Ge 36:1-43. Posterity of
1. these are the generations—history of
the leading men and events (compare Ge 2:4).
Esau who is Edom—A name applied to him
in reference to the peculiar color of his skin at birth [Ge 25:25], rendered more significant by his
inordinate craving for the red pottage [Ge 25:30], and also by the fierce sanguinary
character of his descendants (compare Eze 25:12; Ob 10).
2, 3. Esau took his wives of the daughters of
Canaan—There were three, mentioned under different names; for
it is evident that Bashemath is the same as Mahalath (Ge 28:9), since they both stand in the relation
of daughter to Ishmael and sister to Nebajoth; and hence it may be
inferred that Adah is the same as Judith, Aholibamah as Bathsemath
26:34). It was not unusual
for women, in that early age, to have two names, as Sarai was also
11:29]; and this is the more
probable in the case of Esau's wives, who of course would have to take
new names when they went from Canaan to settle in mount Seir.
6, 7. Esau … went into the country from the
face of his brother Jacob—literally, "a country," without any
certain prospect of a settlement. The design of this historical sketch
of Esau and his family is to show how the promise (Ge 27:39, 40) was fulfilled. In temporal
prosperity he far exceeds his brother; and it is remarkable that, in
the overruling providence of God, the vast increase of his worldly
substance was the occasion of his leaving Canaan and thus making way
for the return of Jacob.
8. Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir—This
was divinely assigned as his possession (Jos 24:4; De 2:5).
15-19. dukes—The Edomites, like the
Israelites, were divided into tribes, which took their names from his
sons. The head of each tribe was called by a term which in our version
is rendered "duke"—not of the high rank and wealth of a British
peer, but like the sheiks or emirs of the modern East, or the
chieftains of highland clans. Fourteen are mentioned who flourished
20-30. Sons of Seir, the Horite—native
dukes, who were incorporated with those of the Edomite race.
24. This was that Anah that found the mules in the
wilderness—The word "mules" is, in several ancient versions,
rendered "water springs"; and this discovery of some remarkable
fountain was sufficient, among a wandering or pastoral people, to
entitle him to such a distinguishing notice.
31-39. kings of Edom—The royal power was
not built on the ruins of the dukedoms, but existed at the same
40-43. Recapitulation of the dukes according
to their residences.