Genesis 36


God calls forth the generations


1 Now these are the generations of Esau who is Edom. 2 Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite; 3 And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth. 4 And Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau; and Bashemath bore Reuel; 5 And Aholibamah bore Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau that were born to him in the land of Canaan.


  • Esau was Isaac’s first son and Jacob’s twin brother.
  • Malachi 1:3 tells us that God hated Esau but He loved Jacob.
  • Hebrews 12:16 says Esau a profane person.
  • John 1:9 tells us that God reveals Himself to every man that comes into the world.
  • When God revealed Himself to Jacob, Jacob believed what God said. Esau did not. He placed no value on spiritual things. Therefore this shows God’s faithfulness in keeping His promises to bless those we love. Isaac loved Esau.
  • Isaiah 41:4 Who has worked and done it, calling forth the generations from the beginning--I the LORD, the first and the last, I AM HE.

  • Matthew 5:45… He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust


6 And Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, all the people of his household, his cattle, all his property, and all his livestock that he had gathered in the land of Canaan and went into the country away from the face of his brother Jacob. 7 for their riches had become to great to dwell together; and the land where they were foreigners could not bear them because of their livestock.


  • Just like Abraham and Lot in Genesis 18, they had too much stuff to dwell together.
  • In Genesis 33 it seemed that Jacob did not go to Esau after their first meeting, but this verse shows that they did get together and tried to dwell together.
  • Many unbelievers have great material blessing in this life. Some say it is from Satan but Romans 11:36 tells us that all things are from God.


8 So Esau dwelt in mount Seir: Esau is Edom. 9 And these are the generations of Esau, father of the Edomites in mount Seir: 10 These are the names of Esau's sons; Eliphaz the son of Adah the wife of Esau, Reuel the son of Bashemath the wife of Esau. 11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. 12 And Timna was concubine to Esau's son Eliphaz; and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz: these were the sons of Esau's wife Adah.


  • God gave Mt. Seir to Esau (Deuteronomy 2:5).
  • The descendants of Amalek became the pirates of the desert.
  • David destroyed all but 400 of them in I Samuel 30.
  • We have a romantic image of pirates because of the movies but they were terrorists, gangs of murderers and thugs.
  • God ordered their destruction because they attacked the weak stragglers as Israel left Egypt (Deuteronomy 25:17).


13 And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Esau's wife Bashemath. 14 And these were the sons of Esau's wife Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon: she bore to Esau Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. 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 from 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 from Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Esau's wife Bashemath. 18 And these are the sons of Esau's wife Aholibamah; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, and duke Korah: these were the dukes that came from Aholibamah the daughter of Esau's wife Anah, 19 These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.


  • These people made royalty of their leaders.
  • King Herod’s family was the last of Esau’s line.
  • Jesus made us kings and priests to God—Revelation 1:6., Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:7.
  • Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.


20 These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. 22 And the children of Lotan were Hori, Hemam; Lotan's sister was Timna.


  • Archaeologists have discovered that the Horites, sons of Hori, were the Hurrians.


23 And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. 24 And these are the children of Zibeon; both Ajah, and Anah: this was that Anah that found the mules in the wilderness as he fed the asses of Zibeon his father. 25 And these were children of Anah; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah. 26 And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 27 The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. 28 The children of Dishan are these; Uz and Aran. 29 These are the dukes that came from the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah, 30 Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came from Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.


  • God made every one of these persons in His own image.
  • Every one of these is a person for whom His Son died.
  • Many of them are in His eternal family through faith in Jesus.
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him not perish, but have everlasting life.


31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel. 32 Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 33 Bela died and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. 34 And Jobab died and Husham from the land of Temani reigned in his place. 35 And Husham died and Hadad the son of Bedad, who struck Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place: and the name of his city was Avith. 36 And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. 37 And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his place. 38 And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place. 39 And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his place: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 40 And these are the names of the dukes that came from Esau, according to their families, in their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth, 41 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 42 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar, 43 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these were the dukes of Edom, according to their dwellings in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.


  • Psalm 146:10 The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD.
  • Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will reign forever and ever.


                                            Genesis 37


The LORD removed Joseph from his family when the situation became dangerous


1 And Jacob dwelt in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. 2 These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, a son of seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers; and the youth was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought to his father a bad report about what they were doing. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors/long coat.


  • Joseph was the next to the youngest of twelve brothers.
  • He was a righteous young person, trying to please God and his father, Jacob.
  • He told his father what he saw when he was with his half-brothers.
  • The coat was not only preferential treatment, but the colors were a sign of authority in the family.


4 And when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. 5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brothers: and they hated him still more. 6 And he said to them, Please listen to this dream I dreamed: behold, we were binding sheaves in the midst of the field, and my sheaf rose and stood upright; and behold, your sheaves came around and bowed themselves to my sheaf.


