Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Edom. His genealogy extends as far as ver. 20, where that of Seir, the Horrite, begins. The seven first verses specify Esau’s sons, the twelve next his grandsons born in Seir. From the 15th to the 20th verse, we have the most ancient form of government in that nation under the Aluphim, or heads of families. To them succeed kings, (ver. 31 to 40,) and then dukes to the end. Moses omits several generations of Oolibama’s grand-children, as foreign to his purpose, which was to shew the Israelites whom they were not to molest. The kings, of whom he speaks, (ver. 31,) might govern different parts of the country at the same time; and that before any form of government was established among the Hebrews, as it was under Moses, who is styled a king, (Deuteronomy xxxiii. 5,) about 200 years after Esau had driven the Horrites from their mountains. (Calmet) — Among these nations several good men might exist, as Job, &c. But the true religion was preserved more fully among the 12 tribes. (St. Augustine, City of God xv. xvi.) (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Ada. These wives of Esau are called by other names, chap. xxvi. But it was very common amongst the ancients for the same persons to have two names, as Esau himself was also called Edom. (Challoner) — Ana the daughter of Sebeon. It is not certain that Ana was a woman. The Samaritan and Septuagint make him son of Sebeon, both here and ver. 14, (Haydock) as well as some Latin copies; and he is mentioned as such, ver. 24. The daughter of Sebeon may, therefore, designate his grand-daughter, which is not unusual. Sebeon is called Hevite, Hethite, and Horrite, on account of his dwelling in different countries; though some think they were different persons. (Calmet) — This, and innumerable other difficulties, may convince Protestants that the Scriptures are not easy. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Eliphaz; perphas the Themanite, and friend of Job, (St. Jerome) or his grandfather, by Theman; as Job was the grandson of Esau, and the second king, ver. 33. (Tirinus)
Ver. 6. Jacob, by the divine Providence, as Chanaan was to be his inheritance. (Menochius) — He had returned from Seir about the same time as Jacob came home. (St. Augustine, q. 119.)
Ver. 9. Of Edom, or of all the nations who inhabited Idumea, sprung from Esau’s grand-children. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Hebrew Aluph, prince of a tribe, or of a thousand; a Chiliarch. (Zach. v. 2.[Zacharias ix. 7.?; Micheas v. 2.?]) The Rabbin assert they wore not a crown, as the kings did. (Calmet) — Both obtained their authority by election. An aristocracy prevailed under the dukes. (Menochius)
Ver. 16. Duke Core, being the son of Esau, is omitted in the Samaritan though found in all the versions and Hebrew. (Kennicott)
Ver. 24. Hot waters. Medicinal, (Menochius) like the springs at Bath, &c. (Haydock) — Hebrew hayemim, a word which some translate mules; others, the nation of that name; or the giants, Emeans, with whom he had perhaps some engagement, as Adad (ver. 35,) had with the Madianites, the particulars of which were then well known. The Septuagint and ancient versions retain the original word. It is used for a body of water. (Calmet)
Ver. 30. Seir, contemporary with the princes of Esau, in another town or region. (Calmet)
Ver. 31. A king. See ver. 1. Moses might also add this with reference to the times, when he knew the Hebrews would petition for a king, for whom he gave particular laws. (Menochius) — These kings were probably foreigners, who subdued the natives. They did not obtain the kingdom by succession. (Calmet)
Ver. 33. Jobab. Most people suppose this is Job, the model of patience. (Menochius) — Bosra, or Bezer, was the capital of Idumea, in the tribe of Ruben. (Calmet)
Ver. 37. River Rohoboth; or as it is expressed, 1 Paralipomenon i. 48, of Rohoboth, which is near the river Euphrates, below where the Chaboras empties itself.
Ver. 39. Adar. Many confound him with the king, whom David overcame. — Daughter of Mezaab, or perhaps her grand-daughter, or adopted child.
Ver. 40. Callings. They left their names to various places. They were in power when the Hebrews approached their respective territories, and threw them into dismay, Exodus xv. 15. — Alva. Septuagint, gola. (Calmet)
Ver. 43. The same Edom is Esau. Moses seems particularly attentive to assert both titles for the same person, ver. 8, &c. The time of Esau’s death cannot be ascertained. There is reason to hope that he died penitent; though in the early part of his life, he gave way to his ferocious temper, and became a figure of the reprobate. He lived on terms of friendship with his brother, assisted him to bury his father, &c. (Calmet) — He was a hunter, indeed; which St. Jerome looks upon as a bad sign: “nunquam venatorem in bonam partem legi,” in Micheas v. But this was also in his younger days. (Haydock) — I have hated Esau, Matthew i., refers to his irreligious posterity, and to his being deprived of temporal advantages, attending the birth-right. (Tirinus) (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Esau with his wives and children parteth from Jacob. An account of his descendants, and of the first kings of Edom.
