by Harley Howard

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Genesis Chapter 36 (34 of 47)
Series: The Study of The Word Of God
Harley Howard

Chapter 36 presents some interpretation problems with the names of the wives of Esau.

1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
3 And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
4 And Adah bore to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bore Reuel;
5 And Aholibamah bore Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.

The lists of Esau's wives are not the same names of the wives that are written in chapters 26 and 28. The possible explanations are given:

1) These could have had more than one name, which seems to be the logical explanation. Esau was called Edom, so it was possible that some of the wives could have had more than one name.

2) Esau could have married more wives than are listed. Some say as many as six, and that either the others have died or Esau had a preference of these three wives and so they are listed.

6 And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.7 For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.

Both Esau and Jacob were so wealthy that the land was not able to hold them both and there was not enough grazing for both of their herds of cattle. Esau went to Seir, the greener land of course.

9 And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
10 These are the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel t ...

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