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The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 36 ~

Parashah 8: Vayishlach (continued)
(“He sent”) • Genesis 32:3 –36:43

(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

G. Edomites: Descendants of Esau (ch 36) [1730 BCE]

1. 'Esavְ’s Canaanite wives (36:1-5)

1Now thse are the descendants of 'Esav“hairy” (that is, Edom“red”[1]). 2'Esav took his wives from the Kena‘aniCanaanite women: Adah“ornament” the daughter of Elon[2] the Hittite; and OholivamahAholibamah = “tent of the high place” the daughter of 'Anah“answer” and granddaughter of Tziv‘on“colored”, the Hivite; 3and Ishmael’s daughter Basemathor Basmath, “spice”, sister of NebaiothNebaioth or Nebajoth, “heights”.[3] 4Adah bore Elifaz“my God is (fine) gold” to 'Esav. Basemath bore Re'u'elReuel or Raguel, “friend of God”. 5Oholivamah bore Ye‘ushJehush or Ye‘ush, “He hurries to aid”, Ya‘lamJaalam = 'concealed', and Korach“bald”. These are the sons of 'Esav who were born to him in the land of Kena'an.[5]

2. 'Esav Settles in Se‘ir (36:6-8)

6'Esav took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, with his livestock, all his animals, and all the possessions he had acquired in Kena'an, and moved to a land far away from his brother Ya'akov. 7For their possessions were too great for them to live together, and because their herds were so great the land could’t support them. 8so 'Esav, that is Edom, settled in the hill country of Se'ir. [MAP]

3. The Tribes of the Edomites (36:9-43)

9This is the history of the descendants of 'Esav the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Se'ir: 10these are the names of 'Esav’s sons: Elifaz, the son of 'Esav’s wife Adah, and Re'u'el, the son of 'Esav’s wife Basemath.

11The sons of Elifaz were Teman“south”, Omar“speaker” or “eloquent”, Tzefo“watch tower”, Ga‘tam“a burht valley”, and K’naz“hunter”. 12Timna, a concubine of 'Esav’s son Elifaz, bore Amalek“valley dweller”. These are the grandsons of 'Esav’s wife Adah.

13The sons of Re'u'el were Nachat“rest”, Zerach“rising”, Shammah“astonishment”, and Mizah“fear”. These were the grandsons of ‘Esav’s wife Basmat.

14These are the sons of ‘Esav’s wife Oholivamah, the daughter of 'Anah and granddaughter of Tziv‘on, that she bore to ‘Esav: Ye‘ush“he hurries to aid”, Ya‘lam“concealed”, and Korach“bald”.

15The the chieftans of the sons of 'Esav were the sons of Elifaz, 'Esav’ firstborn, and the chieftans of Teman: Omar, Tzefo, K'naz, 16Korah, Gat'am, and Amalek. These are the chieftans descended from Elifaz in Edom and from Adah.

17The sons of 'Esav’s son Re'u'el were the chieftans of Nachat, Zerach, Shammah, and Mizah. These are the chieftans who descended from Re'u'el in the land of Edom and from 'Esav’s wife Basemath.

18The sons of 'Esav’s wife Oholivamah were the chieftans of Ye‘ush, Ya‘lam, and Korach. These are the chieftans who descended from Oholivamah the daughter of 'Esav’s wife 'Anah.

19These are the descendants of 'Esav (that is, Edom), and these are their chieftans.

(vii) 20These are the descendants of Se'ir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan“covering”, Shoval“flowing”, Tziv‘on“colored”, 'Anah“answer”, 21Dishon“thresher”, Etzer“treasure”, and Dishan“thresher”. They are the chieftans who descended from the Horites, the people of Se'ir in the land of Edom.

22The sons of Lotan were Hori“cave dweller” and Heman“exterminating”; Lotan’s sister was Timnah“restrained.

23The sons of Shoval were ‘Alvan“tall”, Manachat“rest”, ‘Eival“stone” or “bare mountain”, Sh’fo“bold” and Onam“vigorous”

24The sons of Tziv‘on were Ayah“falson” and 'Anah. This the is 'Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness as he fed the donkeys of his father Tziv‘on.

25The children of 'Anah were Dishon and a daughter Oholivamah.

26The sons of Dishon were Hemdan“desire”, Eshban“fire of discernment”, Yitran“advantage” and K’ran“lyre”.

27The sons of Etzer were Bilhan“their decrepitude”, Za‘avan“troubled” and ‘Akan“sharp-sighted”.

28The sons of Dishan were 'Utz“wooded” and Aran“joyous”.

29These are the chieftans who descended from the Horites: Lotan, Shoval, Tziv‘on, 'Anah, 30Dishon, Etzer, and Dishan. They are the chieftans who descended from the Horites, by their clans in the land of Se'ir.

[Edom [MAP] 1711 BCE]

31The following are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the people of Isra'el. 32Bela son of B'or“burning”, reigned in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhavah“give thou judgement”. 33When Bela died, Yovav“a desert” son of Zerach“rising” from Botzrah“sheepfold” or “fortress” reigned in his place. 34When Yovav died, Husham“haste” from the land of the Temani[34] reigned in his place. 35When Husham died, Hadad“mighty”, the son of B'dad“solitary”, who killed Midyan in the field of Mo'av, reigned in his place. The name of his city was Avith“ruins”. 36When Hadad died, Samlah“garment” from Masrekah“vineyard of noble vines” reigned in his place. 37When Samlah died, Sha’ul“desired” from Rechovot“wide places or streets” on the [Euphrates] River reigned in his place. 38When Shaul died, Ba‘al-Chanan“Baal is gracious” the son of ‘Akhbor“mouse” reigned in his place. 39When Ba‘al-Chanan the son of ‘Akhbor died, Hadar“honor” reigned in his place; the name of his city was Pa'u“bleating”. His wife’s name was M’heitav’el“favoured of God” the daughter of Matred“pushing forward” the daughter of Mei-Zahav“waters of gold”.

