by Pastor Don Elmore
May 26, 2013
Scripture Reading: Genesis 26:34-35
While reading some of the New Covenant Messengers of the past, I became interested in the bible study notes that were written by my friend, Steve B. of Knoxville, Tennessee. I used his study, published 15 years ago, for many of the facts brought in this message.
It was a bible study that dealt with Amalek. Who was he? Genesis, chapter 36 gives us the answer. This chapter is all about the genealogy of Esau. It tells of the early family tree of Esau. Esau had four wives; three of them are mentioned in Genesis 36.
Esau married at first two Canaanite women (Adah and Aholibamah) and later, after being rebuked by his father and mother, he then married two Ishmaelite women.
Isaac had instructed his twin brother NOT to marry any Canaanite women (Genesis 28:6b). He then journeyed to Syria to find himself a wife from his mother’s family. Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father so he went and married a daughter of Ishmael.
|Wives and Children of Esau|
|Wives:||Bashemath, daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 26:34) (Also known as Adah in Gen. 36:2)||
Judith, daughter of Beeri the Hittite (Gen. 26:34) (Also known as Aholibamah, granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite in Gen. 36:2)
Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael (Gen. 28:6-9) (Also known as Bashemath, daughter of Ishmael in Gen. 36:2)
Amalek was a grandson to Esau by his first wife, Adah. Adah gave birth to Esau’s son: Eliphaz, who had relations with a Hittite concubine, Timna. Timna gave birth to seven sons; grandsons to Esau. All eight of these descendants of Esau (Eliphaz and his seven sons) were of mixed blood; ½ to ¾ Canaanite.
Amalek was also a great-grandson to Elon the Hittite. In verse 16 of Genesis 36, it says that Amalek was a duke. For in verse 31 it says, “…these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.”
The chapter ends with the naming of 11 dukes of Edom. Perhaps these dukes reigned when Israel came out of Egypt. They were local chiefs who ruled over sections of the land and were subject to the kings mentioned in this genealogy. The number “11” is the number for Judgment & Disorder.
Amalek, symbolized as the flesh, is always the first to appear in the Scriptures; then follows the spirit:
- That “kings that reigned in the land of Edom before there reigned any king over the children of Israel”—Genesis 36:31.
- Flesh exercises authority of the “king of Edom” long before the Holy Spirit exercises authority as the “king of Israel.”
- Geographically, Amalek is in the Wilderness of Sin and positioned at Rephidim long before Israel arrived.
- Chronologically, the flesh always precedes the spirit:
- Cain “…who was of that wicked one” (1 John 3:12) was born before Abel; that righteous one (Hebrews 11:4)
- Esau who was that profane person whom God hated was born before Jacob, who God loved (Romans 9:10-13)
- Saul, who played the fool (1 Samuel 26:21) whom God rejected reigned before David, whom Saul feared and who was a man “after God’s own heart”
Amalek always brings death. Regarding the Kings of Edom that began in verse 33, they all died. They reigned unto their respective deaths. Bela died, Joab died, Husham died, Hadad died, Samlah died, Saul died, Baalhanan died, and Hadar died. Their character and primary function was death as opposed to the King of Israel, the anointed one, who reigns unto life; whose kingdom shall have no end.
Amalek rejected God and His Holy Word. He also rejected the anointed seed, the same promised seed that Esau rejected. Both Esau and his grandson rejected the promised seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and his descendants!
God told Israel that they were to remember what Amalek did to them. “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 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” (Deuteronomy 25:17-18).
Amalek cowardly attacked the feeble, faint and weary stragglers of Israel as they came out of Egypt. He did not fear God when he saw all the miracles He did for Israel in the wilderness.
Amalek could not have been ignorant of God and His mighty acts and special blessings upon Israel; because of living in the same wilderness as a neighboring tribe. They hardened themselves, rejecting God and His dealings with His people, and became bitter enemies of both God and Israel.
They provoked and invited this sentence of God upon themselves as predicted and commanded in the Bible. Amalek gave Israel trouble during all their time; including the time of the judges.
Judges 6:1-6 “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.
And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.
And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them;
And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.
For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.
