles 1:39); "Destruction" (Gesenius),
"Commotion" (Furst, Murphy) - and Lotan's sister was Timna - probably the
concubine of Eliphaz (v. 12).
23 “And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal,
Shepho, and Onam.” And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, - or Alian
(I Chronicles 1:40); "Unjust" (Gesenius), "Lofty" (Furst, Murphy) - and Manahath, -
"Rest" (Gesenius) - and
Ebal, - "Stripped of leaves" (Gesenius, Murphy); "
Mountain" (Furst) - Shepho, - or Shephi (ibid.);" Nakedness" (Gesenius) –
and Onam - "Strong" (Gesenius).
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.” And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, - "Screamer" (Gesenius) –
and Anah: - the father-in-law of Esau (v. 2) - this was that Anah that found the
mules in the wilderness, - neither invented the procreation of mules (Aben Ezra,
Kimchi, Luther, Calvin, Willet, Clarke, Aiznsworth, &c.), since מָעַא does not
signify to invent, but to light upon or discover (Keil), and there were no horses at
that time in those regions (Michaelis), and it is not said that Anah was feeding
his father's horses and asses, but only asses (Rosenmüller); nor overcame the
giants (Onkelos, Samaritan, Bochart),which would have required אימים (ch. 14:5;
Deuteronomy 2:11); nor found out salt water (Oleaster, Percrius), a useful herb
(Mais), or Ἰαμεὶν – Iamein - as a proper name (Septuagint); but discovered the
warm springs, the ἅπαξ λεγόμενον – hapax legomenon - only time used), יֵמִים,
being now generally taken to mean aquce callidae (Vulgate, Dathius, Gesenius,
Rosenmüller, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy), of which there were various
in the vicinity, as, e.g., the springs of Callirrhoe in the Wady Zerka Maein, and
those, in the Wady-el-Ahsa to the
south-east of the
Wady Hamad between Kerek and the
the asses of Zibeon his father. "The whirlpool of Karlsbad is said to have been
discovered through a hound of Charles IV. which pursued a stag into a hot spring,
and attracted the huntsmen to the spot by its howling" (Keil in loco; cf. Tacitus,
25 “And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter
of Anah.” And the children of Anah - the brother of Zibeon (v. 20) - were these;
Dishon, - named after his uncle (v. 21) and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
This Aholibamah was not Esau's wife, but the cousin of Esau's wife's father.
26 “And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran,
and Cheran.” And these are the children of Dishon; - the son of Seir (v. 21) –
Hemdan, - or Amrara (I Chronicles 1:41); "Pleasant" (Gesenius) - and Eshban, -
or Heshbon; "Reason," "Understanding" (Gesenius); "Intelligent," "Hero" (Furst) –
and Ithran, - the same as Jethro and Jithron;
(Gesenius, Furst, Murphy, Lange) - and Cheran - "Harp" (Gesenius), "Companion"
27 “The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.”
The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, - "Modest" (Gesenius), "Tender"
(Furst) - and Zaavan, - "Disturbed "(Gesenius) - and Akan - Jakan
(I Chronicles 1:42); "Twisting" (Gesenius, Murphy).
28 “The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.”
The children of Dishan are these; Uz, - "Sandy" (Gesenius, Furst) - and Aran –
"Wild Goat" (Gesenius); "Power," "Strength" (Furst).
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
31 “And these are the kings that reigned in
reigned any king over the children of
1. The reference to Israelitish kings in this place has been explained as an evidence
of post-Mosaic authorship (Le Clerc, Bleek, Ewald, Bohlen, et alii), or at least as
a later interpolation from I Chronicles 1:43 (Kennicott, A. Clarke, Lange), but is
sufficiently accounted for by remembering that in ch. 35:11 kings had been
promised to Jacob, while the blessing pronounced on Esau (ch. 27:40) implied
that in his line also should arise governors, the historian being understood to
say that though the promised kings had not yet arisen in the line of Jacob,
the house of Esau had attained at a somewhat early period to political
importance (Calvin, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Keil, Kalisch, Gerlach,
Havernick, and others).
2. The difficulty of finding room for the dukes (seven, four and three, all
grandsons of Esau, vs. 15-19), the kings (eight in number, vs. 32-39), and
again the dukes (in all eleven, vs. 40-43), that intervened between Esau and
Moses disappears if the kings and dukes existed contemporaneously, of which
hereditary monarchy, since in no case does the son succeed the father, but
an elective sovereignty, the kings being chosen by the dukes, alluphim, or
phylarchs (Keil, Hengstenberg, Kalisch, Gerlach), though the idea of
successive usurpations (Lange) is not without a measure of probability.
Delay in Fulfillment of God’s Promises (v. 44)
Between two stages of the history of the covenant family stands the
genealogy of Esau s descendants. The text suggests a contrast between
their course and that of the family of Jacob. On the death of Isaac Esau
The desert and the valleys of Seir were more attractive than quietness of
we read of dukes, or heads of tribes, and of kings. And what of the line of
promise? — kings foretold to them (ch. 17:6; 35:11). Yet while
kings were reigning in
in the desert. Is God slack to fulfill His word? “The Lord is not slack concerning
His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward,
not willing that any should perish, but that all shoul come to repentance.”
(I Peter 3:4, 9). This is often a trial to believers (Psalm 73:3). But God’s
promises are sure, though the time may seem long. The fulfillment of promises
of great blessings has almost always been slow, as we count it:
Ø Abraham waited long (ch. 12:2).
It was long ere the
Ø far longer ere the promise of a Savior fulfilled (ch. 3:15; Galatians
Ø still we wait for the Lord’s return.
The same truth appears in nature. Great and precious things are of slow growth
(“Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the
husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long
patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” James 5:7)
Ø Delay serves for the trial and strengthening of faith. Faith grows by
enduring trial. Mark how often the faith of eminent saints has been tried.
Without faith we cannot please God; FOR FAITH believes God’s truth
and love, and embraces His will. UNBELIEF CHARGES God with
untruth (Genesis 3:4; I John 5:10). Even in believers a leaven of unbelief
may be at work. Trials are sent to cause faith to develop into other graces
Ø What springs up quietly is apt to fade quickly (compare Exodus 3:11
with Haggai 1:2). There is danger lest what seems to be faith be
Ø The time that seems so long is not mere delay, but preparation. While
the seed lies in the earth a process is going on, though unseen, without
which the perfect plant could not be formed. (“....a man should cast
seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and
the seed should spring up, he knoweth not how.” - Mark 4:26-27)
Compare the expression, “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), and
the way in which all previous history prepared the way for the coming
of Christ. These lessons apply equally to God’s dealings with the world
and with individuals.
Ø We need encouragement if disheartened by slow progress of Christ’s
kingdom, or much labor among the heathen with little apparent result;
or many efforts at home, yet ungodliness is not checked. We have
promises (Isaiah 55:11; I Corinthians 15:58). In His own time God
will make them good.
Ø In like manner if our own striving for personal holiness, or for good of
others, seems to have little success. We require the training of
disappointment to check pride (II Corinthians 12:7), and God will see
to the result (Galatians 6:9).
Ø To bear in mind that we are but instruments in the Lord’s hand
(I Corinthians 3:6). Every work is to be performed “looking unto Jesus”
(II Corinthians 12:10).
32 “And Bela the son of Beor reigned in
Dinhabah.” And Bela the son of Beor (compare ch. 14:2, where Bela is the name
for Zoar; and Numbers 22:5, where Balaam's father is called Beer, whence the
Septuagint has here Βαλακ - Balak)
and the name of his city was Dinha-bah - "Concealment," or "Little Place"
(Furst); a place of plunder (Gesenius), the situation of which has not been
33 “And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.”
And Bela died, and Jobab - probably meaning "Desert," or "Shout" (Gesenius);
identified with Job (Septuagint, Augustine, Ambrose) - an opinion which Michaelis
declares to be insinis error, nec, historicus solum, sed et grammaticus, Jobab being
derived from the root יָבַב (see' Suppl.,' p. 40); the name of a region of the Joktanite
Arabs (ch. 10:29) - the son of Zerah (who may have been the duke Zerah mentioned
in v. 17, and is here described by the territory over which he ruled as) of Bozrah –
49:13); still to be traced in El-Busaireh, a village and castle in
Petraea, about twenty-five miles south by
east of the
pp. 570, 571; Gesenius, 'Lex.,' p. 135; Porter in Kitto's 'Cyclopedia') - reigned in
his stead - literally, under him, i.e. in succession to him.
