Talk:Amalek

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(random heading)[edit]

(inserted for readability Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:43, 31 March 2010 (UTC))

Amalekites were a tribe, predating Amalek the son of Eliphaz, who existed in the Roman province Arabia Petraea[1] as early as the time of Abraham (Gen. 14:7) This is why it's so hard to square real history with Bible history. There is no way to edit this. Where would you begin? In what way does a tribe predate its eponym? What does 'date' mean in such a context, anyway? What does the 'time' of Abraham mean? How about 'in the time of Theseus...' How about Abraham in the Roman province of Arabia Petraea? Could one suggest perhaps that the m-l-k of Amelek is the root for 'king' not 'valley'? that Amelek is Amelech, a 'king' ...but I don't even read Hebrew... The confidence of this Sunday School stuff is just daunting Wetman 09:41, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

If you knew some Hebrew you'd understand that it is not really Amalek, but AmaleQ, spelled with a Q not a K, these are two very different phonemes in Hebrew, so if this did come from a root it would be m-l-q... which doesn't bring anything to mind at least for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.244.54.115 (talk) 17:28, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Bible history and real history are one. The bible is a book of tremendous historical signifigance, and is known for its striking accuracy. The time line is pretty clear, to me. Maybe the tribe of amalek was known by some other name, and later was given the name of amalek. Your conjectures would require alot of evidence before being included. Also, I'm very certain that your wrong about the definition of Amalek, its extremely well documented as "valley dweller" Jack 10:07, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

If someone would document these perfect certainties about the significance of Amalech's name in the entry, that would be a start, for those of us who lack certainty. The Bible is actually a library, not a 'book,' and indeed of tremendous historical significance. To return to the entry: In Babylonian inscriptions they are called Sute, in Egyptian Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets refer to them as Khabbati, or "plunderers. (cribbed here at this entry, word for word from http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary ) Now, what connects the Sute, Sittiu, and Khabbati in inscriptions with these people? That would be helpful too. "However, modern scholarship does not accept as proven the identification of the Amalekites with any group known from extra-Biblical sources and the majority opinion is that they are mythological." I just found this sensible statement at http://www.tutorgig.com/encyclopedia What do you suppose it is based on? Nothing that would convert the ignorant, we can agree. It does seem curious that the "Khabbati" reference on Amarna tablets only appears at websites run by religionists, any not on websites run by specialists in the Amarna period of Egyptology. Why is that, one wonders? A link would help here too. Wetman 10:49, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I didn't like that sentance either actually. Now its gone, along w any references to any non-Amalek names for the Amalekites (unless you count "atheism" that is ;) Jack 11:10, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I removed this sentence: "This last is particularly popular within modern right-wing Zionist groups." It is factually incorrect, and even if there are some extremists who make the identification, it is certainly not popular. In fact, I have seen America called Amaleka more than I have seen Arabs identified as such. As for the Romans, they are identified with Edom (Esau) in Talmudic and post-Talmudic literature, though not specifically with Amalek.Danny 11:22, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Danny, I got the Amalek-Rome identification from the Jewish Encyclopedia [1]. --Zero 11:47, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Yeah, I've got references out the wazoo these as well. Cripes, I came opon the concept of Amalek in reference to the palistinians. Anyways, I agree with rewording what you took out, but it needs to go back, in one form or another. Jack 12:24, 18 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I've heard of Amalekites being associated with Germans, too, thanks to the Holocaust. But of course that was probably mostly figurative. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 01:57, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Wetman's proposed additions[edit]

Yes, now we're getting to sound material. I'm adding what I've been working on while Danny was working here. Please, take whatever is good and correct, and work it into the entry. Then erase this.

I merged all of it, and added sections, etc... Lets hear what you think. Jack 03:08, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Re ". . . the commandment of killing out the nation of Amalek requires the Jewish people to peacefully request of them to accept . . ." I would like to suggest the word "peacefully" be deleted. 75.57.133.102 (talk) 13:55, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Danny's edits, thoughts[edit]

First of all, the etymologies suggested above are incorrect. It cannot come from either king or valley dweller: neither term shares the same root. In fact, Amalek is problematic in that it does not have a distinguishable three letter root, indicating that it is probably some loan word. I am not very happy with the Jewish Encyclopedia article either, in terms of the identification with Rome. I am pretty convinced that the one case it cited is metaphorical--I can cite several others that identify Rome with Edom (Esau). Danny 03:13, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I don't agree with your recent edits (other than the spelling correction of course!). I have always heard it translated as "dweller in the valley". And IMO you did a diservice to the portion about Arabs and nazis and so forth, reducing clarity and installing POV. Lets try to back things up with citations, and leave our own personal positions out of the article. BTW, if anybody would like to know what I really think, feel free to IM me, and you'll get a jackhammer of POV ;) Jack 03:30, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Obviously, I disagree. Hebrew and other related Semitic languages are based on roots. There are rules for how these roots can be manipulated into new words. Amalek is spelled עמלק while the word valley is עמק. While they are similar, the relationship you are suggesting would have to account for the insertion of the ל into the word. That just cannot be done, indicating that the word Amalek is not from the word עמק. As for the disservice and supposed POV insertion, I have spent a lot of time living with and studying the Israeli far right. The statement made it seem as if the far right identifies the Arabs/Palestinians as Amalek (or the Nazis, for that matter). Yes, in the sense that they are using the term as a metaphor. If it were anything else whatsoever, there would be distinct halachic ramifications. For example, if the Nazis (i.e., the Germans) were Amalek, it would be incumbent on them to kill them all. No exceptions would be made (see I Samuel 15). It would certainly be forbidden to enter into any kind of negotiations with them, purchase goods from them, speak to any of them, or even spare their pets. While the command to exterminate them would be lifted because of practical reasons, until the coming of the Messiah (see Maimonides, Laws of Kings, chap. 10), all contact with anyone or even anything German would have to be avoided. There is no one in Israel who says that. Furthermore, on the far right of Israeli politics there is, as yet, no one who calls for the extermination of the Arabs because they are Amalek. Kahane never said it (and I spoke with him several times when he was alive), Yisrael Ariel never said it (in fact, I have heard him say specifically that it is not a mitzvah to kill Arabs), nor did Michael Ben Horin (I have heard him state explicitly that Arabs are Ishmael. Dov Lior said the same thing many times. Baruch Marzel is a student of Kahane and Ariel and would not contradict them (he was also there in the room when Ariel said there is no mitzvah to kill Arabs). This accounts for the most extreme leadership of the far right in Israel (I have never heard Yehudah Etzion on the topic, but I can assume, based on his writings, that it would not be different). If they did identify Arabs with Amalek, they would not have been able to make the statement that a) Arabs should not be killed; or b) that Arabs are Ishmael. Sorry. Danny 03:54, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure as to the need for an apology. You might well be right about the actual meaning of Amalek, I'm no expert on hebrew. I do know that it is overwhelmingly interpreted as that however on the references I have viewed (I'll compile a few later on). As far as this israeli far right stuff, all I can say is what I know. I have a Jewish friend who is a far right extremist, who makes statements like "everytime an arab dies, a rose grows in his place" and so forth. Also, in conversations with the Rabbi's on askmoses.com I have been told that while the Jewish community at large disagrees with the use of Amalek to refer to any current racial group, and disagrees that the Palistinians are the remainder of the amalekites, some do indeed hold that view. The view that Hitler was amalek is much more commonly held, and even more so the view of it as symbolicalism for atheism. I actually find your comments and edits informative and a benificial part of the process, even if I do not agree with the changes being the final result. Thank you, Jack 05:57, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I don't think that mentioning the Israeli govt. or Israeli politics is useful at all in this article in regards to use of the term Amalek. I don't know of them doing it, and the reference I made was based primarilly on an american friend of mine who was quite extreme in his views and actions (he told me of fistfights with neonazi's he had confronted) as well as various websites I have read [2] [3] [4](just google "amalek" and read a few). Jack 06:58, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I am not going to get into an edit war over this, however, I would like to see some of the etymological sources of this interpretation of Amalek. Based on the comments above, it is clearly not Semitic (and I am somewhat of an expert on Hebrew). I did look up some Akkadian roots and came up with emugu, meaning power or army, and malku meaning prince. While these meanings would seem a lot closer, emugu also does not account for the medial lamed (l) and malku does not account for the initial ayin (a guttural consonant), so I am very suspect, but I am no expert on Akkadian. As for "valley dwellers," exactly which valley. i checked a popular source, Reader's Digest Almanac of the Bible (1991, ed. Geoffrey Wigoder), which says "An ancient nomadic tribe that roamed the northern Sinai desert and the Negeb." Not a great source, but there was considerable research put into that article (I know, because I was the one who wrote it). That is not an area known for its valleys--in fact, it is rather flat. As for those sites you bring, it is important to understand how rhetoric plays in halachic speech. I'll start with the Baal Shem Tov because that is easiest. While he could certainly have made the statement, it could not be used to override the halachic position of Maimonides as stated in Laws of Kings. It is not a denial of the commandment to eradicate the people of Amalek, but rather a recognition that in these days it is impossible, so here is something folksy and cute that people can do instead (a tad cynical, admittedly, but essentially that is what it is). Similarly, since there are no more sacrifices, he would also say that the table at which three or more Jews eat is like an altar, and the meal at which words of Torah are spoken is like a sacrifice. Very sweet, but it does not override the rules of sacrifice, which are inactive because the format with which to offer sacrifice does not exist. As for your friend, sure, he made some crazy statements. I've heard plenty. But the "rose" bit does not lead to identification with Amalek. I am convinced that when pressed on the issues from a halachic perspective (the determining factor in far-right Judaism), these people you quote would admit that these identifications are not Amalek. For example, if a Palestinian willingly leaves the land of Israel and recognizes Jewish sovereignty there, would it still be necessary to kill him and his entire family? Would you have to kill a three-year-old whose great-grandfather was a Nazi? If they were halachically Amalek then yes. I wonder whether they would say that. I know of no halachic source that would. In other words, their statements reflect the hyperbole of Jewish speech within certain communities and little more. One last, interesting source is Kook's small work, Mussar Avicha, in which he claims that the eradication of Amalek must be done out of love. If you hate Amalek, you cannot kill them, because killing them is a correction for their soul. Obviously, a very bizarre piece, and one that is little known at that, but Kook is regarded as authoritative by the far right. Try quoting it with your friend. Well, gotta run to work. I am meeting with the former Chief Rabbi of Israel today. I can try and ask him. Danny 12:50, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Fascinating. I was clearly right to compliment your involvement in this article. To be honest the primary reason why I edit at the wikipedia is to learn from the process. This is not going to be an easy edit tho, because the points you bring up are subtle, and providing the distiction in a NPOV manner is not going to be easy, especially if we are striving for "prose" :). Trust me that I am not interested in excessive emotionalism, but rather what is best for accuracy in the article. The way to avoid an edit war is to discuss things in talk, and to provide a different (even if only subtley) edit each time, rather than reverting. I have found this to be a vital peice of policy and diplomacy here at the wikipedia. Cheers, Jack 22:20, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Hi Jack. I would suggest that you find some source for the etymology or remove it until you have one. The one thing I came up with is that it may be a contraction of two words: am, meaning people, and the Assyrian ilku, meaning corvee. It would then imply that the Amalekites were a band of nomadic mercenaries, wholly in keeping with the text. The problem is that I have not been able to verify whether it is ilku or ilqu (k and q are two different sounds in Semitic languages, even though they are not currently distinguished in contemporary spoken Hebrew), which would imply a different root. Amalek is more properly 'Amaleq. I can ask an Assyriologist I work with tomorrow--my own Akkadian dictionary is rather limited and often inaccurate. It was fun to get back into it though. Shuma awilum awilam ubbir ... (the opening line of the Code of Hammurabi). Danny 23:35, 19 Jan 2004 (UTC)

