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Biography

Esau (Hairy). Elder son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. The two brothers were rivals from their birth and became the ancestors of rival nations, the Israelites and Edomites. Esau sold to Jacob his birthright (Gen. 25:33), by which he lost both the leadership of the tribe and also the covenant blessing (Gen. 27:28–29, 36; Heb. 12:16–17). He married against the wishes of his parents (Gen. 26:34–35; see also 28:9; 36:2) and settled in Mount Seir. He was living there on Jacob’s return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:3–32; 35:1, 29). By that time he saw clearly that the covenant blessing and the land of Canaan would not be his, and the brothers separated in friendly fashion. Of Esau’s subsequent history nothing is known. For his descendants, see Edom.

Biography

Esau (Hairy). Elder son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob. The two brothers were rivals from their birth and became the ancestors of rival nations, the Israelites and Edomites. Esau sold to Jacob his birthright (Gen. 25:33), by which he lost both the leadership of the tribe and also the covenant blessing (Gen. 27:28–29, 36; Heb. 12:16–17). He married against the wishes of his parents (Gen. 26:34–35; see also 28:9; 36:2) and settled in Mount Seir. He was living there on Jacob’s return from Padan-aram (Gen. 32:3–32; 35:1, 29). By that time he saw clearly that the covenant blessing and the land of Canaan would not be his, and the brothers separated in friendly fashion. Of Esau’s subsequent history nothing is known. For his descendants, see Edom.

Genesis 26 Narrative

He married against the wishes of his parents (Gen. 26:34–35; see also 28:9; 36:2) and settled in Mount Seir.


34 ¶ And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Genesis 26:34-35 - KJV

Genesis 27 Narrative

Rebekah guides Jacob in seeking blessings—Jacob is blessed to have dominion and rule over peoples and nations—Esau hates Jacob and plans to slay him—


Genesis 28 Narrative


6 ¶ When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padan-aram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan;
7 And that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Padan-aram;
8 And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father;
9 Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
Genesis 28:6-9 - KJV

Genesis 36: Descendants of Esau

Genesis Chapter 36 -The descendants of Esau, who is Edom, are listed. (KJV)


1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
3 And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
4 And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
5 And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
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.
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.
8 Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
9 ¶ And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
10 These are the names of Esau’s sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau.
11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
14 ¶ And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
15 ¶ These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz,
16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.
17 ¶ And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
18 ¶ And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.
19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.


Family and Marriage

There appears to be a significant transcription mistake in the genealogical record of Esau's family as recorded in the Book of Genesis, causing much confusion over the identities of his wives. Is Adah the same person as Bashemath (daughter of Elon)? Is Bashemath the same as Malahath (daughter of Ishmael). Compare Gen 26:34 with Gen 36:2-3 and also again with the mother of children listed in Gen 36:10 and elsewhere.

1st Marriage: Adah bat Elon

Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite. (Gen 36:2)

  1. Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, (Gen 36:10)

2nd Marriage: Aholibamah

Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; (Gen 36:2) "And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife." (Gen 36:18)


3rd Marriage: Bashemath or Mahalath

  • "And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth". (Gen 36:3)
  • "and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:" (Gen 26:34)
  • "Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife." (Gen 28:9)

Bashemath could be the same person as Mahalath bat Ishmael? In either case - she had one son:

  • Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau. (Gen 36:10)

4th Marriage: Judith

34 ¶ And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, (Gen 28:9)



Children


Offspring of Esau and Adah bat Elon
Name Birth Death Joined with
Eliphaz ben Esau 9999 Mount Seir Timna bat Seir

Offspring of Esau and Aholibamah bat Anah
Name Birth Death Joined with
Jeush ben Esau
Jalam ben Esau
Korah ben Esau

Offspring of Esau and Bashemath bat Ishmael
Name Birth Death Joined with
Reuel ben Esau

Siblings


Offspring of Isaac and Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel
Name Birth Death Joined with
Esau ben Isaac Adah bat Elon
Aholibamah bat Anah
Bashemath bat Ishmael
Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite

Jacob ben Isaac 9999 Land of Canaan 9999 Goshen, Egypt Leah, daughter of Laban
Rachel, daughter of Laban
Bilhah, daughter of Laban
Zilpah, daughter of Laban

Descendants

  • the Edomites
  • The Horites = Later, (according to Genesis 36:26-43), the Horites co-existed and inter-married with the family of Esau, grandson of Abraham through Isaac (Genesis 25:20-25). They were eventually brought under the rule of the descendants of Esau, also then known as Edom.


Sources

  • Book of Genesis
  • See Wikipedia article Esau
  • Esau - LDS Bible Dictionary

References

There is a contradiction as to the names of Esau's wives. More information here [1]


Footnotes (including sources)

₪ Wedding
  • 2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; (Gen 36:2)
2 Wedding 2
  • 2 Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; (Gen 36:2)
2 Wedding 3
  • And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth. (Gen 36:3)
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