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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 36

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Now these [are] the generations of Esau, who [is] Edom.

Who is Edom. — The name and note of his profaneness. A stigmatical Belialist. It were a happiness to the wicked, if they might be forgotten. Ecclesiastes 8:10

Verse 4

And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;

Eliphaz. — Job’s friend, say some: a good man; but much mistaken in Job, whom he so sharply censures.

Verse 6

And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.

From the face of his brother Jacob. — Or, Before the coming of his brother Jacob; by a special providence of God, to make room for the right heir. It is he that "determineth the bounds of our habitations." Acts 17:26 It was he that espied out this land for his peculiar people; and that kept the room empty all the time of the Babylonish captivity, till the return of the natives; though it were a pleasant country, left destitute of inhabitants, and surrounded with many warlike nations. Piscator renders this text, propter Iacobum, and expounds it, Because he knew that the land of Canaan should be Jacob’s, according to God’s promise made to him in his father’s blessing of him. But I doubt whether Esau would yield to him for any such reason.

Verse 7

For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.

For their riches were more, … — And besides, mount Seir was more fit for a hunter. A good ease it was to Jacob, who had little joy in his neighbourhood. "God will not take the ungodly by the hand"; Job 8:20 , marg. no more will his people. When they are forced to be in ill company, they cry, "Oh that I had the wings of a dove! that I might flee away": Psalms 55:6 or if that "Oh" will not set them at liberty, they take up that "Woe," to express their misery; "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Meshech!" … Psalms 120:5 It was once the prayer of a good gentlewoman, when she came to die, being in much trouble of conscience: O Lord, let me not go to hell, where the wicked are; for, Lord, thou knowest I never loved their company here. Moses’s Choice, by M. Bur., p. 330.

Verse 11

And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.

And the sons of Eliphaz. — See here the fulfilling of God’s predictions and promises, even to an Esau. Will he be wanting to his obedient people?

Verse 20

These [are] the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,

These are the sons of Seir. — Esau was by marriage allied to this Seir: for he married his niece Aholibamah: Genesis 36:2 yet the children of Esau chased away the Horims of Seir, and dwelt in their stead in mount Seir. Deuteronomy 2:12 Wicked men are void of natural affection, in their pursuit of profit or preferment; Abimelech, Absalom, Athaliah, for instance; and that Amida, son of Muleasses, king of Tunis, who rose up against his father, and possessing himself of his kingdom, slew his captains, polluted his wives, took the castle of Tunis; and, after all, put out his father’s and brethren’s eyes, like as Muleasses himself, before, had dealt with his own brethren. Turk. Hist., fol. 745, 747, 642.

Verse 24

And these [are] the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this [was that] Anah that found the mules in the wilderness, as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father.

That found the mules. — By breeding different kinds together, contrary to Leviticus 19:19 . Neither did the world, till then, want any perfect kind of creature; for the mule and the ass differ not, but only in degree. The Greeks call mules half-asses. Hμιονους . See here, saith one, Bp. Babington. the busy curiosity of some men’s natures, given to new and strange inventions. So he that taught a parrot in Rome to repeat the Creed, every article in order, and by itself, distinctly. Fuit olim psittacus Romae aureis centum comparatus, … - C. Rhodig., lib. ii. cap. 32. Another, that painted the whole story of our Savour’s passion, both for persons and things, upon the nails of his own fingers. Had not he little to do, that learned to write a fair hand with his feet? Heidfeld saith he saw it with wonderment. And he Maiolus, in Canic., coloq. 23. as little, that enclosed Homer’s Iliads written in a nut? which Cicero tells us he saw with his eyes. These were laborious toys, quae nec ignoranti nocent, nec scientem iuvant, as Seneca saith Sphinx Phil., p. 785. of sophistry. Hard they are to come by; but of no use or worth: like an olive, or date stone; hard to crack the one, or cleave the other: but nothing, or nothing worth aught, when cracked or cloven, within either, Plin., lib. vii. cap. 12. This same foolish wittiness Alexander wittily scoffed, when he gave a fellow only a bushel of peas, for his pains of throwing, every time, a pea upon a needle’s point, standing a pretty way off.

Verse 31

And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

Before there reigned any king, …Sicut herba tectorum praecocem habet vigorem, sed citius arescit. Exoriuntur impii, sed exuruntur. They are set up on high, but "on slippery places"; Psalms 73:18 advanced, as Haman, but to be brought down again with a vengeance. This observation the Hebrews make upon this text: While Edom reigns and flourishes, Israel groanes under the servitude of Egypt. Pomp and prosperity, then, is no sure note of the true Church.

Verse 40

And these [are] the names of the dukes [that came] of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,

Duke Timnah, duke Alvah. — We had a Duke d’Alva lately in the Netherlands, governor there for the Spaniard, infamous for his inhumanity. For he roasted some to death, starved others, and that even after quarter; saying, though he promised to give them their lives, he did not promise to find them meat. Grimston, Hist. of Netherlands. This was a right Romish Edomite. The Hebrews think the Romans came of the Idumeans. Sure I am, if they be not of the natural descent, they are of the spiritual, or unnatural; and so like, as by the one we may see the face, favour, and affection of the other.

Verse 43

Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these [be] the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he [is] Esau the father of the Edomites.

These be the dukes of Edom. — As the principality of Edom began with dukes, and rose to kings; so it returneth to dukes again, after the death of Hadad, in Moses’s time. 1 Chronicles 1:51 It is likely, saith an interpreter, that, upon the unkind dealing of that Hadad, in denying to let Israel pass through his land, the Lord removed the dignity of kings from that commonwealth, and let it be ruled by dukes again; whereof eleven are here by name rehearsed. So sensible is God, and so severe, in punishing the least unkindness done to his people. Julius Pflugius, complaining to the Emperor, by whom he had been employed, of great wrong done him by the Duke of Saxony, received this answer: Have a little patience; tua causa erit mea causa. So saith God to his abused. "He reproveth," yea, deposeth "even kings for their sakes"; Psalms 105:14 and accounts that the whole "world is not worthy of them!" Hebrews 11:38 nay, not worth one of them, how mean soever regard of outwards; as Chrysostom expounds it.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Genesis 36". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/genesis-36.html. 1865-1868.
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