34 “And Jobab died, and Husham of the
And Jobab died, and Husham - Hushai; "Haste" (Gesenius) - of the
(a province in
reigned in his stead.
35 “And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the
And Husham died, and Hadad - "Shouting," e.g. for joy (Gesenius); whence
"Conqueror" (Furst) - the son of Bedad, - "Separation" (Gesenius) - who smote
ch. 25:2) in the field of
and the name of his city was Avith - "Ruins" (Gesenius), "Twisting" (Murphy),
"Hut-Village" (Furst). An attempt has been made (Bohlen) to identify this monarch
with the Edomite of the same name who rose against Solomon (I Kings 11:14); but
(1) this Hadad was not of royal blood, while Solomon's contemporary was;
(2) this Hadad was a king, while Solomon's adversary was only a pretender;
(3) this Hadad was a conqueror of the Midianites, while in Solomon's time the
vanished from history; and
(4) this Hadad lived and reigned before
'On the Genuineness of the Pentateuch,' vol. 2. dissert. 6; and cf. Havernick's 'Introd.,'
§ 20, and Keil in loco).
36 “And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.”
And Hadad died, and Samlah - "Covering," "Garment," (Gesenius, Furst, Murphy) –
of Masrekah - "Vineyard" (Gesenius) - reigned in his stead.
37 “And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.”
And Samlah died, and Saul "Asked" (Gesenius) - of Rehoboth by the river –
Rehoboth (literally, wide spaces) of the River is so called to distinguish it from
the Asshurite settlement of the same name in ch. 10:11 (Rosenmüller), though
by some it is identified with Rehoboth Ir (Ainsworth). If the river spoken of be
the Errachabi or Racha-beh near the mouth of the Chaboras (Keil), though the
river may be some small nahar in Idumea (Lange), in which case the site will
be uncertain - reigned in his stead.
38 “And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.”
And Saul died, and Baal-hanan - "Lord of Benignity" (Gesenius) - the son of
Achbor - "Mouse" (Gesenius) - reigned in his stead.
39 “And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead:
and the name of his city was
daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.” And Baal-hanan the son
of Achbor died, and Hadar - Hadad (I Chronicles 1:50) - reigned in his stead:
and the name of his city was
(Furst), with which accords Φογώρ – Phogor (Septuagint) - and his wife's name
was Mehetabel, - "Whom God benefits" (Gesenius) - the daughter of Marred, -
"Pushing" (Gesenius) - the daughter of Mezahab - "Water of Gold" (Gesenius).
That the death of this king, which a later chronicler records (I Chronicles 1:51),
is not here mentioned by the historian is commonly regarded (Rosenmüller,
Havernick, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kalisch, et alii) as a proof that he was then
alive, and that in fact he was the
requesting permission to pass through the land (Numbers 20:14).
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.” And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau,
according to their families, after their places, by their names. It is now generally
agreed that this and the ensuing verses contain not a second list of dukes who rose
to power on the overthrow of the preceding monarchical institutions (Bertheau,
Ainsworth, Patrick), or a continuation of the preceding list of dukes, which had
simply been interrupted by a parenthesis about the kings (Bush); but either an
enumeration of the hereditary phylarchs who were contemporaneous with Hadar,
and in all probability formed, his council (Murphy), or a territorial catalogue of
the districts in which the original alluphim who sprang from Esau (vs. 15-19)
exercised their sovereignty (Keil, Kalisch, Lange, 'Speaker's Commentary').
Duke Timnah, - according to the explanation just given this should perhaps be
read duke of Timnah = Amalek, whose mother was Timna (Lange), but this is
conjectural - duke Alvah, - or of Alvah, or Allah, closely allied to Alvan
(v. 23) - duke (of) Jetheth, - "Nail" (Gesenius), "Subjugation" (Furst) - duke (of)
Aholiba-mah, - see v. 2; perhaps Esau's wife as well as Eliphaz's concubine gave
her name to the district over which her son ruled - duke Elah, - "Strength" (Furst),
"Tere-binth" (Murphy) - duke Pinon, - probably equal to Pimon, dark (Gesenius) –
duke Kenaz (see v. 11), duke Teman (v. 15), duke
Mibzar, - "Fortress," "
(Gesenius) - duke Magdiel, - "Prince of God" (Gesenius) - duke Iram: - "Citizen"
(Gesenius) - these be the dukes of
capitals, or districts) in the land of their possessions. The word seems to indicate
an independent sovereignty within their respective provinces or principalities.
