When Isaac has died, history continues with his sons. First the oldest is mentioned, the son who does not follow the line of faith. The death of his father reveals what lives in the heart of Esau. It has not made a lasting impression on him. His heart has not changed: he goes away from his brother (verse 66Then Esau took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to [another] land away from his brother Jacob.), with which he indicates that he wants to have nothing to do with the line of God’s thoughts. He has his own plans and follows his own path.
Esau has three wives. The sons they give birth to are all born in Canaan, while the sons of Jacob, except Benjamin, were all born outside the land. And while Jacob enters the land, Esau leaves it to live in the hill country of Seir.
Esau is Edom, the father of the Edomites, so it says several times in this chapter (verses 1,8,9,19,431Now these are [the records of] the generations of Esau (that is, Edom).8So Esau lived in the hill country of Seir; Esau is Edom.9These then are [the records of] the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir.19These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these are their chiefs.43chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of the Edomites), according to their habitations in the land of their possession.). This people will reveal themselves as Israel’s most bitter enemy. The judgment of them is written down by the prophet Obadiah.
Yet in this generation of curse, also an example of grace is present. In verse 1515These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz, the firstborn of Esau, are chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, we read about Kenaz. Caleb, about whom we read in Joshua 14, is called “the Kenizzite” (Jos 14:66Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the LORD spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea.). Kaleb is a descendant of Kenaz. Being born as an Edomite is therefore not hopeless (Jdg 3:99When the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the sons of Israel to deliver them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.).