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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Amalek, Amalekite
Hebrew - Amalekite, Amalekites

(am' ay lehk ite) A nomadic tribe of formidable people that first attacked the Israelites after the Exodus at Rephidim. Descendants of Amalek, the grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12), they inhabited the desolate wasteland of the northeast Sinai peninsula and the Negeb. They were the first to attack Israel after the Exodus (Numbers 24:20). Israel won the initial battle (Exodus 17:8-16), but later was driven back into the Sinai wilderness by a coalition of Amalekites and Canaanites (Numbers 14:39-45). Thereafter the Amalekites waged a barbaric guerrilla war against Israel (Deuteronomy 25:17-19). Fighting continued after Israel settled in Canaan. Because of their atrocities, God commanded Saul to exterminate the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:2-3). Saul disobeyed, and the Amalekites were not defeated completely until late in the eighth century B.C. (1 Chronicles 4:43). No archaeological data concerning the Amalekites has been discovered to date. See also Exodus and Negeb.

LeBron Matthews

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'AMALEKITE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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