Edom, Dukes of
In Genesis 36:15-19 descendants of Esau are listed and given the title of duke. The Hebrew word “אַלּוּפֵ֤י (’al·lū·p̄ê)” can also be translated “chief” or “chieftan.” In other words, the dukes of Edom were leaders or rulers. Those specifically named in the Genesis passage are the sons of Eliphaz, son of Esau and Adah (Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Garam, and Amalek); the sons of Reuel, son of Esau and Bashemath (Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah); and the sons of Esau and Aholibamah (Jeush, Jaalam and Korah). Subsequently sons of Seir the Horite, who are also named as “dukes of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom” are listed: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan (Genesis 36:20-21, 29-30). As the former are descendants of Edom and the latter specifically listed as being in the land of Edom, both could be classified as dukes or chiefs of Edom. At the end of a genealogy of the kinds of Edom, additional dukes are named, presumably for the time period when Hadar is reigning as king (Genesis 36:40): Timnah, Alvah, Jetheth, Aholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenas, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel and Iram. These are specifically listed as “dukes of Edom.” Similar or identical passages to those in Genesis exist in 1 Chroncles 1:15-21, 29-30, 51-54. Later, in Exodus 15, during their song to the Lord, Moses and the children of Israel sing, “The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. Fear and dread shall fall upon them; be the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O Lord, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.” (Exodus 15:14-16).
Bible Central Team