Esau's Sons and Grandsons

36: 9-14

This is the account of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir (36:9). He had five sons and ten grandsons. Esav’s daughters (36:6) probably married Horite men and presumably his granddaughters did also. First, there is a summary statement about Esau’s first two wives. These are the names of Esau’s sons: Eliphaz, the son of Esav’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath (36:10).

First, the sons of Eliphaz are mentioned. Theywere Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz (36:11). Later one of Jobs three friends was named Eliphaz the Temanite (Job 2:11, 4:1 to 7:21). It very well could have been this son because they lived about the same time. These were grandsons of Esau’s wife Adah (36:12).

Then, as a side note, Moses tells us that Esav’s son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek who was to play a key role in the future history of Isra’el. Because Amalek was the son of a concubine, he was looked down upon by the other sons of Eliphaz and seen as inferior. This may have forced him to live in a separate region and to develop his own nation. The descendants of Amalek became the notorious Amalekites, who settled in the area of the Sinai and the Negev (Genesis 14:7, Num 13:29, 14:43-45). The Amalekites were the first nation to oppose the entrance of Isra'el into the Promised Land after their deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 17:8-16), and they later subjugated Isra’el in the period of the judges (Judges 3:13, 6:3, 7:12). But, they were slaughtered under King Sha'ul (1 Samuel 14:48, 15:1-9), and later attacked by King David (1 Samuel 27:8, 30:1). Finally the tribe of Simeon exterminated them in the days of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:42-43).

Next, the sons of Esau’s second son Reuel are mentioned. They were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were grandsons of Esav’s wife Basemath (36:13). Therefore, these were Esav’s grandsons through his son Reuel.

Lastly, the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon, who bore three sons to Esav: Jeush, Jalam and Korah (36:14), with no grandchildren recorded.


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