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John Gill’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: Genesis 36

Genesis 36:1


This chapter gives us a genealogical account of Esau’s family, of his wives and sons, with whom he removed from Seir, Ge 36:1; of his sons’ sons, or grandsons, who were dukes in the land of Edom, Ge 36:11; after which is inserted a genealogy of Seir the Horite, into whose family Esau married, and of his children, and the dukes among them, Ge 36:20; then follows a list of the kings of Edom, before there were any in Israel, Ge 36:31; and the chapter is closed with a brief narration of the dukes of Esau, according to their families, Ge 36:40.

Ver. 1. Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom. Who was surnamed Edom, from the red pottage he sold his birthright for to his brother Jacob, Ge 25:30; an account is given of him, and his posterity, not only because he was a son of Isaac, lately made mention of as concerned in his burial; but because his posterity would be often taken notice of in the sacred Scriptures, and so their genealogy would serve to illustrate such passages; and Maimonides {m} thinks the principal reason is, that whereas Amalek, a branch of Esau’s family, were to be destroyed by an express command of God, it was necessary that all the rest should be particularly described, lest they should all perish together; but other ends are answered hereby, as partly to show the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham, concerning the multiplication of his seed, and the accomplishment of the oracle to Rebekah, signifying that two nations were in her womb, one of which were those Edomites; as also to observe how the blessing of Isaac his father came upon him with effect, Ge 22:17.

{m} Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 50. p. 510.

Genesis 36:2

Ver. 2. And Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan,… Of the Canaanites, the posterity of cursed Canaan, most of them were of them, though not all, the two following were, and so those, if different from them in Ge 26:34, one of his wives was of the family of Ishmael, as after related:

Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite; according to Jarchi and Aben Ezra, this is the same with Bashemath, Ge 26:34; and that she had two names:

and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; the daughter of the one, and the granddaughter of the other, it being usual in Scripture to call grandchildren children, for Zibeon and Anah were father and son, Ge 36:24; and the Samaritan, Septuagint, and Syriac versions read here, “the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon”: there are an Anah and a Zibeon who were brethren, Ge 36:20; wherefore Aben Ezra supposes that these two brothers, or the father and son, lay with the same woman, and it could not be known whose child it was that was born of her, and therefore this was called the daughter of them both. Jarchi supposes this wife of Esau to be the same with Judith, Ge 26:34; but not only the names differ, but also the names of their fathers, and of the tribe or nation they were of.

Genesis 36:3

Ver. 3. And Bashemath, Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebaioth,… The eldest son of Ishmael, see Ge 28:9; called there Mahalath.

Genesis 36:4

Ver. 4. And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz,… This son of Esau, according to Jerom {n}, is the same with him mentioned in the book of Job, as one of his friends that came to visit him, Job 2:11; and so says the Targum of Jonathan on Ge 36:10; but he rather was the grandson of this man, since he is called the Temanite:

and Bashemath bare Reuel; the name is the same with Reuel or Raguel, the name of Jethro; but cannot be the same person as is said by some, for he was a Midianite and not an Edomite, Ex 2:18.

{n} Trad. Heb. in Gen. fol. 71. L. tom. 3.

Genesis 36:5

Ver. 5. And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah,… In this genealogy mention is made of another Korah among the sons of Eliphaz, Ge 36:16; which Jarchi thinks is the same with this, and takes him to be a bastard, and begotten in incest by Eliphaz, on his father’s wife Aholibamah; but Aben Ezra observes, that some are of opinion that there were two Korahs, one the son of Aholibamah, and the other the son of Adah; but he thinks there were but one, which was the son of Aholibamah, and is reckoned among the sons of Eliphaz, because he dwelt among them; or perhaps his mother died when he was little, and Adah brought him up with her sons, and so was reckoned her son; such were the children of Michal, Saul’s daughter:

these [are] the sons of Esau, which were born to him in the land of Canaan; and we do not read of any born to him elsewhere; so that of all his wives, which some think were four, others five, he had but five sons; what daughters he had is not related, though from Ge 36:6, it appears he had some.

