Most the tribes of Esav do not have wives listed among the husbands, yet we find (Bereishis 36:39)

וַיָּמָת בַּעַל חָנָן בֶּן־עַכְבּוֹר וַיִּמְלֹךְ תַּחְתָּיו הֲדַר וְשֵׁם עִירוֹ פָּעוּ וְשֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ מְהֵיטַבְאֵל בַּת־מַטְרֵד בַּת מֵי זָהָב׃

And when Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, Hadar succeeded him as king; the name of his city was Pau, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred daughter of Me-zahab.

What is so significant about this wife in contrast to the others that it was worthy of recognition in the Torah?

1 Answer 1


The Baal Haturim (citing Bereishis Rabah 83:4) explains that Mehetabel descended from powerful, wealthy people and it was only through marrying her that Hadar became King. Therefore it mentions her by name (and her lineage) in the context of his kingship.

  • And what? What Halacha comes from this knowledge? THe Torah omits many other important facts, but this? I think your answer (albeit correct) fails to answer the OP's question of What is so significant?
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 16:58
  • @AlBerko You seem to have misunderstood the question. The OP didn't ask 'what is the halachic significance'. There are many things the Torah mentions that don't have halachic significance.
    – Jay
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 23:04
  • Please explain ANY significance you see in this explanation.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 1:29
  • @AlBerko It is a narrative significance; her lineage was the reason he was king. That is what is significant about her in contrast to the other wives.
    – Jay
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 2:57
  • I understand that point is important for historians, but Torah-wise, Judaism-wise, why mention that at all? Don't take it personally, I just criticize the interpretation for inconsistency.
    – Al Berko
    Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 9:51

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