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Genesis Chapter 36
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Esau's Line
36:1 These are the chronicles of Esau, also known as Edom.
36:2 Esau took wives from the daughters of Canaan. These were Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah, daughter of Anah, daughter of Tziv'on the Hivite.
36:3 [He also married] Basemath, daughter of Ishmael [and] sister of Nebayoth.
36:4 Adah bore Esau's son Eliphaz.

Basemath bore Reuel.

36:5 Oholibamah bore Yeush, Yalam, and Korach.

The above are Esau's sons who were born in the land of Canaan.

36:6 Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, all the members of his household, his livestock animals, and all the possessions that he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and he moved to another area, away from his brother Jacob.
36:7 This was because they had too much property to be able to live together. Because of all their livestock, the land where they were staying could not support them.
36:8 Esau therefore settled in the hill country of Seir. There Esau became [the nation of] Edom.
36:9 These are the chronicles of Esau, the ancestor of Edom, in the hill country of Seir:
36:10 These are the names of Esau's sons:

Eliphaz, son of Esau's wife Adah;

Reuel, son of Esau's wife Basemath.

36:11 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Tzefo, Gatam, and Kenaz.
36:12 Timna became the concubine of Esau's son Eliphaz, and she bore Eliphaz's son Amalek. All these are the descendants of Esau's wife Adah.
36:13 These are the sons of Reuel: Nachath, Zerach, Shamah, and Mizzah. These are the descendants of Esau's wife Basemath.
36:14 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah, daughter of Tziv'on: By Esau she had Yeush, Yalam, and Korach.
36:15 These are the [original] tribal chiefs among the children of Esau:

The sons of Esau's firstborn Eliphaz: Chief Teman, Chief Omar, Chief Tzefo, Chief Kenaz,

36:16 Chief Korach, Chief Gatam, Chief Amalek. These were the tribal chiefs from Eliphaz in the land of Edom. The above were descendants of Adah.
36:17 These are the tribal chiefs among the children of Esau's son Reuel: Chief Nachath, Chief Zerach, Chief Shamah, Chief Mizzah. These are the tribal chiefs from Reuel in the land of Edom. The above were descendants of Esau's wife Basemath.
36:18 These are the sons of Esau's wife Oholibamah: Chief Yeush, Chief Yalam, Chief Korach. These are the tribal chiefs from Esau's wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah.
36:19 These are the sons of Esau, and these are their tribal chiefs. This is what constitutes Edom.

Seir's Line
36:20 These are the children of Seir the Horite, the [original] inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shoval, Tziv'on, Anah,
36:21 Dishon, Etzer, Dishan. These were the tribal chiefs of the Horites among the sons of Seir in the land of Edom.
36:22 The sons of Lotan were Chori and Hemam. Lotan's sister was Timna.
36:23 These are the sons of Shoval: Alvan, Manachath, Ebhal, Shefo, and Onam.
36:24 These are the children of Tziv'on: Ayah and Anah. Anah was the one who discovered [how to breed] mules in the desert when he was tending the donkeys for his father Tziv'on.
36:25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah daughter of Anah.
36:26 These are the sons of Dishon: Chemdan, Eshban, Yithran and Keran.
36:27 These are the sons of Etzer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
36:28 These are the sons of Dishan: Utz and Aran.
36:29 These are the tribal chiefs of the Horites: Chief Lotan, Chief Shoval, Chief Tziv'on, Chief Anah,
36:30 Chief Dishon, Chief Etzer, Chief Dishan. These are tribes of the Horites according to their chiefs in the land of Seir.

