Archive for the ‘Genesis 36’ Category

Emails from Moses – Postscript. Image created by Ross Cochrane

Genesis 36 – EMAILS FROM MOSES – Postscript 

To your majesty, King Hadar, 

Recently I have been searching the NET (National Edomite Transcripts) to find references to the history of the kings of Edom. I came across a few letters and e-mails between Jacob and Esau describing the beginnings of the fascinating history of your nation, but it mentions only clan leaders, not the kings.  

With your permission, I was wondering, since we have a common Ancestor in Abraham, if you or your secretaries would be able to help me find out what happened after Esau’s grandchildren died and specifically about the kings of Edom.  

As you know Israel has no kings, but Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were promised by God that kings would come from their descendants. It hasn’t happened yet for Jacob’s descendants, but I understand your nation has had kings for many years. 

Yours ancestrally, 

Moses,  

Servant of God most high, 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Dear Moses, leader of the hordes of Israel, 

I am not compelled in any way to share anything with you, Moses. You and your God are nothing to us. But since we have a common ancestor in Abraham and Isaac, I will share briefly some the historical information of our great nation.  

In summary, there are 7 kings. Firstly, Bela, Jobab, and Husham.  

Then there’s Hadad (not me). You wouldn’t like this Hadad much. He killed Midian in the field of Moab, son of our common ancestor, Abraham, by his wife Keturah. I understand you have some Midianite connections also.  

Then there’s Samlah, Shaul, Baal-hanan and now I, king Hadad, am king. All kings ruled from different cities in Edom and I rule from the city of Pau. 

Yours historically, 

Hadad, King of Edom, 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Your Royal Highness, King Hadad, 

Your information has been helpful. Thankyou so much for the list of your kings. This allows me the opportunity to record the family tree of our common ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, through Esau.  

Yes, I had heard of the other King Hadad who killed Midian. His passing was grieved by Abraham and his wife, no doubt, and all the Midianites then and since. I lived in the district of Midian for 40 years after I left Egypt. Jethro, my father-in-law is also a Midianite priest to God most highHis daughter, my wife, is Zipporah.  

I am fascinated by your kings ruling from different cities. I thought each son would rule from their father’s city. I have never heard of this practice. Is there a reason for why this happens? 

Yours with curiosity, 

Moses,  

friend of God. 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Dear Moses,  

I think you have misunderstood me in thinking that our Edomite kings come from a family dynasty of rulers. This is not so. 

Many years ago, Esau wrote into the very fabric of our society that none of us can presume clan leadership on the basis of birthright or a father’s blessing. Each leader must earn his leadership by power of force and strategy 

There are no favorites in Edomite rulership, no family dynasties, no kings anointed by God in our clans. We fight for the right of the throne and keep it by the power of the sword, knowing that our sons will not be the next kings. 

6 kings have come and gone, all from different families and now I am king. No-one will usurp my kingdom, though there have been those who have tried 

The leaders of clans give their names to their districts. Those leaders are governed by my rulershipSome kings, including me, have had cities of our own but we have no capital cities. They are merely places to live, fortresses, some built into the very rocks of Petra. Edom is a country of narrow canyons and is easily defended.  

By the way, we don’t allow strangers into our lands and, despite our common ancestors, we are not allies. Jacob gave up that right when he stole Esau’s blessing. Esau we have loved and Jacob we have hated. Think twice before planning to travel this way into Canaan.  

Yours militarily, 

Hadad,  

High king of Edom 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

To Your Highness, King Hadad, King of all Edom, 

God has certainly been good to your people, putting you in possession of your land much sooner than us Israelites. Although you have made it clear that you do not regard us as allies, be assured that we are not a threat to your kingdom.  

God has made it clear that to us that you feel threatened by our presence in your territory, so we will be careful not to bother you, for we understand that He has given you all the hill country around Mount Seir as your property, and we do not want even one square foot of your land.  

If we need food to eat or water to drink, we will pay you for it. God has been with us in our journey from Egypt and each step through this great wilderness. We have lacked nothing. We will avoid the road through the Arabah Valley that comes up from Elath and Ezion-geber (Deuteronomy 2:2-8).  

We will bypass your territory because we respect you as the descendants of Esau.  

One day we will see kings over our people. From our descendants, we will see the Messiah, King of all kings. The promise to Abraham that all the nations of the world will be blessed through him will be fulfilled (Genesis 12:1-3). 

You have said that you have hated Jacob and love Esau. Be careful that one day God does not say of you, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” (Malachi 1:2-3) 

Yours respectfully, 

Moses,  

Friend and servant of God most high 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Dake reminds me that “the rock-hewn city, Petra, later the capital of Edom, was an ancient stronghold. The temples and houses cut in the sides of the mountains surrounding Petra still exist and look freshly made.  