Genesis 36:6

Ver. 6. And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters,… The names of his wives and sons are before given; but what were the names of his daughters, or their number, is not said:

and all the persons of his house: his menservants and maidservants that were born in his house, or bought with his money; the word for “persons” signifies “souls” {o}, and is sometimes used for slaves that are bought and sold, see Eze 27:13:

and his cattle, and all his beasts; his sheep and oxen, camels and asses:

and all his substance which he had got in the land of Canaan: before he went to Seir the first time, part of which he might leave behind in Canaan, with servants to improve it; and also that part of his father’s personal estate which fell to him at his death, as well as what he might further acquire after his death, during his stay in Canaan:

and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob; not into another part of the same country; but into another country, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan supply it, and so the Arabic version, even unto Seir, as appears by what follows; and whither he had been before, and had obtained large possessions, and now having got all he could at his father’s death, and collecting together all his other substance, thought fit to retire from thence to Seir, which he liked better, and for a reason afterwards given; God thus disposing his mind, and making the circumstances of things necessary, that he should remove in order to make way for Jacob, and his posterity, to dwell in a land which was designed for them: and so the Samaritan and Septuagint versions read it, “and he went out of the land of Canaan”: and the Syriac version is, “and he went to the land of Seir”. Some render the words to this sense, that he went thither “before the coming of Jacob” {p}; and it is true that he did go thither before his brother came again into Canaan; but of this the text speaks not, for what follows will not agree with it; others better, “because of Jacob” {q}; not for fear of him, as the Targum of Jonathan, which paraphrases the words,

“for the terror of his brother Jacob was cast upon him;”

but because he knew, by the blessing of his father, and the oracle of God, and his concurring providence in all things, that the land of Canaan belonged to him, and also for a reason that follows.

{o} twvpn “animus”, Pagninus, Montanus, &c. {p} bqey ynpm “ante adventum”, Jahakobi, Junius & Tremellius. {q} “Propter Jacobum”, Piscarat.

Genesis 36:7

Ver. 7. For their riches were more than that they might dwell together,… And therefore it was proper to part, as Abraham and Lot had done before, Ge 13:6;

and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them, because of their cattle; their cattle were so numerous that they could not get pasturage for them, there not being enough left them by the inhabitants of it for them to occupy; nor could they hire land of them sufficient for them both; they being not possessors but sojourners in it, and therefore could have no more of it than the inhabitants thought fit to let unto them.

Genesis 36:8

Ver. 8. Thus dwelt Esau in Mount Seir,… Before he is said to be in the land of Seir, Ge 32:3; now to dwell in a mount of that name; from which driving the Horites, he seized upon and dwelt in it; it had not its name from his own rough, shaggy hair, as Josephus says {r}, much less from the satyrs, and hairy demons that frequented it, as R. Abraham Seba {s}, but rather from Seir the Horite who inhabited the land, Ge 36:20; unless he had his name from the mountain which might be so called, from its being rough and rugged like shaggy hair, and being covered with bushes and brambles which carried such a resemblance; and so it stands opposed to Mount Halak near it, Jos 11:17, which signifies the bald or smooth mountain, being destitute of shrubs, &c. The Targum of Jonathan calls this mountain Mount Gabla, and one part of the land of Edom, or Idumea, was called Gobolites, as Josephus {t} relates, perhaps the same with Gebal, Ps 83:7; hither Esau went and took up his residence, after things were amicably adjusted between him and his brother Jacob; the Jews say {u}, that Isaac left, all he had to his two sons, and that after they had buried him, Esau said to Jacob, let us divide what our father has left us into two parts, and I will choose because I am the firstborn; so Jacob divided it into two parts; all that his father had left he made one part, and the land of Israel the other part, and Esau took what his father left, see Ge 36:6; and the land of Israel and the cave of Machpelah he delivered to Jacob, and they drew up everlasting writings between them. Now this or something like it being the case, and those the circumstances of fixings, thus, and by that means, so it came to pass, that Esau dwelt in Seir; and Jacob remained secure and quiet in the land of Canaan;

Esau [is] Edom, so called from the red pottage he had of Jacob, which is repeated to fix the odium of that transaction upon him, as well as for the sake of what follows, showing the reason why his posterity were called Edomites.

{r} Antiqu. l. 1. c. 20. sect. 3. {s} Tzeror Hammor, fol. 47. 1. {t} Antiqu. l. 2. c. 1. sect. 2. {u} Pirke Eliezer, c. 38. fol. 43. 1.

Genesis 36:9

Ver. 9. And these are the generations of Esau,… Or the posterity of Esau, his children and grandchildren, as before and hereafter related:

the father of the Edomites in Mount Seir; from whom they of that mountain and in the adjacent country had the name of Edomites or Idumeans.

