Esau's Descendants, by Melissa Gibbs
Esau's Descendants, Genesis 36, 1Chronicles 1:43-2:2


An excellent question was posed in the comments section that I wanted to respond to. After such a heart-warming reconciliation between Jacob and Esau, why does Jacob again deceive his brother? Jacob says that he will follow Esau to his home in Seir but heads in another direction instead. It could have been that Jacob was still afraid of his brother, but I think a better answer is that Seir is not where God had told him to go. God had told Jacob to return to his homeland, which had been Beersheba, which was located on the "promised land" side of the Jordan river. Seir, the land of the Edomites, was on the opposite side of that river. The reconciliation, while significant, was of secondary importance to getting the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. Now, could Jacob have used better methodology than a lie? Absolutely. But old habits die hard.

After reading the genealogy of Esau, I was coming up completely blank for anything "interesting" to pull from the reading. Knowing that the Edomites were prominent in Israel's history, I decided to google, "what became of Esau's descendants?" What I found in a seminary student's essay, was more insightful than anything I would have come up with, so I decided to cut and paste it below.

"... Edom and Israel do not simply represent two families, or even two nations. They represent, as Cain and Seth and Ishmael and Isaac before them, the only two peoples that exist in the world, the only two nations that have ever existed in this world: the kingdom of this world, of the devil, and of unbelief on the one hand, and the kingdom of our God and of his Christ on the other.

From the very beginning of the book, in chapter 4, we have seen this division of mankind into the communities of faith and unbelief. Already at the beginning of human history, right after the fall, men in rebellion are found seeking to build the city of man and men who have faith in God are found building his city in the world. The story of Genesis, and so the story of the world and all of its history as it unfolds, is, primarily, the story of God calling a people out of rebellious and fallen humanity to be his very own, bearing with that people through all of their ingratitude and disobedience, and using them to bring light and life to the rising generations until finally God's people as a whole will be regathered in the paradise from which they were driven by sin. But alongside of that story is its mirror-opposite, the story of the kingdom of man -- born in rebellion against God, marked by violence, pride, and, at last, futility. They build their towers of Babel, but always in the end, God frustrates their hope to find peace and life apart from him. They trouble the saints, they carry out their rebellion against God by seeking the harm of his kingdom and people and city. But God is seen, through it all, protecting his people and securing them in his salvation. This was, as you remember, the great theme of the toledot of Isaac, the story of Jacob and Esau.

Consequently, all through the book, the challenge of this divinely inspired author to his readers is this question, over and over again: to which line, to which nation, to which kingdom, to which people, do you belong? And though it puts it in the terms appropriate to its time -- Esau and Jacob; Edom and Israel -- the question is exactly the same today."

Tomorrow's reading: Genesis 37-39

About Melissa Gibbs:


Melissa is the mother of four boys and the wife of her junior high sweetheart, JD.  He is the President of Joe Gibbs Racing and the son of NFL Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs.  JD and Melissa have been married 16 years and are actively involved with Young Life, Motor Racing Outreach, their church, and other ministries.  Their youngest son Taylor is nearing completion of a 3 year treatment protocol for leukemia, which has been a powerful faith walk for their family.  Since his diagnosis, Melissa has been called upon to share their family's testimony with many local churches. Much of her energy is now focused on a huge festival planned for mid May in celebration of Taylor's victory over leukemia and in effort to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer.  If you'd like to check out what she's up to while not blogging, go to


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