Genesis 36:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 36:2, NIV: "Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan: Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite--"

Genesis 36:2, ESV: "Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite,"

Genesis 36:2, KJV: "Esau took his wives of the daughters of Canaan; Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Aholibamah the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon the Hivite;"

Genesis 36:2, NASB: "Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite;"

Genesis 36:2, NLT: "Esau married two young women from Canaan: Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite; and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite."

Genesis 36:2, CSB: "Esau took his wives from the Canaanite women: Adah daughter of Elon the Hethite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite,"

What does Genesis 36:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The record of Esau's generations begins by listing his wives (Genesis 36:3). Unlike his father Isaac and his brother Jacob, Esau took wives from the local Canaanite peoples. Abraham had insisted that Isaac not marry a Canaanite woman and intermingle the covenant people of God with the idol-worshipping local populations (Genesis 24:2–4). If Esau had been given this same instruction from Isaac, he didn't follow it (Genesis 27:46).

The first two wives, listed in this verse, are Adah and Oholibamah. Basemath is listed in the following verse. Oddly, the names of these three and their fathers do not match the wives and fathers given in Genesis 26:34 and 28:9. It is not clear why. Scholars suggest that perhaps Esau had six wives, not necessarily all at the same time, and these three were the most significant. It's also possible the names of his wives were changed at some point (Genesis 17:5; 32:38; 36:8).