1. These are the descendants of Esau (that is Edom). Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah son of Zibeon the Hivite, 3 and Bsemath, Ishmael's daughter, sister Of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau; Basemath bore Reuel; 5 and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons Of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 1 to 5)
For some reason the author of the book of Genesis, chose to begin this chapter by giving us an in depth account of the descendants of Esau. The aim of the biblical author could be that of showing us, the readers to what extent, God kept his promise to both Esau and Jacob, to whom a nation was promised. On analysing the first five verses, it becomes evident that Esau's choice of wives went against the will of God who had strictly forbidden Abraham's descendants to marry the sons and daughters of the pagan and idolatrous people of the land of Canaan.
6. Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, his cattle, and all his livestock, and all the property he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and he moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. 7 For their possessions were too great for them to live together; the land where they were staying could not support them because of their livestock. 8 So Esau settled in the hill country of Seir, Esau is Edom.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 6 to 8)
The biblical author continues to update us and the reader for whom this scripture was purposely meant to be written by giving us more details of the reasons justifying the separation of the two brothers that took place fourteen years after they had met after being separated in enmity. God gives us information in little pieces, so that our brain has enough time to put the pieces together in order to get a clear perception of the situation. At the time in question a situation may appear to be complex and strange, but in time God clears the clouds and removes all the doubts and questions.
9. These are the descendants of Esau, ancestor of the Edomites, in the hill country of Seir. 10 These are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz son of Adah the wife of Esau; Reuel, the son of Esau's wife Basemath. 11 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 (Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, Esau's son; she bore Amalek to Eliphaz.) These were the sons Adah, Esau's wife. 13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons of Esau's wife, Basemath. 14 These were the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah son of Zibeon; she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 9 to 14)
Although this chapter appears to be a very tedious or boring one, it can be observed that the author of the book of Genesis is introducing us to many new characters on the chessboard of Esau and Jacob's life. New people can influence our micro environment that is our family and even our macro environment which means our society comprising of our values norms and beliefs.
15. These are the clans of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau; the clans Temar, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam, and Amalek; these are the clans of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Adah. 17 These are the sons of Esau's son Reuel: the clans Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah; these are the clans of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Esau's wife Bsemath. 18 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah; the clans Jeush, Jalam, and Korah; these are the clans born of Esau's wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah. 19 These are the sons of Esau (that is Edom), and these are their clans.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 15 to 19)
As we can witness Esau's descendants became a mighty force that consisted of many clans. Thus gradually God's plan for our salvation continued to unfold by means of these new members that gradually found their places into the system or history of events that were to take place later on.
20. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the clans of the Horites, the sons of Seir in the land of Edom. 22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Heman; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 23 These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24 These are the sons of Zibeon; Aiah and Anah; he is the Anah who found the springs in the wilderness as he pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 20 to 24)
As I have previously mentioned, everybody born in the world, is assigned a particular role and nobody leaves this earth before he or she has performed that role which was assigned by God to us to fulfil.
25. These are the children of Anah; Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah. 26 These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. 28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 29 These are the clans of the Horites; the clans Lotan Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; these are the clans of the Horites clan by clan in the land of Seir.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 25 to 30)
Much to God's displeasure the sons of Esau continued to mingle and intermarry with the inhabitants of Canaan meaning the Horites, amongst which many sons were born, thus contaminating the clan by pagan influence.
31. These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. 32 Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom, the name of the city being Dinhabah. 33 Bela died, and Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah succeeded him as king. 35 Husham died, and Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king, the name of his city being Avith.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 31 to 35)
On observing the development of this nation we can observe that this enormous group of people became more structured and organized, so much that a hierarchy was created consisting of many kings. The people were now managed and ruled by themselves according to the orders of a human more than governed by the rules of God. As a consequence this nation even referred to means such as war in order to ensure their survival.
36. Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah succeeded him as king. 37 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates succeeded him as king. 38 Shaul died, and Baal-hanan son of Achbor succeeded him as king. 39 Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, and Hadar succeeded him as king. 39 Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, and Hadar succeeded him as king, the name of his city being Pau; his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-zahab.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 36 to 39)
Amongst the list of kings and their successors it can be noted that even female members were included in the selection. When considering the cultures of these times, it is not common to include the names of female members, therefore any female mentioned by her name is of significance in the narrative, which is like a tapestry in the sense that one character has something to do with the other.
40. These are the names of the clans of Esau, according to their families and their localities by their names; the clans Timna Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram; these are the clans of Edom (that is Esau, the father of Edom), according to their settlements in the land that they held.
(Genesis chapter 36 verses 40 to 42)
I would like to end this chapter with the following prayer:
Thank you Oh God for always keeping your promises. Moreover thanks for creating a perfect world order. I pray that I always let you be king in my life, and not let myself be persuaded by the sinful forces of this world. Throughout this chapter I became more aware that You created us all to fulfil a particular purpose that in some way or other has an influence on both our personal environment and our larger one or extended one meaning society at large. I pray that in my own simple ways I be of an example to others and that you send many more people, who are of a better example to me and society at large, May we all be a positive influence on others.
Thank You God