Kings of Edom
36:31 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites.
36:32 Bela son of Beor became king of Edom, and the name of his capital was Dinhava.
36:33 Bela died, and he was succeeded as king by Yovav son of Zerach from Botzrah.
36:34 Yovav died, and he was succeeded as king by Chusham from the land of the Temanites.
36:35 Chusham died, and he was succeeded as king by Hadad son of Badad, who defeated Midian in the field of Moab. The name of his capital was Avith.
36:36 Hadad died, and he was succeeded as king by Samlah of Masrekah.
36:37 Samlah died, and he was succeeded as king by Saul from Rechovoth-on-the-River (Rechovoth HaNahar).
36:38 Saul died, and he was succeeded as king by Baal Chanan son of Akhbor.
36:39 Baal Chanan son of Akhbor died, and he was succeeded as king by Hadar. The name of his capital was Pau. His wife's name was Meheitaval, daughter of Matred, daughter of May Zahav.
36:40 These are the names of the tribes of Esau, according to their families in their respective areas, named after [individuals]: The tribe of Timna, the tribe of Alvah, the tribe of Yetheth,
36:41 the tribe of Oholibamah, the tribe of Elah, the tribe of Pinon,
36:42 the tribe of Kenaz, the tribe of Teman, the tribe of Mibtzar,
36:43 the tribe of Magdiel, the tribe of Iram.

These are the tribes of Esau, each with its own settlements in its hereditary lands. This is how Esau was the ancestor of the Edomites.


  Some say that she was Basemath daughter of Elon; see note on Genesis 26:34. Others say that she may have been her sister (Ramban).

  Or Aholibamah. Some say that she is Judith daughter of Beeri (Rashi; see note on Genesis 26:34). Many, however, dispute this (Rashbam; Ramban; see Sefer HaYashar). See Genesis 36:41.

daughter of Anah, daughter of Tziv'on
  Most probably, 'daughter of Anah, granddaughter of Tziv'on' (Ibn Ezra; Ramban on Genesis 36:25). We thus see that Oholibamah was the daughter of Anah, who was the son of Tziv'on (Genesis 36:24,25). According to the Midrash, however, Oholibamah was the daughter of both Anah and Tziv'on, since Anah committed incest with his mother (Bereshith Rabbah 82; Rashi). According to others, Anah was a woman, the daughter of Tziv'on (Tosafoth, Bava Bathra 115b, s.v. Melamed; cf. Rashba ibid.; Ritva on Eyn Yaakov). According to this, her father could indeed have been Beeri the Hittite.

  See note on Genesis 10:17. This is somewhat difficult, since Tziv'on and Anah are later described as Horites (Genesis 36:20,24). Some say that Hivite here does not denote a nationality, but rather, an agricultural talent (Tosafoth, Shabbath 85a s.v. Chivi). Hence, the verse here should be translated, 'Tziv'on the agriculturist.' Others say that the Horites are descended from the Hivites (Sefer HaYashar p.27), and hence the two tribes are essentially identical (Ramban on Deuteronomy 2:10).

  Some say that she is identical with Machlath; see note on Genesis 28:9. She may have taken the name of Esau's original wife, Basemath (Genesis 26:34).

  See Genesis 38:9.

  See Genesis 36:10. He was the father of Amalek (Genesis 36:11). Some identify him with Job's friend Eliphaz (Sekhel Tov; Rashi on Job 4:1; Ibn Ezra on Job 2:11). There is a tradition that Eliphaz had been sent by Esau to kill Jacob, but because Eliphaz had been raised by Isaac, he spared Jacob (Rashi on 29:11).

  See Genesis 36:10,13,17, 1 Chronicles 1:35. Cf. Exodus 2:18, Numbers 10:29.

  See Genesis 36:14, 18.

  Although Korach was a son of Oholibamah, some identify him with Chief Korach, son of Eliphaz, a son of Adah (Genesis 36:16). This would be because Eliphaz fathered Korach by committing adultery with Oholibamah (Bereshith Rabbah 82; Rashi). Others say that there were two individuals with the name Korach (Rashi, Sotah 13a, s.v. Shloshim; Rashbam on Genesis 36:16. Cf. Ibn Ezra).

too much property...
  See Genesis 13:6.

settled in...
  See note on Genesis 32:4. Although Esau may have lived in Seir earlier, he could have now inherited the Hebron area, but he chose to settle in Seir (cf. Josephus 2:1:1). Other sources speak of a war between Esau and Jacob (Sefer HaYashar, Yov'loth 38:10).

There Esau...
  Cf. Josephus 2:1:1.

  Reuel. See Genesis 36:4.