1 And these are the generations of Esau, the same is Edom.
2 Esau took wives of the daughters of Chanaan: Ada the daughter of Elon the Hethite, and Oolibama the daughter of Ana, the daughter of Sebeon the Hevite:
3 And Basemath, the daughter of Ismael, sister of Nabajoth.
4 *And Ada bore Eliphaz: Basemath bore Rahuel.
5 Oolibama bore Jehus, and Ihelon, and Core. These are the sons of Esau, that were born to him in the land of Chanaan.
6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons and daughters, and every soul of his house, and his substance, and cattle, and all that he was able to acquire in the land of Chanaan: and went into another country, and departed from his brother Jacob.
7 *For they were exceeding rich, and could not dwell together; neither was the land in which they sojourned, able to bear them, for the multitude of their flocks.
8 *And Esau dwelt in mount Seir: he is Edom.
9 And these are the generations of Esau, the father of Edom, in mount Seir.
10 And these the names of his sons: *Eliphaz the son of Ada, the wife of Esau: and Rahuel, the son of Basemath, his wife.
11 And Eliphaz had sons: Theman, Omar, Sepho, and Gatham and Cenez.
12 And Thamna was the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau: and she bore him Amalech. These are the sons of Ada, the wife of Esau.
13 And the sons of Rahuel: were Nahath and Zara, Samma and Meza. These were the sons of Basemath, the wife of Esau.
14 And these were the sons of Oolibama, the daughter of Ana, the daughter of Sebeon, the wife of Esau, whom she bore to him, Jehus, and Ihelon, and Core.
15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz, the first-born of Esau: duke Theman, duke Omar, duke Sepho, duke Cenez,
16 Duke Core, duke Gatham, duke Amalech: these are the sons of Eliphaz, in the land of Edom, and these the sons of Ada.
17 And these were the sons of Rahuel, the son of Esau: duke Nahath, duke Zara, duke Samma, duke Meza. And these are the dukes of Rahuel, in the land of Edom: these the sons of Basemath, the wife of Esau.
18 And these the sons of Oolibama, the wife of Esau: duke Jehus, duke Ihelon, duke Core. These are the dukes of Oolibama, the daughter of Ana, and wife of Esau.
19 These are the sons of Esau, and these the dukes of them: the same is Edom.
20 *These are the sons of Seir, the Horrite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, and Sobal, and Sebeon, and Ana,
21 And Dison, and Eser, and Disan. These are dukes of the Horrites, the sons of Seir, in the land of Edom.
22 And Lotan had sons: Hori and Heman. And the sister of Lotan was Thamna.
23 And these the sons of Sobal: Alvan, and Manahat, and Ebal, and Sepho, and Onam.
24 And these the sons of Sebeon: Aia and Ana. This is Ana that found the hot waters in the wilderness, when he fed the asses of Sebeon, his father:
25 And he had a son Dison, and a daughter Oolibama.
26 And these were the sons of Dison: Hamdan, and Eseban, and Jethram, and Charan.
27 These also were the sons of Eser: Balaan, and Zavan, and Acan.
28 And Disan had sons : Hus and Aram.
29 These were dukes of the Horrites: duke Lotan, duke Sobal, duke Sebeon, duke Ana,
30 Duke Dison, duke Eser, duke Disan: these were dukes of the Horrites that ruled in the land of Seir.
31 And the kings that ruled in the land of Edom, before the children of Israel had a king, were these:
32 Bela the son of Beor, and the name of his city Denaba.
33 And Bela died, and Jobab, the son of Zara, of Bosra, reigned in his stead.
34 And when Jobab was dead, Husam, of the land of the Themanites, reigned in his stead.
35 And after his death, Adad, the son of Badad, reigned in his stead, who defeated the Madianites in the country of Moab; and the name of his city was Avith.
36 And when Adad was dead, there reigned in his stead, Semla, of Masreca.
37 And he being dead, Saul, of the river Rohoboth, reigned in his stead.
38 And when he also was dead, Balanan, the son of Achobor, succeeded to the kingdom.
39 This man also being dead, Adar reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Phau: and his wife was called Meetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezaab.
40 And these are the names of the dukes of Esau in their kindreds, and places, and callings: duke Thamna, duke Alva, duke Jetheth,
41 Duke Oolibama, duke Ela, duke Phinon,
42 Duke Cenez, duke Theman, duke Mabsar,
43 Duke Magdiel, duke Hiram: these are the dukes of Edom dwelling in the land of their government; the same is Esau, the father of the Edomites.
4: 1 Paralipomenon i. 35.
7: Genesis xiii. 6.
8: Josue xxiv. 4.
10: 1 Paralipomenon i. 35.
20: 1 Paralipomenon i. 38.