Amalekites: Pretty Nasty
This Sunday begins a new series at Effingham Presbyterian: Too Busy Not to Pray. The title comes from Bill Hybel's book-- now considered a modern classic. While I won't be preaching from the Book of Bill, I (or we) will be mining God's word for great examples of the power of prayer.
In Jewish tradition, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. For example, Haman, from the Book of Esther, is called the Agagite, which is the title of the Amalekite rulers Agag.
The term has been used non-genetically, to refer to certain types of enemies of Judaism and decency throughout history, including Adolf Hitler, and controversially, and rarely ultra-rightists compare the Palestinians to Amalek. However the Palestinians have also been equated by some with the Philistines. Rabbi Israel Hess claimed once that Palestinians are Amalekites. . Amalek has evolved in Jewish culture in a way that could be compared to Christians calling treacherous people and often non-treacherous people 'Judas.
Samuel's words to Agag: "As your sword bereaved women, so will your mother be bereaved among women." (Samuel 1:15:33) were repeated by Israeli president Itzhak Ben-Zvi in his letter turning down Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann's petition for mercy.