Aholibamah

Aholiba'mah

[many Aholib'amah] (Hebrew Oholibamah', א הַלַיבָמָה, tent of the height), the name, apparently, of a woman (Sept. Ο᾿λιβεμά), and of a man or district (Sept. Ε᾿λιβαμάς) named after her, in connection with the family and lineage of Esau (q.v.). She was the granddaughter of Zibeon (q.v.) the Hivite (of the family of Seir the Horite) by his son Anah (q.v.), and became one (probably the second) wife of Esau (Ge 36:2,25). B.C. 1964. It is doubtless through this connection of Esau with the original inhabitants of Mount Seir that we are to trace the subsequent occupation of that territory by him and his descendants, and it is remarkable that each of his three sons by this wife is himself the head of a tribe, while all the tribes of the Edomites sprung from his other two wives are founded by his grandsons (Ge 36:15-19). In the earlier narrative (Ge 26:34) Aholibamah is called JUDITH SEE JUDITH (q.v.), daughter of Beeri (q.v.) the Hittite (q.v.). The explanation of the change in the name of the woman seems to be that her proper personal name was Judith, and that Aholibamah was the name which she received as the wife of Esau and foundress of three tribes of his descendants; she is, therefore, in the narrative called by the first name, while in the genealogical table of the Edomites she appears under the second. This explanation is confirmed by the recurrence of the name Aholibamah in the concluding list of the genealogical table (Ge 36:40-43), which, with Hengstenberg (Die Authentie d. Pent. 2, 279; Eng. transl. 2, 228), Tuch (Comm. uib. d. Gen. p. 493), Knobel (Genes. p. 258), and others, we must therefore regard as a list of names of places, and not of mere persons, as, indeed, is expressly said at the close of it: "These are the chiefs (heads of tribes) of Esau, according to their settlements in the land of their possession." The district which received the name of Esau's wife, or, perhaps, rather from which she received her married name, was no doubt (as the name itself indicates) situated in the heights of the mountains of Edom, probably, therefore, in the neighborhood of Mount Hor and Petra, though Knobel places it south of Petra, having been misled by Burckhardt's name Hesma, which, however, according to Robinson (Researches, 2, 552), is "a sandy tract with mountains around it ... but not itself a mountain, as reported by Burckhardt." It seems not unlikely that the three tribes descended from Aholibamah, or, at least, two of them, possessed this district, since there are enumerated only eleven districts, whereas the number of tribes is thirteen, exclusive of that of Korah, whose name occurs twice, and which we may further conjecture emigrated (in part at least) from the district of Aholibamah, and became associated with that of Eliphaz. SEE EDOM.

Bible concordance for AHOLIBAMAH.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

 
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