Genesis 36:10

Ver. 10. These are the names of Esau’s sons,… In this and some following verses, an account is given of the sons of Esau, which agrees with what is before observed, and of his sons’ sons:

Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau: who seems to be his first wife, and this his first son:

Reuel the son of Bashemath and wife of Esau; his second son by another wife, a daughter of Ishmael, Ge 36:3.

Genesis 36:11

Ver. 11. And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman,… This was his firstborn, and from him the city of Teman in Edom or Idumea had its name, see Jer 49:7; and Eliphaz is called the Temanite from hence, Job 2:11; four more sons are mentioned,

Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz; but I do not find that any towns or cities, or any part of the land of Edom, were denominated from any of them; only it may be observed that Zepho is called Zephi in 1Ch 1:36; the account seems fabulous and not to be depended on, which Josephus Ben Gorion {w} gives of him, of opposing the burial of Jacob, being taken by Joseph and carried into Egypt, and at his death fleeing to Carthage, and from thence to the Romans, and was king of them {x}.

{w} Hist. Heb. l. 1. c. 2. vid. Chizzuk Emunab, par. l. c. 6. p. 66. & Nachman apud Buxtorf. Lex. Talmud. col. 31, 32. {x} Vid. Huls. Theolog. Jud. par. 1. p. 132, &c.

Genesis 36:12

Ver. 12. And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz, Esau’s son,… She is said to be the sister of Lotan, the eldest son of Seir the Horite, Ge 36:22; in 1Ch 1:36 mention is made of Timna among the sons of Eliphaz, and of Duke Timnah here, Ge 36:40; and Gerundinsis {y} is of opinion, that Timnah the concubine of Eliphaz, after she had bore Amalek, conceived and bore another son, and she dying in childbirth, he called it by her name to perpetuate her memory: but Jarchi says, that Eliphaz lay with Lotan’s mother, the wife of Seir the Horite, of whom was born Timna, and when she grew up she became his concubine, and so was both his daughter and his concubine:

and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek; from whence the Amalekites sprung, often mentioned in Scripture, whom the Israelites were commanded utterly to destroy, 1Sa 15:18:

these [were] the sons of Adah, Esau’s wife; that is, her grandsons.

{y} Apud Menasseh ben Israel, conciliator in Gen. Quaest. 57. p. 81.

Genesis 36:13

Ver. 13. And these [are] the sons of Reuel,… Another son of Esau’s; this man had four sons, as follow,

Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah: of whom we know no more than their names, unless Maps or Massa, which Ptolemy {z} places in Idumea, should have its name from Mizzah:

these were the sons of Bashemath, Esau’s wife; her grandsons, as before.

{z} Geograph. l. 5. c. 16.

Genesis 36:14

Ver. 14. And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah,

the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife,… See Gill on “Ge 36:2”; here also the Samaritan and Septuagint versions read, “the daughter of Anah, the son of Zibeon”:

and she bare to Esau, Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah; this is repeated from Ge 36:5; no mention is made of her grandchildren, as of his other wives.

Genesis 36:15

Ver. 15. These were dukes of the sons of Esau,… Ben Melech says, the difference between a duke and a king was, that a king is crowned and a duke is not crowned; but Jarchi interprets the word of heads of families, which seems probable; so that as Esau’s sons and grandsons are before related, here it is suggested that they had large and numerous families, of which they were the heads and governors; and in this and the following verses, Ge 36:16; the sons and grandsons of Esau by his several wives are rehearsed as in the preceding verses, with the title of “duke” given to each of them.

Genesis 36:16

Ver. 16. Duke Korah,… Only among the sons of Eliphaz is reckoned Duke Korah, not before mentioned among his sons, and is left out in the Samaritan version; See Gill on “Ge 36:7”; to which it may be added, that according to Gerundinsis {a}, this is the same with Timna, related among the sons of Eliphaz, 1Ch 1:36; who was called by his father Korah: or this might be a grandson of Eliphaz.

{a} Apud Menaasseh ut supra. (conciliator in Gen. Quaest. 57. p. 81.)

Genesis 36:17

See Gill on “Ge 36:15”.

Genesis 36:18

Ver. 18. And these [are] the sons of Aholibamah Esua’s wife;…

See Gill on “Ge 36:15”.

