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Chapter 32

[a]Early the next morning, Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them; then he set out on his journey back home. Meanwhile Jacob continued on his own way, and God’s angels encountered him. When Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s encampment.” So he named that place Mahanaim.[b]

Envoys to Esau. Jacob sent messengers ahead to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom,(A) ordering them: “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: ‘Thus says your servant Jacob: I have been residing with Laban and have been delayed until now. I own oxen, donkeys and sheep, as well as male and female servants. I have sent my lord this message in the hope of gaining your favor.’” When the messengers returned to Jacob, they said, “We found your brother Esau. He is now coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.”

Jacob was very much frightened. In his anxiety, he divided the people who were with him, as well as his flocks, herds and camels, into two camps. “If Esau should come and attack one camp,” he reasoned, “the remaining camp may still escape.” 10 Then Jacob prayed: “God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac! You, Lord, who said to me, ‘Go back to your land and your relatives, and I will be good to you.’(B) 11 I am unworthy of all the acts of kindness and faithfulness that you have performed for your servant: although I crossed the Jordan here with nothing but my staff, I have now grown into two camps. 12 Save me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau! Otherwise I fear that he will come and strike me down and the mothers with the children. 13 You yourself said, ‘I will be very good to you, and I will make your descendants like the sands of the sea, which are too numerous to count.’”(C)

14 After passing the night there, Jacob selected from what he had with him a present for his brother Esau: 15 two hundred she-goats and twenty he-goats; two hundred ewes and twenty rams; 16 thirty female camels and their young; forty cows and ten bulls; twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 17 He put these animals in the care of his servants, in separate herds, and he told the servants, “Go on ahead of me, but keep some space between the herds.” 18 He ordered the servant in the lead, “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? To whom do these animals ahead of you belong?’ 19 tell him, ‘To your servant Jacob, but they have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. Jacob himself is right behind us.’” 20 He also ordered the second servant and the third and all the others who followed behind the herds: “Thus and so you shall say to Esau, when you reach him; 21 and also tell him, ‘Your servant Jacob is right behind us.’” For Jacob reasoned, “If I first appease him with a gift that precedes me, then later, when I face him, perhaps he will forgive me.” 22 So the gifts went on ahead of him, while he stayed that night in the camp.

Jacob’s New Name.[c] 23 That night, however, Jacob arose, took his two wives, with the two maidservants and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 24 After he got them and brought them across the wadi and brought over what belonged to him, 25 Jacob was left there alone. Then a man[d] wrestled with him until the break of dawn. 26 When the man saw that he could not prevail over him, he struck Jacob’s hip at its socket, so that Jacob’s socket was dislocated as he wrestled with him.(D) 27 The man then said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” 28 “What is your name?” the man asked. He answered, “Jacob.”(E) 29 Then the man said, “You shall no longer be named Jacob, but Israel,[e] because you have contended with divine and human beings and have prevailed.” 30 Jacob then asked him, “Please tell me your name.” He answered, “Why do you ask for my name?” With that, he blessed him. 31 Jacob named the place Peniel,[f] “because I have seen God face to face,” he said, “yet my life has been spared.”(F)

32 At sunrise, as he left Penuel, Jacob limped along because of his hip. 33 That is why, to this day, the Israelites do not eat the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket, because he had struck Jacob’s hip socket at the sciatic muscle.

Chapter 33

Jacob and Esau Meet.[g] Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and with him four hundred men. So he divided his children among Leah, Rachel, and the two maidservants, putting the maidservants and their children first, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph last. He himself went on ahead of them, bowing to the ground seven times, until he reached his brother. Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, and flinging himself on his neck, kissed him as he wept.

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children and asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “They are the children with whom God has graciously favored your servant.” Then the maidservants and their children came forward and bowed low; next, Leah and her children came forward and bowed low; lastly, Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed low. Then Esau asked, “What did you intend with all those herds that I encountered?” Jacob answered, “It was to gain my lord’s favor.” Esau replied, “I have plenty; my brother, you should keep what is yours.” 10 “No, I beg you!” said Jacob. “If you will do me the favor, accept this gift from me, since to see your face is for me like seeing the face of God—and you have received me so kindly. 11 Accept the gift I have brought you. For God has been generous toward me, and I have an abundance.” Since he urged him strongly, Esau accepted.

