Genesis 26:34
And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
ESAU’S MARRIAGE WITH CANAANITISH WOMEN.

(34) Esau was forty years old.—He was there fore of exactly the same age as Isaac was when, sixty years before, he married Rebekah. But by thus inter marrying with idolaters Esau violated the great principle laid down by Abraham (Genesis 24:3), forfeited thereby his birthright, and, as such marriages were illegal, is even called a fornicator in Hebrews 12:16. As his conduct was regarded by his parents with “grief of mind”—Heb., bitterness of spirit: that is, with mingled anger and sorrow—Esau partially repented, and took as a third wife a daughter of Ishmael (Genesis 28:9). In the Tôldôth Esau (Genesis 36:2-3) the names are different, and a fourth wife, of the inhabitants of Seir, takes the place of Judith.

Judith.—The names are remarkable, as showing that the Hittites spoke a Semitic tongue. Judith is the feminine form of Judah, and means praised. Beeri can scarcely be the original name of her father, as it means well-finder, but was probably gained by his skill in discovering water. We find it, however, in the genealogy of Hosea (Hosea 1:1). Bashemath or Basmath, the fragrant, was the name also of a daughter of Solomon (1 King 4:15); and Elon, oak-grove, was the name of a judge (Judges 12:11).

As this conduct of Esau prepares the mind for his final rejection and loss of the birthright, the place of these two verses would rightly be at the beginning of Genesis 27. The Jews arrange them as a separate section.

Genesis 26:34. He took to wife — Contrary to the command of his father, mother, and grandfather, he marries Canaanites, who were strangers to the blessing of Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah.26:34,35 Esau was foolish in marrying two wives together, and still more in marrying Canaanites, strangers to the blessing of Abraham, and subject to the curse of Noah. It grieved his parents that he married without their advice and consent. It grieved them that he married among those who had no religion. Children have little reason to expect God's blessing who do that which is a grief of mind to good parents.The treaty with Abimelek. This is an interview similar to what Abraham had with the king of Gerar; and its object is a renewal of the former league between the parties. Besides Phikol, the commander-in-chief, he is now accompanied by Ahuzzath, his privy counsellor. Isaac upbraids him with his unkindness in sending him away, and his inconsistency in again seeking a conference with him. "We clearly saw." His prosperity was such as to be a manifest token of the Lord's favor. Hence, they desired the security of a treaty with him by an oath of execration on the transgressor. "Do us no hurt." The covenant is one-sided, as expressed by Abimelek. "As we have not touched thee." This implies the other side of the covenant. "Thou art now blessed of Yahweh." This explains the one-sidedness of the covenant. Isaac needed no guarantee from them, as the Lord was with him. Abimelek is familiar with the use of the name Yahweh. Isaac hospitably entertains and lodges the royal party, and on the morrow, after having sworn to the treaty, parts with them in peace. On the same day Isaac's servants report concerning the well they had digged Genesis 26:25 that they had found water. This well he calls Sheba, "an oath," and hence the town is called Beer-sheba, "the well of the oath." Now the writer was aware that this place had received the same name on a former occasion Genesis 21:31. But a second well has now been dug in like circumstances in the same locality. This gives occasion for a new application of the name in the memories of the people. This is another illustration of the principle explained at Genesis 25:30. Two wells still exist at this place to attest the correctness of the record.34. Esau … took to wife—If the pious feelings of Abraham recoiled from the idea of Isaac forming a matrimonial connection with a Canaanitish woman [Ge 24:3], that devout patriarch himself would be equally opposed to such a union on the part of his children; and we may easily imagine how much his pious heart was wounded, and the family peace destroyed, when his favorite but wayward son brought no less than two idolatrous wives among them—an additional proof that Esau neither desired the blessing nor dreaded the curse of God. These wives never gained the affections of his parents, and this estrangement was overruled by God for keeping the chosen family aloof from the dangers of heathen influence. Both Hittites, the worst of the Canaanites, Ezekiel 16:3; which, from his grandfather Abraham’s severe charge, Genesis 24:3, he must needs know would be highly displeasing both to God and to his parents. And as Esau had several names, being called also Edom and Seir; so it seems these women and their parents had, by comparing this with Genesis 36:2, which was usual in those times and places. Or Esau had more wives than these. And Esau was forty years old,.... The same age his father was of when he married, Genesis 25:20,