And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.”
The Midianites were the leaders of the combined forces of Midian, Amalek, and other tribes of the East who defeated Israel, robbed them of their new crops, took their stock (animals), and caused them to hide in dens and caves; some of which were capable of holding as many as 4,000 persons. This opposition was quite severe, for it reached even to Philistia. If it had continued the Israelites would have been destroyed by starvation and war, but as usual, they cried to God in their distress and He was compassionate and merciful again, saving them by rising up Gideon to be their hero.
The Midianites, Amalekites, and the children of the East were gathered together ready for battle. God then sent His Spirit upon Gideon and he gathered men from four tribes of Israel: (1) Manasseh, (2) Asher, (3) Zebulun and (4) Napthtali. There were 32,000 men who answered Gideon’s call.
But that was too many men for God. In Judges 7:2, it says “And the LORD said unto Gideon, the people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianite into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”
So God instructed Gideon to let all of the men in his army who were afraid to fight against their enemies to let them go and return home. There were 22,000 who were fearful and afraid. This left Gideon with 10,000 men.
But God told Gideon that his army was still too large. He then instructed him to give another test; to watch all the men drink water at the pond. The men who used their hand to drink the water knelling on one knee would be the ones that he would keep. There were only 300 men who drank in this manner. The other 9700 were excused. God used Gideon and his 300 men to gain victory over the Midians, the Amalekites, and the children of the East. It wasn’t Gideon who won the victory, it was God who fought for Israel (Exodus 14:13-14)!
“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
Gideon, like Joshua, like Moses in the previous battles, just received the victory.
God later commanded King Saul, the first king of Israel, to fulfill this prophecy and kill every Amalekite (man and woman, infant and suckling) and every animal that they had with them on their farms (ox, sheep, camel and ass).
1 Samuel 15:3-9 “And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
But Saul and the people spared (1) Agag, and the (2) best of the sheep, and (3) of the oxen, and (4) of the fatlings, and (5) the lambs, and (6) all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.”
Saul had 210,000 men under his command and he completely broke the power of Amalek but did not fully obey God in destroying all of them. He gave the Kenites the chance to leave the Amalekites; which they did. But he let all of the good animals and the king live. For this disobedience Saul was rejected as king and destroyed.
What was the reason that King Saul was rejected as the King of Israel? He only was lukewarm. He disobeyed God’s command to destroy all of the Amalekites and all of their animals. When Samuel asked him about this serious mistake that he had committed, King Saul replied that he had saved the life of Agag the King of the Amalekites,but the people were the ones who took the spoil of the sheep and oxen that should have been destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal (verses 20, 21).
Then Samuel had to tell the King that that was not an acceptable answer. He did not follow the laws that God had given him and that he was no longer the King of Israel; for God had rejected him. After a while, Saul would be dead and there would be another King of Israel. Samuel then slayed Agag, who was the king of the Amalekites.
In the upcoming battle, King Saul and his son, Jonathan, were killed. In 2 Samuel 1 we have the testimony that it was a person who was an Amalekite who murdered Saul. This Amalekite was no doubt a trusted soldier of Saul and fought along with Israel; or he was a servant in the camp. He must have gone directly to the camp of David, thinking that the news he brought would be welcomed and he would receive some kind of reward or favor by reporting the death of David’s chief enemy.
He was probably well acquainted with the difference between Saul and David and wanted to be among the first to honor the latter after the death of Saul knowing that David would be the next king in Israel. He came to him as if in great mourning; he had rent his clothes and put dust upon his head as the custom was in these days; and he fell upon his face in homage to him.
David had asked who he was and how the battle had gone. The young man reported that Israel had lost the battle, many were killed, and Saul and Jonathan were also dead. Evidently he thought this last part of his report would be welcomed by David, but never was a man more wrong.
To all men except very rare ones like David such would be good news—hearing that their chief enemy was dead, that the only man who was standing between them and promotion was gone; but not so in this case. It is hard for selfish and carnal men to understand the true feelings of David and his acts on this occasion.
