Esau’s Genealogy


People ask why it is important to read through genealogies. They are not simply fun information for nerdy people, but are important to trace families and record actual history. The genealogies are actually super important in the span of the books that they are found in, and actually serve as a means to move the plot forward. But first, there are plenty of nuggets to be found in Genesis 36.

First, a study of the names revealed as the kings of Edom. There are eight kings of Edom, where the first seven correspond to the days of creation and the eighth is a link to the eighth day, the day of resurrection.

Bela, son of Beor: Best as I can tell, Bela is “Master” and Beor is “fire”. This corresponds to the light created on the first day. (Another Hebrew scholar I found suggests that Beor is related to ba’ar, or beastly. The beasts play a huge role in the Scriptures, so it might be important to keep it in mind).

Jobab, son of Zerah of Bozrah ruled second: Jobab is hard to translate, but it looks like “to speak shrilly”, Zerah could mean “to rise”, and Bozrah is a “boundary”, or firmament. Some how these are related to the firmament placed between earth, man’s domain, and heaven, God’s domain. (This is a HUGE jump in speculation: Could Jobab be related to Job? Job was a priest who became a king, and priests are the mediators who transcend the firmament to the heavenly throne of God.)

Husham of the land of the Temanites: Teman is a cognate of the verb “to go right”, where the right hand is the position of kings. Husham is related to “pleasure”. The verbal form of his name is found in Ecclesiastes 2:25, “Who can eat and feel enjoyment?” Somehow, there’s a link to the food created on the third day.

Hadad the son of Bedad reigned in Avith: Hadad is related to other Semitic languages meaning “loud”, a second king referring to noises. Remember that noises are an integral part of the book of Genesis, where God creates by his words, and verbally promises a son to Abraham, stops his sacrifices by his words, etc. Avith is related to twisting or bending, or sinning. I can’t find anything on Bedad, except that James Jordan translates “B-dad” as idle talker, which he says makes sense: just as the stars signify leaders who are teachers, an idle talker is a teacher (just not a good one).

Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place: Samlah is related to the word for garment, for which I only have a vague idea to connect it to the fifth day. The birds and the creatures of the sea are both symbols of the glory-cloud. Clouds are also a glory-cloud, and God wraps himself in clouds as he rides to rescue his saints. Priests surrounded themselves with clouds to ascend to the Holy of Holies. Maybe the connection is that Garment is related to the Garment of the glory-clouds symbolized by fish and birds.

Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates: Shaul has the same root as Saul, and it means “to beg” or “to ask” (cf. I Samuel 23:2; Joshua 9:14). Based on a cautious suggestion based on a little knowledge of Hebrew, the verbal form acting as a noun might signify that he is the Asked-For One (based on a scholar whose name I’m blanking hard core on right now). Rehoboth means “Large Land”. He is a new Adam, a requested one, ruling over a large land. Pretty obvious connections to Christ, the anointed one, who rules the world. He is a new Adam, a new Nimrod for the Edomites.

Baal-hanan the son of Achbor takes his place: Baal-hanan means “the Lord is gracious”, or cf. Hosea where Israel calls Yahweh “baal” as a way to mean both the god Ba’al and “husband”. Achbor means “mice”, which are unclean but I don’t see a significance. Clearly a link to the Sabbath: The Gracious Lord rests from his creation.

Finally, Hadar from Pau reigns: Hadar is related to the verb meaning “glorify” or “adore” and his wife, Mehetable’s name meaning “good god”. A Resurrection Day victory for Edom: after eight kings, a pair that glorifies the good God.

So, on the Resurrection Day King, the Edomites find salvation to an extent. (We know that they continue to fight the people of God until Jacob and Esau’s ultimate descendants, Jesus and Herod, face off [cf. Revelation 12]). Consider Genesis 36 as a “fast-forward” viewing of Esau’s history. After chasing Jacob his entire life for stealing the birthright, Esau finally bows to Jacob after Jacob wrestles with God. Esau realizes that he truly is his brother’s keeper, and God rewards his line temporarily for that. The insertion of his line is not a tangent from the book, but it’s a proof that God truly blesses those that bless Abraham’s family.

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