Who were the Amalekites?


Clarify Share Report Asked October 06 2014 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
The Amalekites were a tribe first mentioned during the time of Abraham (Genesis 14:7). Though the Amalekites are not mentioned in the table of nations in Genesis 10, in Numbers 24:20 they are refer...

October 06 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini John Appelt
The Amalekites were descendants of the grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:12, and first mentioned as a people in Genesis 14:7. 

The Amalekites are a mysterious people until the link to the Hyksos people is made. The ‘Hyksos’ are not mentioned in the Bible, but they had to be known to Israel. Ancient Egyptian literature identified them as the ‘Amu,’ a link to the name ‘Amalekite.’ They have much in common so they may be the same people.

When Israel came out of Egypt their first battle was with the Amalekites, Exodus 17:8. Apparently, Israel had intruded to near where they resided in the southern part of Canaan, Numbers 13:29, and Amalek had attacked tired and weary stragglers, which God would not let them get away with it, Deuteronomy 25:17, 18, I Samuel 15:2. 

It is believed that at some point after this, the defeated Amalekites moved into Egypt, which was badly crippled, Deuteronomy 11:4, and the throne was in complete disarray because Pharaoh perished in the Red Sea, Exodus 14:28 and his successor, the firstborn was also killed during the 10th plague, Exodus 12:39.

Historians say a new dynasty in Egypt fits into this time frame. The Hyksos, which means ‘shepherd-kings’ came into Egypt from a foreign place with Canaanite names and Asian characteristics. The Ipuwer papyrus, reflecting on this period, contained the line, “The stranger people from outside are come into Egypt.” According to the Egyptian historian Manetho, the Hyksos, who he called “men of ignoble birth,” came into Egypt without a battle. They savagely murdered, pillaged, burned and ravaged the country to establish their kingdom and they left no lasting monument or literary works in the more than 100 years they were there. 

The Amalekites were among the people that harassed Israel in the time of some of the judges. Then they do not appear for a time until King Saul was told by God to destroy them, I Samuel 15:2, 3. It may be that the Amalekites were busy managing their affairs in Egypt for some of this time. It is of interest that in I Samuel 30:13, David came across a near-dying Egyptian and found out from him that he was “from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite.” This strongly indicates that the Amalekites or Hyksos had ruled over the Egyptians. 

These ‘invaders’ of Egypt were then driven from power in Egypt. They settled in the area southwest of Israel and expanded their kingdom from Havilah in the Arabian Peninsula to Shur, the entrance into Egypt, I Samuel 15:8. 

After David’s battle with the Amalekites, 400 young men fled on camels, I Samuel 30:17. The remnant that escaped to Mount Seir was later destroyed by 500 men of the tribe of Simeon, I Chronicles 4:42, 43. One other person appeared, Haman the Agagite, Esther 3:1, likely a descendant of Agag the king, I Samuel 15:8. The Amalekites perished as Balaam prophesied, Numbers 24:20.

The evidence is strong that the Amalekites were the same people as the Hyksos.

January 16 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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