  • Joseph is a picture of Christ in scripture.
  • He was beloved of his father and hated by his brothers.
  • God showed Joseph his future.
  • Joseph wasn’t trying to be obnoxious.
  • This dream was exciting to him.
  • He saw they hated him and he wanted to be accepted. He was trying to be liked.
  • Each child needs the full love of its father to grow emotionally healthy. Our heavenly father loves us each perfectly and eternally.


8 And his brothers said to him, Will you indeed reign over us? Will you truly have dominion over us? And they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words. 9 And he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and saw the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowing themselves to me. 10 And he told it to his father and to his brothers: and his father rebuked him and said to him, What is this dream that you have dreamed? Will I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow down ourselves to you to the earth? 11 And his brothers envied him; but his father paid attention to the words.


  • Everyone knew what the dreams meant!
  • The sun, moon, and eleven stars were Jacob and Rachel and all Jacob’s children.
  • Two dreams is explained by Genesis 41:32.
  • Genesis 41:32… the dream was doubled to Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.


12 And his brothers went to tend their father's flock in Shechem. 13 And Israel said to Joseph, Aren’t your brothers tending the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them. And he said to him, I will go. 14 And he said to him, Go now, to see the welfare of your brothers, and the welfare of the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron and he came to Shechem. 15 And a certain man found him wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What do you seek? 16 And he said, I seek my brothers: Please tell me where they are pasturing. 17 And the man said, They left here; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. 18 And when they saw him afar off, before he came near them, they plotted against him to kill him.


  • Just like Jesus.
  • Mark 14:1 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by stealth, and put him to death.


19 And they said one to another, Look, this master of dreams comes. 20 Come, let’s kill him and throw him into some pit, and we will say that some evil beast has eaten him: then we will see what becomes of his dreams. 21 And Reuben heard it, and he saved him out of their hands and said, Let’s not kill him. 22 And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand on him; so that he might rescue him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again. 23 And when Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colors that was on him; 24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. 25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted their eyes and looked and saw a company of Ishmeelites coming from Gilead with their camels carrying spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 And Judah said to his brothers, What profit is it if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and not let our hand be on him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brothers listened.


  • Gilead is the plateau region East of the Jordan River that stretches from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. It is a lushly forested region known for its balm and spices.
  • Myrrh is the soft, dark, fragrant oleoresin derived from various crock roses that was used in making perfumes and wrapping grave cloth strips around the dead.
  • The brothers were doing worse than kidnapping.
  • God set the punishment for kidnapping as death.
  • God has great plans for those who are open to do His will.
  • Satan tries his best to divert those plans.
  • The plot of the brothers furthered God’s plan rather than stopping it.
  • Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel, anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
  • Deuteronomy 24:7 If a man is found stealing any of his brothers of the children of Israel, and makes merchandise of him, or sells him; then that thief shall die; you are to put evil away from among you. (Making merchandise is to loan out for hire—this includes pimping, loaning out for the purpose of prostitution).


28 Then Midianite traders passed by; and they pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.


  • Midianites and Ishmaelites were both sons of Abraham. Their descendants were often together so that the names became interchangeable.
  • The Midianites were the only ones who ever knew the strange, wild Arabian desert countries.
  • In Leviticus 27:5 twenty pieces of silver was the dedication price of a youth. A full grown man’s dedication was 30 pieces of silver.
  • Matthew 26:15 And said to them, What will you give me, and I will deliver him to you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.


29 And Reuben returned to the pit; and behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he tore his clothes. 30 And he returned to his brothers and said, The child is not there; and I, where can I go? 31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; 32 And they sent the coat of many colors, and brought it to their father saying, We found this: examine it to see if it is your son's coat or not. 33 And he knew it and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn in pieces. 34 So Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted and he said, I will go down to the grave to my son mourning. This is how his father wept for him. 36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, and captain of the guard/chief executioner.


  • God is with us in the worst of circumstances.
  • Reuben was the oldest. He was responsible before Jacob. He’d kept them from killing Joseph.
  • Jacob favored Joseph and that favoritism caused all this strife among the brothers.
  • So God has used the bad circumstances to remove Joseph from his dysfunctional family so that he will come to rely on God alone.
  • Jacob’s was looking forward to seeing Joseph again at death and planned to still be mourning him when that happened.
  • Jacob received back the fruit of his favoritism. But God is merciful and full of surprises.
  • 2Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
  • Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear; for I am with you: do not be dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.


                                             Genesis 38


1 And at that time Judah left his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. 2 And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her and went in to her. 3 And she conceived and bore a son; and he called his name Er/watchful. 4 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and she called his name Onan/strong. 5 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and called his name Shelah/petition: and he was at Chezib, when she bore him. 6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar/erect.


