Isaac's Death & Esau's Family
Genesis 35:22-26 provides a list of Jacob's twelve sons. Why are they named again here? Perhaps this is how they would have been introduced to their grandfather Isaac (i.e., by birth mother as opposed to by birth order). "Then Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had dwelt. Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. So Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people, being old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him" (Gen. 35:27-29). Isaac lived a long life and was able to see the reconciliation of his sons as well as his numerous grandchildren. He was very blessed indeed. His twin sons worked together to bury him.

With Isaac's death, Moses proceeds to provide much detailed information regarding Esau's lineage in Genesis 36 before shifting the focus back to Jacob's family in chapter 37. Admittedly, most of this chapter is filled with names and appears to cover a number of generations. It is difficult to find much application for us today in this chapter full of names from thousands of years ago, so our comments here will be brief. "Now this is the genealogy of Esau, who is Edom" (36:1). Esau had married three women (two Canaanites as well as Ishmael's daughter) and was blessed with five sons and also some daughters. He became a grandfather many times over. "Then Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the persons of his household, his cattle and all his animals, and all his goods which he had gained in the land of Canaan, and went to a country away from the presence of his brother Jacob. For their possessions were too great for them to dwell together, and the land where they were strangers could not support them because of their livestock. So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau is Edom" (Gen. 36:6-8). Jacob and Esau had the same problem as Abraham and Lot--extensive wealth prevented them from living near to one another. Esau chose to live in Mount Seir.

The rest of the chapter provides details concerning the chiefs of Edom, the sons of Seir, and even the kings who reigned in Edom long "before any king reigned over the children of Israel" (36:31).