He is Esau the father of the Edomites. The clause is equivalent to saying,
This Esau (already referred to) was the ancestor of these Edomites.
1 “And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a
stranger (literally, in the land of the sojournings of his father), in the
Kalisch, Lange, &c.), but the concluding sentence of the present, section,
the adversative particle ו,, corresponding to the δε of the Septuagint,
introducing a contrast between Esau, who dwelt in
dwelt in the
next division of the book with the customary formula, “These are the
generations” (Septuagint, some manuscripts, Quarry, p. 523). Rosenmüller less
happily connects the present verse with ch. 35:29; the Vulgate begins the
next section with v. 3. A similar division of verses to that proposed will
be found in ch. 25:11.
The Last of the House of Esau (ch.36:1- ch. 37:1)
Ø A complete removal. “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
into a land apart from the face of his brother.”
Ø A necessary removal. Two things rendered the withdrawal of Esau from
which was patent to Esau’s sense, viz., that the
too strait to afford accommodation to two so powerful chieftains as his
brother and himself; and
o that which appears to have been accepted by Esau’s faith, viz., that the
decision of Divine providence was against him, and that the land
belonged to Jacob. Hence for this twofold reason his retirement
Ø A peaceful removal. Though in one sense compulsory, in another aspect
of it Esau’s departure was voluntary. Instead of disputing possession of the
land with his brother, which, humanly speaking, he might have done with
some considerable hope of success, he quietly ceded what perhaps he saw
he could not ultimately retain. Still it was to his credit that, instead of
wrangling with Jacob about its present occupation, he peacefully withdrew
to the wild mountain region of Seir.
Ø A permanent removal. Esau established his settlements altogether outside
limits of the
possession, leaving it finally in the free and undisputed ownership of Jacob.
while it is said that “Esau dwelt in
added by the historian, in concluding the present section, “And Jacob
in the land wherein his father was a stranger, in the
Ø A numerous race. Though Esau’s sons were not so many as those of
Jacob, yet his descendants developed into a people much more rapidly than
did those of Jacob. This may have been partly due to the circumstance that
Ø A mixed race, having obviously incorporated amongst themselves a
portion at least of the original Horites, whose land they appropriated, and
whose political life they appear to have adopted. Then it is apparent that
Ø An aristocratic race. At the time of their invasion by the Esahites, the
government by means of alluphim, phylarchs, or tribe princes, each of
whom enjoyed a sort of independent sovereignty; and, as has often
happened since, though obliged to retire before the more powerful
Canaanitish tribe, they succeeded in imposing on their conquerors their
own political institutions. No fewer than fourteen of Esau’s grandsons
became reigning dukes in the country. Still further, it may be inferred that
Ø A progressive race. The impulse towards a national life thus
communicated by the Seirites does not appear to have exhausted itself by
simply the formation of small independent principalities, which, as
civilization advances, are always felt to be a source of weakness rather than
strength to the country whose social and political unity is thus broken up,
and which eventually call for the reverse process of a unification of the
different fragments, whether by free confederation or by imperial
subordination. In the case of the Edomites the phylarchs were succeeded
by kings, whether elective monarchs or foreign usurpers cannot be
determined, though the preponderance of sentiment among interpreters is
in favor of the former hypothesis. And then, finally, they were:
exiled race; that
is to say, though sprung from the soil of
they developed outside its limits-Jacob’s family alone, as the Heaven
appointed heirs, remaining within the borders of the
1. That God is able to bring about His purposes in peaceful ways.
2. That natural men often exemplify great virtues in their conduct.
3. That abundance of wealth is frequently a cause of separation among
4. That political greatness is much more easily attained, by nations as well
as individuals, than spiritual pre-eminence.
5. That a nation’s advancement in civilization is no certain guarantee of its
6. That in nature, as well as grace, the first is often last, and the last first.
7. That the heirs of the covenant are certain in the long run to obtain the
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