Genesis 36: Forgiveness Is a Great Thing

Genesis 36 is one of those giant genealogical chapters. This time, we are going to be looking at the line of Esau who became known as Edom.

One thing that I found particularly interesting was the identity of one of Esau’s wives.

Gen 36:2  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;

Gen 36:3  And Bashemath Ishmael’s daughter, sister of Nebajoth.

Esau actually married one of Ishmael’s daughters.

It is interesting that even at this point in history, there was apparently some level of contact between the lines of Isaac and Ishmael.

We saw earlier how they both came together to bury their father when he passed away, and their children obviously had some degree of contact as well.

In my mind, this is another reference to the fact that these people forgave each other.

Many marriages during this time were arranged according to Jim West of the Quartz Hill School of Theology as well as many other sources around the Internet that I found.

If Ishmael was still upset with Isaac and jealous of the fact that he kind of took his place, I highly doubt that he would have allowed his daughter to marry the son of Isaac.

That must have been some pretty strong forgiveness.

However, as hard as that is to believe, it is apparently what happened.

By definition, forgiveness covers a lot of bad things that happened in the past.

If you go online to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, here is what they tell you forgiveness means.

“To cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon”

I think that we sometimes miss this fact in our lives. We have all come into contact with people who have perhaps stepped over us.

Ishmael very possibly felt some resentment. After all, if Ishmael had remained the only child, he would have obviously been the favorite.

However, as we now realize in chapter 36, their children were marrying each other. There must have been some reconciliation.

In all of our relationships that might have taken a wrong turn, we should seek reconciliation as well. Nobody benefits from grudges, and God is able to help us find the power to forgive.


Posted on August 27, 2012, in Genesis and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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