Genesis 36:19

See Gill on “Ge 36:15”.

Genesis 36:20

Ver. 20. These [are] the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land,… “Before”, as the Targum of Jonathan adds, that is, before it was inhabited by Esau and his posterity, and called Edom, and had from him the name of Seir; but the Horites dwelt here before him, even in Abraham’s time, Ge 14:6; and who were so called from their dwelling under ground in holes and caves, with which the further part of the land of Edom abounded, and are the same the Greeks call Trogloditae: Jarchi says, from their Rabbins, these were very expert in the nature of the land, and knew what was fit for olives and what for vines. Now the genealogy of this man is here given, partly to show who were the ancient inhabitants of this land before they were drove out, and succeeded by Esau and his sons, De 1:12; and partly because of the intermarriages of Esau and his posterity with them, whereby they more easily came into the possession of the country; for Esau married the daughter of Anah, the son of Zibeon, a son of Seir, Ge 36:11; and Eliphaz took Timna, a sister of Lotan the son of Seir, to be his concubine, Ge 36:12; the names of the sons of Seir follow,

Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah: the first of these is said {b} to be the same with Latinus, a king that reigned in Italy, which seems to be taken from the fancied resemblance of names. Zibeon and Anah are here spoken of as brethren, the sons of Seir; whereas in Ge 36:24; they are made mention of as father and son, See Gill on “Ge 36:2”; Zibeon, according to the Jewish writers {c}, committed incest with his mother, whence came Anah, and is called his brother, because of the same mother, and his son, as being begotten by him. They seem to seek for such kind of copulations to reproach the Edomites.

{b} Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 79. 1. {c} T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 115. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 82. fol. 72. 1.

Genesis 36:21

Ver. 21. And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan,… These were three others of the sons of Seir, which with the other four before mentioned made seven:

these [are] the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom; these were in the land of Edom before it was so called and possessed by the Edomites, and whose posterity afterwards became tributary to them.

Genesis 36:22

Ver. 22. And the children of Lotan were Hori and Heman,… The first of these seems to have his name from the general name of the tribe or nation, and the other is called Homam, 1Ch 1:39;

and Lotan’s sister [was] Timna: whom Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau took for his concubine, Ge 36:12; for the sake of which her relation to Lotan is here mentioned; and she is said to be the sister of this man particularly, though there were seven brethren of them, because she might be his sister both by father and mother’s side, when she was not of the other only by the father’s side.

Genesis 36:23

Ver. 23. And the children of Shobal [were] these,… Who was the second son of Seir, and whose sons were the five following:

Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam; in 1Ch 1:40 Alvan is called Alian, and Shepho is Shephi.

Genesis 36:24

Ver. 24. And these are the children of Zibeon,… The third son of Self, and who had two sons;

both Ajah and Anah; of the latter it is observed:

this [was that] Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father; who observed, while he was feeding his father’s asses in the wilderness, that the he asses coupled with mares, or horses with the she asses, and produced another sort of creatures called mules; and by this means found out the way how such creatures might be produced, and practised it: so Aelianus says {d}, that mules are not the produce of nature, but you may call it an adulterous invention of human contrivance and boldness, and a theft: this is the common interpretation, and to which our version leads: but against it it may be observed, that the word for “mules” is different from this here used, nor is this word ever used of mules, nor does it appear that there were any creatures of this sort before the days of David; nor is the word translated “found” ever used of that which before was not in being, but of what already existed; nor is there any mention of horses or mares in this account also; had it referred to a mixture of these creatures with asses, it would not have been omitted. Some think therefore the words are to be rendered, “he found waters in the wilderness”; sources and collections of waters which were not usual in a wilderness, and of great worth and use in desert lands, as Edom was, and in those hot countries, and the Vulgate Latin version renders it, “hot waters”; but then to the fixing of either of these versions, the word must be altered either in its points or letters, for which there is no authority. The Targum of Onkelos renders it mighty ones or giants, and may signify the “Emim”, the “aleph” being changed for “yod”, as Aben Ezra observes; and then the sense is, that these gigantic people, who were so called from the terror they taught upon their neighbours, and, who dwelt near the Horim in Seir, De 2:10, as they used to steal from their flocks, Anah lighted on them in the wilderness, and fell upon them, and took them; and with this agrees the Samaritan version, “he found giants, in the wilderness”; and so Abendana interprets the words: Aben Ezra observes that many interpret the word of plants or herbs; and a very learned {e} man is of opinion that the word used is the name of an useful herb or plant, first discovered by Anah. This Anah, though a keeper of his father’s asses, is afterwards called Duke Anah; it being the custom of the sons of great personages to be the keepers of flocks and herds;

See Gill on “Ge 29:9”.

