Genesis 36:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 36:3, NIV: "also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth."

Genesis 36:3, ESV: "and Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth."

Genesis 36:3, KJV: "And Bashemath Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebajoth."

Genesis 36:3, NASB: "also Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth."

Genesis 36:3, NLT: "He also married his cousin Basemath, who was the daughter of Ishmael and the sister of Nebaioth."

Genesis 36:3, CSB: "and Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth."

What does Genesis 36:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This and the previous verse (Genesis 36:2) list three of Esau's wives. It's possible he had more. The names and fathers of these wives do not match the description of Esau's wives given in Genesis 26:34 and 28:9. For instance, Genesis 26:34 cites Basemath as the daughter of Elon the Hittite. Here Basemath is described as Ishmael's daughter. Ishmael was Isaac's half-brother.

The reason for these changes is unclear. Earlier references to Esau's marriages were in the context of the stress they caused his family (Genesis 26:34–35; 27:46; 28:8–9). This passage is about those children of Esau who formed the nation of Edom, in the land of Seir. Scholars suggest Esau may have had as many as six wives, not necessarily at the same time. The three listed here would have been the most significant. It's also possible the names of his wives were changed (Genesis 17:5; 32:28; 36:8).