These [are] the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the
"Before", as the Targum of Jonathan adds, that is, before it was inhabited by Esau and his posterity, and called Edom, and had from him the name of Seir; but the Horites dwelt here before him, even in Abraham's time, ( Genesis 14:6 ) ; and who were so called from their dwelling under ground in holes and caves, with which the further part of the land of Edom abounded, and are the same the Greeks call Trogloditae: Jarchi says, from their Rabbins, these were very expert in the nature of the land, and knew what was fit for olives and what for vines. Now the genealogy of this man is here given, partly to show who were the ancient inhabitants of this land before they were drove out, and succeeded by Esau and his sons, ( Deuteronomy 1:12 Deuteronomy 1:22 ) ; and partly because of the intermarriages of Esau and his posterity with them, whereby they more easily came into the possession of the country; for Esau married the daughter of Anah, the son of Zibeon, a son of Seir, ( Genesis 36:11 Genesis 36:24 Genesis 36:25 ) ; and Eliphaz took Timna, a sister of Lotan the son of Seir, to be his concubine, ( Genesis 36:12 Genesis 36:22 ) ; the names of the sons of Seir follow,
Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah:
the first of these is said F2 to be the same with Latinus, a king that reigned in Italy, which seems to be taken from the fancied resemblance of names. Zibeon and Anah are here spoken of as brethren, the sons of Seir; whereas in ( Genesis 36:24 ) ; they are made mention of as father and son, (See Gill on Genesis 36:2); Zibeon, according to the Jewish writers F3, committed incest with his mother, whence came Anah, and is called his brother, because of the same mother, and his son, as being begotten by him. They seem to seek for such kind of copulations to reproach the Edomites.
F2 Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 79. 1.
F3 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 54. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 115. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 82. fol. 72. 1.