12 Then Esau said, “Let us break camp and be on our way; I will travel in front of you.” 13 But Jacob replied: “As my lord knows, the children are too young. And the flocks and herds that are nursing are a concern to me; if overdriven for even a single day, the whole flock will die. 14 Let my lord, then, go before his servant, while I proceed more slowly at the pace of the livestock before me and at the pace of my children, until I join my lord in Seir.” 15 Esau replied, “Let me at least put at your disposal some of the people who are with me.” But Jacob said, “Why is this that I am treated so kindly, my lord?” 16 So on that day Esau went on his way back to Seir, 17 and Jacob broke camp for Succoth.[h] There Jacob built a home for himself and made booths for his livestock. That is why the place was named Succoth.

18 Jacob arrived safely at the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan-aram. He encamped in sight of the city.(G) 19 The plot of ground on which he had pitched his tent he bought for a hundred pieces of money[i] from the descendants of Hamor, the father of Shechem.(H) 20 He set up an altar there and invoked “El, the God of Israel.”(I)

Chapter 34

The Rape of Dinah. [j]Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit some of the women of the land. When Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite,[k] the leader of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. He was strongly attracted to Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and was in love with the young woman. So he spoke affectionately to her. Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this young woman for a wife.”

Meanwhile, Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but since his sons were out in the field with his livestock, Jacob kept quiet until they came home. Now Hamor, the father of Shechem, went out to discuss the matter with Jacob, just as Jacob’s sons were coming in from the field. When they heard the news, the men were indignant and extremely angry. Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter; such a thing is not done.(J) Hamor appealed to them, saying: “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 Thus you can live among us. The land is open before you. Settle and move about freely in it and acquire holdings here.”[l] 11 Then Shechem appealed to Dinah’s father and brothers: “Do me this favor, and whatever you ask from me, I will give. 12 No matter how high you set the bridal price and gift, I will give you whatever you ask from me; only give me the young woman as a wife.”

Revenge of Jacob’s Sons. 13 Jacob’s sons replied to Shechem and his father Hamor with guile, speaking as they did because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, “We are not able to do this thing: to give our sister to an uncircumcised man. For that would be a disgrace for us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree to that: that you become like us by having every male among you circumcised. 16 Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters in marriage; we will settle among you and become one people. 17 But if you do not listen to us and be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go.”

18 Their proposal pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man lost no time in acting on the proposal, since he wanted Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more highly regarded than anyone else in his father’s house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and said to the men of their city: 21 “These men are friendly toward us. Let them settle in the land and move about in it freely; there is ample room in the land for them. We can take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22 But only on this condition will the men agree to live with us and form one people with us: that every male among us be circumcised as they themselves are. 23 Would not their livestock, their property, and all their animals then be ours? Let us just agree with them, so that they will settle among us.”

24 All who went out of the gate of the city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all the males, all those who went out of the gate of the city,[m] were circumcised. 25 On the third day, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah, each took his sword, advanced against the unsuspecting city and massacred all the males.(K) 26 After they had killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.(L) 27 Then the other sons of Jacob followed up the slaughter and sacked the city because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their sheep, cattle and donkeys, whatever was in the city and in the surrounding country. 29 They carried off all their wealth, their children, and their women, and looted whatever was in the houses.(M)

30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi: “You have brought trouble upon me by making me repugnant to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I have so few men that, if these people unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be wiped out.” 31 But they retorted, “Should our sister be treated like a prostitute?”

Chapter 35

Bethel Revisited. [n]God said to Jacob: Go up now to Bethel. Settle there and build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.(N) So Jacob told his household and all who were with him: “Get rid of the foreign gods[o] among you; then purify yourselves and change your clothes. Let us now go up to Bethel so that I might build an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” They gave Jacob all the foreign gods in their possession and also the rings they had in their ears[p] and Jacob buried them under the oak that is near Shechem. Then, as they set out, a great terror fell upon the surrounding towns, so that no one pursued the sons of Jacob.

