The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Amalek, Enemy of Israel: A Fact Sheet
1. Amalek was a grandson of Esau; thus his descendants would be related to the Edomites:
“G–d will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” —Beshalach 17:16
The Spirit of Amalek
“God said to Moses: ‘Write this as a reminder in the Book, and repeat it carefully to Joshua. I will totally obliterate the memory of Amalek from under the heavens...’ and Moses said: ‘God shall be at war with Amalek for all generations.’” (Exodus 17:14,16)
Israel and Amalek: The Cosmic Struggle
This week’s Torah portion, Tetzave (Exodus 27:20 to 30:10), primarily focuses on the make-up of the Priestly Garments worn by the Kohanim, and some of the sacrificial services in the Tabernacle. In addition to this parasha, we read an additional portion called Parashat Zachor. This extra section recounts how the nation of Amalek attempted to destroy the Jewish people after their Exodus from Egypt:
The Silent Killer
“God shall be at war with Amalek for all generations” (Exodus 17:16)
To Fight a War or Not
“Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek...” (Exodus 17:9)
Embracing Converts, and the Seeds of Amalek
This week’s parasha [Torah reading] is Vayishlach [Genesis 32:4 to 36:43], which recounts Jacob’s return and settlement in the Holy Land after twenty years of living in Charan. At the end of the parasha is a long list of the genealogies of Jacob’s brother, Esau. The list seems unnecessary, and many Sages have wondered why the Torah bothers to spend so much time recounting Esau’s descendants. There have even been debates on whether the entire text of the Torah is equally holy, or if passages like the Ten Commandments are holier than passages such as this list of Esau’s genealogies. Meanwhile, the Arizal [Rabbi Isaac (ben Solomon) Luria Ashkenazi] states that many of the deepest secrets of Creation are embedded particularly in this seemingly boring and superfluous passage.
Solomon’s Peaceful Reign and the Removal of the Amalekites
In my two-part article about the Amalekites I put the case for the Amalekites being the Hyksos who ruled Egypt for a time.¹ As such they would have been dominant in the Middle East for three to four centuries. During this time of Amalekite supremacy the Israelites seem to have been the only people in the region who incessantly struggled for their independence. By their resistance they frustrated Amaleks’ ambitions to dominate the Levant, which may have facilitated the eventual downfall of their régime in Egypt.
The Amalekites were descended from Amalek, a grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12). They fought against Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 17:8), and concerning them God said: “I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven” (v. 14). The Amalekites were eventually destroyed in the days of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:43). A common name, or perhaps title, of Amalekite kings was Agag. Balaam prophesied of Israel: “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted” (Numbers 24:7). This will have its ultimate fulfilment when the Kingdom of God is restored by Christ.
Amalek and Rephidim: Wells of Life and Strife
“All the congregation of the children of Israel,” we read (Exodus 17:1), “journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys according to the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.”—“And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this, that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” (v. 3.)
Dweller in a valley, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12; 1 Chronicles 1:36); the chief of an Idumean tribe (Genesis 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
am ́a-lek (עמלק, ‛ămālēḳ): The son, by his concubine Timna, of Eliphaz, the eldest son of Esau. He was one of the chiefs (the King James Version dukes) of Edom (Genesis 36:12, 16). See AMALEKITE.
am ́a-lek, a-mal ́e-kīt, am ́a-lek-īt (עמלק, ‛ămālēḳ, עמלקי, ‛ămālēḳī): A tribe dwelling originally in the region south of Judah, the wilderness of et-Tih where the Israelites came into conflict with them. They were nomads as a people dwelling in that tract would naturally be. When they joined the Midianites to invade Israel they came “with their cattle and their tents” (Judges 6:3-5). They are not to be identified with the descendants of Esau (Genesis 36:12, 16) because they are mentioned earlier, in the account of the invasion of Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:7) and in Balaam’s prophecy (Numbers 24:20) Amalek is called “the first of the nations,” which seems to refer to an early existence. We are uncertain of their origin, for they do not appear in the list of nations found in Genesis 10. They do not seem to have had any relationship with the tribes of Israel, save as, we may surmise, some of the descendants of Esau were incorporated into the tribe. It is probable that they were of Semitic stock though we have no proof of it.
Am’alek, (Hebrew Amalek’, עֲמָלֵק, according to Fürst, from the Arabic, dweller in a valley; Sept. Α᾿μαλήκ,Vulg. Amalech, Amalec), the son of Eliphaz (the first-born of Esau) by his concubine Timna (Genesis 36:12; 1 Chronicles 1:36); he was the chieftain, or emir (“Duke”), of an Idumaean tribe (Genesis 36:16); which, however, was probably not the same with the AMALEKITES SEE AMALEKITES (q.v.) so often mentioned in Scripture (Numbers 24:20, etc.). B.C. post 1905. His mother came of the Horite race, whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized; and, although Amalek himself is represented as of equal rank with the other sons of Eliphaz, yet his posterity appear to have shared the fate of the Horite population, a “remnant” only being mentioned as existing in Edom in the time of Hezekiah, when they were dispersed by a band of the tribe of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:43).
Amalek (Hebrew: עֲמָלֵק, Modern Amalek, Tiberian ʻĂmālēq) occurs in the Old Testament of the Bible and refers to the grandson of Esau, the descendant nation of Amalekites, and the territories of Amalek which they inhabited.