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This Chapter is a digression from the main subject of Jacob's history, but becomes so far interesting from its connection with it, as it records the fulfillment of the divine promises concerning the posterity of Esau. When Rebekah was pregnant with Jacob and Esau, the LORD informed her that two nations were in her womb; and that two manner of people should be separated from her bowels. In confirmation of this, the distinct race of Esau for several generations is recorded in this Chapter: their decided hatred to the seed of Jacob is thereby more clearly left for discernment, as it occurred in the after ages of the Church.
Observe, though Esau had three wives, yet but five sons from all. More wives than one, which is contrary to the divine ordination, is not always favourable to the increase of mankind.
Genesis 26:34 .
1 Chronicles 1:35 , etc.
Genesis 13:11; Genesis 13:11 ; Deuteronomy 2:5 ; Joshua 24:4 . Concerning Esau's wealth, I would say with one of old: Psalms 17:14-15 .
How short the account! how trifling the record of this man's race! Here is no further mention of them than by name: and their very posterity enumerated only to three or four generations. Reader! look at that scripture, Psalms 37:35-36 .
Respecting the title here; see Genesis 27:40 . Reader! observe, that while Jacob's children were husbandmen, Esau's race were nobles. And yet what said GOD? See Malachi 1:2 . But how sure that promise, Isaiah 56:5 ?
On these verses I only remark, that the Hittites which also sprung from Esau, are here incorporated in the history. Genesis 26:34 .
1 Chronicles 1:43 , etc.-From dukes the seed of Esau advance to kings. But all the while are rejected from the covenant of promise. Psalms 72:17 .
There is much spiritual improvement to be drawn from the perusal of this Chapter by every gracious soul, when GOD the HOLY GHOST awakens the heart to the observation. Jacob's seed, no doubt, while they were bond-slaves in Egypt felt their misery the more, while calling to mind the splendour of Esau's race in Edom. But how mistaken are our views of things, and what false calculations do we make in our estimation of happiness. Esau's children were great indeed among men. But the seed of Jacob were beloved in the sight of GOD. JESUS hath made them kings and priests to GOD and the FATHER, and they shall reign with him forever. Dear LORD! give me that sweet promise and I ask no more. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me on my throne. Revelation 3:21 .
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 36". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17