Genesis 36 is the family tree coming out of Esau. Remember Jacob’s blessing of Esau? Jacob had been given the blessing of the bloodline of God’s nation, but Esau had been given a blessing also. God never forgot Esau.
Esau took “his wives from the daughters of Canaan” and these wives caused much grief to his parents. But since Jacob was gone for so long, Esau’s family was all his parents had in their lives. They were the ones around them when Rachel died.
And Esau made some good decisions. When Jacob left, Esau hated him and wanted to kill him, but seventeen years later, Esau forgave Jacob when Jacob came back, even embraced him and offered to escort him back to the family. Talk about life change!
And Esau went with Jacob to bury their father. He may have even been the one to bear the bad news.
And after the burial and return of Jacob to the homeland, Esau gave up his home and “took his wives and his sons and his daughters and all his household, and his livestock and all his cattle and all his goods which he had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to another land away from his brother Jacob.“ Esau held up to his end of father’s blessing even after his father had died, and left the land so Jacob could inherit it.
Esau’s descendants became Edomites and are listed by their “chiefs” and “kings” which rings true with Issac’s blessing of Esau: “By your sword you shall live.” These nations have been in conflict with Israel even to this day.
God did not forget Esau, even though he was not the chosen one. Just read through all the names of his sons, their sons and their accomplishments. He has a special place in scripture without negative commentary.
Esau made some good decisions, for which God gives him a special place in scripture. These boys were not “good” or “bad,” as we tend to polarize people and nations.
Each had their own choices to make…