36 Here is the story of the family line of Esau. Esau was also called Edom. 2 Esau got his wives from among the women of Canaan. He married Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite. He also married Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite. 3 And he married Basemath, the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebaioth. 4 Adah had Eliphaz by Esau. Basemath had Reuel. 5 Oholibamah had Jeush, Jalam and Korah. All of them were Esau’s sons. They were born in Canaan. 6 Esau moved to a land far away from his brother Jacob. Esau took with him his wives, his sons and daughters, and all the people who lived with him. He also took his livestock and all his other animals. He took everything he had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob and Esau owned so much that they couldn’t remain together. There wasn’t enough land for both of them. They had too much livestock. 8 So Esau made his home in the hill country of Seir. Esau was also called Edom. 9 Here is the story of the family line of Esau. He’s the father of the people of Edom. They live in the hill country of Seir. 10 Here are the names of Esau’s sons. They are Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath. 11 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. 12 Esau’s son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna. She had Amalek by Eliphaz. They were grandsons of Esau’s wife Adah. 13 The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. They were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath. 14 Esau’s wife Oholibamah was the daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon. She had Jeush, Jalam and Korah by Esau. 15 Here are the chiefs among Esau’s sons. Eliphaz was Esau’s oldest son. The sons of Eliphaz were Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam and Amalek. They were the chiefs in Edom who were sons of Eliphaz. They were Adah’s grandsons. 17 The sons of Esau’s son Reuel were Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. They were the chiefs in Edom who were sons of Reuel. They were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath. 18 The sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah were Chiefs Jeush, Jalam and Korah. They were the chiefs who were sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah. She was Anah’s daughter. 19 That was the family line of Esau. And these were the chiefs. Esau was also called Edom. 20 Seir, the Horite, had sons living in the same area. They were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These sons of Seir in Edom were Horite chiefs. 22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister. 23 The sons of Shobal were Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam. 24 The sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. He was the Anah who discovered the hot springs of water in the desert. He found them while he was taking care of the donkeys that belonged to his father Zibeon. 25 The children of Anah were Dishon and Oholibamah. Oholibamah was the daughter of Anah. 26 The sons of Dishon were Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Keran. 27 The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan. 28 The sons of Dishan were Uz and Aran. 29 The Horite chiefs were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. They were the Horite chiefs in the land of Seir. They are listed tribe by tribe. The Rulers of Edom 31 Before Israel had a king, there were kings who ruled in Edom. 32 Bela became the king of Edom. Bela was the son of Beor. Bela’s city was called Dinhabah. 33 When Bela died, Jobab became the next king. Jobab was the son of Zerah from Bozrah. 34 When Jobab died, Husham became the next king. Husham was from the land of the Temanites. 35 When Husham died, Hadad became the next king. Hadad was the son of Bedad. Hadad had won the battle over Midian in the country of Moab. Hadad’s city was called Avith. 36 When Hadad died, Samlah became the next king. Samlah was from Masrekah. 37 When Samlah died, Shaul became the next king. Shaul was from Rehoboth on the river. 38 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan became the next king. Baal-Hanan was the son of Akbor. 39 When Baal-Hanan died, Hadad became the next king. Hadad’s city was called Pau. His wife’s name was Mehetabel. She was Matred’s daughter. Matred was the daughter of Me-Zahab. 40 Here are the chiefs in the family line of Esau. They are listed by name as chiefs in charge of their tribes and territories. They are Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel and Iram. They were the chiefs of Edom. They ruled over their settlements in the land where they lived. That’s the end of the story of the family line of Esau. He was the father of the people of Edom.
2 things strike me as I read this family tree of Esau. The first is in verse 2 – “Esau married women of Canaan”. These 5 words record a powerful and heart-revealing decision for Esau. He chose to marry women he knew his father expressly ordered Jacob NOT to marry. This choosing of women of Canaan is an act of defiance. Genesis 28:8-9 says “When Esau realized how deeply his father Isaac disliked the Canaanite women, he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. This was in addition to the wives he already had.” The second thing that strikes me is that this defiance results in his descendants- his tribe – including chiefs and kings – being set up in opposition to God. Esau is not walking in the promises of God – he is not following the God of the covenant made with Abraham and Isaac. It’s one thing for Esau to choose to walk away from God but the consequence is that there is generational separation.
Lord God – I want to walk in such a way that the generations following on from me – will follow You. Help me be quick to forgive, and not to let bitterness or defiance be my hallmark – but rather may I be a channel of Your amazing love and grace to those who come after me.
Written by Ps. Linda Quinn