Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.…
The text systematically shows the gradual growth and increase of the house of Esau. Through his three wives he became the father of five sons; Adah and Bashemath gave each birth to one son (Eliphaz the firstborn (ver. 15), and Reuel). and Aholibamah to three (Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah). These children were born to him in Canaan. But he could no longer stay in the land of his birth. His herds and flocks were too numerous to find room, by the side of those of his brother Jacob; and he emigrated spontaneously. But this took place a very considerable time before the events related in the preceding chapter; for when Jacob returned from Mesopotamia, he sent messengers to Esau into Idumea, and promised to visit him later in Seir. But this circumstance does not imply a contradiction. Our portion records the history of Esau as far as it relates to political power; it, therefore, goes back to the fortieth year of his life when he first married. He had then long sold his birthright; he had, no doubt, heard the prophecy given to his mother, that to his younger brother Jacob, the inheritance of the blessings of Abraham was reserved; when, therefore, his father Isaac advanced in years and became afflicted with infirmity, Jacob was regarded as the future head of the house, and as such obtained the superintendence over his father's property; the cattle of Isaac was, therefore, considered as that of Jacob; and it was within the thirty-eight years between his marriage and Jacob's flight, that Esau, at that time not inimical to his brother, left Canaan, thus willingly acknowledging the superior rights of Jacob, and spontaneously resigning his own claims upon the land. When Isaac, at the age of nearly 140 years, wish to bless his firstborn and favourite son, he sent for him to his new abodes; and Esau answered to the call, just as he came later to Canaan, at his father's death, to assist at the funeral duties.
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.