David wanted further proof that Saul and Jonathan were dead, so the young Amalekite continued with a story that cost him his life. He was so anxious to be honored by David that he told the wrong kind of story, trying to make it appear that he was a hero in the eyes of his superiors.
The discrepancy between this young Amalekite’s testimony here and the true record of the inspired writer must be attributed to his seeking to impress David with his part in doing away with his chief enemy, thinking that he would be rewarded. There were two main discrepancies:
- What King Saul said to his own armor bearer and not to this Amalekite.
- And that Saul slew himself by falling upon a sword, so he was not slain by the Amalekite or by anyone else!
Regardless of whether the young man told the truth in everything, he at least testified that he had killed Saul; and on this basis David acted to avenge him. It could be that he mutilated Saul’s body or struck him with a sword to be sure that he was dead; doing so in vengeance because of what Saul had done to his own people. In either case he dishonored Saul in word or deed—the one who had the command of God to kill all the Amalekites.
David took the view that if the Amalekite was bold enough to kill Saul, or bold enough to brag about it whether he did it or not, he was worthy of death; and so commanded one of his soldiers to kill him. He did so on the grounds of the young man’s own confession.
Many years later the remnant of the Amalekites were destroyed by the Simeonites of Israel in the days of Hezekiah.
1 Chronicles 4:42-43 “And some of them, even o f the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi.
And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.”
Let’s review when, where and how did Amalek first attack? They attacked immediately after the deliverance and redemption of the covenant people of Israel. They hid by the way; not readily seen. They smote from behind; blindsiding Israel. They smote when Israel was tired, worn out, spiritually depleted. They smote Israel when they thought they were all alone. They smote Israel when they were at some distance back from their leader.
Amalek does not fear God; nor do they respect His promised, covenant people. Amalek has no time for God; he is hostile to Him. Amalek is profane; Amalek despises the birthright; remember Amalek Israel!
Remember what it says in Exodus 17:8-9 “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”
They attacked Israel in the land of the giants.
“And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out and fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.”
This is the first mention of Joshua in the entire Bible. He was one of the two spies who returned with a favorable report…“enter Canaan at once, we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). Moses gave Joshua the authority to select men for battle and to actually engage these men in battle against the Amalekites.
Joshua was not commanded to:
- To train an army; he was simply to select men for battle;
- To arm an army; he was simply to engage in battle;
- To war against every non-Israelite in the desert; only the Amalekites.
The only assurance and comfort given to Joshua by Moses was that “…tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.
So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with the Amalek: And Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill” (Exodus 17:9, 10).
Who was Hur? Moses and Aaron were brothers and most know who they were, but who was Hur? The historian Josephus says that Hur was Miriam’s, (Aaron and Moses’ sister), husband; thus a brother-in-law to Aaron and Moses. Hur handled disputes while Moses ascended the Mount to receive the law (Exodus 24:14). He also tarried at the foot of the mount, waiting for Moses and Joshua, in the company of the 70 Elders (Exodus 24:9).
1 Chronicles 2:18-20 “Caleb, the son of Hezron begot children of Azubah, his wife…
And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, and bore him Hur
And Hur begot Uri and Uri begot Bezalel.”
Hur was a descendant of Caleb, one of the two good spies. Miriam married into the tribe of Judah and it is not inconceivable that Moses would seek assistance from a tribe other than Levi as he picked Joshua, of the tribe of Ephraim.
Why was the battle fought at Rephidim? Rephidim was the land of the giants. It was an encampment that was close to the Wilderness of Sin. It was a place, in and of itself, that was naturally without water. It was there that Israel “did chide [strive] with Moses” (Exodus 17:2b).
It was there that Israel put God to the test; “wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?” (17:2b). It was there that Israel “murmured against Moses” (17:3a). It was there that Israel was “almost ready to stone me [Moses]” (17:4b)!
They had strived with Moses, murmured against him and were almost ready to stone Moses; that meant that they were almost ready to kill him. Israel was in a very bad situation. Their flesh was in full bloom. This was the situation right before the battle with one of their perpetual enemies of Israel—the grandson of Edom/Esau.
How was Israel going to fight against them? Joshua was to lead Israel in the battle while Moses and his brother and brother-in-law were to go to the top of the hill. And what was to happen; it was something very strange?
