|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:1-43 Esau and his descendants. - The registers in this chapter show the faithfulness of God to his promise to Abraham. Esau is here called Edom, that name which kept up the remembrance of his selling his birth-right for a mess of pottage. Esau continued the same profane despiser of heavenly things. In outward prosperity and honour, the children of the covenant are often behind, and those that are out of the covenant get the start. We may suppose it a trial to the faith of God's Israel, to hear of the pomp and power of the kings of Edom, while they were bond-slaves in Egypt; but those that look for great things from God, must be content to wait for them; God's time is the best time. Mount Seir is called the land of their possession. Canaan was at this time only the land of promise. Seir was in the possession of the Edomites. The children of this world have their all in hand, and nothing in hope, Lu 16:25; while the children of God have their all in hope, and next to nothing in hand. But, all things considered, it is beyond compare better to have Canaan in promise, than mount Seir in possession.
Verse 33. - And Bela died, and Jobab - probably meaning "Desert," or "Shout" (Gesenius); identified with Job (LXX., Augustine, Ambrose) - an opinion which Michaelis declares to be insinis error, nec, historicus solum, sed et grammaticus, Jobab being derived from the root יָבַב (vide' Suppl.,' p. 40); the name of a region of the Joktanite Arabs (Genesis 10:29) - the son of Zerah (who may have been the duke Zerah mentioned in ver. 17, and is here described by the territory over which he ruled as) of Bozrah - "Fort" (Gesenius); afterwards an important city of the Edomites (Isaiah 34:6; Isaiah 63:1; Jeremiah 49:13); still to be traced in El-Busaireh, a village and castle in Arabia Petraea, about twenty-five miles south by east of the Dead Sea (Robinson, vol. 2. pp. 570, 571; Gesenius, 'Lex.,' p. 135; Porter in Kitto's 'Cyclopedia') - reigned in his stead - literally, under him, i.e. in succession to him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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, Isaiah 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.
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