Destruction of the Amalekites


Destruction of the Amalekites

Deut. 25:17-19

Exodus 17:8 they had come and taken a 'cowardly' war against the stragglers of Israel. They did not fear God who was leading Israel through this wilderness. God declared their judgment would be that they would be blotted out.

Why the extreme punishment - blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget."  (Dt. 25:19).  Such judgments were not ethnic cleansing but judgment by God. God is the God of all the earth. He indeed rules in the kingdoms of men. He raises up kings and displaces kings.

What was the character of the Amalekites? Here we struggle for we have very little information on their character. We begin with little information, we read into such our OWN concept of people and then enter into a moral judgment against God. I know the unbeliever chalks our thinking as special pleading for God, but I am confident that God is righteous in His judgments. Indeed as Paul said: "… Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged” (Romans 3:4).  Paul had already described the judgment of God as the 'righteous judgment' (Rom. 2:5).

I take such into consideration as I read these events in the Old Testament. I remind myself that I am not God. I remember not to forget that I am woefully ignorant of the circumstances that brought such judgment by God upon these people.  I step back and give glory to God for his omniscienct knowledge and his impartial judgment against sin. I don't always understand but I can always trust that God will do what is right.

History of Amalek - for further knowledge of these people.

Descendants of Esau, specifically of his son Eliphaz and concubine Timna (Gen. 36:12). Because Gen. 14:7 attests to the existence of the Amalekites before the birth of Esau, most likely some of the descendants of Esau (the Edomites) later joined the Amalekites; this passage could also imply that Chedorlaomer and his vassal kings subdued the territory afterward inhabited by the Amalekites.

The first encounter by Israel is their attack recorded in Ex. 17. Here they attacked Israel by attacking the stragglers while they were weary. This is thhe episode where Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses and Amalek was defeated by Joshua.  Then God stated that He would"utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven." Moses built an altar unto the LORD and called the name of it "The LORD is My Banner" and stated that "The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.".

In Num. 24:20 we read Balaam's final Oracle. Here he fortold of Amalek saying: "Amalek was the first among the nations, but its end is utter destruction."

Later Saul was sent to destroy them (1 Sam. 15). Saul rebellion and refusal to do AS God had said led to Saul's rejection as King the God choosing David to replace him.

During his stay with Achish, king of Gath (Philistine), David made raids upon them (1 Sam. 27:8-9). Later, while staying in Ziklag and being gone on a raid against the Philisintes, David returned to discover that the Amalekites had taken the city of Ziklag - burned it and taken his wives captive (1Sam. 30:1-2).  David pursued, overtook, and killed all but 400 who escaped on camels (vs. 7-17).  Thus David recovered his wives Ahinoam and Abigail.

2 Sam. 8:12 - Amalek is listed among the nations that David had subdued:  "(Edom, Moab, the Ammonites, the Philistines, Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah".

The last mention of them is found in1 Chron. 4:42-43: " 42 And some of them, five hundred men of the Simeonites, went to Mount Seir, having as their leaders Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 And they defeated the remnant of the Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day."