“And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.”
King James Version (KJV)
36:31 By degrees the Edomites worked out the Horites, and got full possession of the country. They were ruled by kings who governed the whole country, and seem to have come to the throne by election, and not by lineal descent: these kings reigned in Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel - That is, before Moses's time, for he was king in Jeshurun. God had lately promised Jacob that kings shall come out of his loins: yet Esau's blood becomes royal long before any of Jacob's did. Probably it was a trial to the faith of Israel, to hear of the power of the kings of Edom, while they were bond - slaves in Egypt: but those that look for great things from God must be content to wait for them. God's time is the best time. They were afterward's governed by dukes again, here named, who, I suppose, ruled all at the same time in several places in the country. They set up this form of government, either in conformity to the Horites, who had used it, #Ge 36:29|, or God's providence reduced them to it, as some conjecture, to correct them for their unkindness to Israel, in refusing them passage through their country, #Num 20:18|.