Monday, July 12, 2010

The Records of the Sons of Seir, the Horite - Genesis 36:20-30


These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land . . . of Edom. . . . These are the chiefs descended from the Horites, according to their various chiefs in the land of Seir.

For some reason, the author of Genesis, inserts in the middle of the genealogy of the Edomites, Esau’s people, the genealogy of the Horites. These people are Canaanites or more specifically Hittites. In Genesis 26:34 we learned that Esau had married two of their daughters. They were the natives of Mount Seir as we first learned in Genesis 14:6. But why here, why now, is their genealogy given?

It is possible that this was inserted as a reminder to us that if we allow people into our lives, they remain, in one form or another, ‘with us’ forever. The Edomites, beginning with Esau, had intermarried with the Hittites. By so doing, they likely adopted the ways of the Hittites in many respects and thus corrupted themselves and the pure monotheistic faith they had in God Almighty. When Esau lost his blessings he turned to and joined the Hittites. Their impact on him and his family remained forever.

If a young man falls into a group of bad friends and gets into trouble, he will always have that experience in his life’s databank and while he may be able to rise above it some day, its impact will have taken its course. Similarly, if a person has an affair, he/she does not easily forget the circumstances of that relationship, no matter whether it is cut short or not. If someone intentionally pursues an action or activity that results in permanent physical damage or loss to part of his/her body or faculties, he/she is reminded of that each time they go to use that part of the body or that ability. God once again, even with this simple genealogy inserted here, may well be suggesting, that life is indeed about choices that are ours to make. But once we make them, we must accept the fact that the positive outcomes of Godly decisions or the negative consequences of poor ones, are also part of the package, and cannot easily be abandoned.

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