Now these are the names of the chiefs descended from Esau, according to their families an their localities, by their names: chief . . . .These are the chiefs of Edom (that is, Esau, the father of the Eomites), according to their habitations in the land of their possession.
In the previous section we read about the kings of Esau. Here we read about the chiefs that descended from Esau. These duke-like individuals ruled at the same time in several places across the land. In the case of the Edomites it is possible they copied the style of government they found in the land and practiced by the Horites. If one looks back to verse 29 of this chapter, one finds the “chiefs” that had descended from the Horites. Whatever the origin, Edom now had kings and dukes and a great dispersion of power throughout the land.
Perhaps another way to look at this hierarchy of rulers and power, all within Esau’s descendants, is to consider how much God blessed a man that was not chosen as a means by which He would bless the nations or carry out other parts of His plan for mankind. If Esau was blessed that much, can one really fathom the eternal blessings of those that are chosen? What a thought.
Finally, verse 43 says the Edomites dwelled in their own “habitations” including the fact that they possessed Seir. Meanwhile the Israelites only had a promise of great blessing that would be theirs someday. As Christians today survey the lay of the land, we notice that most of our contemporaries who are not children of God seem to have it all. In fact, they do likely have all they will ever have at their immediate disposal right now. Some of them do not even have to hope for anything, according to their own thinking. As children of God however our wealth is currently vested in the “certainty of the hope” that is still before us, the eternal promises of God. While to some it may seem like a bad deal today, true and experienced believers are convinced the best is yet to come, having confidence of spending eternity with God.
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