Genesis 36:1-43

Talks for Growing Christians

Esau’s Descendants and the Early History of Edom

Genesis 36:1-43

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Lesson Number 80

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Time is the true test of spiritual blessing.
  2. Time is the true test of spiritual character.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t feel bad if it looks like you’ve been left behind.


  1. Why did Esau and Jacob separate?
  2. Esau grew so powerful that his name became synonymous with Edom. What else does Edom mean?
  3. What was the prophecy spoken of by Isaac in Genesis 27:40 that was fulfilled in this episode?
  4. How was time a true test of spiritual blessing for Jacob?
  5. How was time a true test of spiritual character in the lives of Esau and Jacob?


  1. Because they had too many livestock to support both of them in the same area.
  2. Red, from the red rocks and also from the red stew.
  3. “By the sword you shall live.” Esau emerged as a powerful overlord in the area of Edom. Kings reigned here before kings reigned over the children of Israel.
  4. While Esau was a powerful overlord with many possessions, Jacob was still a stranger without power and without a kingdom When David conquered Edom, the full force was seen - the older shall serve the younger. Edom is no more, and it is only a matter of time before Israel will come into its possession.
  5. Esau was not a spiritual person, despising his birthright and his responsibilities. See Hebrews 12:16-17. Jacob, on the other hand, had a desire for the things of God, and he slowly but surely matured. See Hebrews 11:21.


  1. Time is the true test of spiritual blessing. Do you see this happening in your life?
  2. Time is the true test of spiritual character. Do you see this happening as you mature in your Christian walk? Are the fruits of the Spirit evident in your life? For example, see Galatians 5:22-23.


  1. Spiritual blessings mean waiting on God in faith while others may have many possessions and material prosperity. The story is not over yet. Be patient and allow God to work in your life.

Key Verses

  • “Their possessions were too great for them to dwell together.” Genesis 36:7
  • “So Esau dwelt in Mount Seir. Esau is Edom.” Genesis 36:8

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