“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
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.
And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword” (Exodus 17:11-13).
Did Joshua vanquish Amalek? Joshua relied upon Moses’ faith which was based on a promise, a distinct, direct, clear word from God. This led to action, in literal, actual obedience. This was contagious to Joshua as the men gathered to fight.
Did Joshua win the battle with Amalek? As long as Moses’ hands were UP (like when we surrender) “Israel prevailed” (Exodus 17:11). But when Moses’ hands were DOWN (no surrender) that the opposite occurred: “and when he let down his hand Amalek prevailed” (17:11).
Joshua did not win this battle with the grandson of Esau, for the battle was already won. All Joshua did was believed and obey the Word of God, remembering what Moses said at the Red Sea: “Fear ye not…the LORD shall fight for you (Exodus14:13, 14).
Moses’ two hands were in the surrender position. They were held up by his brother and his brother-in-law. They held up his arms because when they fell down, then the Amalekites began to win. This was the reason that they were holding his two arms up, so Israel would win. They had to keep Moses’ arm in a surrender position or they would lose.
Satan wants God’s covenant people to be in a position of no-surrender; he wants them to self-commit or make a commitment. How does he deceive us into NOT being in a position of surrender? He brings out his wrong views:
Relativism: Ever changing; not the same today as yesterday; if it feels good, do it.
Empiricism: Different; fundamentally, there are many truths; all in the “eye of the beholder”; if you can see it, then you can believe it.
Existentialism: Experience; do what’s happening; truth is what we experience and what we learn from it.
Rationalism: Logic; the right formula is out there, reason it out and meditate on it.
Phenomenism: Events; truth is revealed by miracles, palm readers, psychic connection.
Pantheism: Creation; we are all or can be a god; New Age.
Pragmaticism: Practical; does it work.
Even Christian “psychologists” today recognize that “self-focus” is not good, neither is it fulfilling. Nevertheless, they still refuse to “focus on Christ” and surrender; instead, they have shifted targets from “self-focus” to “Focus on the Youth”, “Focus on your Spouse”, “Focus on the Family”, “Focus on Christian Political Involvement”, “Focus on Missions”, and if you must return to a “self-focus”, get an accountability group, attend rallies and keep your promises; yea, be a “promise keeper” or join some other “evangelically-tagged” ministry with an emphasis on commitment not surrender.
Surrender implies that someone else is in control; commitment implies that self is in control. Commitment is the word of the 1960’s which replaced “surrender”. As sons, we should want to surrender; as servants, we need to surrender; as covenant subjects, we must surrender.
How did Moses defeat the Egyptians and escape slavery? How did Gideon defeat the forces that contain a large portion of Amalekites? How did Joshua defeat the Amalekites when Israel fought them at Rephidim? They obeyed their God; He fought for them and gave them the victories.
Moses watched as the most powerful army in the world was drowned in the Sea; Gideon obeyed his LORD as his army was shrunk in size from 32,000 to 300; and Joshua obeyed as Aaron and Hur helped Moses to keep his arms in a surrender position.
What did King Saul fail to do? He listened to the people and disobeyed the LORD’s direct commands to kill ALL of the Amalekites and ALL of their animals; both good and bad, and Joshua obeyed as Aaron and Hur helped Moses to keep his arms in a surrender postion—and gave Him the victory.
What did King Saul fail to do? He listened to the people and disobeyed the LORD’s direct commands. Saul lost his kingship because he failed to completely obey the LORD; he thought that his thoughts were more righteous than the LORD’s!
He failed to kill ALL the Amalekites and ALL their animals; he spared King Agag and saved the good animals for sacrifice to the LORD. Samuel after crying all night, told Saul the next day that “…to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:11, 22b).
Samuel finished what Saul had started; he asked that King Agag be brought to him. King Agag said to Samuel,
“Surely the bitterness of death is past.
And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless, among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.
And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel” (1 Samuel 15:32b-35).
Do you think that this is how we are going to defeat Esau’s New World Order? Surrender to our LORD always brings victory to Israel.
Blessed be the LORD God of Israel.