Esau and his descendants.
- The registers in this chapter show the faithfulness of God to his promise to Abraham. Esau is here called Edom, that name which kept up the remembrance of his selling his birth-right for a mess of pottage. Esau continued the same profane despiser of heavenly things. In outward prosperity and honour, the children of the covenant are often behind, and those that are out of the covenant get the start. We may suppose it a trial to the faith of God's Israel, to hear of the pomp and power of the kings of Edom, while they were bond-slaves in Egypt; but those that look for great things from God, must be content to wait for them; God's time is the best time. Mount Seir is called the land of their possession. Canaan was at this time only the land of promise. Seir was in the possession of the Edomites. The children of this world have their all in hand, and nothing in hope, ( Luke 16:25 ) ; while the children of God have their all in hope, and next to nothing in hand. But, all things considered, it is beyond compare better to have Canaan in promise, than mount Seir in possession.
This chapter gives us a genealogical account of Esau's family, of his wives and sons, with whom he removed from Seir, Ge 36:1-10; of his sons' sons, or grandsons, who were dukes in the land of Edom, Ge 36:11-19; after which is inserted a genealogy of Seir the Horite, into whose family Esau married, and of his children, and the dukes among them, Ge 36:20-30; then follows a list of the kings of Edom, before there were any in Israel, Ge 36:31-39; and the chapter is closed with a brief narration of the dukes of Esau, according to their families, Ge 36:40-43.