Genesis 36:24

Genesis 36:24

And these are the children of Zibeon
The third son of Self, and who had two sons;

both Ajah and Anah;
of the latter it is observed:

this [was that] Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed
the asses of Zibeon his father;
who observed, while he was feeding his father's asses in the wilderness, that the he asses coupled with mares, or horses with the she asses, and produced another sort of creatures called mules; and by this means found out the way how such creatures might be produced, and practised it: so Aelianus says F4, that mules are not the produce of nature, but you may call it an adulterous invention of human contrivance and boldness, and a theft: this is the common interpretation, and to which our version leads: but against it it may be observed, that the word for "mules" is different from this here used, nor is this word ever used of mules, nor does it appear that there were any creatures of this sort before the days of David; nor is the word translated "found" ever used of that which before was not in being, but of what already existed; nor is there any mention of horses or mares in this account also; had it referred to a mixture of these creatures with asses, it would not have been omitted. Some think therefore the words are to be rendered, "he found waters in the wilderness"; sources and collections of waters which were not usual in a wilderness, and of great worth and use in desert lands, as Edom was, and in those hot countries, and the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "hot waters"; but then to the fixing of either of these versions, the word must be altered either in its points or letters, for which there is no authority. The Targum of Onkelos renders it mighty ones or giants, and may signify the "Emim", the "aleph" being changed for "yod", as Aben Ezra observes; and then the sense is, that these gigantic people, who were so called from the terror they taught upon their neighbours, and, who dwelt near the Horim in Seir, ( Deuteronomy 2:10-12 ) , as they used to steal from their flocks, Anah lighted on them in the wilderness, and fell upon them, and took them; and with this agrees the Samaritan version, "he found giants, in the wilderness"; and so Abendana interprets the words: Aben Ezra observes that many interpret the word of plants or herbs; and a very learned F5 man is of opinion that the word used is the name of an useful herb or plant, first discovered by Anah. This Anah, though a keeper of his father's asses, is afterwards called Duke Anah; it being the custom of the sons of great personages to be the keepers of flocks and herds; (See Gill on Genesis 29:9).


F4 De Animal. l. 12. c. 16.
F5 Wagenseil, in Sota, p. 217, 218.