(Seʹir) [from a root meaning “bristle up,” possibly referring to wooded hills; or, possibly meaning “Bristle Up (Shudder) in Horror”].
1. A “Horite” whose seven “sons” were sheiks in the land of Seir prior to its being occupied by Esau (Edom). (Ge 36:20, 21, 29, 30; 1Ch 1:38; compare Ge 14:4-6.) Seir may have lived in the mountainous region S of the Dead Sea, and this area was perhaps named after him. Whether the seven “sons” of Seir were immediate offspring or included later descendants is uncertain.—See ANAH; DISHON.
2. The mountainous region between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of ʽAqaba. (Ge 36:8, 30; De 2:1, 8) In Abraham’s time Horites inhabited Seir. (Ge 14:6) Later, Abraham’s grandson Esau established interests in Seir, while his twin brother Jacob resided at Paddan-aram. (Ge 32:3) But it seems that Esau did not complete the move to Seir until sometime after Jacob returned to Canaan. (Ge 36:6-9) Finally Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, dispossessed the Horites (De 2:4, 5, 12; Jos 24:4), and the land came to be called Edom. However, the older name Seir was also applied to the descendants of Esau and to the area where they lived. (Nu 24:18; compare 2Ki 14:7; 2Ch 25:11.) It appears that during the reign of King Hezekiah men of the tribe of Simeon went to Mount Seir, and after they annihilated the remnant of the Amalekites, Simeonites began residing there. (1Ch 4:41-43) For details about the geography and history of Seir, see EDOM, EDOMITES.
3. A mountain between Baalah (Kiriath-jearim) and Chesalon on the N border of Judah’s territory. (Jos 15:10) Seir is commonly identified with the ridge about 15 km (9.5 mi) W of Jerusalem, on the southern side of which lies the village of Shoresh.