(Maftir) 40These are the names of the chieftans who descended from 'Esav, according to their clans, places, and names: chieftans Timna“restraind”, 'Alvah“evil”, Y'tet“a nail”, 41Oholivamah“tent of the high place”, Elah“an oak”, Pinon“darkness”, 42Kenaz“hunter”, Teman“south”, Mivtzar“fortress”, 43Magdi'el“prince of God”, and 'Iram“belonging to a city”. These are the chieftans of Edom according to their settlements in the land they possessed. This is 'Esav, the father of the Edomites.

The brakah (blessing) to recite after reading the Parashah is here.

The brakah to recite before reading the Haftarah is here.

The Haftarah for this Portion is Hosea 11:7–12:12(11) (A); Obadiah 1–21 (S)

The brakah to recite before reading from the Apostolic Writings is here.

The reading from the Apostolic Writings is 1 Corinthians 5:1–13; Revelation 7:1–12
The Blessing of the Messiah to recite after reading from the Gospels is here.

Chapter 37


  1.  The surname Edom is added to the name 'Esav (Esau), which he received at his birth, because that became the national designation of his descendants. [RETURN]

 2. Elon means “mighty” or “terebinth,” a small tree of the cashew family that was formerly a source of turpentine. [RETURN]

 3. The names of Esau's three wives differ from those given in the previous accounts (Genesis 26:34 and Genesis 28:9), and in one instance the father’s name as well. The daughter of Elon the Hittite is called Adah (the ornament), and in Genesis 26:34 Basmath (the fragrant); the second is called Aholibamah (probably tent-height), the daughter of 'Anah, daughter, i.e., grand-daughter of Tziv‘on the Hivite, and in Genesis 26:34, Jehudith (the praised or praiseworthy), daughter of Beeri the Hittite; the third, the daughter of Ishmael, is called Basmath here and Mahalath in Genesis 28:9. This difference arose from the fact, that Moses availed himself of genealogical documents for Esau's family and tribe, and inserted them without alteration. It presents no irreconcilable discrepancy, therefore, but may be explained from the ancient custom in the East, of giving surnames, as the Arabs frequently do still, founded upon some important or memorable event in a man's life, which gradually superseded the other name (e.g., the name Edom, as explained in Genesis 25:30); whilst as a rule the women received new names when they were married (cf. Chardin, Hengstenberg, Dissertations, vol. ii. p. 223-6). The different names given for the father of Aholibamah or Judith, Hengstenberg explains by referring to the statement in Genesis 36:24, that 'Anah, the son of Tziv‘on, while watching the asses of his father in the desert, discovered the warm springs (of Calirrhoe), on which he founds the acute conjecture, that from this discovery 'Anah received the surname Beeri, i.e., spring-man, which so threw his original name into the shade, as to be the only name given in the genealogical table. There is no force in the objection, that according to Genesis 36:25 Aholibamah was not a daughter of the discoverer of the springs, but of his uncle of the same name. For where is it stated that the Aholibamah mentioned in Genesis 36:25 was Esau's wife? And is it a thing unheard of that aunt and niece should have the same name? If Tziv‘on gave his second son the name of his brother 'Anah (cf. Genesis 36:24 and Genesis 36:20), why could not his son 'Anah have named his daughter after his cousin, the daughter of his father's brother? The reception of Aholibamah into the list of the Se'irite princes is no proof that she was Esau's wife, but may be much more naturally supposed to have arisen from the same (unknown) circumstance as that which caused one of the seats of the Edomitish Alluphim to be called by her name (Genesis 36:41). - Lastly, the remaining diversity, viz., that 'Anah is called a Hivite in Genesis 36:2 and a Hittite in Genesis 26:34, is not to be explained by the conjecture, that for Hivite we should read Horite, according to Genesis 36:20, but by the simple assumption that Hittite is used in Genesis 26:34 sensu latiori for Canaanite, according to the analogy of Joshua 1:4; 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6; just as the two Hittite wives of Esau are called daughters of Canaan in Genesis 28:8. For the historical account, the general name Hittite sufficed; but the genealogical list required the special name of the particular branch of the Canaanitish tribes, viz., the Hivites. In just as simple a manner may the introduction of the Hivite Tziv‘on among the Horites of Se'ir (Genesis 36:20 and Genesis 36:24) be explained, viz., on the supposition that the removed to the mountains of Se'ir, and there became a Horite, i.e., a troglodyte, or dweller in a cave. (Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament) [RETURN]

 5. The names of Esau's sons occur again in 1 Chronicles 1:35. The statement in Genesis 36:6, Genesis 36:7, that Esau went with his family and possessions, which he had acquired in Canaan, into the land of Se'ir, from before his brother Jacob, does not imply (in contradiction to Genesis 32:4; Genesis 33:14-16) that he did not leave the land of Canaan till after Jacob's return. The words may be understood without difficulty as meaning, that after founding a house of his own, when his family and flocks increased, Esau sought a home in Se'ir, because he knew that Jacob, as the heir, would enter upon the family possessions, but without waiting till he returned and actually took possession. In the clause "went into the country" (Genesis 36:6), the name Se'ir or Edom (cf. Genesis 36:16) must have dropt out, as the words "into the country" convey no sense when standing by themselves. (Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament) [RETURN]

34. The Temani were the descendants of Teman, the grandson of Esau and a chieftan of Edom. [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Sunday, 12 September 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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