Genesis 36 Commentary

Descendants of Esau (36:1-43)

The story is now about to move on from Jacob to his family, but first the record of Esau is brought to a close. The covenant family (Jacob’s) had settled in Canaan, while the non-covenant family (Esau’s) had settled in Edom. There, over many years, Esau’s descendants grew into a large nation (36:1-19; cf. 27:39- 40). As the Edomites grew, the original inhabitants of the land, the Horites, were either forced to move elsewhere or absorbed into Edom (20-30; cf. 14:6; Deut 2:12). The record lists the early Edomite kings (31-39) and the main Edomite tribal divisions (40-43).

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