Genesis 36 – Esau’s Women and Seed

Genesis 36, mistakes in Torah, perversions in Torah, who were Esau's wives, wives of EsauGenesis 36 has more bad information in it than any other chapter in Torah (though there are several chapters in Deuteronomy that take a close second). In this article I am going to focus on only four verses (v.2-5) to illustrate the bulk of the perversions in Genesis 36.

In my Sabbath class (video below) I did not directly address all the discrepancies in Genesis 36 :2-4. For this reason I have included my findings here for the inquiring minds who want to know more.

Genesis 36 Verse 2

In my New King James Version, verse 2 says:

Esau took his wives [his women, there is no word for “wife” in Torah] from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite; Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; (Genesis 36 2)

“The daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite”? (Genesis 36 2) Who ever heard of a “daughter of Anah” (a man) who is a “daughter of Zibeon” (yet another man)? More on Adah later.

Let’s remember who Canaan’s seed actually are.

Jasher 7:13 And Canaan’s seed were Zidon, Heth [חת, khet], Amori, Gergashi, Hivi [חוי], Arkee, Seni, Arodi, Zimodi and Chamothi.

Canaan begot Sidon his firstborn, and Heth [חת, khet] (the Jebusite), the Amorite, and the Girgashite; the Hivite [החוי, khiv·vee], the Arkite, and the Sinite; the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. Afterward the families of the Canaanites were dispersed. (Gen 10:15-18 NKJV)

Khet “the Jubusite”? How is Khet a Jubusite? He is the son of Canaan. What is up with that? Many times the torah lists the Hittites and the Jubusites together, but they seem to be one in the same. Khet is the father of the “Hittites” really “Khittites“, but where do the people called “the Horites” or “The Khorites“[החרי] come from? Horite or Khorite may be another name for a Hivite.

Hivi [חוי, khiv·vee] is the father of the Khivites, and like Khet, is a son of Canaan, the son of Ham.

These were the sons of Seir the Horite who inhabited the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, the sons of Seir, in the land of Edom. (Gen 36:20-21)

But Zibeon not only had a brother named Anah, he also had a son named Anah.

These are Zibeon’s seed: Both Ajah and Anah. (Genesis 36 24)

These were Anah’s seed [benai Adah] was Dishon and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah. (Genesis 36 25)

But Yasher says that Ahlibamah is the daughter of Zebeon the Hivite.

Yasher 30:23 And when Jehudith died, Esau rose up and went to Seir to hunt in the field, as usual, and Esau dwelt in the land of Seir for a long time.
24 And in the sixth year Esau took for a woman, in addition to his other women, Ahlibamah, the daughter of Zebeon the Hivite, and Esau brought her to the land of Canaan.

Again, is Zibeon a Hivite / Khorite or a Khittite (Hittite)?

But now, a dozen verses later in Yasher, it says Ahlibamah is the daughter of Anah, the son of Sier.

Yasher 30:36 36 And the son of Anah, the son of Seir, were Dishon and his sister Ahlibamah.

So was Aholibamah the daughter of Zibeon or Anah, Zibeon’s brother or Anah, Zibeon’s son’s daughter? The identity of Aholibamah is important because this union (Esau’s 4th wife) represents yet another covenant between Seir the Horite and Esau.

Genesis 36 verse 2 is the first time both Ahah and Aholibamah are mentioned in Torah; and both are only mentioned in Genesis 36.

So. if Aholibamah is Esau’s 4th woman, who were the other 3?

At 40 Esau Took Judith As His 1st Woman

In Genesis 26 we read:

When Esau was forty years old, he took as wives Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. (Gen 26:34)

Judith is not even mentioned in Genesis 36. The reason for that is that she  did not bare Esau any sons and Genesis 36 is all about Esau’s seed.

Yasher 28:22 And Esau there saw in the land of Seir the daughter of a man of Canaan, and her name was Jehudith, the daughter of Beeri, son of Epher, from the families of Heth, the son of Canaan.
23 And Esau took her for his woman, and he came unto her; forty years old was Esau when he took her, and he brought her to Hebron, the land of his father’s dwelling place, and he dwelt there.

Yasher 30:21 And in the fifth year died Jehudith, the daughter of Beeri, the wife of Esau, in the land of Canaan, and she had no sons but daughters only.

It appears that a Khittite / Hittite is from the family of Khet or Heth.

Torah above said that Esau took Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, when he took Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. So if both of the women are the daughters of Khet, why does Genesis 36 verse 3 say what it says?