  See Genesis 36:15,42, 1 Chronicles 1:53. Also see Genesis 36:34. Teman was a city some 50 miles to the south of the Dead sea, near Petra. It might also be identified with Yemen (see note on Genesis 36:34). See Jeremiah 49:7,20, Ezekiel 25:13, Amos 1:12, Habakkuk 3:3. From the verses, Teman appears to be an area to the south of Seir; Obadiah 1:9; Ramban on Genesis 36:34. Job's friend Eliphaz was from Teman; Job 2:11, see note on Genesis 36:4.

  See Genesis 36:15.

  See Genesis 36:15. In 1 Chronicles 1:36, the name is given as Tzefi. There is a tradition that Tzefo was the military leader of Edom, and possibly one of the early settlers of Rome (Sefer HaYashar, pp. 163, 169, 175; Yossipon 2; MeAm Lo'ez/The Torah Anthology 3:551, 588, 4:8,24,233; Ramban on Genesis 49:31; Bachya on Genesis 50:9). See note on Genesis 36:43.

  See Genesis 36:16. Josephus renders this as Gotham.

  See Genesis 36:15,42. Also see Genesis 15:19.

  She was the daughter of Seir the Horite; Genesis 36:22. Although she was a princess, she was content to be a concubine in Abraham's family (Sanhedrin 99b; Rashi). In 1 Chronicles 1:36, however, Timna is seen as a daughter of Eliphaz. According to Talmudic tradition, Eliphaz fathered Timna by committing adultery with Seir's wife, and then he married her (Tanchuma, VaYeshev 2; Rashi; BaMidbar Rabbah 14:10). Others say that the Timna in Chronicles is a different individual (Radak on Chronicles; Ramban). See Lekach Tov; Rashbam, here. This may be the Timna in Genesis 36:40, and she may have been a woman (see Rashba, Bava Bathra 115b).

  Israel's arch-enemy; Exodus 17:16, Deuteronomy 25:19. See Genesis 36:16.

  See Genesis 36:5,18.

  See Genesis 36:33.

Yeush, Yalam...
  See Genesis 36:5,18.

tribal chiefs
  Kings without a crown (Sanhedrin 99b); see Ramban on Genesis 36:40, Numbers 20:14). These might have ruled before the kings, or concurrently, see Exodus 15:15.

Chief Teman
  See Genesis 36:11.

  See note on Genesis 36:5. Some say that this is the Timna in 1 Chronicles 1:36 (Rashbam; see BaMidbar Rabbah 14:10).

  See Genesis 36:11.

  See Genesis 36:12.

  See Genesis 36:13.

  See Genesis 36:5,14.

  See notes on Genesis 14:6, 36:2. See also Genesis 36:22. However, some maintain that the term chori here does not denote a nation, but rather nobility (Targum Yonathan; Ibn Ezra, from Jeremiah 27:20). Thus, the verse would be translated, 'These are the sons of the noble Seir,' or 'these are the sons of Seir the freeman.' Others translate the verse, 'These are the sons of the Horite lineage in the land of Seir' (Ramban; cf. Josephus 2:1:1). Seir then denotes Esau, see note on Genesis 25:25. Some say that Seir's lineage was: Ham, Canaan, Chivi, Chur, Seir (Sefer HaYashar, p.27).

  See Genesis 36:22,29.

  See Genesis 36:29.

  See Genesis 36:2,29.

  See note on Genesis 36:2. Here Anah is seen as a son of Seir, while in Genesis 36:24, he is a son of Tziv'on. According to Talmudic tradition, Tziv'on fathered Anah by committing incest with his mother (Pesachim 54a; Rashi on Genesis 36:24).

  See Genesis 36:26,30. Also see Genesis 36:25.

  See Genesis 36:27,30.

  See Genesis 36:38,30.

  Or Hori. It is possible that he was the one to give the name to the Horites.

  See note on Genesis 36:12.

  In 1 Chronicles 1:40, it is Alyan. See Genesis 36:40.

  In 1 Chronicles 1:40 it is Shefi (cf. Ralbag there).

