Genesis 36:1-43


Verse 1, Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom.

I.    God kept up with the people born to Esau.

A.  This is necessary, not because they are saved, but so we will be able to more fully understand how they fit in with the generations of Jacob.

B.   It is very interesting to note right here that the years of their lives are not usually given.

1.   There is no way to trace the age of the earth through the generations of Esau.

2.   We are not supposed to trace the age of the earth through these generations.

3.   We are supposed to trace the age of the earth through the promised seed.

4.   See my book "Old Testament Survey" for a more complete study of this subject.


Verse 2,3  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; {3} And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

I.    Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan, while Jacob took his wives of the daughters of the promised seed.

A.  Gen. 6 - One of the sins that caused God to destroy the world with water was the intermarrying of lost (children of no promise) and saved (children of promise).

B.   Today there is an increase of marriages between saved and lost, which shows us that it is getting more and more like it was in the days of Noah.


II.   It must be noted that all three of Esau's wives came from the daughters of Canaan.

A.  Even though Esau took Bashemath in order to please his parents, and as a means of attempting to gain the blessing from Isaac he lost when he sold the birthright to his brother Jacob.

B.   The attempts of depraved mankind to come into the blessings of God through fleshly works are all futile.

1.   Men may consider his actions as very honorable, but God sees them as they truly are.


III. See my notes on Genesis 28:6-9 for a more complete discussion of the wives of Esau.


Verse 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 land of Canaan.


The Wives of Esau











Verse 6,7  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. {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. {8} Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau [is] Edom.

I.    It must be noted that Esau has here given up trying to receive the blessings of God that he sold to Jacob.

A.  He moves from the promised land.

1.   But he doesn't move until Jacob comes back, and until their riches are so great that the land cannot hold them both.

a.   It must be noted that Gen. 32:3 states that Jacob sent his messengers to Mt. Seir in the land of Edom.

b.   I don't understand the exact time that Esau moved, but it is apparent he had at least made some inroads into moving before Jacob returned to Canaan.

2.   All the 20 years Jacob lived in Pandanaram, Esau probably held out hopes that the blessings would finally be his.

3.   But it was not to be, and he reconciled himself to that fact.

B.   I believe that even before Jacob and Esau met upon Jacob's return to Canaan, Esau had, by the thoughts of many days and nights, reconciled himself to Jacob's destiny and when they met, Genesis 33, Esau had finally worked out all the details in his own mind and had accepted his own fate.

1.   Jacob comes to the place of seeming to love the Will of God.

2.   He is satisfied with the blessings God has given him.

3.   Esau doesn't seem to be in rebellion against God's will, but if he is, he seems to be passive.

4.   See point # IV, under verse 7.

C.   It does seem to me at this point that Esau has not only accepted Jacob, he has accepted God's will in this matter.

1.   Whether he understands all the final implications of the blessings received from Isaac, I do not know.

2.   But I do know that Esau doesn't give Jacob any trouble, even though both Isaac and Rebekah are dead and will never know.

3.   There seems to be a willingness on his part to accept God's will and yield himself.  Perhaps this is my thought only.

4.   I would like to think that Esau finally became one of God's children.

5.   Whether he did or not, I do not know.

D.  It could very well be that the eyes of Esau are blinded to God's blessings.

1.   He sees only that he is blessed, that he is wealthy.

2.   He does not understand spiritual values, therefore does not understand how much he is missing.

3.   He is content with material blessings, simply because he cannot see the spiritual end of things.


II.   It could also be that Esau, upon looking at his own wealth, honor and glory, believes that in the end he will finally overcome Jacob and his wealth, honor and glory.

A.  It is very difficult to understand what a man is thinking in his own heart, especially when there is so little outward evidence.

B.   It could also be that Esau is satisfied.

1.   He is a great man, a wealthy man, with wives and children.

2.   He believes material possessions alone can make him happy.

3.   Spiritual things are not necessary.


III. It could be that the blessing of God is long forgotten, and Esau feels he doesn't need God or His blessing, therefore he moves from the land of Canaan.


IV. Regardless of what Esau thought, or how he felt, another point is very valid.

A.  The descendants of Esau believe they have a right to the promised land.

1.   The battle between the descendants of Jacob and Esau is still going on today.

2.   This battle is over more than just who will live in the promised land, it is actually over the birthright Esau sold to Jacob that fateful day so long ago.

B.   But the end of the story has already been written, written by the hand of God.

1.   Jacob will prevail.

2.   Rom. 9:13 - Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated.


Verse 9-14, And these [are] the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir: {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. {13} And these [are] the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: 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.