In terms of the history and etymology, Danny is totally correct. In terms of the issue of whether or not some right-wing Israeli zealots identify Palestinians as Amalek, he is somewhat correct, but in another way he is incorrect. As regards the specific individuals that Danny mentions, yes, they do not claim that all Palestinians should literally be regarded as Amalek; they do not want to exterminate the Palestinians. As regards most Israeli right-wingers (both religious and secular), they too do not not claim that all Palestinians should literally be regarded as Amalek; they do not want to exterminate the Palestinians. Thus, we are in 9o% agreement. But there is a small minority of right-wingers who repeatedly do refer to Palestinians as Amalek; they are not claiming that this is a biological fact, and they may not even be claiming that this is a halakhically valid identification. However, they use the word, and they approve of violence. To be fair, they do not advocate extermination or genocide; looking at their worls most of them appear to be asking for the right to self-defense, even if it means pre-emptive attacks that will kill. But enough right-wingers who use the term exist to merit a breif discussion. (And of course, one must also note that this would be the few of the small minority at best, and that this is view is totally rejected by the Israeli majority, both religious and secular.)

Here are some references I have found:

The Ascendance of Israel's Radical Right, Ehud Sprinzak, Oxford Univ. Press 1991 p.117-123,and p.267-270
ush Emunim: The Politics of Zionist Fundamentalism in Israel, Ehud Sprinzak, American Jewish Congress, 1986,p.12
Rabi Israel Hess, "The Geonocide Ruling of the Torah" Bat Kol (the Bar Illan students' paper) Feb. 26, 1980
David Rosentzveig A Time to Break Conventions, Nekuda, No.75, July 1984
Haim Tzuria The Right to Hate Nekuda No.15, August 1980
Israel Ariel Things As They Really Are, Tzfia I, 1985
For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, Ian S. Lustick, Council on Foreigh Relations, NY,1988
Uriel Tal Foundations of a Political Messianic Trend in Israel, Jerusalem Post, no. 35, Spring 1985

Also, we need to realize that a mainstream strand within rabbinic Judaism holds that Amalek is not a people, in the narrow sense that Danny and others are using. Other Jewish points of view exist. For instance, Rabbi Moshe Amiel 1883-1946) ruled that one should not understand Amalek as being a particular ethnic group. Rather, he viewed Amalek as the symbol of armed might. In Rabbi Amiel's view, a permanent war prevails between the sword and the book, and "one can only be built on the ruins of the other". [Derashot el Ami, 3.132, 3 volume set, Tel-Aviv, 1964.] This is also the view of many non-Orthodox Jewish rabbis. So we cannot just claim that "Jews today do not identify the Palestinians as Amalek". Some Jews do make this identification. This does not mean that they are making a biological identification, nor does it mean that they are advocating genocide. (They certainly are not.) The term has ideological uses beyond the literal meanings of the word. RK 00:12, Jan 20, 2004 (UTC)

Actually, when it comes to the far right of the Israeli political spectrum, I basically do know everybody, some of them quite well, but that's a long story. I do not deny that the term is used metaphorically. I think that overall we agree, but I reject the notion that there is a halachic equation being made. Paradoxically, just because people are called Amalek doesn't mean that they are believed to be Amalek, with all the implications such a statement would contain. From what you said above, I think you agree with me on this point too. Essentially, the term Amalek has been neutered to some degree in popular discourse to mean "the epitome of evil." Compare, for example, with the statement by the Besht above. I do not know it, but assuming it is accurate, does that mean that the Baal Shem Tov held that all atheists and their descendants should be killed. Similarly, I admit that the far right uses it as hyperbole, but not as halachah (and I don't want to get into a discussion of the ramifications of violating one of the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach, which is an entirely different story that does not relate to Amalek per se, nor do the mitzvot associated with Kibush Ha'Aretz). One of the sources you quote, for example, is Ariel, who I do happen to know very well (he was a neighbor of mine, and I served with his son in the army--I also studied under him and his brothers Yaakov and Yigal). In a semi-private conversation with him, I heard him say distinctly Ein mitzvah laharog Aravim, with a caveat that I will not repeat here. (Interestingly, that same night he was arrested). As for Amiel, he will have to answer the Rambam (see Hilchot Melachim, 10:1). Again, Amiel is using metaphor, as did the Besht, but there are strict halachic considerations that he is not addressing, such as Lo tichayun. Danny 00:21, 20 Jan 2004 (UTC)

First of all about the meaning of the word: the references given for "valley dweller" are not adequate. They have just copied the theory from somewhere else, probably an earlier compendium which is no better. What is needed is citation of a named respected scholar. After asking a few people who know about stuff like this, I'm pretty sure that the scholarly consensus is "foreign word of unknown meaning". As for traditional imaginative "translations", there are several. As an example, in Midrash Tanhuma, portions Yitro and Ki Tetze, there is the claim that Amalek comes from am leq "the licking people," with the explanation that the Amalekites were called so because "they came to lick the Israelites' blood like dogs." Such doubtful speculations are taken seriously by very few, but the very fact they exist is proof that there was no generally accepted translation. --Zero 14:01, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Regarding modern groups called Amalek: Sometimes it is hard to tell whether a particular identification is intended to be taken literally or not. However, my contacts agree with Danny that a literal identification of a modern group with Amalek is halakically almost impossible. Special mention was made of the statement in the Talmud (Berakhot 26a) that the gentile peoples of the Torah were mixed together beyond recognition, and (critically from a practical point of view) the complete lack of an identification of Arabs with Amalek by any of the traditional authorities. On the other hand, there have been examples where a metaphorical identification with Amalek has been used to excuse violence (by supposing that the mitzvah of extermination refers to Amalek in a metaphorical sense). Examples involving Arabs include some supporters of Baruch Goldstein and a former rabbi of Bar-Ilan University named Israel Hess. --Zero 14:32, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Example of a metaphorical identification: "And Jewish self-respect and honor must be resurrected with an end to the humiliating obscenity of carefree political relations with the Amalek of our times, Germany." (Meir Kahane, Uncomfortable questions for comfortable Jews, 1987) --Zero 14:32, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This is for Danny [5] I didn't want to put a million links in here, but he asked where I was getting this idea about "valley dweller" from. Oh, and BTW, I think it would be more than fine if you guys would like to place a differing view of what the word means, maybe even a whole paragraph regarding it. But it is clearly important that some regard it to mean "valley dweller" even if it is innaccurate to translate it that way. Jack 06:19, 22 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Amalek, father of the Amalekites???[edit]

