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ADAH (Heb. עָדָה; "ornament" or [according to the Arabic] "morning"; cf. Heb. personal names: Adaiah, Adiel), name of wife of *Lamech and wife of *Esau. Adah was one of the two wives of Lamech (Gen. 4:19–20). To her and to his other wife Zillah, Lamech recited his song (Gen. 4:23 ff.). Her children, *Jabal and *Jubal, were the first to practice, respectively, pastoral pursuits and music, thus inaugurating a new stage of human progress. Her importance for the genealogy in Genesis 4 is derived from this fact, because Lamech's wives are the only women mentioned there. In the account in Genesis 5:28 ff. there is no mention of Adah, Zillah, and their children. Noah, the firstborn of Lamech, appears instead, together with other sons and daughters, whose names are not mentioned.

Adah was the wife of Esau (Gen. 36:2) and the daughter of Elon (but cf. Gen. 26:34, where the daughter of Elon, who married Esau, is Basemath). Esau, who is also called *Edom (ibid. 36:1), and was probably the patriarch of Edom, married Adah, a Hittite, who was a native of Canaan. This account provides information on a Hittite element in Edom, a fact unknown from other sources, except in connection with other wives of Esau (Judith and Basemath, Gen. 26:34; cf. 28:9). Nonetheless, this information is difficult to fit in. On the other hand, Adah's Canaanite origin is probable, due to the wide range of nationalities included in the term Canaan. Adah was the mother of Eliphaz and his children, who were*allufim and counted as her descendants (Gen. 36:11–12, 15–16) rather than those of Lamech.

add. bibliography:

U. Hübner, abd, 1, 60.