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What Could Have Been — Genesis Chapter 36

This blog post will cover the devotional #155 for Genesis Chapter 36.

Please note that this devotional book is for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.

[155] Genesis 36:1-43

In the Bible, the main usages of the word, ‘duke’, is used in reference to the offspring of Esau (Edom) in Genesis 36 and 1 Chronicles 1 (along with the offspring of the land of Seir, where Esau lived). They’re also mentioned in Exodus 15:15 (when it’s discussing how God’s miracle at the Red Sea would affect Israel’s enemies). “Then the dukes of Edom will be amazed…” It’s sad to think that the father of those amazed dukes had the opportunity of the spiritual birthright. It’s incredible to think that those amazed dukes could’ve been in the place of the Israelites—that they would’ve been the chosen people of God—for whom He could’ve done immense miracles. The choice of one man affected the path and history of multitudes. For the context of the dukes of Edom, Strong’s Concordance defines 'duke' as ‘captain’, ‘chief’, ‘governor’, ‘guide’, or ‘leader’. In modern days, ‘duke’ is said to be a male title of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty or nobility. As a ruler, his rank is less than an emperor, king, or grand duke. As royalty or nobility, he ranks below a prince of nobility or grand duke. It means ‘leader’. The only other reference in the Bible for duke is Joshua 13:21, referring to the princes of Midian—the dukes of Sihon. This usage is defined as ‘prince’ or ‘annointed as king’ by Strong’s Concordance. Thus, though Edom’s offspring weren’t rulers, they were to become the heads of a large nation of people. Esau’s wife, Aholibamah (the daughter of Anah), was a Horite. She was one of those who lived in the land of Seir. Esau’s son, Eliphaz, took a concubine (named Timna) from the same people. It’s interesting that, twice, the Bible makes an extensive list of the dukes / descendants of both Esau (Edom) and Seir. It seems there’s something important about both, because the 1 Chronicles account, specifically, lays out the line from Abraham to Jacob, but includes Esau and Seir. After Isaac’s death, Esau (Edom) and Jacob (Israel) had to separate ways because, most importantly, Jacob’s spiritual birthright determined that his constant mingling with Esau would’ve been detrimental, and, also, they both had too much wealth and cattle for the land to support. Therefore, Esau lived in Mount Seir. Seir is where Esau was before Isaac died (and where he invited Jacob to come visit when they first reunited). Esau had a few wives (of the Canaanites' and Ishmael’s offspring), and they gave him sons and grandsons. Although Esau didn’t follow the path of God, his children were still descendants of Abraham and Isaac, God’s beloved servants—and thus, God showed them favor. He gave them Mount Seir as a possession. When it’d come time for Moses to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land—they were meant to go directly through the land of Edom, and yet, God made it clear they weren't to use force against them as they were an easy prey—full of fear. Thus, even in that, God was still looking out for the offspring of Esau. Though Israel was to take over the entire land of Canaan as their promised possession—God still considered the Edomites to be on probation, and thus, they were to be spared.

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