Genesis 36 Esau’s Descendants And The Chieftains Of Edom.
Esau’s history and genealogy were different. He chose to marry Canaanite women, and his nation of Edom would be a perennial enemy against the nation of Israel (vv. 1-5). He also acquired great wealth, but he determined to move away from his brother – dwelling in Mt. Seir (vv. 6-8). “36:9-14 This genealogy focuses on Esau’s twelve sons (vv. 2-8), not counting Amalek, the son of Eliphaz’s concubine, Timna (v. 12). 36:15-19 This list shows the transition of Esau’s descendants from a family to a tribal structure. 36:20-30 This genealogy presents the aboriginal inhabitants of Mount Seir whom the sons of Esau destroyed (Deut. 2:22) and, in other cases, married (vv. 22, 25). 36:31-39 This list sows Edom’s transition from tribal structure to designated kingship.” (NGSB 68-69). Moses thought it important to point out that Edom had their king “before any king reigned over the children of Israel” (v. 31). Every place had their own chieftain, and there is no mention of these political leaders being the people’s elected representatives, as was the case with Israel (vv. 40-43). Moses was unique in his selection of the first leaders, but in doing so he showed the people what to look for, because prior to his departure, he instructed the people to elect similarly qualified leaders (Dt. 1:13) – “such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness” (Ex. 18:21-26). This is yet one more evidence that having a human king was not a good thing. God alone is the King of all nations (Ps. 2).