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This is one of the sections of the biblical literature which all of us are tempted to hurry over, because it appears to be almost exclusively a list of names. We may allow that it appears uninteresting, nevertheless it is of great importance, having a very definite place and value in the highways of history.
The story of the prolific progeny of "that profane person Esau" is at once startling and solemn. The sons of the flesh would seem to have multiplied far faster than the seed of promise. The relationship between these two lines is revealed in a brief and pregnant sentence in the first verse, "Esau . . . is Edom," which is repeated in verse 19, and the fact is emphasized in the closing statement, "This is Esau, the father of the Edomites." These references are evidently intended to draw attention to the origins of the people who through long centuries were antagonistic to Israel.
Though, personally, Jacob escaped the anger of his brother, the harvests resulting from his deceit were reaped in after years. These harvests of the centuries are full of suggestiveness. They reveal the awful and stupendous greatness of life. The deed of good or evil, of truth or falsehood, done today is not ended, though it is done. There is indeed nothing small.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 36". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany