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Need help disambiguating Judah (q.v.) in this entry.

Why the {} sign/s?[edit]

Why were one or more of these sign/s: {{NPOV}}{{expansion}}{{Cleanup}} signs placed on this page without any discussion, explanation or reasoning? (And why create a redundant category Category:Bible stories that is now up for a vote for deletion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:Bible stories?) IZAK 07:22, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

No no no, Esau deserves an entry, albeit a much better one by someone who can keep the Christian bias from blazing through. 14:31, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Needs rewrite[edit]

This article is extremely POV and seems to contain a great deal of original research and the author's personal speculation. The author needs to attribute his/her contentions--they're either his/her ideas, or perhaps the current Bible study discussion topics.

Particularly objectionable are the insistence that Jacob did not trick or deceive Esau (not that it's wrong, just that it's POV), and the statement that the Edomites are "godless"--intuitively this rings false. I seriously doubt it; probably they had many gods. I'm prepared to be proven wrong, but that's exactly it--back your claims!! 14:31, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I think the last two paragraphs should be axed. 14:34, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

seriously. a great deal of this article is millenarian rubbish.

"Esau" needs change.[edit]

This article is polemic, defending Jacob at all costs, rather than setting out information that anyone can use about Esau. It needs considerable rewriting. DJKrause 19:36, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Romans or Muslims?[edit]

Too much opinion, proselytization is not what we need here. Also, I read somewhere Muslims consider Esau their ancestor. Here it says Romans. Needs input from another POV.

"I read somewhere Muslims consider Esau their ancestor" ;

You got it a little mixed up. Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The Hebrews are said to be descendants of Isaac and the Arabs are said to be descendants of Ishmael. Furthermore, all Arabs are not Muslims nor are all Muslims Arabs. --SahirShah 06:58, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

Esau married Ishmael's daughter, so, yes, Esau could be considered a Muslim (Arab) ancestor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

you probably did read that - the people who make up the interpretations of 'prophesy' often use it to justify racial hatred. I've seen the israeli-palestinian conflict compared to israeli Philistine conflict, and that as a justification to consider all Palestinians godless and evil. as soon as I saw the edomites called godless I expected someone to then link them with a modern people group as an excuse to hate them, and that's exactly what whatever you read was most likely doing. None of these individuals are likely to have existed - instead they're probably just metaphors applied to people groups that the authors of the stories about the patriarchs wanted to charactorise. post-exilic hebrews were in need of cultural identity, so alot of stuff was added to their religious practice (most of the pentatuch is considered to have been written during or after the babylonian exile, according to the Oxford Annotated Bible and most other reliable sources I've encountered), part of what they added were excuses to explain ethno-cultural tensions in their area, like 'oh, we're sons of jacob and they're sons of esau, we're just allways going to be fighting'. *shrug* familiy trees get narrower in the present time, individuals do not branch out and produce whole ethnic groups, it's vice versa.

The majority of the Edomites converted to Judaism in Hashmonean and Roman times, so their decedents are obviously Jews. TFighterPilot (talk) 11:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)


There is no mention in the article of the Amalekites being the descendants of Esau (and how they attacked the Hebrews when they were in the wilderness...and were eventually defeated) in Exodus 17. J. Vernon McGee refers to this in his books in Exodus Volume I. Are there other sources for this? Arx Fortis 06:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Sources about midrashim requested[edit]


I requested sources for statements about midrashim. I am not saying that they are completely wrong, but it would be proper to cite the exact place - name of the Midrash and chapter.

