Genesis 36 Commentary

Genesis 36 Commentary

The focus is on Esau. The chapter gives us a detailed picture of Esau’s line. This is the line of Edom or the Edomites. The Edomites had a very long history of hostility against their brothers, the Israelites.

One important point here though is that out of Esau came peoples that were collectively called Edom. The blessing of God via Isaac stays. Importantly the blessing of Abraham to father the nations stays strong. But the fact that Esau’s line is not taken further apart from occasional reference means that real focus is on the SEED. We want to be reminded that the word is SEED and not seeds. The narration narrows down to Israel’s line again.

We also notice that this line is not isolated. The scripture takes care of historical sources of the characters that it mentions. Like we saw in the sad story of Lot’s two daughters – where two nations, Moabites and Ammonites are born, here we see the birth of Edom. So when we see these nations in future we are drawn to these sources.

In many cases these are lines of sin running through generations. The contrast is that in the case of the ‘seed line’ we have the blessing that is constantly repeated with new details being added at each point. At the same time we see that in the immediate context the blessing seem to get a bad hit and reduce in scope because of man’s short-comings. But in the real scheme of things the seed line and purpose remain intact.

Isaac had two son. Chapter 36 looks at the account of Esau. Chapter 37, 38, 39…. and the rest of the Bible looks at the account of Jacob.

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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