Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 36:20-21, 30-31

20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,

21 And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.

29 These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,

30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.

31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

The account now moves from Esau’s household to describe the other nobility of that land. From the Horites there came a number of dukes and kings, who would be some of the major players when Israel returned from Egyptian captivity.

We have heard briefly of the Horites before. They were among the clans that fought against King Chedorlaomer, which strife resulted in Lot being taken captive and Abraham having to go and rescue him. From this we know that the Horites were in this land for quite some time, even before Abraham and his kin had arrived.

But this land had not been promised to the Horites, they were there on borrowed time. Canaan had been promised to the descendants of Abraham, and more specifically to the descendants of Jacob. From the mortal perspective there were still many years to go before God’s promises would be fulfilled, but it was sure to happen even so.

Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 36:15-19

15 These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, 

16 Duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.

17 And these are the sons of Reuel Esau’s son; duke Nahath, duke Zerah, duke Shammah, duke Mizzah: these are the dukes that came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.

18 And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau’s wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau’s wife.

19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.

We now continue with the descendants of Esau, and in these verses it specifically lists out the dukes, or tribal chiefs, among his sons and grandsons. Two of Esau’s wives had one son each. Through the first of these Esau obtained seven grandsons, each of which were given the title of duke. Through the second son came four more grandsons, also called dukes.

The pattern was slightly different with Esau’s third wife. Rather than bearing him a single son, Aholibamah gave birth to three, and all of these were also named dukes. Thus in all Esau had eleven duke grandsons and three duke sons, fourteen rulers to steer the clans of the Edomites.

Most of these dukes names I do not recognize, but the third one in verse sixteen is quite significant. Duke Amalek, I imagine, is the progenitor of the Amalekites, who would be a great rival to the Israelites when they returned from Egyptian captivity. This continues a pattern we have seen previously, where the kin of the covenant end up siring the very nations that would compete most hotly with the Israelites.