  • Judah left the family after Joseph had been sold. Many years had passed by now and Judah’s sons were grown.


God is watching and slays the wicked


7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD killed him. 8 And Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother's wife and marry her, and raise up seed to your brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed would not be his; so when he went in to his brother's wife he spilled it on the ground, so he would not give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing that he did displeased the LORD: therefore he killed him also.


  • God gives life and takes it when He decides it is best.
  • The purpose of this custom was to remember the one who died—that they not be forgotten; An heir of the deceased was provided by the brother of the dead person (Deuteronomy 25:5).
  • Onan pretended to obey his father Judah. God saw this pretense.
  • Ananias and Sapphira pretended and the same thing happened (Acts 5).
  • Remember what God told Cain in Genesis 4, ‘sin/evil lies at the door, its desire is toward you, but your are to rule over it.”
  • Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty has given me life.
  • Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
  • Psalm 7:11 God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked very day.


11 Then Judah said to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at your father's house until Shelah my son is grown: for he said, So that he not die also, as his brothers did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father's house. 12 And in process of time the Judah's wife, the daughter of Shuah died; and Judah was comforted, and went up to his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 And it was told Tamar saying, Behold your father in law is going up to Timnath to shear his sheep. 14 So she took off her widow's clothing and covered herself with a veil, and wrapped herself, and sat at the gate of Enaim, that is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given to him as a wife. 15 When Judah saw her he thought she was a harlot; because she had covered her face.

  • Tamar pretended to be a devotee of a sect that cleansed self by sex with a man who came to a temple, booth, or totem pole


16 And he turned to her by the way, and said, Come now, let me come in to you; (for he did not know that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What will you give me to come in to me? 17 And he said, I will send you a kid from the flock. And she said, Will you give me a pledge until you send it? 18 And he said, What pledge shall I give you? And she said, Your signet, your bracelets, and your staff that is in your hand. And he gave it her and came in to her, and she conceived by him.


  • Judah lied to Tamar. He sent her home to her father’s house and left her there, never intending to give her to Shelah.
  • Temple prostitutes veiled their faces. This is why Judah didn’t recognize her.
  • God gives conception—Ruth 4:13.


19 And she got up and went away, and took off her veil, and put on the clothing of her widowhood. 20 And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman's hand: but he did not find her. 21 Then he asked the men of that place saying, Where is the harlot, that was by the way at Enaim? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. 22 So he returned to Judah and said, I cannot find her; and the men of the place said that there was no harlot in this place. 23 And Judah said, Let her take it to her, otherwise we will be a laughingstock: after all, I sent this kid, and you have not found her. 24 And it was about three months later that Judah was told saying, your daughter in law Tamar has played the harlot; and behold, she is with child by adultery. And Judah said, Bring her out and let her be burned! 25 When she was brought out she sent to her father in law saying, I am with child by the man to whom these belong: and she said, Please notice whose these are, the signet, bracelets, and staff. 26 And Judah acknowledged them and said, She has been more righteous than I; because that I did not give her to Shelah my son. And he never knew her again.


  • The custom of the day was to burn adulterers to death. The scripture says stone them (Deuteronomy 22:21).
  • But why should she be more guilty than he?
  • Evil comes from satan and leads people to eternal death.
  • The death penalty stops evil and enables life. Tamar was living in her father’s home, not receiving support from Judah until this incident.
  • Then Judah took responsibility for her and his offspring.
  • Bigger issues were being grossly neglected.
  • God withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. Walking uprightly is putting God first (Matthew 22:37, 38). He is the source and sustainer of all we enjoy. He deserves honor.
  • Psalm 84:11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
  • John 8:4-11 Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do you say? … He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. … And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.


27 And it happened, as she was giving birth that behold, twins were in her womb. 28 And when she was in labor, one put out his hand: and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand saying, This one came out first. 29 And as he drew back his hand, his brother came out: and she said, How have you broken out? This breach be upon you: so he was named Pharez/breach. 30 And afterward his brother came out, that had the scarlet thread on his hand: and his name was called Zarah/brightness.


  • God’s grace conquers sin.
  • Each person is important to God.
  • The Holy Scriptures are full of sinners and scoundrels changed by God’s patience and love in dealing with the sins of their lives.
  • God honored Tamar eternally. Tamar is an ancestor of the eternal King of Kings (Matthew 1:3).
  • James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man does not offend in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
  • Ephesians. 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.




SUMMARY: Genesis 36-38


  • He calls forth the generations (Isaiah 41:4)
  • He removed Joseph from a dangerous family situation
  • He is watching and slays the wicked