Esau's Descendants

(wife) Adah


(wife) Mahalath or Bashemath

(Son) Eliphaz  

(Concubine) Timna

(Son) Jeush

(Son) Reuel

(Son) Jaalam

(Son) Korah

(Grand-Son) Teman

(Grand-Son) Amalek

(Grand-Son) Nahath

(Grand-Son) Omar

(Grand-Son) Zerah

(Grand-Son) Zepho

(Grand-Son) Shammah

(Grand-Son) Gatam

(Grand-Son) Mizzah

(Grand-Son) Kenaz


Verse 15-19,  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 land of Edom; these [were] the sons of Adah. {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. {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. {19} These [are] the sons of Esau, who [is] Edom, and these [are] their dukes.


Esau's Dukes


(wife) Adah


(wife) Mahalath or Bashemath

(1st Born Son) Eliphaz  

(Concubine) Timna

(Son) Duke Jeush

(Son) Reuel


Duke Jaalam


Duke Korah

(Grand-Son) Duke Teman


Duke Amalek


Duke Nahath

(Grand-Son) Duke Omar


Duke Zerah

(Grand-Son) Duke Zepho


Duke Shammah

(Grand-Son) Duke Gatam


Duke Mizzah

(Grand-Son) Duke Kenaz

(Grand-Son) Duke Korah


I.    The word "Duke" means a chief one, a guide, or a captain.

A.  Guide.

1.   Ps. 55:13 - my guide and mine acquaintance.

2.   Proverbs 2:17 - she has forsaken the guide of her youth.

3.   Jer. 3:4 - thou art the guide of my youth.

4.   Micah 7:5 - put not confidence in a guide.

B.   Oxen, or the very strong one.

1.   Ps. 144:14 -

2.   Jer. 11:19 - an ox to the slaughter.

C.   Chief - Proverbs 16:28 - a whisperer separateth chief friends.

D.  Captains - Jer. 13:21 - Captains over thee.

E.   Governor.

1.   Zech 9:7 - a governor in Judah.

2.   Zech 12:5 - the governors of Judah.

3.   Zech 12:6 - the governors of Judah.


II.   It is strange that not all of Esau's sons are considered Dukes, but all of his grandsons are.


III. It seems likely that Esau lived to see some of his sons and all of his grandsons reach a place of prominence in their world.

A.  This would fulfill his part of the blessing.


Verse 20-28 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 land of Edom. {22} And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan's sister [was] Timna. {23} And the children of Shobal [were] these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.  {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. {25} And the children of Anah [were] these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah. {26} And these [are] the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. {27} The children of Ezer [are] these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan. {28} The children of Dishan [are] these; Uz, and Aran.


Generations of Seir the Horite








































Timna, the daughter of Seir the Horite is the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau's son.  Gen. 36:12.


Verse 29-30, 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 land of Seir.

It should be noted that Esau's descendants  took on the titles of the heathen inhabitants of the land of Edom.  This can be compared to Genesis 34 where the sons of Jacob killed an entire group of people rather than merge with them as one people.  God always wants his people to be separate from the world, even though we live in the world.  Sin happens, not when we are in the world, but when the world is in us.  If we would learn anything from these verses, it is that Esau's descendants didn't take very long to get away from the truth.  They, like Esau, never understood spiritual truth, nor accepted the blessings that come from the precious promises of God.


Verse 31 And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

I.    This statement evidently shows the history of Edom, from this time to the time of King Saul.

A.  It should be stated that every little is know of these kings, or the times they reigned, or the places they reigned.

B.   This very careful registry is kept of them, but their lives are swept up in the times of history.

1.   It should be noted that it is impossible to give an accurate account of dates by using these people.

2.   God has given us a very accurate account of dates when we use His Word, the Bible.

3.   This is not an accident.

4.   It is very sad, but many people make a "big splash" on this earth, but their history falls away to the sands of time, and no more is known of them, their works, their dreams, or hopes.

5.   In God only, there is promise and hope that He will keep us, or works, our dreams, our families.


II.   It is also important to note that when Israel wanted a king so they could be like all the other nations, they were wanting to be like Edom, who had not received the promise, but had sold the birthright to another.

A.  Israel should be like God wants them to be, not like other nations want them to be.

1.   It is true that Israel would "stand out" from all the other nations because they didn't have a king that sat upon a throne.

2.   Their king was Jehovah God, who sat on a throne in heaven, ruling and reigning over them.

B.   It is amazing that Israel, like we so much of the time, cannot handle it when we are not like everybody else.

1.   May God help us to not look around us at others, but look up to Jesus and be like Him.

2.   Remember, it was only when Israel looked at other nations that they became dissatisfied with their own God and their own nation.

3.   In our churches, may we ever look to the Bible to find out how God wants us to be, and never look to other churches to find out how they are "doing it."

4.   May be in our everyday Christian experience ever look to the Bible to find out how God wants us to be, and never look to other Christians and compare ourselves to them.

5.   May we always compare ourselves to God.


Verse 32  And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city [was] Dinhabah.



Verse 33  And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.



Verse 34  And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.



Verse 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.



Verse 36  And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.



Verse 37  And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth [by] the river reigned in his stead.



Verse 38  And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.



Verse 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.


The Dukes of Esau


Verse 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.