Thus Jacob and all the people who were with him arrived in Luz (now Bethel) in the land of Canaan.(O) There he built an altar and called the place El-Bethel,[q] for it was there that God had revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.(P)

Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died. She was buried under the oak below Bethel, and so it was named Allon-bacuth.[r]

On Jacob’s arrival from Paddan-aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him:

Your name is Jacob.
You will no longer be named Jacob,
    but Israel will be your name.(Q)

So he was named Israel. 11 Then God said to him: I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will stem from you, and kings will issue from your loins. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you; and to your descendants after you I will give the land.(R)

13 Then God departed from him. 14 In the place where God had spoken with him, Jacob set up a sacred pillar, a stone pillar, and upon it he made a libation and poured out oil.(S) 15 Jacob named the place where God spoke to him Bethel.

Jacob’s Family. 16 Then they departed from Bethel; but while they still had some distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel went into labor and suffered great distress. 17 When her labor was most intense, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for now you have another son.” 18 With her last breath—for she was at the point of death—she named him Ben-oni;[s] but his father named him Benjamin. 19 Thus Rachel died; and she was buried on the road to Ephrath (now Bethlehem).[t](T) 20 Jacob set up a sacred pillar on her grave, and the same pillar marks Rachel’s grave to this day.

21 Israel moved on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal-eder. 22 While Israel was encamped in that region, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. When Israel heard of it, he was greatly offended.[u](U)

The sons of Jacob were now twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; 24 [v]the sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin; 25 the sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali; 26 the sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27 Jacob went home to his father Isaac at Mamre, in Kiriath-arba (now Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had resided. 28 The length of Isaac’s life was one hundred and eighty years; 29 then he breathed his last. He died as an old man and was gathered to his people. After a full life, his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

Chapter 36

Edomite Lists.[w] These are the descendants of Esau (that is, Edom). [x]Esau took his wives from among the Canaanite women: Adah, daughter of Elon the Hittite; Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah the son of Zibeon the Hivite;(V) and Basemath, daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau; Basemath bore Reuel;(W) and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These are the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.(X)

Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, as well as his livestock, all his cattle, and all the property he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to the land of Seir, away from his brother Jacob.(Y) Their possessions had become too great for them to dwell together, and the land in which they were residing could not support them because of their livestock. So Esau settled in the highlands of Seir. (Esau is Edom.)(Z) These are the descendants of Esau,[y] ancestor of the Edomites, in the highlands of Seir.

10 These are the names of the sons of Esau: Eliphaz, son of Adah, wife of Esau, and Reuel, son of Basemath, wife of Esau. 11 (AA)The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 Timna was a concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. Those were the sons of Adah, the wife of Esau. 13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. Those were the sons of Basemath, the wife of Esau.(AB) 14 These were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah—the daughter of Anah, son of Zibeon—whom she bore to Esau: Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.(AC)

15 These are the clans of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn: the clans of Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, 16 Korah, Gatam, and Amalek. These are the clans of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Adah. 17 These are the sons of Reuel, son of Esau: the clans of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These are the clans of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Basemath, wife of Esau. 18 These were the sons of Oholibamah, wife of Esau: the clans of Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the clans of Esau’s wife Oholibamah, daughter of Anah. 19 These are the sons of Esau—that is, Edom—according to their clans.

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite,[z] the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah,(AD) 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; those are the clans of the Horites, sons of Seir in the land of Edom. 22 (AE)The sons of Lotan were Hori and Hemam, and Lotan’s sister was Timna. 23 These are the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Mahanath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24 These are the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. He is the Anah who found water in the desert while he was pasturing the donkeys of his father Zibeon. 25 These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, daughter of Anah. 26 These are the sons of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 27 These are the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. 28 These are the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 29 These are the clans of the Horites: the clans of Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 30 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan; those are the clans of the Horites, clan by clan, in the land of Seir.

31 (AF)These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites.[aa] 32 Bela, son of Beor, became king in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah. 33 When Bela died, Jobab, son of Zerah, from Bozrah, succeeded him as king. 34 When Jobab died, Husham, from the land of the Temanites, succeeded him as king. 35 When Husham died, Hadad, son of Bedad, succeeded him as king. He is the one who defeated Midian in the country of Moab; the name of his city was Avith. 36 When Hadad died, Samlah, from Masrekah, succeeded him as king. 37 When Samlah died, Shaul, from Rehoboth-on-the-River, succeeded him as king. 38 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan, son of Achbor, succeeded him as king. 39 When Baal-hanan, son of Achbor, died, Hadad succeeded him as king; the name of his city was Pau. His wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, son of Mezahab.