Gen. xiv. 7 refers to Amalekites existing at the time of Abraham, so it is problematic to identify them as descendants of Amalek who lived later. This used to be mentioned but its gone now. --Zero 01:35, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Well, I think its mentioned, but strangely. It could actually do with a good deal more discussion, and maybe a whole section devoted to it. I'm really not an expert (or even terribly interested) in this portion of the meaning however, so I doubt I will be doing that (this in no way should be taken to mean that it shouldn't be done ;). Jack 18:39, 24 Jan 2004 (PST)

Amalekites or Amelekites?[edit]

Both spellings occur in the article. I don't know anything about the subject so I'm hesitant to make a change, though I assume that the correct spelling is "Amalekites" (or are there two groups with very similar names? If so, I'm completely confused!). Mariko 03:19, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Amalekites in the days of Abraham[edit]

Firstly the Bible does not mention any Amalekites in the days of Abraham. When discussing the invasion of Chederlaomer in the days of Abraham it talks about the "land of the Amalekites". Bearing in mind that the description of this battle is written not earlier than Moses even from the point of view of Biblical literalists, there is no mystery here. Its like saying that Julius Caesar traveled as far as York in England even though it wasn't called York or England in the time of Caesar. Its called England and York now and it was called "land of the Amalekites" at the time the Bible was written.

A Jewish tradition recorded by Nachmanides claims that Amalekites did exist before Amalek the grandson of Esau. The tradition states that Amalek the grandson of Esau was named after an Amalek who had been the founder of the Amalekites. Arab traditions claim that the Amalekites originated in Arabia. Kuratowski's Ghost 00:43, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There is quite a bit of information from Arab history about the Amalekites that I am reading up on and will add to the article. The Arab sources relate things not found in Jewish traditions but which sheds light on some odd references to Amalekites in connection with Egypt in Jewish sources. Kuratowski's Ghost 23:43, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

According to Friedman's The Bible with Sources Revealed, Genesis 14 is an independent source document (not belonging to J,E,P, or D), and hence could simply represent a variant tradition of the Amalekites' origins.--Rob117 04:44, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

According to the rules of logic, the use of different names for an individual in a single document does not logically entail that the document was woven together from separate sources each of which only used one name. One need only look at a Star Trek episode in which the same individual is addressed as "Captain", "Kirk", "Jim" and "James". (Documentary Hypothesis proponents presumeably feel that such an episode must be a combination of separate C, K, Ji and Ja scripts that were woven together.) In fact no known instance of a document using several names for individuals having originated in such a manner is known. Nor has a J, E, P or D document ever been uncovered by archaeologists. So yeah, ok for completeness the Documentary Hypothesis view should be mentioned but please people, think. There is a reason this Documentary Hypothesis stuff is taught in Humanities faculties and not Science faculties at universities. Sorry, having a bad co-worker day :P Kuratowski's Ghost 09:59, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Timna and Timnah[edit]

I have removed the comment about the Edomite chief of Timnah which attempts to imply a connection with Timna. The names while looking similar in Bible English transliteration are unrelated in the original Hebrew. Timna from the root m-n-` with a gutteral ayin at the end means "restraint", Timnah on the other hand means either "land towards the south" from the the root t-m-n or "alloted portion / gift" from the root m-n-h.

Split[edit]

Shouldn't this article be split into Amalek and Amalekites, or even just renamed to Amalekites? Currently its jsut the other way around, Amalekites redirects to Amalek. --Pjacobi 16:40, August 20, 2005 (UTC)

Does "Amalek" have an existence separate from Amalekites, or is he just an eponym? How would the reader be served? Is the article so long? These are the three questions you'd ask yourself. --Wetman 19:45, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
There is a tendency on en.wikipedia, that every biblical name deserves a separate article (heck, as every Pokemon charcter and every King of Numenor is considered worthy, who cares). But IMHO, just swapping redirect and article title would be best (the article is much more about the Amalekites than about Amalek. --Pjacobi 20:06, August 20, 2005 (UTC)
I agree with the proposed move/swap, however, it should be moved to the singular version, Amalekite and redirects for the plurals can point there as well. Any objections? Unfocused 17:46, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Extermination or Genocide?[edit]

Is there a reason we use "extermination" rather than "genocide" to describe the genocide committed on this group? It seems to me that extermination is a sanitized version of what occurred, as extermination is what you do to insects, not humans. I think extermination, in this case, is being used as a weasel word that favors one groups' POV and should be changed. If there's a valid reason reason to use extermination rather than genocide, I'd be very interested in hearing it. Unfocused 02:52, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

It looks like a quote: "As the Jewish Encyclopedia put it, 'David waged a sacred war of extermination against the Amalekites.'" SlimVirgin (talk) 02:56, August 29, 2005 (UTC)
That explains the quoted text, but I don't think it covers the section header, where genocide would be more accurate and less POV. Unfocused 04:52, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Genocide is not less POV its clearly more POV, its portraying the extermination of a group of bandits as a racist destruction of a true ethnic group which is clearly not what the Biblical tradition is about. Kuratowski's Ghost 10:37, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
The from infant unto suckling part would fit most definitions of genocide. --Pjacobi 12:12, August 30, 2005 (UTC)
Pjacobi is exactly right. If this were any less than genocide, they would have spared the innocent. This is the kind of thing that is occurring in various regions of Africa; idividual tribes and ethnic groups are attempting to eliminate another. It's called genocide by the whole world. There's nothing "sacred" about a war of extermination, Jewish doctrine aside. It's genocide no matter who commits it. The Jews of history do not have some special right to exterminate a people and then have it defined by a different noun than every other such act in history. Calling it anything other than genocide is POV.
"Biblical tradition" is to glorify the surviving group and to advance their own POV, so is non-encyclopedic. In an encyclopedic view, we have to review the evidence and refer to actions by their contemporary definitions and apply modern meanings. This is an encyclopedia, not a "bible review." The fact that the available evidence comes from the bible does not restrict our definition of events to the POV definitions contained within. Unfocused 12:24, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
The use of the term "genocide" is an anachronism, and seems mostly a response to an unsatisfactory exchange on wikien-l. Jayjg (talk) 21:21, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Not at all. My review of this article was prompted by a discussion on that list, however the appropriate use of the term genocide is merely a correction to this article and a factual improvement. Why you would make such a claim is beyond me, especially considering that your username appears nowhere in the edit history of this article or talk page until you just now made this strange accusation in clear violation of assume good faith. What you fail to realize is that in the discussion on the mailing list, I have expressed my opinion completely and to my satisfaction, and I have no lingering feelings regarding that discussion. Let it go already. Unfocused 22:52, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

There are two issues here. One is whether the events satisfy some definition of "genocide", and the other is whether that word should be used here. On the first issue, I think it is completely obvious that the events described in the Bible would be judged as genocide by an international court sitting today. Statements like "The Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation" and references to the "seed of Amalek" were taken as commandments to eliminate the biological descendants of the Amalekites for all time. There is no "unless they start to behave themselves" qualification to be found. More euphemistic interpretations are a modern development. As to whether the term "Amalekites" referred to a racial group, it rather refered to a tribe in a time period when the whole of humanity was regarded as being divided into tribes. The second issue is whether it is necessary to use the word "genocide" here. I was content with "extermination", which is literal and does not seem to me at all euphemistic. Somehow the word "genocide" feels like it is intended to make a point that isn't openly stated and I'm not even sure what the point is. So I prefer "extermination". --Zero 02:04, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Whereas en.wikipedia generally is not shy using real life terms to fictional events (see Endorian Holocaust for a bad example); I agree to some point with Zero's reasoning.
  • The to make a point that isn't openly stated caveat, while true, should be used only with extreme precaution to decide an article's wording. If some term is the most exact, it should be used.
  • If happened in historical times and verifiable by the standards of the historical science, there would be no way around using genocide in the article.
  • But the historical evidence is meager, and so the article should just concentrate more on the point, why this story is told and what it may transport. The German article de:Amalekieter tries to follow this path, but I'm not competent to judge, whether it succeeds.
Pjacobi 08:08, August 31, 2005 (UTC)


