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Death of Isaac; Family of Esau (Genesis 35:27-36:43)

When Jacob returned to Hebron, his father Isaac was still alive and would live another 15 years or so before dying at the age of 180.

When Isaac died, Esau and Jacob came together again to bury him with his father, mother and wife—that is, Abraham, Sarah and Rebekah—at the cave of Machpelah (compare Genesis 49:31). Leah and Jacob would later be buried there also (49:29—50:13).

All of chapter 36 is a record of what happened to the line of Esau. As far as the birthright was concerned, Esau was rejected. But he was not forgotten. Indeed, it is interesting to consider that Moses, though of the line of Israel, had this record of Esau's family descent in hand hundreds of years later in order to set it down as part of the book of Genesis. (Of course, it is possible that Moses did not have the record and that God wholly inspired him in producing it—but this would only demonstrate God's interest and concern with Esau's descendants even more.)

Sadly, the descendants of Esau—or Edom (verse 1)—would come into frequent conflict with the descendants of Israel over the ages. We will see more about this in the book of Exodus and then as we continue through other books of the Bible. It might be surprising to know that the conflict has persisted even up to modern times. Later in the Bible Reading Program, when we get to the book of Obadiah, a prophecy about Edom, we will consider the identity of the Edomites today.

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