  See 1 Chronicles 1:40. Others, however, have the name here as V'ayah or Fayah (Rashbam; Ibn Ezra).

  See notes on Genesis 36:2, 36:24.

  (Pesachim 54b; Chullin 7b; Yerushalmi Berakhoth 8:5; Rashi). The mule is a crossbreed between a horse and a donkey. Yemim in Hebrew. Others identify the Yemim with the Emim (Genesis 14:5), and translate the verse, 'who encountered giants' (Onkelos; cf. Ibn Ezra, Ramban. Also see Sefer HaYashar, p. 97). The Vulgate translates yemim as 'hot springs,' and the Syriac renders it as water or springs, but there is no support for this in Judaic sources. (Also see Or Yashar, Siddur Ramak, Amud HaTorah 11). The Septuagint leaves the word untranslated.

  If Anah son of Seir and Anah son of Tziv'on are two different individuals, this is most probably the former.

  See Genesis 36:21.

  Esau's wife; Genesis 36:2.

  Dishan in the text, but from the context and order in Genesis 36:21, this is Dishon. This is also the way it is in 1 Chronicles 1:41 (see Radak ad loc.). Some say that Dishan died and Dishon took his name (Lekach Tov).

  In 1 Chronicles 1:41 it is Chamran.

  Possibly Yetheth in Genesis 36:40.

  In 1 Chronicles 1:42 it is Yaakan.

  See Genesis 10:23, 22:21. The Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:42 renders it Armanyus; see Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:17; note on Genesis 10:23.

  See note on Genesis 36:40.

before any king...
  Simply, this means that these kings reigned long before there was a king in Israel. Many commentaries, however, state that the first king of Israel alluded to in this verse is Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 33:5; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Ralbag). We do, however, find that there were Edomite kings contemporary to Moses (Numbers 20:14). Therefore, it must be said that Moses was not considered a king until the concept of a king was given to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 17:15). It also appears that the chiefs (alufim) ruled over Edom right after the Exodus (cf. Exodus 15:15), but the kings may have reigned concurrently (see Mekhilta on Exodus 15:14; but see Ramban on Genesis 36:40). Of course, if the alufim are seen as tribes (see Genesis 36:40), this does not present any problem.

There is a tradition that the Edomite kings began to reign 550 years before the first Israelite king (Rabenu Chananel, quoted in Bachya on Genesis 32:16). Since Saul, the first king of Israel, took his throne in 2882 (879 b.c.e.), this would mean that Edom's kingdom began 550 years earlier in 2332 (1429 b.c.e.). This was the year that Levi died, and it is well established that Levi was the last of Jacob's sons to die. Thus, there may have been a tradition that Esau's kingdom did not begin during the lifetime of any of Jacob's sons.

There is, however, a conflicting tradition that the reign of Bela (Genesis 36:32) began in 2258, twenty years after Jacob came to Egypt (see note on Genesis 36:32).

Bela son of Beor
  According to one tradition (see note on Genesis 36:31), his reign began in 2258, twenty years after Jacob came to Egypt (Sefer HaYashar, p. 167). He reigned for 30 years, until 2288 (ibid.). Other sources, however, identify Bela with Balaam son of Beor (Numbers 22:5; Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:43; but see Ibn Ezra here). This would be very difficult to reconcile with a chronology that places all these kings before Moses' death, since Balaam was not killed until the 40th year after the Exodus (Numbers 31:8).

  (Targum Yonathan). Others state that this is the city of his birth (Shemoth Rabbah 37); Rashi; cf. Ramban). According to the second opinion, the cities mentioned in this section are not in Edom.

  According to the first opinion in the previous note, this is an unidentified city in Edom. According to the second opinion, it is a city in Africa (Sefer HaYashar p. 169). Some sources identify it with Carthage or a nearby city (Yossipun 2). Around this time, Carthage (still known as Cambe) was ruled by colonists from Sidon (see The Torah Anthology, Volume 3, p. 666, note 68). It was invaded by the Phoenicians in 814 b.c.e. when its name was changed to Carthage.