Edom had everything in wealth and power but no real faith in God and only the prospect of judgment to realize (Obadiah 1). In contrast, Israel had little in material wealth and power, but a struggling faith in God and all of God’s promises yet to be realised in the coming Christ.  

Christ followers are invited to live by faith not by sight, (2 Corinthians 5:7) just as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob lived (Hebrews 11).  

Pastor Ross 

Genesis 36 – EMAILS TO ESAU – Part 3 

Hi Esau, 

Thanks for all the information about your grandsons. You really have got quite a crowd to lead.  

Tell me, how did you originally come to live in Mt Seir? I’ve heard of an old hillbilly named Seir who pioneered that region and settled there.  

He was still around when we were young. The stories go that he had 7 sons who were prominent clan leaders called the Horites? Dad always told us to keep away from them. They had a reputation of being mercenaries, thugs and thieves. So how did you end up in Seir which you now call Edom? 

Jacob 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Dear Jacob, 

We ended up in Mt Seir because I have an even greater group of mercenaries, thugs and thieves than Seirs seven sons. We dispossessed them of everything and occupied their land. They were a bunch of cave dwellers, used to living rough, but they were a pretty wiley bunch and good fighters. They weren’t expecting to be routed, but they are actually better off now than they were.  

We took some of their women to be our wives. My wife Oholibamah is the daughter of one of Seir’s sons, Anah. My son Eliphaz has a Horite concubine named Timna. She is the last daughter of Seir. He was pretty old when she was born, but she is still older than Eliphaz. Eliphaz gained some points with the Horites when he married her. 

Esau 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

So do I choose quick results of material gain and power or learn to be patient and believe in the promises of God? Esau’s philosophy: Who needs to depend on God for things when you can take care of it yourself? Pursue the self-centered advantage. Jacobs philosophy: Struggle with obeying God, but learn eventually to patiently wait for His promises to be fulfilled.   

God humbles those like Jacob, while others, like Esau, gain the whole world. … But lose their own soul. 

Pastor Ross 

Genesis 36 – EMAILS TO ESAU – Part 2 

Emails to Esau 2 © Image Created by Ross Cochrane

Dear Jacob, 

Happy birthday to us! 120! Can you believe another decade has past. A lot of water under the bridge and bridges burned (I hope). I hope you have a great day. 

Your homeland sounds fascinating. I guess the name Edom will always remind me of our past also, and if you don’t mind, I won’t inflame enmity by attempting to come. I hope we can still keep in contact, however.  

I can’t say I have particularly represented God very well over the years, yet at significant times in my life, He has spoken clearly to me. I have struggled with Him. But He has always been with me. I am sad to hear you have abandoned faith in Him. I hope it’s not because of me, but I fear I had a lot to do with it, although I cannot take final responsibility for your decisions. 

I am still interested in getting our family tree in order, as I now take over that responsibility from Dad. I have been married for over 40 years. You must have been married for around 80 years, so there must be quite a few children. 

Yours, 

Jacob 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Jacob, 

Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I had forgotten. You were the only one who remembered.  

Since you don’t look like you are going to stop with this family tree thing, I’ll give you some details. 

Like you, brother, I’m a polygamist. I have three wives:  First is Judith (now known as Aholibamah), the daughter of Beeri, the Hittite, a total heathen in your eyes, brother. And Bashemath (now known as Adah), the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Genesis 36:2). 

Mum and Dad were not too impressed with my choices of wives when I told them (Genesis 26:34), so to appease them, I married my cousin, another Bashemath (now known as Mahalath), the daughter of Ishmael. It didn’t make much difference. She doesn’t believe in your God either (Genesis 28:6-9).  

If you are wondering about the name changes, in Edomite culture we change the names of our women when they are married. 

My family has prospered greatly despite our rejection of God and despite living outside of Canaan. I now have many servants and cattle.  

I have broken free from the yoke, like Dad’s blessing said.  

Since it is only my sons that interest you for your records, you can list 5.  

Adah gave birth to Eliphaz. Eliphaz strangely enough believes in God (a bit of a disappointment really). Probably influenced by his friend Job. I have to admit he’s a good tribal leader, though 

Basemath gave birth to Reuel.  Reuel is also a tribal leader.  

Oholibamah gave birth to JeushJalam, and Korah. They were all born in Canaan (Genesis 36:2-3).  

I didn’t want my kids growing up with all the God talk of my parents. So I moved to Edom some time ago, but like you came back when I heard Dad was dying. I became quite wealthy while I was in Canaan, but I could not call this my home because it is promised to you, so I packed up for good. I have no desire to live in your shadow, Jacob (Genesis 36:6). There’s not enough land to support us both because of all our livestock and possessions anyway. 

Now Dad’s gone I have moved everything to Mt Seir in Edom. You don’t need to worry. I won’t get in your way. 