Genesis 36 Verse 3

and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth. (Genesis 36 3)

At 63, NOT 40, Esau Took Basemath (a.k.a. Bosemath, a.k.a. Adah) As His 2nd Woman

So who is Basemath? The daughter of Elon the Hittite or Ishmael’s daughter, and the sister of Nebajoth. And if she is Ishmael’s daughter and Nebajoth’s sister than how can Mahalath or Makhalat be the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebajoth?

Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan [Judith and Basemath] did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his woman in addition to the women he had. (Gen 28:8-9)

Yasher 29:43 Then he went to the house of Ishmael his uncle, and in addition to his older women he took Machlath the daughter of Ishmael, the sister of Nebayoth, for a woman.

We will talk a bit about Mahalath later, but please understand that she is the daughter of Ishmael, not Basemath.

So who is who is Adah and how does she relate to Basemath?

As I said above, Basemath or Bosmath (as Yasher calls her) and Adah are actually the same woman. Genesis 36 is the only place in Torah that Adah is even mentioned. Crazy – I know, right!? Look what Yasher says about Bosmath right after Jacob receives the blessing from Isaac and runs away for 14 years to Eber’s house.

Yasher 29:12 And when Esau saw that Jacob had fled and escaped from him, and that Jacob had cunningly obtained the blessing, then Esau grieved exceedingly, and he was also vexed at his father and mother; and he also rose up and took his woman {Judith] and went away from his father and mother to the land of Seir, and he dwelt there; and Esau saw there a woman from among the daughters of Heth {Khet, the Khiities] whose name was Bosmath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and he took her for his woman in addition to his first woman, and Esau called her name Adah, saying the blessing had in that time passed from him.

What a hoot! Basemath is Adah. So now we can see the foolishness in the very next verse of this utterly confusing chapter.

Genesis 36 Verse 4

Now Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, and Basemath bore Reuel. (Gen 36:4)

Yasher says:

Yasher 29:17 And in those days Adah Esau’s woman conceived and bare him a son, and Esau called the name of the son that was born unto him Eliphaz, and Esau was sixty-five years old when she bare him.

Yasher 36:21 And these are the generations of Esau that were born to him in the land of Canaan, and the sons of Esau were five.
22 And Adah bare to Esau his first-born Eliphaz, and she also bare to him Reuel, and Ahlibamah bare to him Jeush, Yaalam and Korah.

At 77 Esau Takes Mahalath As His 3rd Woman

After Jacob received the blessing and ran away to Eber’s house, he stayed there for 14 years. At 77 Jacob comes home hoping that Esau has had time to calm down. Of course Esau, the man of the flesh, is still angry and tries to kill him again.  It is then that Isaac sends Jacob to Haran to take a woman from the house of his family and not from the Canaanites. It is also at that time that Esau sends his son Eliphaz (now 13) with 10 of his uncles to kill Jacob.

After Jacob is gone Esau realizes how much Isaac and Rebekah dislike his Canaanite women and he decides to take a woman who they will approve of; and he goes to the house of Ishamel and takes his daughter Mahalath, the sister of Nebajoth.

Also Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan did not please his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his woman in addition to the women he had. Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. (Gen 28:8-10)

Yasher 29:43 Then he went to the house of Ishmael his uncle, and in addition to his older women he took Makhalath the daughter of Ishmael, the sister of Nebayoth, for a wife.

But, like Judith (now passed), Mahalath also gives Esau no sons.

Genesis 36 Verse 5

And Aholibamah bore Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. These were the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan. (Genesis 36 5)

Praise Yehovah! We finally have a verse with accurate information. Aholibamah does bare Esau 3 sons.

At 83 Esau Takes Aholibamah As His 4th Woman

Yasher 30:23 And when Jehudith died, Esau rose up and went to Seir to hunt in the field, as usual, and Esau dwelt in the land of Seir for a long time.
24 And in the sixth year Esau took for a woman, in addition to his other women, Ahlibamah, the daughter of Zebeon the Hivite, and Esau brought her to the land of Canaan.
25 And Ahlibamah conceived and bare unto Esau three sons, Yeush, Yaalan, and Korah.

Why Is Genesis 36 So Polluted With Misinformation?

I think that concerning our wicked brother Esau, the writer of Genesis 36 was either confused, not careful to preserve the correct lineage of Esau, or both. There are many errors and contradictions in Torah but Genesis 36 is by far the worst chapter. And this just covers the first 4 verses.

Here is my teaching on Genesis 36 and a bit of Yasher.

Genesis 36 – Esau’s Women And Seed

2G40 Genesis 36 & Yasher 36-37:26
[Click here to download this audio mp3]

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3 thoughts on “Genesis 36 – Esau’s Women and Seed

  1. Thanks Adonoi Hashem for you for being the second witnesses (at the mouth of two or three witnesses shall the matter be established) to some thoughts I have heard before. Keep on keep it on the teaching of the Torah

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