  He reigned for 10 years, from 2288 to 2298 (Sefer HaYashar, p. 168). See Genesis 10:29, Joshua 11:4.

  See Genesis 36:13.

  Some say that this was a city in Edom (Ramban); cf. Isaiah 34:6, 63:1. This can be identified as Buseirah, 20 miles south of the Dead Sea in Seir (cf. BaMidbar Rabbah 14:10; Ptolemy, Geography 5:17). Others say that it is the city in Moab mentioned in Jeremiah 48:24 (Rashi; cf. Bereshith Rabbah 83). This is a city in Gilead some 50 miles east of the Kinneret Sea, later known as Bostra or Busra-Eski Sham (cf. 1 Maccabees 5:26). Also see Jeremiah 49:13, 49:22, Amos 1:12, Micah 2:12. The Targum (on 1 Chronicles 1:44) renders it Bevatra. The dispute as to whether it was in Edom or Moab would follow the question as to whether the cities mentioned here are Edomite capitals, or the birthplaces of the Edomite kings.

  He reigned for 20 years, from 2298 to 2318 (Sefer HaYashar, pp. 168, 173). He died around the same time as Dan.

  Teman is associated with Botzrah (Amos 1:12). It is therefore a capital city of Esau (Obadiah 1:9; Bachya; BaMidbar Rabbah 14:10). This is identified with a city a mile or two east of Petra, some 50 miles south of the Dead Sea. Others identify it with Mocha, a city in Yemen, and hence, Yemen is known as Teman (MeAm Lo'ez/The Torah Anthology 3:209). The Targum simply renders it as 'South.'

Hadad son of Badad
  He reigned 35 years, from 2318 to 2353, and died in the same year as Kohath son of Levi (Sefer HaYashar, p. 173). Hadad was the name of a Syrian storm god, and was hence a common name. See 1 Kings 11:14, 15:18. (cf. Ibn Ezra on 36:31).

who defeated...
  This took place before the Exodus (Sefer HaYashar, p. 174). Later Midian and Moab made peace out of fear of the Israelites (Rashi; Sifri, Rashi, on Numbers 22:4; BaMidbar Rabbah 20:5). These sources would also contradict the teaching that Bela was Balaam (note on Genesis 36:32).

  He reigned 18 years, from 2353 to 2371 (Sefer HaYashar pp. 182, 188).

  Some associate this with the Tzemari mentioned in Genesis 10:18 (Sekhel Tov).

  Sha'ul in Hebrew, like the Israelite King Saul. He reigned 40 years, from 2371 to 2411 (Sefer HaYashar, p. 188).

Rechovoth HaNahar
  The Targum renders it Rechovoth on the Euphrates, following the tradition that this was the home town of the king, not a city in Edom. It may be associated with Rechovoth Ir (Genesis 10:11). Other sources translate it as 'Avenues on the River' (Targum on 1 Chronicles 1:48). It is also identified with Pethorah (Balaam's city; Numbers 22:5, Deuteronomy 23:5; Sefer HaYashar, p.188). According to those who maintain that the cities are in Edom, the 'river' here would probably be the Zered Brook which formed the northern boundary of Edom.

Baal Chanan
  He reigned 38 years, from 2411 to 2449 (Sefer HaYashar, pp. 188, 196). According to this, he was king at the time of the Exodus in 2448. From the Sefer HaYashar (p. 203), however, it seems that he died before the Exodus. Therefore, some sources amend the reading and state that he reigned 35 years, from 2411 to 2446 (note on Seder HaDoroth 2444; see note on Genesis 36:39). The name Baal Chanan may be interpreted to mean 'Baal is merciful' (the same as Hannibal cf. Sekhel Tov). Others say that Chanan was his city, and the name means 'Master of Chanan' (Ramban; Tur).

  In 1 Chronicles 1:50 it is Hadad. He was from Aramaea and reigned for 48 years, from 2446 to 2493/4. He was defeated and killed 5 years after the death of Moses (Sefer HaYashar 203, 228). Since the Torah was written while he was still alive, there is no mention of his death here, but it is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 1:50 (Malbim on Chronicles). He was the king who refused the Israelites passage through his land (Numbers 20:14).

