Genesis 36 – The Genealogy of Esau
Another boring genealogy, this time it’s Esau.
I will tell you now that I would not notice something wrong in here because I have not, am not, and will not read this and study this enough to find a problem in a genealogy. It is just not that important to me, there are many other problems in the text that can be addressed before these, but I will take a lead from the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible to what might be wrong and start there.
Anah – Male or Female
Gen. 36:2, 14 state that Anah is the daughter of Zibeon but 36:20 says Anah and Zibeon were the sons of Seir who inhabited the land. 36:20 sounds like Anah is the brohter of Zibeon while v.24 says Anah was Zibeon’s son. 1 Chron. has verses that back up both of these stances as well.
This is difficult for many reasons. We as everyday citizens don’t understand the language of the day and the naming system. It is reasonable to think that there was more than one person named Anah being talked about here. We today used many names for males and females but we don’t mix up the use of daughter, brother, and son. I also think it is reasonable to think that through the ages of verbal passage and possible multiple authorship of the bible that the information has changed and errors have been integrated into the story.
I am on the fence on this issue and again I say it is not important to explain every single problem; there are bigger and more problematic ones.
Bashemath – Who’s Child
v.2-3 says Bashemath is Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth, while Gen. 26:34 says Bashemath is the daughter of Elon the Hittite. We don’t really need Maury for this one; I can easily be swayed to think this is not a contradiction or problem. Esau went to Ishmael to find his wives and the people of the are were the Canaanites and called the son/daughter of Ishmael, so it seems more like a title or label than an actual genealogical reference here.
Amalek – It’s About Time
v.12, Amalek is born to Eliphaz, Esau’s son. Amalek is the namesake of the Amalekites but the Amalekites were killed back in Gen. 14:7. That was most likely an anachronism; its the best response for this occurrence.