when he took to wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite; Josephus (m) makes her to be the same with Aholibamah; but her father's name was Zibeon, and an Hivite, and must therefore be another person, not only the name being different, but the tribe, Genesis 36:2,

and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite; whom Aben Ezra takes to be the same with Adah, and so does Josephus; and in this they may be right, since the name of her father, and his nation or tribe, agree, Genesis 36:2. The fathers of these two women are represented by Josephus as men of great power and authority among the Canaanites, as very probably they were. Esau had another wife of the same name with this last, but she was daughter of Ishmael, and sister of Nebajoth, Genesis 36:3; for he had more wives than those; these were his two first, who very probably were not taken together, but one after another, though it may be but at a short distance from each other.

(m) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 18. sect. 4.

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34, 35 (P). Esau’s Hittite Wives

34. forty years old] The same age as Isaac, when he married Rebekah, Genesis 25:20.

Judith … Basemath … Hittite] See Genesis 36:2-3. Judith and Basemath are here described as “Hittites,” by which name were known, according to P, some of the principal inhabitants of the land; cf. note on Genesis 23:3. Groups of Hittites doubtless had come from the north and settled in Canaan. But in P there is little difference between Canaanites and Hittites.Verse 34. - And Esau was forty years old - literally, a son of forty years; the age of Isaac when he married Rebekah (Genesis 25:20) - when he took to wife Judith (Jehu-dith, "Celebrated," "Praised," if Shemitic; but the name is probably Phoenician) the daughter of Beeri - ("of a well"? "The Well-finder," vide Genesis 36:24) - the Hittits, and Bashemath ("Sweet-smelling," "Fragrant") the daughter of Elon the Hittite) - adding to them afterwards Maha-lath the daughter of Ishmael, and sister of Nebajoth (Genesis 28:9). On Esau's wives vide Genesis 36:2, 3. Abimelech's Treaty with Isaac. - The conclusion of this alliance was substantially only a repetition of renewal of the alliance entered into with Abraham; but the renewal itself arose so completely out of the circumstances, that there is no ground whatever for denying that it occurred, or for the hypothesis that our account is merely another form of the earlier alliance; to say nothing of the fact, that besides the agreement in the leading event itself, the attendant circumstances are altogether peculiar, and correspond to the events which preceded. Abimelech not only brought his chief captain Phicol (supposed to be the same as in Genesis 21:22, if Phicol is not also an official name), but his מרע "friend," i.e., his privy councillor, Ahuzzath. Isaac referred to the hostility they had shown; to which Abimelech replied, that they (he and his people) did not smite him (נגע), i.e., drive him away by force, but let him depart in peace, and expressed a wish that there might be an oath between them. אלה the oath, as an act of self-imprecation, was to form the basis of the covenant to be made. From this אלה came also to be used for a covenant sanctioned by an oath (Deuteronomy 29:11, Deuteronomy 29:13). תּעשׂה אם "that thou do not:" אם a particle of negation used in an oath (Genesis 14:23, etc.). (On the verb with zere, see Ges. 75, Anm. 17; Ewald, 224.) - The same day Isaac's servants informed him of the well which they had dug; and Isaac gave it the name Shebah (שׁבעה, oath), in commemoration of the treaty made on oath. "Therefore the city was called Beersheba." This derivation of the name does not shut the other (Genesis 21:31) out, but seems to confirm it. As the treaty made on oath between Abimelech and Isaac was only a renewal of his covenant concluded before with Abraham, so the name Beersheba was also renewed by the well Shebah. The reality of the occurrence is supported by the fact that the two wells are in existence still (vid., Genesis 21:31).
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