Genesis 36:4
And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Five sons were born to Esau in Kenaan, of whom Adah and Basemath bare each one. As Oholibamah bare him three sons before leaving Kenaan, she must have been married to him four or five years before that event, perhaps on the death of his first wife, and in consequence of his connection with the south.2, 3. Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan—There were three, mentioned under different names; for it is evident that Bashemath is the same as Mahalath (Ge 28:9), since they both stand in the relation of daughter to Ishmael and sister to Nebajoth; and hence it may be inferred that Adah is the same as Judith, Aholibamah as Bathsemath (Ge 26:34). It was not unusual for women, in that early age, to have two names, as Sarai was also Iscah [Ge 11:29]; and this is the more probable in the case of Esau's wives, who of course would have to take new names when they went from Canaan to settle in mount Seir. Eliphaz, the progenitor of that Eliphaz, Job 2:11.

Reuel, the father of Jethro. See Exodus 2:18 Numbers 10:29.

And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz,.... This son of Esau, according to Jerom (n), is the same with him mentioned in the book of Job, as one of his friends that came to visit him, Job 2:11; and so says the Targum of Jonathan on Genesis 36:10; but he rather was the grandson of this man, since he is called the Temanite:

and Bashemath bare Reuel; the name is the same with Reuel or Raguel, the name of Jethro; but cannot be the same person as is said by some, for he was a Midianite and not an Edomite, Exodus 2:18.

(n) Trad. Heb. in Gen. fol. 71. L. tom. 3.

And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. Eliphaz] Familiar as the name of one of Job’s friends, Job 2:11.

Reuel] The same name as that of Moses’ father-in-law, a Midianite, Exodus 2:18.

Verses 4, 5. - And Adah bare to Esau Eliphas; - "The Strength of God" (Gesenius); afterwards the name of one of Job's friends (Job 2:11; Job 4:1; Job 15:1) - and Bashemath bare Reuel; - "The Friend of God" (Gesenius); the name of Moses' father-in-law (Exodus 2:18) - and Aholibamah bare Jeush, - "Collector" (Furst, Lange); "whom God hastens" (Gesenius); afterwards the name of a son of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 11:19) - and Jaalam, - "whom God hides" (Gesenius); "Ascender of the Mountains" (Furst) - and Korah: - "Baldness" (Furst, Gesenius); the name of a family of Levites and singers in the time of David to whom ten of the psalms are ascribed - these are the sons of Esau, which wore born unto him in the land of Canaan - not necessarily implying' that other sons were born to him in Edom, but rather intimating that all his family were born before he left the Holy Land. Genesis 36:4Esau's Wives and Children. His Settlement in the Mountains of Seir. - In the heading (Genesis 36:1) the surname Edom is added to the name Esau, which he received at his birth, because the former became the national designation of his descendants. - Genesis 36:2, Genesis 36:3. The names of Esau's three wives differ from those given in the previous accounts (Genesis 26:34 and Genesis 28:9), and in one instance the father's name as well. The daughter of Elon the Hittite is called Adah (the ornament), and in Genesis 26:34 Basmath (the fragrant); the second is called Aholibamah (probably tent-height), the daughter of Anah, daughter, i.e., grand-daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and in Genesis 26:34, Jehudith (the praised or praiseworthy), daughter of Beeri the Hittite; the third, the daughter of Ishmael, is called Basmath here and Mahalath in Genesis 28:9. This difference arose from the fact, that Moses availed himself of genealogical documents for Esau's family and tribe, and inserted them without alteration. It presents no irreconcilable discrepancy, therefore, but may be explained from the ancient custom in the East, of giving surnames, as the Arabs frequently do still, founded upon some important or memorable event in a man's life, which gradually superseded the other name (e.g., the name Edom, as explained in Genesis 25:30); whilst as a rule the women received new names when they were married (cf. Chardin, Hengstenberg, Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 223-6). The different names given for the father of Aholibamah or Judith, Hengstenberg explains by referring to the statement in Genesis 36:24, that Anah, the son of Zibeon, while watching the asses of his father in the desert, discovered the warm springs (of Calirrhoe), on which he founds the acute conjecture, that from this discovery Anah received the surname Beeri, i.e., spring-man, which so threw his original name into the shade, as to be the only name given in the genealogical table. There is no force in the objection, that according to Genesis 36:25 Aholibamah was not a daughter of the discoverer of the springs, but of his uncle of the same name. For where is it stated that the Aholibamah mentioned in Genesis 36:25 was Esau's wife? And is it a thing unheard of that aunt and niece should have the same name? If Zibeon gave his second son the name of his brother Anah (cf. Genesis 36:24 and Genesis 36:20), why could not his son Anah have named his daughter after his cousin, the daughter of his father's brother? The reception of Aholibamah into the list of the Seirite princes is no proof that she was Esau's wife, but may be much more naturally supposed to have arisen from the same (unknown) circumstance as that which caused one of the seats of the Edomitish Alluphim to be called by her name (Genesis 36:41). - Lastly, the remaining diversity, viz., that Anah is called a Hivite in Genesis 36:2 and a Hittite in Genesis 26:34, is not to be explained by the conjecture, that for Hivite we should read Horite, according to Genesis 36:20, but by the simple assumption that Hittite is used in Genesis 26:34 sensu latiori for Canaanite, according to the analogy of Joshua 1:4; 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6; just as the two Hittite wives of Esau are called daughters of Canaan in Genesis 28:8. For the historical account, the general name Hittite sufficed; but the genealogical list required the special name of the particular branch of the Canaanitish tribes, viz., the Hivites. In just as simple a manner may the introduction of the Hivite Zibeon among the Horites of Seir (Genesis 36:20 and Genesis 36:24) be explained, viz., on the supposition that the removed to the mountains of Seir, and there became a Horite, i.e., a troglodyte, or dweller in a cave. - The names of Esau's sons occur again in 1 Chronicles 1:35. The statement in Genesis 36:6, Genesis 36:7, that Esau went with his family and possessions, which he had acquired in Canaan, into the land of Seir, from before his brother Jacob, does not imply (in contradiction to Genesis 32:4; Genesis 33:14-16) that he did not leave the land of Canaan till after Jacob's return. The words may be understood without difficulty as meaning, that after founding a house of his own, when his family and flocks increased, Esau sought a home in Seir, because he knew that Jacob, as the heir, would enter upon the family possessions, but without waiting till he returned and actually took possession. In the clause "went into the country" (Genesis 36:6), the name Seir or Edom (cf. Genesis 36:16) must have dropt out, as the words "into the country" convey no sense when standing by themselves.
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