Adah 2: Bible

by Naomi Steinberg

In Brief

The Hebrew Bible character Adah appears in Genesis 36 and is the daughter of Elon the Hittite and the wife of Esau. Her character demonstrates the importance of women and marriage in understanding kinship groups in the Book of Genesis.


Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite, marries Esau, one of the two sons of Jacob and Rebekah, to whom she bears Eliphaz. Esau’s marriage to a woman outside his family’s descent line results in his exclusion from the endogamous patrilineage of Abraham’s father Terah. However, the inclusion of Adah’s and other women’s names in the Genesis 36 genealogy indicates the importance of women and marriage for understanding the formation of kinship and descent groups in the world described in the Book of Genesis.

There is a contradiction between Gen 36:2, which identifies Adah as the daughter of the Hittite Elon, and Gen 26:34, which names Basemath as Elon’s offspring; Gen 36:3 lists Basemath as the daughter of Ishmael.


Meyers, Carol, ed. Women in Scripture: A Dictionary of Named and Unnamed Women in the Bible, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, and the New Testament. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000.

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How to cite this page

Steinberg, Naomi. "Adah 2: Bible." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 27 February 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 22, 2024) <>.