  • First; there is no doubt that the events satisfy every reasonable definition of genocide.
  • Second; genocide is clearly the "most exact" term available for the events as described by the records of those who committed the act.
  • Third; whether is is a true tale or not doesn't matter. Historical verifiability is completely irrelevant; if the events belong here, the events deserve to be described as accurately as possible. If it is true history, it is historical genocide; if it is fiction, it is a fictional account of genocide. The historical accuracy may be debated for years, but won't change the very definition of what the account describes.
  • Fourth; encyclopedia articles should describe things in the most accurate terms available, bar none. Whatever it is worth to the Jewish and Christian communities as a moral tale is only tangentally relevant to the value here as an encyclopedia article. Depicting this in gentler terms is use of weasel words to advance a sympathetic POV. Since this is an encyclopedia and not a biblical text, if someone searches for the term "genocide", this article should appear somewhere in the results. If there is a "Category:Genocides" on Wikipedia, then this article should be classified there as well. The article shouldn't be hidden or obscured by using less accurate terms and failing to classify it properly.
  • Fifth; the article doesn't have to concentrate on the genocide, it could concentrate on the rest of the information we have, and the lesson meant to be taught by the retelling. However, not describing the fate of the Amalekites as victims of genocide somewhere in the article would be a grave error of omission. If the section header was changed to "Fate of the Amalekites" and the content clearly described them as "victims of genocide", I would not object.
  • Sixth; use of the word "extermination" dehumanizes the victims, as if they're nothing more than bothersome insects worthy being crushed and nothing else. It is a euphamism that has been used numerous times in history to excuse genocidal conduct. "Extermination" is the biblical POV, but the POV of an encyclopedic article should be independent of the source texts it draws upon in order to remain neutral.
  • Finally; I'm not trying to make a some sinister hidden point, I'm trying to make an accurate, NPOV encyclopedia.  ;) My reasons for making this change are outlined here. Instead, is there a point being made by trying to avoid the most accurate term for the events? Unfocused 09:27, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
The way I see it the word "exterminate" carries no connotation and is objective, I don't see how it dehumanizes. "Genocide" on the other carries connotations of modern day international law and standards not applicable to the setting of the narrative regardless of whether it is historically accurate or not. As Jayg says, its an anachronism. Kuratowski's Ghost 10:52, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
I will argue only one point of Unfocused's list: This should never be included in Category:Genocides if this category is ever unwisely created (Yeah, it exists. Fine. Always fear for the worst regarding categories on en.wikipedia). I don't want fictional entries in non-fictional categories. Heck, is was hard enough, to kick Adamantium out of Category:Superhard materials. --Pjacobi 10:57, August 31, 2005 (UTC)
I look forward to discussing this under its own section header at a later date. Unfocused 13:43, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Use of the word genocide in this article is merely the application of modern language to historical events. The word itself was created in 1944 (or 1943, depending on what source you trust). Certainly we cannot limit its use to events following that date, as it was specifically created to most accurately describe events such as these that had already occurred. We wouldn't even translate old texts if not for the need to put things in modern language that the people of today understand, so application of modern language to historical events is clearly the normal and proper thing to do.
I really didn't want to Godwin the talk page, but here goes. The Nazis chose to use words such as "exterminate" very carefully and deliberately in order to dehumanize their victims and make it easier for their less dedicated and enthusiastic operatives to follow their orders. Nazi propaganda and Hitler's own writings referred to Jews as a "human virus" to be exterminated, denying them the diginity and value of their humanity. They didn't refer to the killing of Jews as "murder" and they wouldn't have used the word "genocide" either, because those words would confirm the humanity of the victims and underscore the unjustness of their fate. (Certainly we all knew that, right?) Exclusive use of the word "extermination" in this case, when "genocide" is clearly the more accurate term, does the same injustice to the Amalekites. Genocide should not replace every instance of every other similar word that appears, but it most certainly should appear prominently. (Technically I didn't Godwin the talk page, but I really didn't want to bring up the comparison.)
I believe KG and Jayjg are using the word "anachronism" incorrectly. An ananchronistic event would be one appearing in the modern age that was common in a bygone era, such as a segregated picnic, and unfortunately, genocides are about as current as ever. Unfocused 13:43, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Let me see if I can summarize the above?

  • Yeah, its totally genocide if it actually happened as might be suggested by someone trying to read a non-Hebrew perspective into this.
  • But since anyone with an objective, fact-based perspective knows the Old Testament/whatever is nothing short of wrong when it comes to a neutral, fact-based description of any historic event, its allowable to continue to use the term "extermination" in this context because what matters here is to understand the fable rather than learn it as a history.

Is this the long-story-short of why the term "genocide" isn't applied in this sense? Zaphraud (talk) 23:03, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Another POV concern: hatred mutual?[edit]

The article now states: "The Biblical relationship between the Hebrew and Amalekite tribes was one of unmitigated enmity." and goes on to describe Jewish hatred of the Amalekites, but gives no example or even suggestion of Amalekite hatred of Jews. I don't find anything to suggest the hatred was mutual.

Shouldn't we rephrase this sentence to reflect the true meaning of the cited texts until we can find and cite an example of Amalekite hatred of Hebrew tribes? As it's written now, it looks like a justification, or worse, an excuse for the genocide. I'm sure that's not what we want. Unfocused 05:07, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

There is no account of hatred of the Jews as such, the Biblical account describes how the Amalekites attacked the Jews without provocation and had attacked the weakest in particular i.e. just plain banditry and a general contempt for mankind. The Midrash also describes Amalekite contempt for God: Amalek cut off the penises of the Jews and threw them in the air to shove them up the nose of God. Kuratowski's Ghost 13:28, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
Can we get some citations of such; otherwise the article appears to have POV bias. I'm not arguing that they didn't hate each other, but an empty claim is just that. Unfocused 13:33, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
My understanding is that it was indeed not a mutual hatred - the Amalekites didn't hate the Jews in particular, they were bandits with a general contempt for human life and ethics. Kuratowski's Ghost 14:21, 29 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree with KG that "extermination" is better than "genocide" and I don't understand Unfocused's argument on that. As for the other issue, it should be made more clear that there is no information whatever about the Amalekites except what the Hebrew Bible says. History outside the Bible does not record them at all, and most historians regard them as myth. So all we know of their nature is through the eyes of their bitter enemies. They attacked the Israelites, but it isn't true they weren't provoked (the Israelites had entered their territory). --Zero 11:09, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Not what the account says, the only Amalekite territory ever mentioned was one encampment called the city of Amalek. Kuratowski's Ghost 11:27, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Genesis 14:7 refers to "the whole territory of the Amalekites" and in any case if they had a city they were not mere nomads. The Amalekites first attacked the Israelites at Rephardim when the latter were travelling from place to place, so the implication is that the Israelites had encroached on Amalekite territory. Of course it doesn't say that explicitly, but it doesn't say the opposite either. There is no clear statement that the Amalekites were bandits or were any less ethical than anyone else. Any such claim in the article should make it clear that this is an allegation made by (who? tradition?). --Zero 12:59, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Well the area is part of what the Israelites viewed as rightfully Israelite territory so it depends whose views on land ownership you ascribe to. Its certainly a case of being grossly inhospitable :P Kuratowski's Ghost 17:22, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
The extermination versus genocide discussion is in the section above. Merriam-Webster definition of genocide: the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group (Emphasis mine). The Amaleks were, if not a racial group, a political or cultural group, as they did have a King. Having a King is a clear sign of being an individual, distinct and separate political group. Unfocused 12:32, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
Every prison and street gang has a Chief or Captain or Leader or "King" even. Kuratowski's Ghost 17:22, 30 August 2005 (UTC)
This isn't Amalekite-sympathetic material we're using; it is the record of their enemy. Since the available records recognize Agag as a King, I don't think we have the option to do any less. We would not equate Saul or Samuel with a mere street gang leader, so to remain NPOV, Agag must also be recognized as well. Unfocused 17:40, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

Biblical relationship needs clarification -- please help rewrite this sentence[edit]

The article now states: "The Biblical relationship between the Hebrew and Amalekite tribes was that the Hebrew tribes hated the Amalekites, primarily due to banditry committed by the Amalekites." however, I'm not at all satisfied with this.