Particular sentences that i marked "citation needed":

  1. "According to all midrashim, Esau is a very significant character in world history. Inasmuch as Jacob is considered to be the progenitor of the Children of Israel, it is Esau who is regarded as the forefather of Rome and the Roman Empire" - "according to all midrashim" is nice, but the midrashim are very vast and at least one or two examples from two different midrashim would be very good.
  1. "The argument is proposed that Esau was born with red coloring in his hair and body, and the ancient rabbis have connected this with the red banner and standard favored by Rome's legions" - "The argument is proposed" is a weasel word, source would be better.
  1. "Some see this as another sign of Rome, famous for her unique sword made of steel - the gladius - that smashed its way to world hegemony and on the way massacred the descendants of Jacob/Israel" - "Some see this" is a weasel word.
  1. The Talmudic saying "It is well-known that Esau hates Jacob" (Hebrew: הלכה בידוע שעשיו שונא ליעקב) is often quoted, up to the present, by nationalist and isolationist Jewish groups assering that Jew-hatred is an endemic and incurable phenomenon of some non-Jewish societies - source please, for the Talmudic saying and also an example of an "isolationist Jewish group" using it as a quote. Please don't tell me to Google it - i did and it wasn't so trivial to find.

Thanks. --Amir E. Aharoni 11:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Rough as Esau's hand[edit]

Hello, I am actually confused, I am writing an essay on a poem which includes reference to Esau. "And from a heart as rough as Esau's hand" (line 28, Tennyson) I was wondering really why his hand would be rough, and perhaps if there is some real significance to that answer it should be included in the article. Thanks I would really appreciate an answer.

T.L.M December 29, 2006

It might be a reference to Genesis chapter 27. Read it, it's simple and educational. --Amir E. Aharoni 12:07, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
hello ,my friend amir before advising others he should read and understand not interprete genesis chapter 27(strictly read it not interpret)
Perhaps it's punning on Gen. 32:11 - "Deliver me, I pray You, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and smite [us all], the mothers with the children." Asat 08:04, 14 July 2007 (UTC)
It would seem to me it's referring to Esau's hirsuteness. (talk) 09:14, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Pop culture Esau[edit]

There is a reference to Esau in, of all places, The Blair Witch Project, in which Heather Donohue vaguely recalls being told a story "about Esau...[and] a pile of rocks", which sounds like Gen. 31:48-52, although those verses are about Jacob and Laban. Esau, known for his hairyness, was probably a better name to use in the film (about a legendary witch who is also reputed to be hirsute) since Jacob's many other attributes tend to overshadow the fact that he, too, was quite hairy. Asat 08:26, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

"god hates fags" and other quotes[edit]

is there any reference in the bible to Esau being gay, only a lot of the signs ive seen have references to quotes like romans 9;13 or malachi 1;3 that when i look them up are along the lines of "God loved Jacob, but hated Esau" etc. Joevsimp 21:49, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

"Yahweh loves Jacob/Israel, hates Esau/Edom" is a theme in many prophetic books in the bible, but has nothing to do with Esau's sex life - it's more to do with the history between the kingdoms of Judah and Edom. 586 BC is the crucial date, when the Babylonians conquered Jersalem and took the aristocracy, including those who could write, into captivity - and the kingdom of Edom seems to have helped the Babylonians, hence the hatred for wicked Edom. Genesis was written by these exiled Judahite aristocrats (who included the priests and scribes from the Temple), and the "Jacob-and-Esau-were-brothers" story, and also the "Esau-was-the-father-of-Edom" story, date from that time. The only earlier reference is Amos 1:11, written in the 8th century BC, which speaks about Yahweh's hatred for Edom "because he pursued his brother with the sword), of words to that effect - note that Amos mentions Edom, the kingdom of that name, not Esau, and that the reference to Edom's brother is not literal but means the Judahites. But it does say "brother", which implies that the "brotherhood" of the Judahites and Edomites was recognised in the 8th century, so the basic Jacob/Esau story might be older than Genesis. Just when Amos saw the Edomites chase the Israelites, Yahweh only knows - but from the point of view of your question it doesn't really matter, the point is simply that Yahweh hated the descendents of Esau (not Esau himself) because they'd been hostile to the Israelites, not because of their sex lives.PiCo 07:15, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Wondering then why the reference to this passage in regards to sexuality especially by this church phocks (talk) 04:26, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Linguistically I'm thinking perhaps an explanation would be that these people mean "god hates, fags" directing the comment to those they consider "fags" or beneath them somehow and asserting the fact that god is capable of "hatred". Or maybe I'm thinking too much into this. I don't think they thought about it too much probably, and just wanted to pick some bible passage to make their sign look more important. Whatever it is, it's not a very humane thing. phocks (talk) 04:33, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Esau hates Jacob[edit]