40 These are the names of the clans of Esau identified according to their families and localities: the clans of Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 41 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 42 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 43 Magdiel, and Iram. Those are the clans of the Edomites, according to their settlements in their territorial holdings—that is, of Esau, the ancestor of the Edomites.

Footnotes

  1. 32:1–22 Jacob’s negotiations with Esau. Laban kisses his daughters and grandchildren good-bye but not Jacob. On leaving Mesopotamia, Jacob has an encounter with angels of God (vv. 2–3), which provokes him to exclaim, “This is God’s encampment,” just as he exclaimed upon leaving Canaan, “This is the house of God, the gateway to heaven” (28:11–17).
  2. 32:3 Mahanaim: a town in Gilead (Jos 13:26, 30; 21:38; 2 Sm 2:8; etc.). The Hebrew name means “two camps.” There are other allusions to the name in vv. 8, 11.
  3. 32:23–33 As Jacob crosses over to the land promised him, worried about the impending meeting with Esau, he encounters a mysterious adversary in the night with whom he wrestles until morning. The cunning Jacob manages to wrest a blessing from the night stranger before he departs. There are folkloric elements in the tale—e.g., the trial of the hero before he can return home, the nocturnal demon’s loss of strength at sunrise, the demon protecting its river, the power gained by knowledge of an opponent’s name—but these have been worked into a coherent though elliptical narrative. The point of the tale seems to be that the ever-striving, ever-grasping Jacob must eventually strive with God to attain full possession of the blessing.
  4. 32:25 A man: as with Abraham’s three visitors in chap. 18, who appear sometimes as three, two, and one (the latter being God), this figure is fluid; he loses the match but changes Jacob’s name (v. 29), an act elsewhere done only by God (17:5, 15). A few deft narrative touches manage to express intimate contact with Jacob while preserving the transcendence proper to divinity.
  5. 32:29 Israel: the first part of the Hebrew name Yisrael is given a popular explanation in the word saritha, “you contended”; the second part is the first syllable of ’elohim, “divine beings.” The present incident, with a similar allusion to the name Israel, is referred to in Hos 12:5, where the mysterious wrestler is explicitly called an angel.
  6. 32:31 Peniel: a variant of the word Penuel (v. 32), the name of a town on the north bank of the Jabbok in Gilead (Jgs 8:8–9, 17; 1 Kgs 12:25). The name is explained as meaning “the face of God,” peni-’el. Yet my life has been spared: see note on 16:13.
  7. 33:1–20 The truly frightening confrontation seems to have already occurred in Jacob’s meeting the divine stranger in the previous chapter. In contrast, this meeting brings reconciliation. Esau, impulsive but largehearted, kisses the cunning Jacob and calls him brother (v. 9). Jacob in return asks Esau to accept his blessing (berakah, translated “gift,” v. 11), giving back at least symbolically what he had taken many years before and responding to Esau’s erstwhile complaint (“he has taken away my blessing,” 27:36). Verses 12–17 show that the reconciliation is not total and, further, that Jacob does not intend to share the ancestral land with his brother.
  8. 33:17 Succoth: an important town near the confluence of the Jabbok and the Jordan (Jos 13:27; Jgs 8:5–16; 1 Kgs 7:46). Booths: in Hebrew, sukkot, of the same sound as the name of the town.
  9. 33:19 Pieces of money: in Hebrew, qesita, a monetary unit of which the value is unknown. Descendants of Hamor: Hamorites, “the people of Hamor”; cf. Jgs 9:28. Hamor was regarded as the eponymous ancestor of the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Shechem.
  10. 34:1–31 The story of the rape of Dinah and the revenge of Jacob’s sons on the men of the city of Shechem may reflect the relations of the tribes of Simeon and Levi to their Canaanite neighbors around Shechem; the tribes are represented by their eponymous ancestors. Jacob’s farewell testament (49:5–7) cites this incident as the reason for the decline of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Ominously, vv. 30–31 leave the situation unresolved, with Jacob concerned about the welfare of the whole family, and Simeon and Levi concerned only about the honor of their full sister. The danger to the family from narrow self-interest will continue in the Joseph story.
