Blotting Out Amalek





Rabbi Oliver shares the idea of how the righteous non-Jew can help to blot out the name of Amalek and live a life connected to HaShem. Amalek, is a name of a nomadic nation south of Palestine. That the Amalekites were not Arabs, but of a stock related to the Edomites (consequently also to the Hebrews), can be concluded from the genealogy in Gen. xxxvi. 12 and in I Chron. i. 36. Amalek is a son of Esau’s first-born son Eliphaz and of the concubine Timna, the daughter of Seir, the Horite, and sister of Lotan (Gen. xxxvi. 12; compare Timnah as name of an Edomite chief or clan, verse 40). On the other hand, Gen. xiv. 7 speaks of Amalekites, in southern Palestine, in the time of Abraham. That they were of obscure origin is also indicated in Num. xxiv. 20, where the Amalekites are called “the first of the nations.” The Amalekites were the first to come in contact with the Israelites (Ex. xvii. 8), vainly opposing their march at Rephidim, not far from Sinai (compare Deut. xxv. 17, “smiting the hindmost, all that were feeble behind,” and I Sam. xv. 2). Consequently, they must be considered as possessors of the Sinaitic peninsula, of the modern desert et-Tih, or at least of the northern part of it. According to Num. xiii. 29, xiv. 25, which speaks of Amalekites defeating the Israelites in the lowland (verses 43, 45), they occupied also southern Palestine, partly together with the Canaanites; see also Gen. xiv. 7 (Amalekites in “En-mishpat, which is Kadesh”). The extreme south seems to be meant, the pasture lands of the Negeb, not the arable parts.

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