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Sunday, May 29 2011

Amalekites

The Amalekites (from the Hebrew name pronounced awm-awl-ek) were an ancient nomadic people who inhabited the general area between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea (see also Why Did Paul Say That Sinai Was In Arabia?). They are first mentioned in Bible History at the time of Abraham (one of Abraham's later descendants, a son of Jacob's brother Esau, was also named Amalek i.e. "36:12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife" Genesis 36:12 KJV) when Abraham's nephew Lot was captured at Sodom (see also Abraham And The King Of Sodom).

"14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 14:2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

14:5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emims in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto Elparan, which is by the wilderness. 14:7 And they returned, and came to Enmishpat, which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezontamar.

14:8 And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim; 14:9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five. 14:10 And the vale of Siddim was full of slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain. 14:11 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. 14:12 And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom [see also The Day That Christ Incinerated Sodom], and his goods, and departed.

14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan." (Genesis 14:1-7 KJV)

"The LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation"

The subsequent history of the hostile Amalekites was that of constant conflict with the Israelites, beginning in the time of Moses (see The Prophets: Moses) and Joshua (before Israel arrived at "Israel" - see the Fact Finder question below), when it was prophesied that "the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."

Amalekites

"17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron [see also Aaron: The Prophet's Prophet], and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 17:12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua [see also Joshua's Warning]: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." (Exodus 17:8-16 KJV)

The reason for the prophecy against them was explained further, by Moses, regarding the jackal-like character of the Amalekites of that time i.e. how they "smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God."

"25:17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt [see The Exodus Prophecy and The Mount Sinai Prophecy]; 25:18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 25:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it." (Deuteronomy 25:17-19 KJV)

The territory of the Amalekites remained constant for centuries, "in the land of the south," while at the same time they were often allied with the anti-Israel people farther north.

"13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan [see also Beyond Jordan]." (Numbers 13:29 KJV)

The only reason that the Israelites were "favored" by the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') is because they were the first to receive the Law of God, and therefore the first to be expected to obey it. Whenever the Israelites became disobedient to the LORD, the LORD permitted their enemies, including the Amalekites, to overpower them, in order to crush their arrogance (an adolescent attitude invented by Satan i.e. "14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" Isaiah 14:14 KJV).

"3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. 3:13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. 3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years." (Judges 3:12-14 KJV)

By the time of the establishment of the Israelite monarchy (see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin), Israel's first king, Saul, continued the warfare against the Amalekites.

"14:47 So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them. 14:48 And he gathered an host, and smote the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the hands of them that spoiled them." (1 Samuel 14:47-48 KJV)

It was in fact Saul's warfare against the Amalekites that caused him (among other serious failures in judgment) to be removed as king - not because he defeated the Amalekites, but because he coveted their goods that were have been destroyed.

"15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel [see The Prophets: Samuel], saying, 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night." (1 Samuel 15:7-11 KJV)

David fought the Amalekites, even while he was still fighting Saul (see Israelite Monarchy - The Civil War). Notice how the Bible itself later verifies how "the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land."

"27:8 And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt." (1 Samuel 27:8 KJV)

Battles against the tenacious Amalekites continued through most of David's reign (see also David, Future King Of Israel).

"30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.

30:3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. 30:4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 30:5 And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite." (1 Samuel 30:1-5 KJV)

"30:18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 30:19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all." (1 Samuel 30:18-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: How is it that "the land of milk and honey" was given to the people of Israel, rather than the people who merely inhabited the land? How is it that the principle applies to all people, of all time?
See Milk and Honey


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This Day In History, May 29

363: Roman Emperor Julian (see Ancient Empires - Rome) defeated the Sassanids (the last pre-Islamic empire of Persia, known today as Iran; see Ancient Empires - Persia) at the Battle of Ctesiphon.

1167: Frederick Barbarossa was defeated by the Lombard League at the Battle of Legnano.

1328: Philip VI was crowned King of France.

1453: Ottoman Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) under Sultan Mehmed II seized Constantinople (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) after a seven-month siege. Emperor Constantine XI was killed in the battle. The Eastern Roman Empire collapsed, marking the end of the European Middle Ages.

1500: Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Diaz, who discovered the Cape of Good Hope, drowned during a voyage.

1555: The Peace of Amasya was concluded between the Ottoman Empire and Persia.

1660: King Charles II was restored to the English throne after the Puritan Commonwealth.

1727: Peter II was proclaimed Czar (the Russian form of "Caesar") of Russia.

1838: John George Lambton, the earl of Durham, landed at Quebec. British PM Lord Melbourne had appointed Lord Durham governor general of Canada to investigate colonial grievances after the Canadian rebellions of 1837. The Durham Report urged unification of Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) and institution of government by colonists themselves. Unlike the American colonists to the south who rebelled after their demands were not met, all of the demands of the Canadian colonists were met, thereby avoiding another "revolution in the Americas."

1903: King Alexander Obrenovich of Serbia, and Queen Draga, were assassinated in Belgrade by the "Black Hand" organization.

1914: The ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank quickly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off Rimouski, Quebec after colliding with a Norwegian coal ship in dense fog. 1,012 lives were lost, the worst maritime disaster in Canadian history.

1918: Armenian forces defeated the Ottomans at the Battle of Sardarapat.

1944: A German submarine sank the USS Block Island, a U.S. aircraft carrier, near Madeira. It was the only U.S. carrier lost in the Atlantic Ocean during the Second World War.

1950: The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the "Mounties") ship St. Roch arrived back at Halifax, Nova Scotia, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate North America.

1953: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norkay become the first (known) humans to reach the top of Mount Everest.

1964: The Arab League met in "East Jerusalem," resulting in the creation of the "Palestinian Liberation Organization."

1966: Thanh Quang, a South Vietnamese Buddhist nun, committed suicide by burning with gasoline to protest the U.S. support of the Saigon regime.

1985: Amputee Steve Fonyo completed his cross-Canada run at Victoria, British Columbia; the marathon took 14 months.

1990: Boris Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian republic, thereby giving him an official power base to attack Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.





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