Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 2: Genesis, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847-50], at sacred-texts.com
1 Now these are the generations of Esau, who is Edom.
1. Istae vero sunt generationes Esau, hic est Edom.
2. Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;
2. Esau accepit uxores suas e filiabus Chenaan, Hadah filiam Elon Hittaei, et Aholibamah filiam Anah, filiam Sibhon Hivvaei,
3. And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.
3. Et Bosmath filiam Ismael sororem Nebajoth.
4. And Adah bare to Esau Eliphaz; and Bashemath bare Reuel;
4. Et peperit Adah ipsi Esau Eliphaz: et Bosmath peperit Rehuel.
5. And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these are the sons of Esau, which were born unto him in the land of Canaan.
5. Et Aholibamah peperit Jehus, et Jahalam, et Corah: isti filii Esau, qui nati sunt ei in terra Chenaan.
6. And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house, and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob.
6. Et accepit Esau uxores suas, et filios suos, et filias suas, et omnes animas domus suae, et pecudes suas, et omnia jumenta sua, et omnem acquisitionem suam, quam acquisierat in terra Chenaan: et profectus est ad aaliam terram a facie Iahacob fratris sui.
7. For their riches were more than that they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle.
7. Erat enim substantia eorum multa, ita ut nequirent habitare pariter: nec poterat terra peregrinationum eorum ferre eos propter substantiam eorum.
8. Thus dwelt Esau in mount Seir: Esau is Edom.
8. Habitavit itaque Esau in monte Sehir: Esau est Edom.
9. And these are the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in mount Seir:
9. Ac istae sunt generationes Esau patris Edom in monte Sehir.
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.
10. Ista sunt nomina filiorum Esau: Eliphaz filius Hadah uxoris Esau, Rehuel filius Bosmath uxoris Esau.
11. And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz.
11. Et fuerunt filii Eliphaz, Theman, Omar, Sepho, et Gahatham, et Cenaz.
12. And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
12. Timnah autem fuit concubina Eliphaz filii Esau, et peperit ipsi Eliphaz Hamalec. Isti sunt filii Hadah uxoris Esau.
13. And these are the sons of Reuel; Nahath, and Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah: these were the sons of Bashemath Esau’s wife.
13. Isti vero sunt filii Rehuel: Nahath, et Zerach, Sammah, et Mizza: isti sunt filii Bosmath uxoris Esau.
14. And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau’s wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
14. Et isti fuerunt filii Aholibamah filiae Hanah filiae Sibhon uxoris Esau, quos peperit ipsi Esau: Jehu, et Jahalam, et Corah.
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,
15. Isti duces filiorum Esau. Filii Eliphaz primogeniti Esau, dux Theman, dux Omar, dux Sepho, dux Chenaz,
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.
16. Dux Corah, dux Gahatham, dux Hamalex: isti sunt duces Eliphaz in terra Edom: isti sunt filii Hadah.
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.
17. Et isti sunt filii Rehuel filii Esau: dux Nahath, dux Zerach, dux Sammah, dux Mizzah: isti sunt duces Rehuel in terra Edom: isti sunt filii Bosmath uxoris Esau.
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.
18. Isti autem sunt filii Aholibamah uxoris Esau, dux Jehus, dux Jahalam, dux Corah: isti sunt duces Aholibamah filiae Hanah uxoris Esau.
19. These are the sons of Esau, who is Edom, and these are their dukes.
19. Isti sunt filii Esau, et isti duces eorum: ipse est Edom.
20. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, who inhabited the land; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah,
20. Isti sunt filii Sehir Horaei, habitatores terrae: Lotan, et Sobal, et Sibhon, et Hanah,
21. And Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan: these are the dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom.
21. Et Dison, et Eser, et Disan. Isti duces Horaeorum filiorum Sehir in terra Edom.
22. And the children of Lotan were Hori and Hemam; and Lotan’s sister was Timna.
22. Et fuerunt filii, Lotan, Hori, et Heman: et soror Lotan, Thimnah.
23. And the children of Shobal were these; Alvan, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shepho, and Onam.
23. Isti sunt filii Sobal: Halvan, et Manahath, et Hebal, Sepho, et 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.
