Decendants of Esau

Warren Wiersbe wrote a book called Victorious Christian about a woman named Fanny Crosby. Crosby was the author of over 8000 songs including several that we sing today. In fact she wrote so many that she had to write under pseudonymns just so she could get more of her songs into … More


The first eight verses give us details about Esau and his immediate family; his wives who he chose from the women of Canaan (vv. 1-3), his sons (vv. 4-5), and his enormous wealth (vv. 6-8). Esau was Edom and the Edomites were his descendants. He had three wives, Odah, Aholibamah and Basemath (vv. 2-3). Since two of these wives names are not the same as those listed earlier (Gen. 26:34; Gen. 28:9), either the others had died or he favored these three among his six or the two took different names. Esau had five sons who were born in Canaan (v. 5) before he moved to the mountains of Seir (v. 8). He took his family, his possessions, all of his cattle, and everything he had accumulated in Canaan and went to this land away from his brother Jacob. They did this because they had too many possessions to live together. There wasn’t enough pasture land for all of their livestock (v. 7).

In the remainder of the chapter there is a shift from the family of Esau to the nation of Edom (vv. 9-43). The inhabitants of this land were the Horites and the ones the Lord disposed before Esau took possession. It is not certain how the kings of Edom were related to Esau, but they were kings who reigned in Edom. This list of Edomite kings indicated an elective office, with the importance of the chiefs appearing with special attention to geographical and administrative divisions (vv. 40-43). These chiefs appear to have descended from Esau according to their families. Thus Esau was a great and powerful overlord, the father of the Edomites (v. 43) over clans and regions (v. 40). Isaac’s promises to Esau were thus being fulfilled and by being away from Jacob he was shaking the yoke of his brother.


Esau like Lot left for the East and greener pastures. As so often happens material blessings or the lack of them are the root of jealously and bitterness in families. I need to be on guard to help prevent this from ever happening in my immediate family.    

Genesis 36:1-43 (English Standard Version)

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