{d} De Animal. l. 12. c. 16. {e} Wagenseil, in Sota, p. 217, 218.

Genesis 36:25

Ver. 25. And the children of Anah [were] these,…

Dishon, the name of one of his uncles. Ge 36:21;

and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah; Aben Ezra thinks this is not the same Anah that was mentioned in the beginning of this verse; since, if he was the same, there was no need to mention him again, but that he is the same that is mentioned in Ge 36:2; but if he is not the same that is spoken of in this verse and Ge 36:24, it is difficult to account for the mention of him at all in this place: that he is the same as in Ge 36:2 seems to be right, though it is attended with this difficulty, that the Anah and Aholibamah there are represented as of the Hivites, whereas here they are reckoned among the Horites; but it may be, as Ainsworth observes on Ge 36:20, that the Horites were of the race of the Hivites originally; and indeed this Aholibamah being the wife of Esau seems to be the reason of this particular notice taken of her here. She is omitted in 1Ch 1:41.

Genesis 36:26

Ver. 26. And these [are] the sons of Dishon,… Not of Dishon the son of Anah, but of Dishon the son of Seir, Ge 36:21; and they are the four following:

Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran; the first of these is called Amram, or rather Chamram, 1Ch 1:41.

Genesis 36:27

Ver. 27. The children of Ezer are these,… Another son of Seir, who had the following sons:

Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Achan; the two last are called Zavan and Jakan, in 1Ch 1:42.

Genesis 36:28

Ver. 28. The children of Dishon are these,… The last of the seven sons of Seir, and who had two sons,

Uz and Aran; from the former of these the land of Uz, inhabited by the Edomites, had its name, La 4:21; some have taken this to be the country of Job, Job 1:1.

Genesis 36:29

Ver. 29. These [are] the dukes [that came] of the Horites,… Not that succeeded one after another, as the kings next mentioned did, but were together, at the same time, heads of respective families, and governors of them; and then the seven sons of Seir are rehearsed in this verse and Ge 36:30 in their order, with the title of “duke” annexed to each of them, “Duke Lotan”, &c.

Genesis 36:30

Ver. 30. These [are] the dukes [that came] of Hori,… The ancestor of Seir, whence he is called the Horite, unless the singular is put for the plural, used in Ge 36:29:

among their dukes in the land of Seir; not that there were other dukes besides them in the land of Seir until Esau got among them, but these were they whose habitations were before in the land of Gabla (or Seir); as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it; or “in”, or “according to their dukedoms”, as the Septuagint version; in their respective families where they had the government, and which became very numerous.

Genesis 36:31

Ver. 31. And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,… In the land that was afterwards called the land of Edom; for this laud was not so called when these kings began to reign: for, according to Bishop Cumberland {f}, and those that follow him {g}, these were Horite kings, who, after their defeat by Chedorlaomer, Ge 14:5; in order to secure themselves the better from such a calamity for the future, set up a kingdom, and which appears, by the following account, to be elective; and so Maimonides {h} observes, that not one of these kings were of Edom: and these were,

before there reigned any king over the children of Israel; and there being no kings over Israel until many years after the times of Moses, hence some have thought these words are inserted by some other writer after him; but there is no need to suppose that; for Moses knew, from foregoing prophecies and promises, that kings would arise out of them and reign over them, Ge 17:6; and this he was so certain of, that he himself, by divine direction, gave laws and rules to the children of Israel respecting their future kings, De 17:14; besides Moses himself was king in Jeshurun or Israel, De 33:5, so that it is the same as if he had said, these are the kings that reigned in Edom, before this time.

{f} Orig. Gent. Antiq. p. 1-24. {g} Bedford in his Scripture Chronology, and the Authors of the Universal History. {h} Morch Nevochim, par. 3. c. 50. p. 510.

Genesis 36:32

Ver. 32. And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom,… His name was not Balac, as the Septuagint version, which may lead to think of Balak king of Moab; nor is this the same with Balaam, the son of Beor, who lived ages after, as some in Aben Ezra: who he was we know no more of than what is here said; he was the first Horite king, and is placed by Mr. Bedford {i} in A. M. 2002:

and the name of his city [was] Dinhabah, the place either where he was born, or where he had been governor before, but of it we read nowhere else.