In discussion above, I had made the point that there isn't any evidence of mutual hatred between the Hebrews and Amalekites, and KG suggested that Amalekite banditry and disregard for Hebrew cultural sensibilities were the primary reasons for the hate. However, there is evidence of other battles between them, and other possible reasons for the fights; specifically that the Jewish tribes may have been attacked while passing through the territory of the Amalekites.

Although I wrote the sentence as it currently appears in the article, I'm not comfortable with it, and would appreciate any edits to it that further expand and explain the reasons for the animosity between the two groups. Unfocused 16:54, 30 August 2005 (UTC)

The hatred stemmed from having the weak and ill attacked from behind. This is from the Bible. I can't believe the hostility being expressed toward contemporary Jews for a Bible story about the ancient Israelites. There were 11 other tribes, go pick on them too! And let's bash the Italians for ancient Rome, and, and... 64.231.208.136 03:24, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
The article, as it stands, vilifies the Israelites and sympathizes far too much with the Amalekites. Completely unprovoked, the Amalekites left their territory to attack the weak of Israel that were already exhausted (Ex. 17:8-15; Deut. 25:17-18). There was no reason to do this, as Israel was not even going to settle in Amalek's "territory." Canaan was north of Amalek, and they would not have been affected. Nonetheless, the Amalekites left their territory to attack an exhausted non-threat.
Once Israel had settled in Canaan, Amalek allied itself with Moab and Ammon to place Israel under subjection for 18 years (Jg. 3:12-14). Later, the Amalekites swept into Israel to ravage and plunder the land, leaving the Israelites impoverished (Jg. 6). When Saul campaigned against the Amalekites, it was not out of vengeance, but a response to the new atrocities against Israel they had comitted - the "plundering" of 1 Sam. 14:48 could very well have been recent, and Samuel, before slaying Agag, mentions "[Y]our sword has made women childless..." (1 Sam. 15:33) Samuel indicates that Agag himself had attacked and killed Israelites in his time - in fact, in killing Agag, Samuel did not once mention the past relationship between Amalek and Israel.
In the times of David, the Amalekites still persisted in their evil ways - "Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old." (1 Sam. 30:1-2) These raids were likely regular in Amalekite society - no doubt, they lived off captured goods from Israel and other lands (like Philistia). Psalm 83 includes Amalek among the list of Israel's enemies who say, "Come, let us destroy them [Israel] as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." (Ps. 83:4,7)
(When David lived among the Philistines during Saul's reign, he did raid the Amalekites at times, but he did so as a servant of Achish the king of Gath, and so it does not count as Israel attacking the Amalekites)
There is only one other occassion when Israel attacked the Amalekites. This is 1 Chr. 4:41-43, where 500 Simeonites (in the times of Hezekiah, even) invaded the hill country of Seir, killing the remaining Amalekites in the process. This was not, however, out of vengeful hatred for Amalek, but for the purpose of re-claiming their territory (the Simeonites actually attacked several ethnic groups in this battle - Hamites, Meunites, and Amalekites - in other words, Simeon attacked the inhabitants of the land irregardless of their ethnicity). Considering that Simeon borders the Amalekite territory, this was probably brought about by those tribes invading Simeon, as by the time of Hezekiah, the tribal borders were well-established.
Unlike in Israel, the Amalekites abused their slaves. In pursuing a raiding party, David's men find an Egyptian slave who, upon becoming ill, was abandoned by his Amalekite owner and left to starve to death (1 Sam 30:11-15). As an aside, this slave was probably among the captured from a raid in Egypt. Unfortunately, we know little else about the practices of these people.
Further, Amalek was hated by Israel as a national entity, not in a racist way. Israel even accepted Amalekites as immigrants, as indicated by an Amalekite being a soldier in Saul's army in 2 Sam. 1. Obviously, this Amalekite had not been killed just for being ethnically Amalekite.
I would also like to point out that Haman was likely not an Amalekite - Agag is actually a district in Persia, and in all likelihood it is a coincidence that Agag was also the name of a famous Amalekite (see the entry for Agagite).
Now, Is this really an unjustified hatred? Is fighting against such an oppressive enemy genocide? Each time Israel attacked the Amalekites, it was in self-defense, except for possibly one exception (when Simeon attacked Amalek in Hezekiah's times), but we aren't given enough information about the attack to know if it was justified or not. Given Amalek's history, they probably raided Israel and other lands to their last. This was not genocide but defending against raiders. THAT is why Israel "hated Amalek."
Quite simply, a "War of Extermination" is genocide, regardless of reason, regardless of whether it's justified or not. It is simply a genocide. It is up to the reader to decide whether genocide was a just act or not. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.221.13.5 (talk) 07:01, 19 February 2007 (UTC).
Genocide is a a term relating to international law under the League of Nations and United Nation, stop the smart-assed changing of the sourced term "war of extermination" to "genocide", there was no league of nations or united nations at that time. Kuratowski's Ghost 23:29, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
The English language didn't exist when these events occurred. Does that mean we have to go back and rewrite the rest of the article in an ancient language to be logically consistent with your view? No. Wikipedia is modern. It's language is modern. Genocide is the most accurate term. Don't use weasel words to absolve our ancestors. People killed each other a lot more in those days. It's a simple fact. But a systematic destruction, a deliberate extermination, is genocide, no less.
We don't insert the term "genocide" into all the other articles on ancient wars, for good reason; it's an anachronistic concept; and that's even assuming the material in the Bible is historically accurate. Jayjg (talk) 02:58, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Request "repair" of unexplained blind link inline with the text[edit]

In the article, there is a sentence See Wipe Out Amalek for a current rabbinical teaching on the matter. which, in itself is valid material for the article, but it is an unexplained blind link contained inline with the text. In other words, the reader of the article has to go offsite to have an idea of what knowledge the link provides.

We should not require a reader to do external research to reach full understanding of a subject we cover. I suggest that we either summarize the teachings included in the article cited in the link, so that the link has full context, or move it to the bottom of the article.

I do not want to be the one to attempt to summarize the link, as I'm sure I will get some of it wrong (and perhaps some of it very wrong) because I don't agree with the teachings contained there1. I ask that someone who is familiar with these teachings provide more context for the link, or move it to the bottom of the article in the "external links" section.

I don't object to the link being present, in fact, I think it may provide a better understanding of the topic for some readers. But placement is always very important, and I think that inline links should always have some kind of summary of what is being cited. After all, that is the normal reason for using inline citations; that you've just quoted or summarized an opinion available elsewhere, and want to provide reference to the original for the reader.

1(Although I believe in using force for defense, even in defense of a foreign nation being attacked by a third party, I'm generally too much of a pacifist to understand the treatment of the Amalekites as stemming from the values of "compassion and kindness" as the Yeshiva article states.) Unfocused 02:22, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

I Samuel 30[edit]

I'm wondering why Saul's disfavor with God is mentioned (I Samuel 28) but not David's favor and ultimate victory (I Samuel 30). Both leaders consulted seers and learned of their fates in battle, according to the Old Testament text. But since David led the successful battle that destroyed the Amalekites, why isn't his story told, either instead of Saul's or accompanied by Saul's? The only mention of Chapter 30 is in a listing at the bottom of the article. --Pat 04:39, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Amaleqs[edit]

(Arabic: عماليق‎, Amaleq)

This section needs help. It sounds like the first paragraph of the article comes out of Muslim tradition, but my own online search of the Qu'ran contains no mention of Amaleq or Amaliq or Amalek. I am by no means an expert; could someone who knows about these things please advise? Additionally, perhaps this section could be better integrated into the rest of the piece? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.36.47.20 (talk) 17:31, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Amaleq ancient Arab tribe lineage to Iram son of Shem son of Noah ,their language was not language of Quraysh which call to day 'the arabic language because like all arab tribes every tribe have their own language like Sabaean ,Minaean, Qatabanian, Hadhramautic, Mehri ...

they rule Egypt 108 years.

At that time Fifteenth Dynasty ruled over Egypt, whose rulers are known in history as the Hyksos kings. They belonged to the Arab race, but had migrated from Palestine and Syria to Egypt in or about 2000 B. C. and taken possession of the country. The Arab historians and the commentators of the Quran have given them the name of Amaliq (the Amalekites:عماليق), and this has been corroborated by the recent researches made by the Egyptologists. They were foreign invaders who had got the opportunity of establishing their kingdom because of the internal feuds in the country. We also learn from the history of Egypt that the "Hyksos kings" did not acknowledge the gods of Egypt and, therefore, had imported their own religion from Syria, with a view to spreading their own religion in Egypt. This is the reason why the Quran has not called the king who was the contemporary of Prophet Joseph by the title of "Pharaoh," because this title was associated with the religion of the original people of Egypt and the Amaleqs did not believe in it, but the Bible erroneously calls him "Pharaoh". It appears that the editors of the Bible had the misunderstanding that all the kings of Egypt were "Pharaohs." Egyptians called these kings "shepherd kings," translated in Egyptian as "hega-khase". Greek authors later rendered this as "Hyksos,"

Ethnic Arabs?[edit]

What makes these people ethnically Arab in the year 2000 B.C.? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.249.185.205 (talk) 18:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Amalek were not ethnic Arabs -- and I changed it. As far as anyone knows, they were closely related to Edom. So, while Semites (like the Cannanites and the Hebrews), they were not Arabs. The old article's former identification of Amalek with the Hyksos is totally spurious.