  In 1 Chronicles 1:50 it is Pa'i (Radak ad loc.).

May Zahav
  Literally Water of Gold or Gold-water. The verse appears to indicate that Meheitaval was the daughter of both Matred and May Zahav (cf. 36:2). Thus, May Zahav may have been her grandfather. Alternatively, Matred and May Zahav were her father and mother (Ibn Ezra). Other sources say that May Zahav was Matred's nickname, because he could pour gold like water (Lekach Tov; Bachya; cf. Targum Yonathan). Others say that he was a refiner of gold, melting gold like water (Targum Onkelos; Saadia).

  The same word, aluf, is used here as above, but here the meaning is somewhat different. If aluf above would be translated as 'duke,' here it would be translated as 'dukedom' (cf. Rashi; Ibn Ezra). Some say that these are the chiefs that ruled after the period of the kings (Ramban; Ralbag; Radak; cf. 1 Chronicles 1:51, Targum ad loc.). This, however, would be impossible to reconcile with the above chronology, since these chiefs would have lived after the Torah was given (see note on Genesis 36:31). According to this second opinion, the alufim mentioned here may be individuals. They also may be the tribes that survived until the end of the period of kings, and existed in the time of Moses (cf. Rashbam).

according to their families...
  Cf. Genesis 10:5,31.

  Possibly a son of Eliphaz; cf. 1 Chronicles 1:36 (see Lekach Tov; Sekhel Tov; Rashbam; on Genesis 36:12). Timna was also the name of Eliphaz' concubine (Genesis 36:12,22), and the Timna here may have been a woman (Rashba, Bava Bathra 115b; cf. BaMidbar Rabbah 14:10; Ibn Ezra). Others say that this Timna was a son of Yeush (Genesis 36:14; Sefer HaYashar, p. 97).

  Possibly the same as Alvan (Genesis 36:23). Others say that these were sons of Timna, and hence, tribes of Amalek (Genesis 36:12; Ibn Ezra). Another opinion is that Alvah was a son of Yeush (Sefer HaYashar, loc. cit.).

  Possibly Yithran (Genesis 36:26). Others say that Yetheth was a son of Yeush (Sefer HaYashar).

  This was the name of Esau's wife (Genesis 36:2,5,14). It is possible that she had a tribe named after her, particularly since she is treated specially with regard to the chiefs (Genesis 36:18). Some say that this Oholibamah was a woman chief (Rashba, Bava Bathra 115b). According to others, it was a man with this name (Ibn Ezra). Some say that he was a son of Yalam, son of Oholibamah (Genesis 36:14; Sefer HaYashar).

  Possibly a son of Yalam (Sefer HaYashar). Some identify this tribe with the city of Elat (1 Samuel 17:2; cf. Deuteronomy 2:8, 2 Kings 14:22, 16:6).

  Also a son of Yalam (Sefer HaYashar). This is associated with Punan in the Tzalmona area (Numbers 33:42; Sekhel Tov).

  A son of Eliphaz (Genesis 36:11,15; Sekhel Tov). According to others, a son of Yalam (Sefer HaYashar). See Genesis 15:19.

  A son of Eliphaz (Genesis 36:11,15; Sekhel Tov). According to others, a son of Korach (Genesis 36:14; Sefer HaYashar).

  See Psalms 118:11 (cf. Sekhel Tov). A son of Korach (Sefer HaYashar).

  Some say that this is the tribe that founded Rome (Pirkey Rabbi Eliezer 38; Rashi; cf. Bereshith Rabbah 83). Some say that Magdiel was a son of Korach (Sefer HaYashar). There are also traditions that Eliphaz's son Tzefo (Genesis 36:11) founded Rome or settled the area (Yosippun 2; Yalamdenu 72, in Batey Midrashim 1:160). He became king over the Italians in 2316, and this was 78 years after Jacob arrived in Egypt (Sefer HaYashar pp. 172, 175).

  Also a son of Korach (Sefer HaYashar, p. 97). There is a tradition that he will bring gifts to the Messiah (Bereshith Rabbah 83).

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