Gen. 36:14 says that Aholibamah, Esau's third wife, had a son named Korah:

And these were the sons of Aholibamah, the daughter of Anah the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: and she bare to Esau Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah. (KJV)

Then in verses 15 and 16 a "duke Korah" is listed as a "son of Adah", Esau's first wife:

These were dukes of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn son of Esau; duke Teman, duke Omar, duke Zepho, duke Kenaz, duke Korah, duke Gatam, and duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah.

Then again in verse 18, Korah is mentioned as the son of Aholibamah:

And these are the sons of Aholibamah Esau's wife; duke Jeush, duke Jaalam, duke Korah: these were the dukes that came of Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife.

Is Korah the son of Adah or Aholibamah?


There are various answers given to this question in the traditional Jewish commentaries on these verses:

  1. There were two Korahs, one was Esau's son from Aholibamah (verse 14 and 18) and one was his grandson the son of Eliphaz who was Adah's firsborn (verses 15 and 16). See Chizkuni (citing Rashi on the Talmud)

  2. Korah was Eliphaz's son born from an incestual affair that Eliphaz had with his father's wife, Aholibamah. Korah is therefore a descendant of both Adah (through Eliphaz) and Aholibamah and counted with both groups. See Rashi (citing Bereishit Rabbah)

  3. Korah's mother, Aholibamah, died when he was a very young and Korah was raised by Adah. His clan is therefore counted among both groups. See Chizkuni

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