العماليق or العمالقة
The Amaleqs are large Ancient Arabian tribe according to The Arab historians like Ali ibn al-Athir at his book ' The Complete History ' and Ibn Khaldun at his book 'the History of Ibn Khaldun '. and it also say that the Canaanites and Amorites Belonging to The Amaleqs and that The Amaleqs ruled Dhofar and Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Oman, Bahrain
and also say that iraqi king occupied the cities of The Amaleqs in Arabia which are Khaybar, Midian, Tayma, Didan, Fadk, Yathreb and he killed all The Amaleqs (except one tribe which are Banu AlArqam (بنو الأرقم) ) and replacing them with the Khazars Jews
Banu Alarqam was stil exist in Yathreb at time of Prophet Muhammad.
and ibn al-Athir says in at his book the Prophet Ibrahim Belonging to The Amaleqs/ '


Ancient Sources and the Hyksos/Amorites/Arabs/Amalekites[edit]

Is there any reference preserved in the old Jewish sources that would hint at the Hyksos invasion of Egypt immediately after the departure of Israel?

"He [the Lord] cast [sent forth] among them fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them." Psalm 78:49

What does it mean `sending evil angels among them'? There is no plague known as the `visit of evil angels' while most of the other Ten Plagues are mentioned in this chapter. When the first born were slain in the tenth plague it was the angel of the Lord according to the Bible, Exodus 12:29. Could this be a corrupted text? The presumed Hebrew wording for `sending of evil angels' would be "mishlakhat malakhei-roim". But the Hebrew for `invasion of king-sheperds' is "mishlakhat malkhei-roim." The only difference in spelling is one silent letter aleph in the first case. When the copyist or editor of the sentence could find no sense in king-shepherds, he changed the word to evil angels. The first reading is not only unusual Hebrew, but it is also contrary to the grammatical structure of the language.

If roim (evil, plural) was used as an adjective here, the preceding word could not take a shortened form; `roim' must therefore be a noun. But if `roim' were a noun, it would be in the singular and not the plural; and finally, the correct plural of "evil" is not `roim' but `raoth'. "Evil angel" in correct Hebrew would be `malakhim roim'; "evil angels" would be `malakhei raoth'.

Not only the sense but the grammatical form as well speaks for the reading, "invasion of king-shepherds." The verse should read then:

"The Lord sent forth upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, invasion of king-shepherds." Psalm 78:49

An old Hebrew legend throws a sidelight on the same theme. "Amalek fetched from Egypt the table of descent of the Jews [Israelites] ...these lists lay in the Egyptian archives. Amalek appeared before the Jewish camp, and calling the people by name, he invited them to leave the camp and come out to him." [10]

This legend implies knowledge on the part of the Israelites on the fact that the Amalekites came to Egypt and became rulers of the land. In what other way could they have come into possession of the census lists in the Egyptian archives?

In Papyrus Ipuwer it is said:

"Forsooth, public offices are opened and the census-lists are taken away. Serfs become lords of serfs[?]" [20]

We can say therefore, that the Hebrew legend and the above line from the papyrus Ipuwer corroberate each other.

The most famous of the Hyksos kings was Apop. They ruled Egypt from their fortress of Auaris and according to Manetho-Josephus maintained garrisons throughout the country. They also had a garrison in Ephraim:

"Out of Ephraim their root is in Amalek." Judges 5:14

Obviously their root refers to the Canaanites, and to Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, and to his captain Sisera, who commanded 900 chariots of iron. They oppressed Israel. The Israelites under Deborah and Barak temporarely broke the yoke Amalek put on them. The verse seems to mean that the strength of the Canaanites was based upon the support they received from the Amalekite citadel in the land of Ephraim.

"Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites." Judges 12:15

It was the habit of the Amalekites to destroy the flora of a country by driving their numerous cattle and camels before them. That is the reason they were called the king-shepherds, Judges 6:3-6; 7:12. They waited until the people of the land had sown, then shortly before the harvest they would invade the country side and carry off the produce.

The Egyptian document describing the defeat of the Hyksos/Amu/Amalekites is the Sallier Papyrus. [30]

It parallels the biblical account very closely also placing Auaris in a riverbed. When the Amalekites vanquished Egypt, they may have looked upon themselves as the legatees of the former Egyptian Empire with its colonies. In their wars with the Israelites in the succeeding centuries they might have argued that the Israelites had deserted their bondage in Egypt. Finally, to make the despoilers of Egypt equal with the Israelites is unwarranted and presents major problems in attempting to synchronize subsequent events.

The Amorites: Hejaz to the Levant 2500BC-1200BC[edit]

Tracing the Amorites migration from Hejaz to the Levant.

The West Arabian Amorites sprung out Arabia in waves of tribal federations roaming the desert/semidesert region between the Euphrates in the west and the Mediterrianean sea in the East. They were restricted from Mesopotamia by their Eastern Arabian kinsmen, the Akkadians. The Amorites of the Nroth will settle the highlands and later fall under Hittie influence, after the fall of the Hittites they will emerge as the highlanders (Armeans). The Amorites of Western Canaan will establish the coastal Canaanite towns that will later evolve into Phoenicia and Philistia. The third group of the Amorites were the East Cannanites (lowlanders) concentrated along the Euphrates, mainly following the water and pasture in the midwest Euphrates region. The Meso-Akkadians regarded the Amorites as an uncivilized unproductive group because they didn't have a harvest they can loot or a town to sack to supply their growing empire. To them the Amorites were troublesome Nomadic shepherds a people with no submission and no house in a lifetime! The Amorites viewed the Akkadians as the oppressive imperial power that controlled their only source for survival; the Euphrates water and the needed pasture for their livestock. This Mesopotamian animosity between the Akkadians and Amorites will give birth to the Zodiac as we know it. THe Amorites marked their age with the fall of the Akkadian empire 2160BC (the Akkadian Bull) and the start of the Shepherds age (The Ram). At this point The Zodiac was still two ages and will later become divided into 12 astrological ages once the Amorites enter Babylon. By the 20th Century BC the Amoires were already established in mid-Mesopotamia and started sacking the Neo-Sumerian towns; eventually conquering Babylon, making it their capital in 1959BC. UR survived another 9 years, until it was taken by the Elamites. The Amorites established their authority as he absolute Arabian/Semitic dynasty by crushing the Elamites, starting the Old Babylonian Kingdom. Hammurabi receiving he laws from the sun god. With the death of Hammurabi The Kingdom disintegrated into smaller city states ruled by weak kings. Babylon proper survived for another 100 years. In 1659BC the technologically advanced Hitties conquered Babylon. 1659BC - 1648BC: After the fall of Babylon, the Amorite dialect disappeared from Babylon and was replaced by an Assyro-Akkadian dialect interrupting the gap between Old and Neo-Babylonian and clearly shows that the East-Canaanites disappeared from Mesopotamia. 1649BC: The Amorites conquered Egypt, starting the 15th dynasty. The Amorites will control Egypt for 108 years as the elite class in Egypt. The Amorite Hyksos ruled Egypt for 108 years. However, the Egyptian-born Amorites lacked what their Nomadic ancestors had three generations earlier. By the 1540s BC the East Canaanite Amorites (Hyksos) lost control of Egypt and sensed the danger of remaining in Egypt after the atrocities the first generation commited in Egypt, so they escaped to Sinai fleeing the angry Egyptians. The Hykso escape from Egypt is very similar to the later Judean biblical folkore (the Exodus). In Against Apion, the 1st century historian Josephus simply equates the ProtoHebrews with the Hyksos. In the three centuries between the Exodus and the appearance of the Hebrews. The Egyptians documented raids by Semitic tribes into Canaan. The Egyptians knew them as the HABIRU this group included the remains of the Hyksos and the Pre-Hyksos East Canaanites who remained in Souther Canaan. The Egyptian and Hittite Imperial powers will clash in Kadesh 1274BC The treaty of Kadesh was the beginning of the end of the Imperial influence in Canaan. The power vacuum of the 1200s in Canaan allowed the Phoenician and Philistinian Arabian/Semitic cultures to flourish on their own. Taking advantage of the Egyptian absence, the Hebrews moved into Central Canaan pushing into the Egyptian protected Philistia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDfG4Hz8QI0 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.132.242.113 (talk) 12:49, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Symbolism of the Amalekites[edit]

In this section of the article, the following statement appears: "The term has been used metaphorically to refer to enemies of Judaism throughout history, including the Left, Nazis {i.e. Adolf Hitler}, and controversially, by some to refer to the Arabs." My question is in regard to "the Left." This statement is ambiguous, although presumably it refers to people on the left politically (liberals or progressives).