{i} Scripture Chronology, p. 316.

Genesis 36:33

Ver. 33. And Bela died,… How long he reigned is not known with any certainty, nor whether he left any sons behind him; if he did, they did not succeed him in the throne; for

Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead: this king some have thought to be the same with Job, and from whom one of the books of Scripture has its name; but neither their names, nor age, nor country agree: who this Jobab and his father Zerah were cannot be said: they seem to be of the same country in which Jobab reigned, since he is said to be of Bozrah, a famous city of Idumea, after spoken of in the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah and others, Isa 34:6; Jarchi takes it to be a city of Moab, and indeed it is sometimes placed in Moab, and sometimes in Edom, it being on the borders of both, and sometimes belonged to the one and sometimes to the other. According to Mr. Bedford {k}, this king began his reign, A. M. 2135, so that the former king must have reigned about forty two years; which is a space of time he allows to each successor, taking them one with another, the particular and exact time of each reign he not being able to fix.

{k} Scripture Chronology, p. 327.

Genesis 36:34

Ver. 34. And Jobab died,… According to Mr. Bedford, A. M. 2177:

and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead; or of the land of the south, as the Targum of Jonathan, of the southern part of the land of Idumea, as it was afterwards called; the metropolis of which was the city of Teman, after spoken of in Scripture, which had its name from Teman the son of Eliphaz; See Gill on “Ge 36:11”.

Genesis 36:35

Ver. 35. And Husham died,… As is thought, about A. M. 2219, above forty years after the death of Abraham, as computed by the above writer:

and Hadad the son of Bedad (who smote Midian in the field of Moab) reigned in his stead: who he or his father were we have no other account, nor of this warlike action of his; probably the Midianites came out to invade him, hearing of which, he went out against them, and met with him in the fields of Moab, which were near to Midian, and fought them and conquered them: Jarchi says, the Midianites came out to make war against the Moabites, and the king of Edom went out to help the Moabites, and hence, he says, we learn, that Midian and Moab were near each other; and in the days of Balaam they made peace, that they might combine against Israel: this battle is supposed to be fought in the twelfth year of his reign; and it is thought to be in his reign that Esau came with his family and dwelt in Seir {l}; though some place it later, either in the following reign, or in that of his successors {m}:

and the name of his city [was] Avith: where it was is not certain.

{l} Bedford’s Scripture Chronology, p. 343, 349. {m} Universal History, vol. 2. p. 170.

Genesis 36:36

Ver. 36. And Hadad died,… As is supposed, about A. M. 2241.

and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead; but who he was, or the place he was of, cannot be said.

Genesis 36:37

Ver. 37. And Samlah died,… As is supposed, about A. M. 2283.

and Saul of Rehoboth [by] the river reigned in his stead; Rehoboth was one of the cities built by Ashur, Ge 10:11; and was situated near the river Euphrates; and so the Targum of Jonathan calls it Rehoboth which is by Euphrates; but Jerom {n}, from Eusebius, takes it to be another city by a river in Edom, and says, that there was in his days a garrison in the country of Gabalena (a part of Idumea), a large village called by that name.

{n} De loc. Heb. fol. 93. M. & 94. A.

Genesis 36:38

and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead: whose name, inverted, is observed by Grotius to be the same with Hannibal; it signifies a gracious lord or king.

Genesis 36:39

Ver. 39. And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died,… About A. M. 2367.

and Hadar reigned in his stead; the last of the Horite kings, when an end was put to this monarchy by the united families of Seir and Esau, and changed into dukedoms; of which there were seven of the race of Seir, and fourteen of the race of Esau, of whom an account is given in the preceding part of this chapter: as for this last king it is further said of him:

and the name of his city [was] Pau; but where it was cannot be said:

and his wife’s name [was] Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab; this woman seems to be a person of note, by the particular mention made of her; but whether the names of her ancestors are the names of men or women it is not certain: some take Matred to be the name of her father, and Mezahab the name of her grandfather; but according to Aben Ezra, Marred was the name of her mother, who was the daughter of Mezahab her grandfather; whom the Targum of Jonathan interprets melter of gold, as does Saadiah Gaon.

