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The Children of Esau Lost in Records But Not Forgotten

The Children of Esau Lost in Records But Not Forgotten: Esau had many descendants. Five sons and ten grandsons are mentioned (Please read Genesis Chapter 36). Teman, one of the descendants of Esau, gave his name to a district and a tribe of that name in Edom. The inhabitants of Teman were renowned for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7).

Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends was called a Temanite (Job 2:11). He was a wise man who had great respect for GOD. Job was instructed by the ALMIGHTY to offer sacrifice and intercede for Eliphaz (Job 42:7–10).

This is surely one example of people who did not belong to the line of promise (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Nevertheless, they participated in the spiritual blessings of the original promise to Abraham.

Amalek and the Amalekites

One of Esau’s sons Eliphaz, had a concubine, or secondary wife, named Timna. She was the sister of one of the leaders of the Horites in Seir (Genesis 36:22). She bore Amalek to Eliphaz (Gen.36:12).

Because Amalek did not have the same mother as the other sons of Eliphaz, it may be that he was ostracized. The ostracization by his brothers may have led him to live in a separate area (identified as the nation of the Amalekites).

The Amalekites were the first nation/tribe to wage war on Israel after they had left Egypt (Exodus 17:8–13). As they did not fear GOD’ but attacked a weary, defenseless people, Israel was directed to blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Deuteronomy 25:17–19).

The Use of the Term “Duke”

Esau increased in power and influence and his descendants soon organized themselves into political and administrative units. His ten grandsons and the three sons of his wife Aholibamah became dukes (Genesis 36:15–19).

The term ‘duke’ is associated with the word for a ‘thousand’. It seems to have been an Edomite name for a leader of a tribe. These words “these were the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these were their dukes” (Genesis 36:19) gives indications. They indicate that these sons and grandsons had become heads of tribes that formed the Edomite nation.

They married into the Canaanite and Hittite families to increase their number and power. ‘Edom’ and ‘Seir’ are often used synonymously in the Old Testament. The land of Edom (Genesis 36:21) is also spoken of as the land of Seir (Genesis 36:30).

Horites and Seirs

The original inhabitants of the area conquered by Esau were Horites. These Horites are not to be identified with the well-known Hurrians who occupied parts of Syria and Canaan in the time of Moses.

The Horites were ‘in their mountain of Seir’ when the kings of the East attacked them in the days of Abraham (Gen.14:6). The name ‘Hore’ means ‘hole’. This suggests that these Horites were cave-dwellers and, certainly, the towering red sandstone rocks of Edom are full of ornately carved caves.

The area occupied by these Horites is called Seir, which is the name of the father of the Horites. Seir probably gave his name to the region. Concerning these Horites, we are later informed that ‘the descendants of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them’ (Deuteronomy 2:12).

Not All the Horites Were Destroyed

Prior to this, Esau had married the daughter of Anah, one of the descendants of Seir (Genesis 36:2,20,25). His son Eliphaz married the sister of one of the clan’s leaders (Genesis 36:12,22).

Intermarrying was at this time prohibited by the sons of Abraham, especially one who was eligible for the covenant. Esau dismissed this completely. With this intermarrying between Esau’s family and Seirs descendants, we can understand why the genealogy of Esau contains these ‘sons of Seir’ and ‘dukes of the Horites’.

Not all the Horites were destroyed; some of Seirs descendants were absorbed into the Edomite community and their leaders are identified (Genesis 36:20–30).













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