Are there any references that can be cited for this assertion? It seems sloppy to me, and it tends to imply that the Left is an enemy of Judaism. This, of course, is absurd. Many Jews are politically oriented to the Left, and many members of the Left are incredibly supportive of Judaism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by KidBohemia (talkcontribs) 21:14, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Lack of Dates[edit]

The articles does not provide any dates such as date of Establishing and date of fall . i really need this information for other topics.  A M M A R  02:34, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Ibn Khaldun[edit]

Historian and scholar, Ibn Khaldun also mentions the Amalek several times in his great universal history al-Kitābu l-ʕibār ("Book of Evidence"), but only in passing, seldom giving much information.

Some examples from the Muqaddimah ("Introduction"):

This can be illustrated by what happened among the nations. When the royal authority of 'Ad was wiped out, their brethren, the Thamud, took over. They were succeeded, in turn, by their brethren, the Amalekites. The Amalekites were succeeded by their brethren, the Himyar. The Himyar were succeeded by their brethren, the Tubba's, who belonged to the Himyar. They, likewise, were succeeded, by the Adhwa'. Then, the Mudar came to power.

The Yemen, al-Bahrayn, Oman, and the Jazirah have long been in Arab possession, but for thousands of years, the rule of these areas has belonged to different (Arab) nations in succession. They also founded cities and towns (there) and promoted the development of sedentary culture and luxury to the highest degree. Among such nations were the 'Ad and the Thamud, the Amalekites and the Himyar after them, the Tubbas, and the other South Arabian rulers (Adhwa) . There was a long period of royal authority and sedentary culture. The coloring of (sedentary culture) established itself firmly. The crafts became abundant and firmly rooted. They were not wiped out simultaneously with (each ruling) dynasty, as we have stated. They have remained and have always renewed themselves down to this time, and they have become the specialty of that area. Such (special Yemenite) crafts are embroidered fabrics, striped cloth, and finely woven garments and silks.


Five Amaleks who died near Jewish Holidays[edit]

  • Mussolini {d.April 28,1945} and Parashat Emor 1945 at [[6]]
  • Hitler and La"g b'Omer 1945 at [[7]]
  • Streicher and Purim 1946 at [[8]]
  • Stalin and Purim 1953 at [[9]]
  • Saddam Hussein (d.30 December 2006} and Parashat Vayigash at [[10]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.53.145.209 (talk) 11:51, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

What was the point of this? Doesn't the Old Testament say the "Amalekites" were supposedly destroyed; including even their women, children, and donkeys being exterminated? As for when the unrelated people, on the list of the relatively modern historical figures you mentioned, died what does that have do with anything? And I fail to see any supposed "pattern" or anything as that seems to be what this section was trying to imply or something I assume. Also there are many Jewish holidays that span the calendar so different historical figures, who are obviously going to die anyway, are quite unsurprisingly and uneventfully going to die "close" (a relative term as it is) to any of these many possibilities on different calendars.Historylover4 (talk) 14:01, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

This article by a Mr. Ephraim Rubin (responding to the claims and assertions of people like the person who first posted in this section) seems to be something that analyzes the claims of people in this "code" searching group [11]. The day Julius Streicher was executed October 16, 1946 was not the day of Purim (in the Jewish calendar), the whole attempts at ridiculous postdiction looking for alleged "codes" (Nostradamus like or something [12]) is something some modern groups have started doing fairly recently. Many of the groups that advance this also seem to be people who advance the whole debunked Bible Code claim as well, that was thoroughly analyzed and refuted by academics (in particular Professor Brendan McKay) [13]. All this reminds me of people who today also look for these type of "codes" or coincidences in all sorts of other random places as well [14].Historylover4 (talk) 18:10, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Öuch!![edit]

I hit my toe! Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:37, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Arab , Perishing Arabs or semitic[edit]

Amalek are Perishing Arabs and Ancient Arabian tribe

The general consensus among Arabic genealogists is that Arabs are of three kinds: Perishing Arabs: These are the ancients of whose history little is known. They include ‘Aad, Thamud, Tasm, Jadis, Imlaq and others. Jadis and Tasm perished because of genocide. 'Aad and Thamud perished because of their decadence, as recorded in the Qur'an. Archaeologists have recently uncovered inscriptions that contain references to 'Iram, which was a major city of the 'Aad. Imlaq is the singular form of 'Amaleeq and is probably synonymous to the biblical Amalek.Mewoone (talk) 09:25, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

"Symbolism" section title?[edit]

I renamed the "Symbolism" section to "Amalekites in post-biblical era", but Im not sure that is better. The Armenian connection is not really symbolic, but the Atheism and Nazis references are probably symbolic. "Metaphor" may be okay, but still doesnt include the Armenian case. Any suggestions for a better section title (or a re-org of the sections to make the ambiguity go away) would be appreciated. --Noleander (talk) 18:52, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Amalekites in post-biblical era[edit]

This material is well-sourced and highly relevant to this article. Are there any specific concerns about the sources? Numerous additional sources are available. --Noleander (talk) 15:23, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I have a concern. The article alleges that Israelis are teaching children that Palestinian Arabs are Amalekites. I gave it a google go and all I could find is one single allegation that this is true, the op ed article published in counterpunch by a left wing Israel known for many anti-religious and anti-Israel statements.

I cannot find any evidence for such an incendiary claim and it is pretty beyond the pale for orthodox Judaism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.248.28.151 (talk) 22:20, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

This sort of thing is commonplace in Haredi schools. But you are right that good sources are required for such a claim. Zerotalk 12:06, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I have a file on this I've never used, but more to do with the recent use of the equation Amalek=Palestinian in West Bank circles, rather than strictly speaking Haredi schools. There are plenty of solid sources.in Nur Masalha: Louis Feldman, Bekkenkamp and Sherwood; Horowitz passim, with an interesting series of notes, like a rabbinical designation of the Greeks of Corfu as descendants of Amalek in 1875 etc. Horowitz cites alo p.3 a declaration made by 200 rabbis of Pikuach Nefesh after Arafat's death asserting that the anniversary of the death of this Amalek of our generation should be celebrated as 'a day of rejoicing'; Eisen idem; Jacobson; 'Amalek is best represented by the vicious society of the Palestinian Arabs' in Sper; For the equation in certain religious schools seeGeaves -'In settler circles, the Palestinians are likely to be identified with the Amalekites ' and he cites a campus rabbi from Bar-Ilan University in a pamphlet on The Commandment of Genocide in the Torah to the effect that:'The day is not far away when we shall all be called to this holy, call, this commandment of the annihilation of Amalek. The message is passed on through the religious schools: 'These boys are taught that the Arab is Amalek. .' etc. One could make an article out of it, following the settler-rabbinical interpretations of the halakhic duty to blot Amalek out. There's a very good discussion of Maimonides on this at Josef Stern, 'Maimonides on Amalek,' in Judaism and Modernity: The Religious Philosophy of David Hartman, Ashgate Publishing, 2004 pp.359ff. The Haredi are being quite consistent, since the Bible invented genocide, and, under fundamentalist rabbinical readings, there's little room for denying that piety requires whoever is identified as an Amalek to be annihilated. Nishidani (talk) 13:20, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
My phrase "in Haredi schools" was too sweeping, since there are many types of them and not all believe things like this. But there are some that do. Others have other beliefs, even that Zionists are Amalek. It is a general purpose damnatory label that can be applied as desired. Zerotalk 14:34, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I'd hazard a guess that it's less a Haredi problem than a settler theological turn. Still, I'll try and find my notes on this.Nishidani (talk) 17:36, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Zionists as Amalek (typical Satmar rhetoric) Zerotalk 13:49, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Commentary on the Torah verses[edit]

The only verse clearly commanding to destroy the Amalekites is in 1 Samuel 15. This is a command allegedly by God to Saul to do this. However, there is nothing in the verse saying it is a command for all Israelites or Jews to destroy all Amalekites. So a modern view of this teaching can be that the verse is being arrapently misapplied when it is taken as a Torah command to each person for all time to practically commit genocide. :( Rakovsky (talk) 04:58, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

