I have been looking for an authentic Jewish approach to the question of the unique instance of the highly specific future reference in Breishit 36:31:

ואלה המלכים אשר מלכו בארץ אדום לפני מלך־מלך לבני ישראל
These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites.

but I can only find Christian commentators. Are there Jewish sources that discuss this issue (e.g. did the Jewish people know the future Edomite kings before they came to power, why are there no other similarly specific references to the future in the Chumash, is the text authentic or addition, etc.).

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    (Most of it) isn’t a revelation of the future- moshe wrote it down, not someone who lived at the time that b’reishis took place. – Lo ani Oct 24 '19 at 16:00
  • There are 8 kings mentioned in those pesukim, which is about the amount of generations from Yacov to dor hamidbar (Yacov, Levi, kehas, amram, Aharon, elazar, pinchas, and since pinchas was old enough to kill Zimri, he could well have had kids). – Lo ani Oct 24 '19 at 16:12
  • @Loani Maybe we can compare this to Gid Hanasheh - was it written anachronistically, or was it written in its place (Chullin 100b)? – DonielF Oct 24 '19 at 17:46
  • @DonielF I guess so. But because of this question, it seems more likely that it was written by moshe. – Lo ani Oct 24 '19 at 17:54

Ibn Ezra on the verse notes that some say this verse was written prophetically.

He also quotes, and forcefully dismisses, the opinion of Yitzhaki that this verse was written in the days of Yehoshaphat.

Finally, he himself believes that in truth the king referred to here is none other than Moshe, such that the verse is not a future reference at all but is rather listing the Edomite kings who reigned before Moshe's time.

  • +1 But this would be a more week rounded answer if it addressed Rashi's opinion that these Edomite kings went up until the days of Yehoshaphat. Certainly a long time in the future. Barring the words of Yitzchaki in the Ibn Ezra. – user6591 Nov 26 '19 at 19:20
  • Presumably ibn Ezra understands that opinion believes that the verse was written prophetically... – Joel K Nov 26 '19 at 19:26
  • Agreed. I think I remember looking in the mefarshei Rashi one time hoping one of them would state that obvious fact, and I don't think anyone spoke about it. It's strange because it's an unprecedented prophecy. No prophet ever have sucha detailed account of any future event. – user6591 Nov 26 '19 at 19:38
  • sefaria.org.il/Isaiah.45.1?lang=bi – Joel K Nov 26 '19 at 19:41

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