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Verse 17

"Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when Jehovah thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which Jehovah 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."

As Cook said, "The Amalekites lived in the Sinai peninsula and could not have failed to know of God's will with reference to Israel, yet they manifested hostility and provoked the sentence here pronounced against them which was executed at last by Saul (1 Samuel 15:3ff)."[19] Harrison called the Amalekites, "the most savage and inhuman of the Canaanite peoples."[20] As we have pointed out literally dozens of times in this series, this additional mention of the crimes of Amalek carries with it details of his wickedness that are not found in Exodus 17:8-16, where their hatred of Israel first came into focus. "He tailed you ..." (Deuteronomy 25:18).[21] This is the literal meaning of' "smote the hindmost of thee." The Hebrew expression here has the meaning of "cut off your tail," just as in English, "to skin," means to take off the skin.

One encounters an incredible amount of nonsense written on this order to destroy Amalek, many commentators professing to have a much higher morality than God Himself! Well, of course, Christians would not be commanded to do such a thing, but in those days, there was no Gospel, and God's manner of dealing with corrupt people was not only fair and just in the light of what those people were, but it was also absolutely necessary to protect Israel against the total destruction that those people would eventually have wrought against Israel had not God ordered them cut off before such a thing could occur. If this is doubted, let the reader study the Book of Esther, where Haman, the Amalekite (!), managed to get a law passed through the King of Persia, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians that altereth not, that every Jew on earth would be brutally murdered and all of their property given as booty to the king of Persia!. This was the real spirit of Amalek; and that is why God ordered him to be liquidated.

The importance of this passage looms significantly in another direction also. We have noted the liberal surprise that this order was included at a time, in their thinking, long after the times of Moses and in a period when the Amalekites had already perished as a significant people. What is wrong in such notions is the hypothesis that SOME LATE WRITER produced this book. The simple and obvious truth is that MOSES wrote it. He alone would ever have included such instructions as these. At the time that critical scholars would like to locate the author of Deuteronomy, "Amalek had long since disappeared from the earth, having been exterminated by Saul and David. These instructions could not have originated at a time later than Moses."[22] It is encouraging that current writers are also seeing the impossibility of late-dating Deuteronomy. As Cousins said, "This law (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) would be irrelevant at a later date. "[23]

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