1 ¶ Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom. 2 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. 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. 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. 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.
This passage is bracketed by two verses 1 and 8 which identify Esau with the region known as Edom and Mount Seir. The passage also names his children by these specific Canaanite women named. Judith is not mentioned here and may have died in childbirth or in some other circumstance. We can say the same probably about Bashemath, Adah’s sister. The duplication of women’s names should not cause confusion. For instance, Mormon patriarch, Joseph Smith, had multiple wives named Sarah.
34 ¶ And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Esau and Jacob are not able to live in the vicinity of each other with their wealth and possessions any more than Abram and Lot were able to live together with theirs. So, here is confirmation that Esau claimed what because Edom, something we discussed earlier. Isaac’s sons are fabulously wealthy by that culture’s standards, by what they considered as true wealth. Esau will merge his worship with Canaan’s and be marginalized in God’s plan of reconciling mankind to Himself.
9 ¶ 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. 15 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.
20 ¶ 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. 29 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.
31 ¶ And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. 32 And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 33 And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. 34 And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead. 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. 36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. 37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. 38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. 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. 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.
What followed verse 8 was a brief history of the ancient kingdom of Edom, which flowered and decayed before Israel ever had a king, from the Horites who first possessed it through a few generations of Edomites. Edom, named after that red soup, symbolizes Esau’s foolish bargain. We have this memory forever emblazoned in the name of the Red Sea.
1Kings 9:26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.
Add this fact to the list of things that keep us from forgetting what God did in the past. We drive on fossil fuels, the remnant of the fabulous biomass that existed before the great Flood of Noah’s time. We are divided by ethnic, linguistic, and racial groupings that remind us of the dispersion of mankind at the Tower of Babel. We repeat in each generation the wicked sins of the flesh and the mind that prove that we are spiritually bankrupt without Christ and have no hope in ourselves. These things should remind us of what God has done but we choose to be willfully ignorant.
Even judgment against us escapes our feeble thought processes. A hundred years ago the nations of Europe and the United States, who thought they were so righteous and each special vessels of God, bashed themselves upon each other in a terrible bloodbath called The Great War or World War One. God judged the nations and finding them wanting judged them with a war and then a great plague of disease that killed more people than the war itself. They did not see that it was God’s judgment but only chose to blame the loser and punish thereby setting up the next war and, indeed, a century of war and the extinguishing of a hundred million lives and displacement of half that many again as refugees. Yet, mankind is blind to it, a doddering idiot, stumbling about in the dark unwilling to be enlightened.
So it is, when we look at the Bible events we see evidence of them in our landscape, our maps, our economic systems, our politics, and elsewhere. But, alas, the stumbling idiot stumbles from one judgment to the next waving his flags, singing his patriotic songs, worshipping his nation-states, as he proudly steers a course for Armageddon.
This curious verse for which we are given no explanation is worthy of note.
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.
Such a seemingly unimportant detail but important enough to God to be included in the short history of a people who provided little to history but a pathetic example.