24. Et isti sunt filii Sibhon: Ajah et Hanah: hic est Hanah, qui invenit mulos in deserto, quum passceret asinos Sibhon patris sui.
25. And the children of Anah were these; Dishon, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah.
25. Et isti sunt filii Hanah: Disan, et Aholibamah filia Hanah.
26. And these are the children of Dishon; Hemdan, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
26. Et isti sunt filii Dison: Hemdan, et Esban, et Ithran, et Cheran.
27. The children of Ezer are these; Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Akan.
27. Isti sunt filii Eser: Bilhan, et Zaavan, et Acan.
28. The children of Dishan are these; Uz, and Aran.
28. Isti sunt filii Disan: Us et Aran.
29. These are the dukes that came of the Horites; duke Lotan, duke Shobal, duke Zibeon, duke Anah,
29. Isti sunt duces Horaeorum: dux Lotan, dux Sobal, dux Sibhon, dux Hanah.
30. Duke Dishon, duke Ezer, duke Dishan: these are the dukes that came of Hori, among their dukes in the land of Seir.
30. Dux Dison, dux Eser, dux Disan: isti sunt duces Horaeorum, in ducibus eorum, in terra Sebir.
31. And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.
31. Et isti sunt reges, qui regnaverunt in terra Edom, antequam regnaret rex super filios Israel.
32. And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
32. Nempe regnavit in Edom, Belah filius Behor: et nomen urbis ejus Dinhabah.
33. And Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
33. Et mortuus est Belah, et regnavit pro eo Jobab, filius Zerah de Bosrah.
34. And Jobab died, and Husham of the land of Temani reigned in his stead.
34. Et mortuus est Jobab, et regnavit pro eo Hussam e terra Australi.
35. And Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
35. Et mortuus est Hussam, et regnavit pro eo Hadad filius Bedad, qui percussit Midian in agro Moab: et nomen urbis ejus Avith.
36. And Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
36. Et mortuus est Hadad, et regnavit pro eo Samlah de Masrecah.
37. And Samlah died, and Saul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
37. Et mortuus est Samlah, et regnavit pro eo Saul de Rehoboth fluminis.
38. And Saul died, and Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
38. Et mortuus est Saul et regnavit pro eo Balah-hanan filius Hachbor.
39. And Baalhanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pau; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
39. Et mortuus est Balhal-hanan filius Hachbor, et regnavit pro eo Hadar: et nomen civitatis ejus Pahu: nomen autem uxoris ejus Mehetabel filia Matred filiae Me — zahab.
40. And these are the names of the dukes that came of Esau, according to their families, after their places, by their names; duke Timnah, duke Alvah, duke Jetheth,
40. Ista ergo sunt nomina ducum Esau, per familias suas, per loca sua, secundum nomina sua: dux Thimnah, dux Haluah, dux Jetheth,
41. Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
41. Dux Aholibamah, dux Eliah, dux Pinon,
42. Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
42. Dux Cenaz, dux Theman, dux Mibsar,
43. Duke Magdiel, duke Iram: these be the dukes of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession: he is Esau the father of the Edomites.
43. Dux Magdiel, dux Hiram: isti sunt duces Edom per habitationes suas, in terra haereditatis ipsorum: ipse est Esau pater Edom.
1. Now these are the generations of Esau. Though Esau was an alien from the Church in the sight of God; yet since he also, as a son of Isaac, was favored with a temporal blessing, Moses celebrates his race, and inscribes a sufficiently lengthened catalogue of the people born from him. This commemoration, however, resembles an honorable sepulture. For although Esau, with his posterity, took the precedence; yet this dignity was like a bubble, which is comprised under the figure of the world, and which quickly perishes. As, therefore, it has been before said of other profane nations, so now Esau is exalted as on a lofty theater. But since there is no permanent condition out of the kingdom of God, the splendor attributed to him is evanescent, and the whole of his pomp departs like the passing scene of the stage. The Holy Spirit designed, indeed, to testify that the prophecy which Isaac uttered concerning Esau was not vain; but he has no sooner shown its effect, than he turns away our eyes, as if he had cast a veil over it, that we may confine our attention to the race of Jacob. Now, though Esau had children by three wives, in whom afterwards the blessing of God shone forth, yet polygamy is not, on that account, approved, nor the impure lust of man excused: but in this the goodness of God is rather to be admired, which, contrary to the order of nature, gave a good issue to evil beginnings.