  11. 34:2 Hivite: the Greek text has “Horite”; the terms were apparently used indiscriminately to designate the Hurrian or other non-Semitic elements in Palestine.
  12. 34:10 Hamor seems to be making concessions to Jacob’s family in the hope of avoiding warfare between the two families.
  13. 34:24 All those who went out of the gate of the city: apparently meaning all the residents. By temporarily crippling the men through circumcision, Jacob’s sons deprived the city of its defenders.
  14. 35:1–7 Jacob returns to Bethel and founds the sanctuary, an event that forms a “bookend” to the first visit to Bethel in 28:10–22. To enter the Lord’s sanctuary, one must purify oneself and get rid of all signs of allegiance to other gods (Jos 24:23; Jgs 10:16). Jacob also seems to initiate the custom of making a pilgrimage to Bethel (see Ps 122:1 and Is 2:3, 5).
  15. 35:2 Foreign gods: divine images, including those of household deities (see note on 31:19), that Jacob’s people brought with them from Paddan-aram.
  16. 35:4 Rings…their ears: the earrings may have belonged to the gods because earrings were often placed on statues.
  17. 35:7 El-Bethel: probably to be translated “the god of Bethel.” This is one of several titles of God in Genesis that begin with El (= God), e.g., El Olam (21:33), El Elyon (14:18), El the God of Israel (33:20), El Roi (16:13), and El Shaddai. Most of these (except El Shaddai) are tied to specific Israelite shrines.
  18. 35:8 Allon-bacuth: the Hebrew name means “oak of weeping.”
  19. 35:18 Ben-oni: means either “son of my vigor” or, more likely in the context, “son of affliction.” Benjamin: “son of the right hand,” meaning a son who is his father’s help and support.
  20. 35:19 Bethlehem: the gloss comes from a later tradition that identified the site with Bethlehem, also called Ephrath or Ephratha (Jos 15:59; Ru 4:11; Mi 5:1). But Rachel’s grave was actually near Ramah (Jer 31:15), a few miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Benjamin (1 Sm 10:2).
  21. 35:22 The genealogy in vv. 23–29 is prefaced by a notice about Reuben’s sleeping with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. Such an act is a serious challenge to the authority of the father (cf. 2 Sm 3:7 and 16:21). In his final testament in chap. 49, Jacob cites this act of Reuben as the reason for Reuben’s loss of the authority he had as firstborn son (49:4). Reuben’s act is one more instance of strife in the family and of discord between father and son.
  22. 35:24–26 Benjamin is here said to have been born in Paddan-aram, apparently because all twelve sons of Jacob are considered as a unit.
  23. 36:1–43 The line of Esau. In the preceding chapter (35:22–26), the list of Jacob’s children completes the narrative of Jacob; in this chapter, the narrative of Esau is complete when his descendants are listed. The notice of Abraham’s death and burial in 25:7–10 was followed by a list of the line of his elder son Ishmael (25:12–18) and here Isaac’s death and burial are followed by the line of Esau. The lines of both Ishmael and Esau are introduced by the same double formula, “These are the descendants of…” (25:12; 36:9) and “These are the names of the sons of…” (25:13; 36:10). The chapter consists of diverse material: vv. 1–3, Esau’s wives; vv. 9–14, Esau’s descendants; vv. 15–19, the clans of Esau; vv. 20–30, the Horites of Seir; vv. 31–39, the Edomite kings; vv. 40–43, the Edomites.
  24. 36:2–14 The names of Esau’s wives and of their fathers given here differ considerably from their names cited from other old sources in 26:34 and 28:9. Zibeon the Hivite: in v. 20 he is called a “Horite”; see note on 34:2.
  25. 36:9 These are the descendants of Esau: the original heading of the genealogy is preserved in v. 10 (“These are the names of the sons of Esau”). This use of the Priestly formula is secondary and should not be counted in the list of ten such formulas in Genesis.
  26. 36:20 Seir the Horite: according to Dt 2:12, the highlands of Seir were inhabited by Horites before they were occupied by the Edomites.
  27. 36:31 Before any king reigned over the Israelites: obviously this statement was written after the time of Saul, Israel’s first king. According to 1 Sm 14:47, Saul waged war against the Edomites; according to 2 Sm 8:2, 13–14 and 1 Kgs 11:14–17, David made Edom a vassal state and nearly wiped out the royal line. These events reflect the words of the Lord to Rebekah at the birth of the boys, “the older shall serve the younger” (25:23).

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