There ought to be better sourcing on the quote Esau hates Jacob, which is a favorite among talmudists and kabbalists. (cf [1]) It has been used to refer to various groups from the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, Nazi Germany and modern Iran. ADM (talk) 04:21, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Confusion between Esau and Jacob[edit]

Article currently reads: "... Esau ... was the fraternal twin brother of Jacob (whom God renamed Israel) — the patriarch and founder of the Israelites."

This is confusing: it leads to the mis-reading that Esau is "the patriarch and founder of the Israelites."

I would drop the clause "(whom God renamed Israel) — the patriarch and founder of the Israelites."

Besides the potential confusion of mis-reading, the clause seems to aggrandize Jacob. This is Esau's article, not Jacob's: let's keep it Esau-centric, and give Jacob his due in the Jacob article.

Karl gregory jones (talk) 17:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Done. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 17:42, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


The section 'Views of the Birthright' has been moved over to Jacob and Esau. For one, there are no references for that article and this subject has lots of great commentaries and views that could be referenced. It has the potential of being a good article in of itself. Neither Esau nor Jacob should hog up that article on their pages. Jasonasosa (talk) 18:22, 11 January 2011 (UTC)


"Esau the progenitor of the Edomites..." -sentence needs a verb. As it lists several cites, I hesitate to choose one.--Mannanan51 (talk) 15:49, 29 June 2011 (UTC)mannanan51

Done. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 20:56, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Wives' names[edit]

I have removed the text which attempts to explain the difference in the names of Esau's wives between Genesis 26 & 28 and Genesis 36 because it appears to be speculation presented as fact. Ideally I would have written a small paragraph regarding the disparity, but I am lacking in knowledge on the subject, and do not have access to decent sources. I have tentatively reverted to an older edit which suggested that the three wives mentioned in Genesis 26 & 28 are equivalent to those named in Genesis 36, however this seems to be original research. If someone with more knowledge on the subject could perhaps address this issue? Neodymium60 (talk) 19:50, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

No, it appears what you removed was in fact referenced to a source. We are allowed to use speculation published by scholars, although ideally it will be properly attributed as such. Please do not blank out the referenced material. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 03:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I have rewritten the whole section. After some research, It appears that there is no scholarly consensus as to the identities of those wives mentioned in Genesis 26-36. I have revised the article to what I hope reflects this. Neodymium60 (talk) 16:42, 7 August 2011 (UTC)


His death to be mentioned according to Jewish tradition (see even say that ESAU´S head is buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron Healkids (talk) 16:31, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Earliest camels dated to 930 BCE[edit]

The recent excavations in the Timna Valley dating copper mining to the 10th century BCE also discovered what may be the earliest camel bones found in Israel or even outside the Arabian peninsula, dating to around 930 BCE. This is seen as evidence that the stories of Abraham, Joseph, Jacob and Esau were written after this time.<ref name=camels>{{cite news|last=Hasson|first=Nir|title=Hump stump solved: Camels arrived in region much later than biblical reference|url=|accessdate=30 January 2014|newspaper=Haaretz|date=Jan. 17, 2014}}</ref> Dougweller (talk) 14:01, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

They found a camel they dated to 930 BC so now that "proves" it was the first ever and they had never heard of camels before that? I find that about as convincing as most of their desperate "proof" when it comes to trying to convince people they "know" when Genesis was written.... (By the way they had the letter Gimel shaped like a camel's neck in proto-Semitic long before that!) Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:16, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Don't blame me for what the source says or if you don't like Haaretz. And the explanation for Gimel is just speculation which can never be proved, and not everyone agrees. See what Barry B. Powell has to say on this.[2] Dougweller (talk) 15:49, 30 January 2014 (UTC)