Daily Word

Esau the peacemaker| Genesis 36:1-8+

1 Now these are the records of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).

2 Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3 also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. 4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath gave birth to Reuel, 5 and Oholibamah gave birth to Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.

6 Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle, and all his property which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob. 7 For their possessions had become too great for them to live together, and the land where they resided could not support them because of their livestock. 8 So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.

Genesis 36:1-8+ (NASB)


We’re going to cover the whole chapter today and touch on the more salient portions. Dr. Thomas L. Constable divides this chapter as follows:

  1. Esau’s three wives and five sons (vv. 1-8)
  2. Esau’s five sons and 10 grandsons (vv. 9-14)
  3. Chiefs (political or military leaders) descended from Esau (vv. 15-19)
  4. Chiefs of the Horites, with whom the Edomites intermarried and whom they dispossessed (vv. 20-30)
  5. Kings of Edom (vv. 31-39)
  6. A final list of chiefs (vv. 40-43)

Esau’s wives and sons

Isaac has died. The two brothers, Jacob and Esau, buried him. They continued to live together amicably. Esau took wives from the Canaanites (Genesis 26:34-35) – which originally upset his parents and motivated them to send Jacob to Laban to find a wife.

Esau the peacemaker

At some point, tension must have arisen between their herdsman, as was the case with Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13:5-7). In this case, surprisingly, Esau is the peacemaker. He decides to move. He collects his clan together and moves away – to keep peace between them. It’s also a fulfillment of prophecy that Esau would not live in the promised land.

Bible history book

When I see a verse like: “24 And these are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah—he is the Anah who found the hot springs in the wilderness when he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon”. One might wonder, “Who cares?” But the detail  helps recognize the Bible as, at least, an accurate history book. As well, the genealogies recorded in such detail – even of tribes not in the line of Messiah – shows reliability.

Another reason for the account of kings and chiefs is to trace the lines of the nations that the nation of Israel interacts with as they become and are established as a nation in their own rite. As well, “The presence of kings in Edom is further proof of God’s blessing on Esau, one of Abraham’s descendants.” (planobiblechapel.org)


After reading the ungodly character of Esau when he was younger, would you have ever expected the behavior he demonstrates toward Jacob, the very one who tricked him twice!? But here again, he takes the moral high road. Consider for yourself how to be a peacemaker.

Peacemaker ministries reconciliation guide. Image from peacemakerministries.org *

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content