Genesis 36

Note: this challenging chapter concerns the family tree of Esau and the inhabitants of Mount Seir. The chapter – in seven main sections –  describes Esau’s three wives and their children born in Canaan and  their move from Canaan to Mt Seir. Emphasis is placed on identifying Esau with Edom throughout the chapter. There follow the names of Esau’s grandchildren, which included Amalek. and another list of those who became  “dukes” or chieftains (one name is added and the order is slightly changed). The family tree of Esau is followed by the tree of Seir the Horite whose land Esau occupied, and the “kings”of Edom before there was a kingdom of Israel. Finally there is another different list of “dukes” that came from Esau.  It would be interesting to hear of reasons why this chapter appears in Holy Writ. 

A. 1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.

a. 2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan;

b1. Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite,
b2. and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
b3. 3 And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

b1’. 4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz;
b3’. and Bashemath bare Reuel;
b2’. 5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah:

a’. these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.

2a. 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 land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.

2b. 7 For their riches were more than that they might dwell together;

2b’. and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.

2a’. 8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir:

A’. Esau is Edom. 9 And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:


2A. 10 These are the names of Esau’s sons;

a. Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau,

b. Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.

a’. 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.

b’. 13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.

c. 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.


3A. 15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau:

a. 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:

a’. these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom;
these were the sons of Adah.

b. 17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son;

duke Nahath,
duke Zerah,
duke Shammah,
duke Mizzah:

b’. these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.

c. 18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife;

duke Jeush,
duke Jaalam,
duke Korah:

c’. these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.

3A’. 19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.


4A. 20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land;

a. Lotan, and
b. Shobal, and
c. Zibeon, and
d. Anah, 21 And
e. Dishon, and
f. Ezer, and
g. Dishan:

4A’. these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.

a’. 22 And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.

b’. 23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.

c’. 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.

d’. 25 And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.

e’. 26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.

f’. 27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.

g’. 28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.


5A. 29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites;

a. duke Lotan,
b. duke Shobal,
c. duke Zibeon,
d. duke Anah,
e. 30 Duke Dishon,
f. duke Ezer,
g. duke Dishan:

5A’. these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.


6A. 31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,
before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

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

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

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

d. 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.

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

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

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

h. 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.


7A. 40 And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau,

7B. 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:

7B’. these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession:

7A’. he is Esau the father of the Edomites.

2 thoughts on “Genesis 36”

  1. The chapter is a contrasting one. Why Yahweh loved Jacob and hated Esau. Like flesh v spirit.
    Esau married people of the land . Jacob married family.
    Abraham ,Isaac, andJacob dwelt in the land
    Esau moved around. (he was a mighty Hunter). See Nimrod.
    Esau went from the face of his brother. See Cain.
    They both had enough , too much for both in the land. See Abraham/ Lot.
    Jacob away 40yrs Padan – Aram. Israel in Egypt. 215yrs in wilderness 40yrs. Why didn’t, Esau live in the land.
    His father Isaac was still there . For another 29yrs. After Jacob c ame back. Because He hated his birthright.
    Other things in this chapter. The name Saul. Mules/ Asses
    Kings. (before Israel)….. Sure there must be more.

    1. “Saul” in Genesis 36:37 links with the New Testament Saul of Tarsus. When the Lord said that Saul of Tarsus would bear his name “before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15) it links with Genesis 36 where “kings” and the “children of Israel” occur together in verse 31: “And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel”. That language is used from Genesis 36 in the context of Saul of Tarsus directs our attention to the ‘Saul’ in Genesis 36. This ‘Saul’ was “of Rehoboth by the river” (v. 37). The name ‘Rehoboth’ means ‘room’ and it was also used to name a well in the days of Isaac. His herdmen had previously strove with the herdmen of Gerar, but at this well there was peace between them: “and he called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now Yahweh hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Gen. 26:22). This well typified room being made for both Jews and Gentiles. The man called ‘Saul’ living by a river at ‘Rehoboth’ is a parable of the work of the New Testament Saul. As Saul waited by the street called ‘Straight’ in Damascus, a street with its river of people flowing by, he was called to preach that there was room for both Jews and Gentiles in the purpose of God. Saul of Rehoboth by the river ironically provides a cameo of the work of Saul. The significance of this is that when Saul of Tarsus was persecuting God’s people he was spiritually an Edomite and was like Esau. When Saul of Tarsus was converted he became like Jacob.

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