Genesis 36, Esau's line

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    No chapter in the Bible is meaningless, even this one on Esau's descendants. There are several interesting points that can be made about this chapter, actually.

    1. Genealogies were extremely important. We know that up until the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70A.D., the genealogies of every Israelite were there. The records may have looked something like what we see here in Genesis 36.

    2. Whether Moses was collating actual eyewitness tablets, organizing oral histories, or whatever in his compilation of Genesis, there is evidence of more than one contributor to this chapter. The first verse states, "This is the account of Esau (that is, Edom)." And then the sons are listed by which wife bore them. Immediately after that list we read that Esau moved his entourage to the hill country of Seir because, as it had also been with Abraham and Lot, their combined possessions were too great for them to remain together. But then we read, in verse 9, "This is the account of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. " The verse before we learned they went to the hill country of Seir, and before that there was the list of sons. But immediately following verse 9 we have the list of sons again. The style of writing is slightly different, but the names and information are the same. This is evidence that Moses was combining two separate accounts.

    3. The list of rulers, going from verse 31-39 contains two interesting pieces of information. First is that someone very late in the history of Israel wrote the editorial comment of verse 31: "These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned." Israelite kings were not to come for hundreds of years, so we can see this is a comment inserted much later in time. The second interesting thing is that in a time of incessant wars and rivalries, the succession of rulers of Edom was extremely orderly and peaceful, with each one simply following upon the death of the previous one. This is actually quite remarkable for this time in history.

    My study notes mention something about verse 11 which should be noted: the names Eliphaz and Teman show up in the account of Job. Is this the time Job lived? I knew my husband had done some study in this area, so during one of our phone conversations I asked him about it and he composed the following email and sent it to help explain how he sees it. For anyone who is interested in this sort of thing, here it is:

     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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