Read Genesis 36
1 This is the account of the family line of Esau (that is, Edom).
2 Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite— 3 also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.
4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan.
6 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. 7 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. 8 So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir.
9 This is the account of the family line of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.
10 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.
11 The sons of Eliphaz:
Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz.
12 Esau’s son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek. These were grandsons of Esau’s wife Adah.
13 The sons of Reuel:
Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
14 The sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon, whom she bore to Esau:
Jeush, Jalam and Korah.
15 These were the chiefs among Esau’s descendants:
The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau:
Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam and Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in Edom; they were grandsons of Adah.
17 The sons of Esau’s son Reuel:
Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. These were the chiefs descended from Reuel in Edom; they were grandsons of Esau’s wife Basemath.
18 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.
19 These were the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these were their chiefs.
20 These were the sons of Seir the Horite, who were living in the region:
Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These sons of Seir in Edom were Horite chiefs.
22 The sons of Lotan:
Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister.
23 The sons of Shobal:
Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho and Onam.
24 The sons of Zibeon:
Aiah and Anah. This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.
25 The children of Anah:
Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.
26 The sons of Dishon:
Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran and Keran.
27 The sons of Ezer:
Bilhan, Zaavan and Akan.
28 The sons of Dishan:
Uz and Aran.
29 These were the Horite chiefs:
Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. These were the Horite chiefs, according to their divisions, in the land of Seir.
The Rulers of Edom
31 These were the kings who reigned in Edom before any Israelite king reigned:
32 Bela son of Beor became king of Edom. His city was named Dinhabah.
33 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah succeeded him as king.
34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king.
35 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. His city was named Avith.
36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah succeeded him as king.
37 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the river succeeded him as king.
38 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan son of Akbor succeeded him as king.
39 When Baal-Hanan son of Akbor died, Hadad succeeded him as king. His city was named Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab.
40 These were the chiefs descended from Esau, by name, according to their clans and regions:
Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel and Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements in the land they occupied.
This is the family line of Esau, the father of the Edomites.
It’s easy to skip Genesis 36, thinking there isn’t much there for us to learn other than a historical account of real people who lived 4000+ years ago. But, let’s fight that temptation to run past it and sit with these 43 verses for just a moment.
Genesis 36 is a lot like walking through a cemetery. Unfamiliar names on gravestones, memorials to people with whom we have little or no connection. Yet, we all wonder as we walk by, “What was their story?” We stroll through cemeteries, trying to piece together the stories of people we don’t know. Inevitably, we pass a gravestone that causes us to stop—the gravestone that has dates of birth and death too close together for our comfort. The memorial of a life cut short. We don’t like that one. It reminds us too much that we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
We’d be wise to read Genesis 36 and come face to face with two realities: Death is coming for us all, and God is faithful to keep His word.
We don’t like thinking about our mortality. James 4 tells us that our lives are a mist, a vapor. Matthew 6 reminds us that what we do with our lives here matters for all eternity. Our work in the temporal can store up treasures in the eternal. Matthew 16 warns us that we can gain the whole world and lose our soul. This was Esau’s story. He had wives, money, possessions. He had everything he wanted except the one thing he needed. He had it all, but none of it saved him.
But, don’t miss God’s faithfulness in the story of Esau. Remember in Genesis 25:23, the Lord said Esau would be a great nation. We read today about Esau being a great nation! It came to pass. God keeps His word. His promises never fail. If God kept His promise to a faithless, godless man, we can be sure He will keep all His promises to His people.
Let’s preach the gospel. Die. And be forgotten. Leverage it all for Jesus. He’ll be faithful to you.
“Let us live as we shall wish we had lived when life is over.” – Charles Spurgeon
What do you learn about God and about man in Genesis 36?
What’s the story people will tell of your life?
How has God been faithful to you?
Did You Know?
The same thing that the Israelites did to the Canaanites, Esauites did to Horites. The pattern of this chapter moves backwards from the conquerors (v. 9-19) to the conquered (v. 20-30). Theologians believe that the primary lesson from this genealogy is that worldly success comes much quicker than spiritual success. Therefore, believers must be patient to receive what God has for them!