A powerful people, who dwelt in Arabia Petraea, between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea, perhaps in moving troops. We cannot assign the place of their habitation, except in general it is apparent that they dwelt south of Palestine, between Mount Seir and the border of Egypt; and it does not appear that they possessed many cities, though one is mentioned in 1 Samuel 15:5. They lived generally in migrating parties, in caves or in tents, like the Bedaween Arabs of the present day. The Israelites had scarcely passed the Red sea, when the Amelikites attacked them in the desert of Rephidim, and slew those who, through fatigue or weakness, lagged behind; and for this unprovoked assault on the people of God, the doom of extermination was passed upon them, Exodus 17:8-16. They came again into conflict with a part of the Israelites on the border of the promised land, Numbers 14:45; and after 400 years, Saul attacked and destroyed them at the command of the Lord, 1 Samuel 15:1-35. A remnant, however, escaped and subsided afterwards; David defeated them on several occasions, 1 Samuel 27:8 30:1 2 Samuel 8:12; and they were finally blotted out by the Simeonites, in the time of Hezekiah, 1 Chronicles 4:43, thus fulfilling the prediction of Balaam, Numbers 24:20. Haman, the last of the race mentioned in Scripture, perished like his fathers, in conflict with the Jews. See the book of Esther.
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.