Genesis 36:41
Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
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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.The hereditary dukes who were contemporaneous with this sovereign, and formed no doubt his council, are now enumerated. Timna, once the name of a female, now appears as a male, unless we allow a duchess in her own right to have occurred among them. The same applies to Oholibamah. Alva or Aljah is near akin to Alvan or Allan Genesis 36:23. Jetheth, Elah, Pinon, Mibzar, Magdiel, Iram, are new names. Four of the old names reappear. One is only slightly different. The number of dukes is eleven. It is probable that Amalek separated from the family confederacy; and the number of tribes may have been originally twelve. The seven Horite dukedoms probably merged into the Idumaean eleven.

- Joseph Was Sold into Egypt

17. דתין dotayı̂n Dothain, "two wells?" (Gesenius)

25. נכאת neko't "tragacanth" or goat's-thorn gum, yielded by the "astragalus gummifer", a native of Mount Lebanon. צרי tsērı̂y "opobalsamum," the resin of the balsam tree, growing in Gilead, and having healing qualities. לט loṭ, λῆδον lēdon, "ledum, ladanum," in the Septuagint στακτή staktē. The former is a gum produced from the cistus rose. The latter is a gum resembling liquid myrrh.

36. פוטיפר pôṭı̂yphar Potiphar, "belonging to the sun."

The sketch of the race of Edom, given in the preceding piece, we have seen, reaches down to the time of Moses. Accordingly, the history of Jacob's seed, which is brought before us in the present document, reverts to a point of time not only before the close of that piece, but before the final record of what precedes it. The thread of the narrative is here taken up from the return of Jacob to Hebron, which was seventeen years before the death of Isaac.

40-43. Recapitulation of the dukes according to their residences. No text from Poole on this verse.

Duke Aholibamah, Duke Elah, Duke Pinon. The former is the name of a woman, Genesis 36:2; here the name of a man, and also of the place of which he was duke; for Jerom observes (q), that Oolibama is a city of the princes of Edom, and who also makes mention of Elath, a country of the princes of Edom, and a city of Esau, ten miles from Petra to the east (r), and the seat of Duke Pinon was very probably Phinon, which lay between Petra and Zoar (s).

(q) De Loc. Heb. fol. 93. K. (r) Ib. fol. 91. E. (s) Eusebius apud Reland. Palestin. illustrat. p. 71.

Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
41. duke Elah] Probably the chief of the tribe that resided on the coast of Elath. The name appears in the kinship of Caleb (1 Chronicles 4:15).

Pinon] Possibly the same as Punon (cf. Numbers 33:42) between Petra and Zoar.

Genesis 36:41(Parallel, 1 Chronicles 1:51-54). Seats of the Tribe-Princes of Esau According to Their Families. - That the names which follow are not a second list of Edomitish tribe-princes (viz., of those who continued the ancient constitution, with its hereditary aristocracy, after Hadar's death), but merely relate to the capital cities of the old phylarchs, is evident from the expression in the heading, "After their places, by their names," as compared with Genesis 36:43, "According to their habitations in the land of their possession." This being the substance and intention of the list, there is nothing surprising in the fact, that out of the eleven names only two correspond to those given in Genesis 36:15-19. This proves nothing more than that only two of the capitals received their names from the princes who captured or founded them, viz., Timnah and Kenaz. Neither of these has been discovered yet. The name Aholibamah is derived from the Horite princess (Genesis 36:25); its site is unknown. Elah is the port Aila (vid., Genesis 14:6). Pinon is the same as Phunon, an encampment of the Israelites (Numbers 33:42-43), celebrated for its mines, in which many Christians were condemned to labour under Diocletian, between Petra and Zoar, to the northeast of Wady Musa. Teman is the capital of the land of the Temanites (Genesis 36:34). Mibzar is supposed by Knobel to be Petra; but this is called Selah elsewhere (2 Kings 14:7). Magdiel and Iram cannot be identified. The concluding sentence, "This is Esau, the father (founder) of Edom" (i.e., from his sprang the great nation of the Edomites, with its princes and kings, upon the mountains of Seir), not only terminates this section, but prepared the way for the history of Jacob, which commences with the following chapter.
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