And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,
&c.] In the land that was afterwards called the land of Edom; for this laud was not so called when these kings began to reign: for, according to Bishop Cumberland F6, and those that follow him F7, these were Horite kings, who, after their defeat by Chedorlaomer, ( Genesis 14:5 Genesis 14:6 ) ; in order to secure themselves the better from such a calamity for the future, set up a kingdom, and which appears, by the following account, to be elective; and so Maimonides F8 observes, that not one of these kings were of Edom: and these were, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel;
and there being no kings over Israel until many years after the times of Moses, hence some have thought these words are inserted by some other writer after him; but there is no need to suppose that; for Moses knew, from foregoing prophecies and promises, that kings would arise out of them and reign over them, ( Genesis 17:6 ) ( 35:11 ) ; and this he was so certain of, that he himself, by divine direction, gave laws and rules to the children of Israel respecting their future kings, ( Deuteronomy 17:14-20 ) ; besides Moses himself was king in Jeshurun or Israel, ( Deuteronomy 33:5 ) , so that it is the same as if he had said, these are the kings that reigned in Edom, before this time.
F6 Orig. Gent. Antiq. p. 1-24.
F7 Bedford in his Scripture Chronology, and the Authors of the Universal History.
F8 Morch Nevochim, par. 3. c. 50. p. 510.