Esau 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Dear Esau, 

You and I are very different and so I guess your decision to move was wise. Nevertheless, it seems strange that your sons were born in Canaan only to move out. My sons were born out of Canaan only to move in. You acquired wealth in Canaan only to move to Edom. I acquired wealth in Padan-aram only to move to Canaan. I ran away from you after stealing your blessing. Now you move away from me in order for me to enter into that same blessing. What a strange set of circumstances. 

Tell me. Do you have any grandsons? 

Jacob 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Jacob, 

Let’s make one thing clear, brother. I didn’t move from Canaan because of my love for you. I moved because I already have a life and own my land, which is more than you can say about Canaan. All you have is a promise and promises don’t mean anything. Get real, Jacob.  

As for Grandsons. Yes, I have 10 grandsons. I am getting old. All of them now are clan leaders of around 1000 families. 

Eliphaz has 5 children. Teman is his eldest son. Teman is a great leader. He already has a district and town named after him in Edom.  

Eliphaz also lives in Teman. Great man of wisdom. Eliphaz the Temanite. Can’t tell him anything. The whole place gives me the creeps. They’re all a lot of philosophers and know-it-alls and all they do is sit around and talk and read. A bit too cerebral for me.  

 Eliphaz has other sons, Omar, ZephoGatam and Kenaz 

I suppose you need to add another son also. Eliphaz took a concubine, just to continue the family tradition, named Timna, a local girl, and they had a son called Amalek (Genesis 36:12). He’s a tough kid. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him. He’s not well accepted by the rest of the family. So he has moved his clan to the West of Edom. I don’t see him much 

Eliphaz also has a son-in-law, Korah, also a great leader.   

I don’t have time for other details, so here’s a quick rundown. My son Reuelm through my wife Basemath, has 4 sons: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. (Genesis 36:12-13). 

I’m going on a 3 day hunting trip through the mountains so I’ll write to you again when I get time. Might even prepare some red stew when I get back. Pity you aren’t here to cook it.   

Esau. 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Esau is a very successful, wealthy, powerful man. Famous. The best example of a successful Atheist the world has to offer. Who says God won’t allow Atheists to succeed in life? But at what cost. Alienation from family and constant tension with the world around him. Arrogance with defying God.   

Pastor Ross 

Ancient E-mails to Esau © Image created by Ross Cochrane

Genesis 36 – E-MAILS TO ESAU – Part 1 

Hi Esau, 

It was great that you and I were there when our Dad died. So strange to think we won’t see him or Mum again. I feel a little like an orphan.  

I appreciated spending a bit of time with you after all these years, but I realised that I don’t have any real idea of who is in your family. You spoke of some of your children but I really don’t know much more. I have been compiling our family history and wondered if you would mind letting me know about your side. 

Your brother, 

Jacob (now Israel) 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Hi Jacob, 

So, you’ve changed your name. Sorry, but you’ll always be Jacob to me (the deceiver). I’m not really into family histories and you might not like my tribe. My parents certainly didn’t. I married Canaanite wives, outside the family of faith. 

I called our tribe the tribe of Edom, partly because of my red skin colour at birth (Genesis 25:25) and partly to never forget the pot of red stew that I exchanged for my birthright. After you stole my blessing from my father, the name Edom fed my desire to kill you if I ever saw you again. But then time got in the way and it didn’t matter anymore. 

Esau  

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Hi Esau, 

I’m glad that we were able to reconcile our differences. You have certainly done well for yourself. I was wondering if I could come and visit you and perhaps further heal old wounds and get this family tree thing in order. 

Jacob 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Jacob, 

I wouldn’t come here to visit if I were you. It not exactly a safe area for strangers. But it’s your call.  

I call the country where we live Edom, South East of the Dead Sea. It’s a mountainous area, good for hunting and we are starting to build a rock hewn city, unlike any you have ever seen.  

Seriously, I wouldn’t attempt coming here any time soon. You wouldn’t be welcome. My people don’t like strangers. They think I should have killed you when you returned to Canaan. We are an independent people with no need for God. I am building a nation that doesn’t need birthrights or blessings to survive. 

Keep writing, however, brother, and when I have time, I’ll give you a rundown of the black sheep side of the family. Your side of the family tree must be the white goat side. Do you still like wearing goat skins on your arms and neck (just joking Jacob. Relax). 

Esau 

___________________oOo_____________________ 

Esau is the firstborn of twins, a hunter, Isaac’s favorite son. He sells his birthright to Jacob for a pot of red stew, loses his father’s blessing through Jacob’s deception, marries Canaanite women to the displeasure of his parents.

An independent man, Esau hated Jacob for a time but then reconciled after 20 years of being apart. He is proud and rejects God. His success is temporary. 

Genesis 36 invites me to choose long-term commitment to God and His purposes for my life over short-term gain without Him. There will be a cost, but it is the cost of choosing to be patient for the promises of God to be fulfilled.

Pastor Ross