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Exodus 17:8-16

Odd how so many commentaries leave out these verses.

Some thoughts:
Amalek - means 'down in the valley' which can be a metaphor for sin. So go thru these verses and substitute "sin or evil" for Amalekites.

As Rev(?) Jeff wrote on a previous day, 'take action and pray'. Moses sent Joshua out to battle and then he went up to rock and prayed. Confident in the Lord's previous promises, or already having consulted the Lord -I don't know????

Praying with two or three people is powerful, and in this case led to Joshua's victory. The support and focus is stronger in prayer groups like this one of Moses. No coincidence that in Greek transcripts Joshua = Jesus (The same name used for both). Joshua is a "type" of Jesus. The Sword he used in victory when mentioned as a weapon in NT is "The WORD".

To me the greatest part of these verses is the foreshadowing of The Lord's war and victory over Evil.
"The LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation."

We will never be abandoned in this fight against evil, and isn't that a comforting thought?
".. because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."

The Lord will eradicate Evil in the end - the victory will be total and permanent. And glory and Honor to HIS NAME!

I am aware that the bible is loaded with metaphorical language and it would be good sometimes if we can focus our commentaries on those metaphors. Taking things literally can be so misleading and even harmful, I think...particularly to the growth of our faith.

Exodus 17:8-19:15

While reading this passage I became fascinated with the attack of the Amalek on Israel, it seemed unprovoked. So, “Why? After reading several commentaries, it seems that this group of people were either descendents of Esau or descendents of the tribe of Ham (pick one any one, either way the people were Bedouins, nomads who would be coming down at this time of year to graze their extensive flocks and herds. Seeing Israel occupy their official unofficial grazing land would certainly cause the ire of their fury to be vented.

You have heard the voice of God clearly and you have chosen to follow that voice. Along the way you are attacked and you are just minding your own business. What’s up God? Others seeing you occupy their official unofficial territory are coming in for the kill. No questions asked they just see you as a threat to their centuries old grazing land. There is a lesson for all of us in this. Jesus sends we are attacked: this comes with the territory of being a Christian. Now if the attackers are descendents of Esau, God had already stated before your birth that two nations (Gen 25:23), who happened to be brothers but who had differencing mindsets, would always battle. Therefore, if these descendents are “Esau’s”, your long lost brothers, appeasement won’t be possible. Now, if these are descendents from the line of Ham, then they may only see you as not only a threat to their survival, your trampling the grass needed for the flocks to graze. Who ever or whatever the motive for the attack, they want you dead.

All in the day of the life of a Christian. We are in a war zone put your armor on.

Grace and peace,


I thought the same thing about Amalek (Esaus's grandson), but Amalekites are referenced in Gen 14:7 back in Abram's time. Arab historians also claim Amalekite's origin is much older than the time of Esau.

More than likely the people were named after being "down in the valley", and Esau's grandson was named after them or also after the image of "down in the valley"

So, must be descendants of Ham????

Thanks John--But they still wants us dead. I think what struck in trying to figure out who was from where, and why, is this: No matter if "family" or just folks looking out for what they have declared is theirs, they still want us dead. You can't make peace with someone who has war in their hearts.

I also saw this: What we are seeing when people claim territory that doesn’t belong to them, is gang warfare, be it in the valley, on the streets or in the corporate suites, and yes even in our church’s. i.e. “If I was running the single’s ministry, I would do it like …” Well you ain’t and you aren’t and when you try to usurp delegated authority, you are a gang banger.
Must get ready to go to work.

I was struck by the phrase in matthew 23 where it says, "Everything they do is for show" (vs 5). I don't condemn the Pharisees for I believe there's a "Pharisee" in every heart, at least there is in mine. I've noticed that people tend to be 'protective' of the Pharisees but one has to look really hard in the Scriptures to find much good said about them. They were constantly after Jesus. It's interesting that Matthew 23 comes on the heels of what Jesus taught about a relationship with the Father (Matt 22:34--40) Whereas the Pharisees laid out 'The Pharisees guide to total rightteousness' Jesus just said make sure you are rightly related to God, rightly related to others and rightly related to yourself. Therein is authentic spirituality.

As I read these verses I was reminded of Casting Crowns' song "Stained Glass Masquerade' which I will include below as a 'reality check' for all of us, beginning with me. I want to make sure I don't use the one year bible blog as another means of external righteousness to boast of. This song helps me to strive for authenticity.

"Is there anyone that fails
Is there anyone that falls
Am I the only one in Church today feelin' so small

Cause when I take a look around
Everyone seems so strong
I know they'll soon discover
That I don't belong

So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay
If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too
So with a painted grin, I play the part again
So everyone will see me the way that I see them.

Are we happy plastic people
under shiny plastic steeples
With walls around our weakness
And smiles to hide our pain
But if the invitation's open
To every heart that has been broken
Maybe then we close the curtain
On our stained glass masquerade

Is there anyone who's been there
Are there any hands to raise
Am I the only one who's traded
In the altar for a stage

The performance is convincing
And we know every line by heart
Only when no one is watching
Can we really fall apart.

But would it set me free
If I dared to let you see
The truth behind the person
That you imagine me to be

Would your arms be open
Or would you walk away
Would the love of Jesus
Be enough to make me stay.


Exodus 17:14
To me it seems to go along with the idea of a hsitory lesson when people are looking back in time: They will be asking, "Amalek who? There once was evil?" God's representative or God himself can say, "look it up - it is written for you to know that I got rid of evil completely and totally."

It will be the history lesson for future generations whether here on earth, the millenial kingdom, or judgement day.

Exodus 19:5-6
God loves all creation, that is true, but most of creation will not be in heaven with him. All you have to do is look at what God has done for Israel since recorded History has been around. Individuals have been blessed like that, and occasionally a nation gets some providential help, but nothing like the Jewish people. Must mean something???


"I am aware that the bible is loaded with metaphorical language and it would be good sometimes if we can focus our commentaries on those metaphors. Taking things literally can be so misleading and even harmful, I think...particularly to the growth of our faith."

I think this is a very important point. I do not like to say 'I read the Bible literally'. I will say, "I like to read it as plain and strightforward as possible."

There is plenty of history and narrative, there are parables, similes, metaphors, allegories, symbolism etc.

To me - it is pretty obvious when things go away from historical and narrative. When that is not possible to discern, I look up a half dozen or so commentators I respect, and see what the concensus is and why they believe it to be so.

As I said before - understanding the Jewish customs and cultures make discernment quite a bit easier. Especially in Old Testament and Matthew.

I’m trying to figure out the time frame of Moses’ Father-In-Law’s visit, was it before or after God gave the Law to Israel? I am asking this question because of the following passage,

When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, What is this that you do for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening? Moses said to his father-in-law, Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute they come to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor, and I make them know the statutes of God and His laws. (Exodus 18:14-16 AMP).

If this exchange took place BEFORE the giving of the Law on Mt Sinai, Moses’ relationship with God at this point was such that God spoke to him directly because this translations states, “…I make them know the statutes of God and His laws.” Where did the knowledge of God’s law come from? Was this knowledge general knowledge passed down from one generation to the next? On the other hand, did Moses receive this knowledge through direct revelation from God? If Moses was teaching the people the law after the giving of the Law at Sini, then like us, these are some “dense” folk.

Just something that makes you go, “Hmmm.”

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