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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 9–19
Verses 9–19

Observe here, 1. That only the names of Esau’s sons and grandsons are recorded, only their names, not their history; for it is the church that Moses preserves the records of, not the record of those that are without. Those elders that lived by faith alone obtained a good report. It is Sion that produces the men of renown, not Seir, Ps. 87:5. Nor does the genealogy go any further than the third and fourth generation; the very names of all after are buried in oblivion. It is only the pedigree of the Israelites, who were to be the heirs of Canaan, and of whom were to come the promised seed, and the holy seed, that is drawn out to any length, as far as there was occasion for it, even of all the tribes till Canaan was divided among them, and of the royal line till Christ came. 2. That these sons and grandsons of Esau are called dukes, Gen. 36:15-19. Probably they were military commanders, dukes, or captains, that had soldiers under them; for Esau and his family lived by the sword, Gen. 27:40. Note, Titles of honour have been more ancient out of the church than in it. Esau’s sons were dukes when Jacob’s sons were but plain shepherds, Gen. 47:3. This is not a reason why such titles should not be used among Christians; but it is a reason why men should not overvalue themselves, or others, for the sake of them. There is an honour that comes from God, and a name in his house that is infinitely more valuable. Edomites may be dukes with men, but Israelites indeed are made to our God kings and priests. 3. We may suppose those dukes had numerous families of children and servants that were their dukedoms. God promised to multiply Jacob, and to enrich him; yet Esau increases, and is enriched first. Note, It is no new thing for the men of this world to be full of children, and to have their bellies too filled with hidden treasures, Ps. 17:14. God’s promise to Jacob began to work late, but the effect of it remained longer, and it had its complete accomplishment in the spiritual Israel.