Chapter 36

  1. Esau’s Family

    • Esau (also called Edom) married three Cannanite women: Adah (whose father was a Hittite named Elon), Oholibamah (whose father was a Hivite named Anah), and Basemath (whose father was Ishmael, Abraham’s son). Esau’s sons were all born in Canaan. Adah bore Esau one son, Oholibamah bore three sons, and Basemath bore one son.

      • Wait a minute…these names aren’t the same as the names listed previously for Esau’s wives, Judith (26:34) and Mahalath (28:9).

        • This is another prime example of our translations having minor scribal errors because they are primarily based on the Masoretic text, which is NOT the original Hebrew. If you’re having a little deja vu, that’s because we talked about this back in the notes for Genesis Chapter 11 where we again have some issues with genealogies. (If you missed chapter 11 notes you will definitely want to check back and view the awesome video link I posted explaining how our most used translations drop about 650 years out of the genealogies! Adding them back in yields some pretty impressive results.)

      • Anyway, in this particular case, we don’t really have much info to go on to resolve this particular conundrum. This commentary from makes a good case for Mahalath and Basemath being two names for the same woman (common in this culture). Matthew Poole’s commentary also offers 5 points to consider. Among the points he makes a case for Judith and Oholibamah being the same woman, and an explanation of the conflicting information regarding the fathers of the wives. Another possibility regarding Judith however, is that she had either died by the time the chapter 36 genealogy was recorded, or that she didn’t have any children so she wasn’t listed.

-Esau moved his entire household (wives, sons, daughters, herds and livestock) away from Jacob to the mountains of Seir, because there wasn’t enough land to support the livestock they each owned.

      • “Esau’s cry to Isaac Have you only one blessing, my father? (Genesis 27:38) proved unfounded. Because he was a descendant of Abraham God blessed Esau, and blessed him in the only way he really cared about: materially.” (Guzik)

      • Boice makes an excellent point, “If God blesses so abundantly those who are not chosen, what is the magnitude of His blessings for those who are chosen? If nonspiritual people experience such outpourings of merely common grace, how great must the special grace of the regenerate be!”

    • This diagram sums up the entirety of chapter 36 in an easy to follow format:

  1. Seir’s Family

    • Listed in the diagram above.

      • NLT Illustrated Study Bible notes, “Seir the Horite was an early inhabitant of the land; his descendants populated the region until Esau moved in and displaced them (Deuteronomy 2:12).”

  1. Rulers of Edom

    • Listed in the diagram above: Each ruler is noted with lineage underneath and area ruled beneath that.