It ain't a 'modern' view. You'd better whip up an email to the shade of Moses Maimonides and tell him his halakha 597 (from memory):'Wipe out the descendants of Amalek', based on Deuteronomy 25:19, is invalid. I don't think he'll issue a fatwa, so don't worry.Nishidani (talk) 20:33, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Extinct[edit]

I was never one who accepted this Amalekite stuff when referring to the Palestinians. I view that as a heresy. I have always believed that the Amalekites were extinct. There are no Amalekites today. That does not mean that people have acted like Amalekites in the past. I believe one good example today is the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Anonymous173.57.44.147 (talk) 18:01, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged 1,027 terrorists for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit <Jerusalem Post 18 October 2011> your belief does not seem to be borne out by facts. BlueSeamedStocking (talk) 23:19, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Wide-spread Stereotyping[edit]

Amalekites of the Bible are Not the same Amaleeq who were mentioned in Arabic sources, Biblical Amalekites are the descendants of Esau, while the Amaleeq mentioned in the Arabic sources are the descendants of Aram the son of Shem, I hope someone will notice this. Omar amross (talk) 20:35, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Physical evidence of these people[edit]

Is there any evidence at all these people ever really existed? As I read the article it is all but a given these were a real group of people but without physical evidence that is not a given and should be in some way reflected in the article. Alatari (talk) 10:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

There is no mention of the name Amalek anywhere except the Bible. Zerotalk 11:48, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
(no mention of the name Amalek anywhere ) Except in the Bible and in the standard rabbinical commentaries, and in midrash (e.g. Mekilta Amalek, and in writers like Philo (who etymologizes the name, among other things, as meaning people who 'lick up' (though were it semitic 'mlq' suggests 'nipping' etc.)Nishidani (talk) 17:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
None of that is physical evidence. Is there any archaeological evidence for these people? Alatari (talk) 12:07, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
No. Nishidani (talk) 14:06, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
So then I can assign a non-zero probability to the case there may exist scholars that doubt their very existence? Have you a source of scholars that doubt they existed? Alatari (talk) 14:17, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
The article does not clearly state that evidence for these people is only found in literature and there is no physical evidence, no pottery, no burials, no writing, nothing. Alatari (talk) 14:31, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Twice Amalek seems to be mentioned as occupying central Palestine (Judg. v. 14, xii. 15), but the passages are textually uncertain. The name is celebrated in Arabian tradition, but the statements regarding them are confused and conflicting, and for historical purposes are practically worthless, as has been proved by Theodor Nöldeke (Ueber die Amalekiter, Göttingen, 1864). On the biblical data, see also E. Meyer, Die Israeliten (Index, s.v.). (S. A. C.)[15]. Alatari (talk) 14:27, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
  • A doubter: Winckler's view ("Gesch. Israels," p. 211) stands rather isolated. He considers, for example, Judges, iii. 13 as impossible (because the Amalekites did not touch upon Moabitish territory), and regards most passages quoting Amalek as parts of mythological or mythical stories (including even the larger part of the lives of Saul and David). Thus he comes to the conclusion that "probably the nation of Amalek rests on a mythological idea." Alatari (talk) 15:17, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Scholarship is about hypotheses, not the truth. It's not for us to state or conclude anything about whether Amalek is myth or history, since we are copyists here, and aspire only to report the state of the art on research. We have Biblical legends and mythistory, and where there is no 'physical evidence', one can either wait for more archaeological and epigraphic evidence, or speculate. I might personally think it is myth, but that is neither here nor there. Agag, the founder, after all, is associated with the sanctuary at Gilgal,- a scene of death- the word agagu in Akkadian means 'rage', and the Biblical word me'ôdanît describing his approach to Saul means 'to shuffle, totter', all elements suggesting infernal enmities in a mythical legend associated with that area. These elements are suggestive of a world-wide folk tradition about the traits of the horde of the underworld (the devil is cloven-footed). There is a beautiful analysis of this tradition in Carlo Ginzburg's Storia notturna: Una decifrazione del Sabba, 1989, though I can't provide you with the page numbers because my niece fell in love with it, and has my copy on permanent loan.Nishidani (talk) 15:54, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
What about this Winckler and his view they are completely mythical? I think this book, page 211, is his commentary but I don't read German[16]. I'm not sure what his credentials are but he was important enough to be mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia entry (under critical views)[17]. Alatari (talk) 16:52, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Reliable source Hugo Winckler stating the Amaleks are probably myth[edit]

  • There were other scholars who took the more radical viewpoint and asserted the Amalekites never existed. They based their conclusion on the assumption that the Amalek tribes was never mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions. - From the Exodus to King Akhnaton- By Immanuel Velikovsky[18] using the source Hugo Winckler (the guy that uncovered Hattusa) "Geschichte Israels" (Liepzig 1895) p.212 "The nation of Amalek probably rests on a mythological idea" his page in original German here:[19].
  • A critique of the passages by Winckler, Wellhausen and Driver in an Expository Times issue[20].
  • Interesting article from The Nation (1915) but not supportive in this article[21]. Alatari (talk) 21:35, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Sorry for the late reply. My internet connection went down as I was checking your first link yesterday and has only been restored a few hours ago. Hugo Winckler,Theodor Nöldeke, Eduard Meyer etc., were very fine sources in their day, but can't be used because they predate contemporary scholarship by more than a century. You can use them if you make a section surveying theories about their existence or not, though. Velikovsky reports most sources like this accurately (in my experience) but he is not RS. The bible refracts ancient legends coming from multiethnic traditions into an 'historical' narrative written in terms of theological patterns of thought. So even the verifiably historical elements are caught up in moralizing reworking (as is true of much ancient historiography and much modern journalism, for that matter). We cannot know whether the traditions re the Amalekites reflects a historical people or league of tribes: we can guess from the topology that they imbricate over the areas later associated with the Bedouin and, generally, Arabs. As the Arabs gain some ascendency (6th cent. BCE) the Amalekites disappear, and the authors who refer to the latter do so in mythifying terms, to create an image of an eternally inimical people. As such, we are there in the realm of theological myth, since no external testimonies are available to restore the lineaments of the Amalek tale to some form of recognizable historical reality.Nishidani (talk) 14:38, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
What would the section title be and where would I locate it in the article? I understand they are over a century old but Winckler was translating from the oldest translation he had. If no physical evidence nor any additional literature about the Amalek's have been found since his time then his interpretation could still be relevant. ...(pause for search) ... It looks like the Dead Sea Scrolls have information pertaining to the Amalek that he didn't have access to they may have changed his interpretation. I need to search for more modern scholars that discuss Winckler's ideas. I would think there would be an abundance since the debate around their symbolism is a province of warring between atheists and Christian apologists. Alatari (talk) 08:05, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Question: Nishidani: we are there in the realm of theological myth, - you sound very sure about this but I assume it's your personal opinion. But if I am wrong and your opinion is based on solid opinion of scholars then who are they?Alatari (talk) 08:15, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Every modern biblical scholar save fundamentalists knows that the bible is written according to a theologization of myth, legend and history. The Amalekites are not an exception: we do not know who, or know almost nothing (from exernal sources) about Hivites,Anakim,Avvim,Nephilim,Geshurites, Giblites,Emim,Maachathites,Jebusites, Rephaim,Perizzites and so on, to name but a few. So to make an exception of the Amalekites is odd. Whoever these people, tribes or clans were, they exist as names in narratives that are based on the legendary material of the several tribes who coalesced to form theivri or Hebrews. Why of all of these, the Amalek were picked on and figured in later tradition and halacha as the objects of extermination is unknown to us. What is relevant is only the fact that those later traditions use the name (as Edom became a code word for Babylon, Rome, etc.) to identify any group that was thought to be either an eternal enemy or a heretic, whose enmity was to be fought to the bitter end.Nishidani (talk) 11:56, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

OR in post-Biblical-era section[edit]

I added the {{Section OR}} template to this section, as some parts seemed like OR to me. The 'Hypothesis: Armenians as Amalekites' section is poorly written, does not provide a single source, and doesn't even seem to make sense. And it even comes right out and says "hypothesis"! The Neturei Karta section only has a single ref, which doesn't even mention Amalek. It says how their leaders met Ahmadinejad, but nothing about any Amalek connection. Scimonster (talk) 14:20, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

I've dealt with both sections and removed a blog. If there is anything else that seems wobbly or OR tell us, and it will be either sourced or removed. If not, then the WP:OR can, I guess, go down. Thanks for drawing our attention to this.Nishidani (talk) 16:13, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome. It seems well and sourced now, so i took down the template. Scimonster (talk) 12:57, 9 March 2014 (UTC)


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