However, when the Bible details the genealogy of Esau's descendants in Genesis 36, it gives other names for Esau's wives--Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath daughter of Ishmael (Gen.
Basemath daughter of Elon the Oholibamah daughter of Anah Hittite daughter of Zibeon the Hivite 3.
Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite was previously referred to as Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite because Esau called her Judith to trick his father Isaac into believing that she had rejected idolatry.
When the Bible lists Esau's wives in Genesis 36, it states: Esau took his wives from among the Canaanite women--Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite, and Basemath daughter of Ishmael (Gen.
On two occasions, Josephus refers only to the three wives of Esau mentioned in Genesis 36, namely, Oholibamah, Adah, and Basemath.
Likewise, if Oholibamah is Judith, why is she listed as second in Genesis 36 and first in Genesis 26?
Solomon Luria (1510-1573) observes that in Genesis 26 the Bible specifically refers to Adah/Basemath as Basemath, thus alluding to her idolatrous incense, despite the fact that Oholibamah is called Judith in the same passage to make her seem more righteous.
Consequently, Esau felt there was no need to change Basemath's name as he had changed Oholibamah's, since "Basemath" could have a positive connotation.
These explanations account for the inconsistencies in the order of Esau's wives and for Esau's alteration of Oholibamah's name to Judith without changing the name of Basemath.
In the sixth year of Jacob's stay in Haran, Esau married Oholibamah daughter of Anah daughter of Zibeon the Hivite.
(63) Other famous polygamous men from the Genesis narrative include Abraham (married to Sarah, and later, Hagar the concubine (64)), Abraham's brother Nahor (married to Milcah and his concubine Reumah (65)), Jacob (married to Leah and Rachel, along with the concubines Bilhah and Zilpah), Esau (married to Judith, Basemath, Mahalath, Adah, and Oholibamah
), and Esau's son Eliphaz.
Although censure is not the only conceivable explanation for anonymity, it makes sense also with Potiphar's wife in Genesis 39 and contrasts with many major and minor female characters who are named in Genesis: Eve (Genesis 1-4), Adah wife of Lamech (4:19-23), Zillah (4:19-23), Namah (4:19-23), Milcah (11:29, 22:20-23, 24:15-47), Sarai/Sarah (17-18, 20-21, 23-25, 49), Hagar (16, 21, 25), Rebekah (24-29, 35, 49), Keturah (25), Judith (26:34), Basemath (26:34, 36:3-17), Mahalath (28:9), Rachel (29-31, 33, 35, 46, 48), Leah (29-31, 33-35, 46, 49), Bilhah (29-30, 35, 37, 46), Zilpah (29-30, 35, 37, 46), Dinah (30, 34, 46), Adah wife of Esau (36:6-16), Oholibamah
(36:2-41), Timnah (38:12-14), Mehetabel (36:39), Tamar (14, 38), and Asenath (41, 46).