Friday, February 14, 2020

In The Beginning. Day 137, Esau's Family, Part Two

Today we continue on with our look at Esau's family.

"Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan." (Genesis 38:4-5) Esau had five sons compared to Jacob's twelve. We will learn he has daughters too but Biblical genealogies follow only the male lines so we know pretty much nothing about the daughters.

"Esau took his wives and sons and daughters and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock and all his other animals and all the goods he had acquired in Canaan, and moved to a land some distance from his brother Jacob. Their possessions were too great for them to remain together; the land where they were staying could not support them both because of their livestock. So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir." (Genesis 36:6-8) It appears as if the two brothers are able to get along with each other on their late father's estate; they simply have so many flocks and herds that there isn't enough grazing land for them all. Esau, the elder brother, is the one who moves. I think maybe Jacob has begun to take over the duties of the one who owns the birthright, but if so there doesn't seem to be any ill will between him and his brother.

"This is the account of the family line of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir. These are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz, the son of Esau's wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau's wife Basemath. The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenez. Esau's son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek. These were grandsons of Esau's wife Adah." (Genesis 36:9-12) One of these grandsons is the father of the Amalekites, a tribe that will become bitter enemies of Israel.

"The sons of Esau's son Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were grandsons of Esau's wife Basemath." (Genesis 36:13)

"The sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon, whom she bore to Esau: Jeush, Jalam and Korah." (Genesis 36:14) We don't know who Anah and Zibeon were but they must have been very prominent men of Canaan since the author of Genesis takes the time to provide this information about the genealogy of a woman who is not in the bloodline of the Messiah.

The Lord promised Jacob that kings will be among his descendants. (Genesis 35:11) God's own Son, the King of kings, will be born of the descendants of Jacob's son Judah. The Lord made no promises to Esau about kings or covenants, but He still blessed Esau with many chieftains among his descendants. "These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam and Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in Edom; they were grandsons of Adah. The sons of Esau's son Reuel: Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the chiefs descended from Reuel in in Edom; they were grandsons of Esau's wife Basemath. The sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah: Chiefs Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the chiefs descended from Esau's wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah. These were the sons of Esau (that is, Edom) and these were their chiefs." (Genesis 36:15-19)

The Edomites are not going to be good friends to the Israelites later on, though they are closely connected to them by blood. When the children of Israel make their exodus from Egypt, the Edomites will refuse to let them pass through their territory. The Edomites will later rebel and fight against the kings of Israel. Herod the Great, who will order all the baby boys of Bethlehem killed when he hears that the Promised One is born in Israel, was a descendant of the Edomites. The Lord will tell Israel not to wipe out the descendants of Esau because the two nations are brothers through their ancestors Jacob and Esau, but the Edomites will have no such qualms about wiping out people of Israel. The Edomites, like their forefather Esau, will not be very spiritually minded toward the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their ears will not be open to His instructions and they will not want to get along with the descendants of Esau's brother Jacob.

Tomorrow we will conclude Chapter 36 with a look at the tribes with which Esau's sons and grandsons intermarried, then we will see a list of rulers who were in the land during that time. The author of Genesis provides us with these lists because they will become important later on when the Lord rescues the nation of Israel from Egypt and commands them to begin taking over the promised land.

After we finish Chapter 36 our focus will be back on Jacob and his family. When we rejoin them in Chapter 37 they are going to be as dysfunctional as ever. Jacob will show so much favoritism to his eldest son by Rachel that ten of the brothers are going to hatch a plan to get this brother out of their lives for good. But it's all part of God's plan and I'm very excited to begin studying soon the life of Jacob's son Joseph who will be sold into slavery by his brothers but who, by God's design, will rise to power in Egypt and be in the perfect position to save the lives of all the tribes of Israel.

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