6. And went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. Moses does not mean that Esau departed purposely to give place to his brother; for he was so proud and ferocious, that he never would have allowed himself to seem his brother’s inferior. But Moses, without regard to Esau’s design, commends the secret providence of God, by which he was driven into exile, that the possession of the land might remain free for Jacob alone. Esau removed to Mount Seir, through the desire of present advantage, as is elsewhere stated. Nothing was less in his mind than to provide for his brother’s welfare; but God directed the blind man by his own hand, that he might not occupy that place in the land which he had appointed for his own servant. Thus it often happens that the wicked do good to the elect children of God, contrary to their own intention; and while their hasty cupidity pants for present advantages, they promote the eternal salvation of those whose destruction they have sometimes desired. Let us, then, learn from the passage before us, to see, by the eyes of faith, both in accidental circumstances (as they are called) and in the evil desires of men, that secret providence of God, which directs all events to a result predetermined by himself. For when Esau went forth, that he might live more commodiously apart from his father’s family, he is said to have departed from the face of his brother, because the Lord had so determined it. It is stated indefinitely, that he departed “into the country;” because, being in uncertainty respecting his plan, he sought a home in various places, until Mount Seir presented itself; and as we say, he went out at a venture. 129
9. And these are the generations of Esau, the father of the Edomites 130 Though Esau had two names, yet in this place the second name refers to his posterity, who are called Idumeans. For, to make it appear what God had bestowed upon him for the sake of his father Isaac, Moses expressly calls him the father of a celebrated and famous people. And certainly, it served this purpose not a little, to trace the effect and fulfillment of the prophecy in the progeny of Esau. For if the promise of God so mightily flourished towards a stranger, how much more powerfully would it put itself forth towards the children, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and consequently the inheritance of grace? Esau was an obscure man, and a sojourner in that country: whence therefore is it, that suddenly rulers should spring from him, and a great body of people should flourish, unless because the benediction which proceeded from the mouth of Isaac, was confirmed by the result? For Esau did not reign in this desert without opposition; since a people of no ignoble name previously inhabited Mount Seir. On this account Moses relates that the men who had before inhabited that land were mighty: so that it would not have been easy for a stranger to acquire such power as Esau possessed, if he had not been divinely assisted.
24. This was that Anah that found the mules. Mules are the adulterous offspring of the horse and the ass. Moses says that Anal was the author of this connection. 131 But I do not consider this as said in praise of his industry; for the Lord has not in vain distinguished the different kinds of animals from the beginning. But since the vanity of the flesh often solicits the children of this world, so that they apply their minds to superfluous matters, Moses marks this unnatural pursuit in Anah, who did not think it sufficient to have a great number of animals; but he must add to them a degenerate race produced by unnatural intercourse. Moreover, we learn hence, that there is more moderation among brute animals in following the law of nature, than in men, who invent vicious admixtures.
31. These are the kings that reigned, etc We must keep in memory what we have said a little before, that reprobates are suddenly exalted, that they may immediately fall, like the herb upon the roofs, which is destitute of root, and has a hasty growth, but withers the more quickly. To the two sons of Isaac had been promised the honor that kings should spring from them. The Idumeans first began to reign, and thus the condition of Israel seemed to be inferior. But at length, lapse of time taught how much better it is, by creeping on the ground, to strike the roots deep, than to acquire an extravagant pre-eminence for a moment, which speedily vanishes away. There is, therefore, no reason why the faithful, who slowly pursue their way, should envy the quick children of this world, their rapid succession of delights; since the felicity which the Lord promises them is far more stable, as it is expressed in the psalm,
“The children’s children shall dwell there, and their inheritance shall be perpetual.” (Ps 102:28.)
Quemadmodum Gallice dicitur, Il s’en est alle a son aventure.
The word םימי, rendered mules by our translators, and by Calvin, is of doubtful signification; it occurs in this place only. It is by many commentators translated “waters,” or “warm springs;” and probably this interpretation is to be preferred. The reader may see the question discussed in Professor Bush’s note on this verse. — Ed