Genesis 36:40

Ver. 40. And these [are] the names of the dukes [that came] of Esau,… After the regal monarchy ceased, the government in Edom was by dukes, and of these there were two sons, one of which an account has been given of already, who were partly of the race of Seir, and partly of the race of Esau; and who were dukes not by succession, but together, in and over their respective families: and it may be observed, that neither Esau, nor his sons by his two first wives, Eliphaz and Reuel, are called dukes, only his three sons by his last wife; all the rest are his grandsons and sons of the two former, which seems to give some light as to the time when those dukedoms took place; and very probably it was by the joint influence of Seir and Esau, whose families had intermarried, that an end was put to the regal power, and who, for a course of years, governed in the above manner: and they of Esau’s race in those times are said to be “dukes in the land of Edom”, as a learned man {o} has observed; whereas those that follow, which are a second race of them, are called “dukes of Edom”, Ge 36:43; who took possession of the country and ruled in it, driving out the Horites and succeeding in their stead: these are described

according to their families; they were the heads of:

after their places, by their names; the places where they lived, which were called after their names, and are as follow:

Duke Timnah, Duke Alvah, Duke Jetheth; these were both the names of the dukes, and of the places where they governed, called after their names; so Timnah or Themna, as Jerom calls it, is by him said to be a city of the princes of Edom, the same he says of Jetheth {p}, so the like may be concluded of Alvah.

{o} Shuckford’s Connection, p. 192. {p} De loc. Heb. fol. 92. F. 95. C.

Genesis 36:41

Ver. 41. Duke Aholibamah, Duke Elah, Duke Pinon. The former is the name of a woman, Ge 36:2; here the name of a man, and also of the place of which he was duke; for Jerom observes {q}, that Oolibama is a city of the princes of Edom, and who also makes mention of Elath, a country of the princes of Edom, and a city of Esau, ten miles from Petra to the east {r}, and the seat of Duke Pinon was very probably Phinon, which lay between Petra and Zoar {s}.

{q} De Loc. Heb. fol. 93. K. {r} Ib. fol. 91. E. {s} Eusebius apud Reland. Palestin. illustrat. p. 71.

Genesis 36:42

Ver. 42. Duke Kenaz, Duke Teman, Duke Mibzar. There was a Kenaz the son of Eliphaz, and so a Teman a son of his, who were both dukes; but these seem to be different from them, though the latter might be duke of the place called Teman from him: which, in Jerom’s time {t}, was a village five miles distant from Petra, and where was a Roman garrison, and so Mabsar in his times {u}, was a large village in the country of Gabalena (a part of Idumea), and called Mabsara, and belonged to the city Petra.

{t} De loc. Heb. 3. fol. 95. B. {u} Ib.

Genesis 36:43

Ver. 43. Duke Magdiel, Duke Iram,… Magdiel also, Jerom {w} says, was in the country of Gabalena, formerly possessed by the dukes of Edom; and the Targum of Jonathan says, this duke was called Magdiel from the name of his city, which was a strong “migdal” or tower: and Jarchi’s note upon this word is, this is Rome; so the Jewish writers elsewhere say {x}, that Esau had an hundred provinces from Seir to Magdiel; as it is said, “Duke Magdiel, Duke Iram”, this is Rome:

these [be] the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations, in the land of their possession; the former race of dukes, as has been observed, were dukes in the land of Edom, were sojourners in the land, at least had not sovereign dominion, or were not the only dukes in it; there were dukes of the race of Seir at the same time; but now these having driven out the Horites, were sole possessors and sovereign lords; and thus while Israel and his posterity were sojourners in a strange land, Esau and his family were possessors and lords of a country they could call their own:

he [is] Esau the father of the Edomites; that is, Edom, the dukes of whose race are before reckoned up; the same is Esau, who had the name of Edom from selling his birthright for a mess of red pottage: and this is the man from whom the Edomites or Idumeans sprung, often hereafter spoken of in the Scripture, though no more in this history. He is said {y} to be killed by the tribes of Israel, at the funeral of Jacob, he coming forth with a great army to hinder his interment in the cave of Machpelah: it is a tradition of the Jews {z}, he was slain by Judah.

{w} De loc. Heb. 3. fol. 93. B. {x} Pirke Eliezer, c. 38. {y} Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 5. 1. {z} T. Hieros. Gittin, fol. 47. 2.