Today I want to investigate some of the end-time players in prophecy, specifically Amalek.
The question is can we follow the Amalekites down through the ages even to the present day? It seems we can from two different perspectives:
1. One is genetic for Amalek’s genealogy extends down to the present day
2. The other is metaphoric or symbolic
We can, to a certain extent trace Amalek’s bloodline in biblical history and beyond even to the last great conflagration in Israel in the last days. Our sages and rabbis identify Amalek as the perennial enemy of Israel throughout biblical and modern history.
The symbolic Amalek standing as Israel’s perpetual enemy first surfaces in Genesis chapter 36: 12 and 16.
Gen 36:12 And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau’s son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek: these were the sons of Adah Esau’s wife.
Gen 36:16 Duke Korah, Duke Gautam, and Duke Amalek: these are the dukes that came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons of Adah. (Dukes are tribal chieftains)
Amalek was the grandson of Esau, so you can see how the two names and the names of their progeny become synonymous. Verse eight (8) in these passages declares that Esau is Edom. Historically we can trace Esau’s progeny to several other nations, including the Amalekites and beyond. Esau’s progeny must still be alive even today and active participants in the unfolding of G-d’s great plan, for Malachi the last writer in the Tanakh opens his prophecy with a clear indication that Edom will be a major player in the days of Israel’s final regathering. Let me read his opening words and then later show how Amalek figures in these events.
Mal 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
Mal 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
Mal 1:3 And I hated Esau and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
Mal 1:4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.
Mal 1:5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
The clear word of YHVH Elohim tells us that Edom/Amalek is doomed. It also tells us that Edom will claim possession to the “Promised Land.” The scriptures infer that YHVH will allow the situation to progress until He crushes them. In the midst of this drama, it is extremely important to see how Amalek is singled out as the major troublemaker.
In Exodus 17, we again encounter the tribal Amalek. The scriptures paint him as a wily, ruthless, unscrupulous and corrupt individual. This intense hatred of Israel brought about by the feud between Jacob and Esau was no doubt transferred from Esau to his grandson Amalek. Exodus 17 plainly shows that the Amalekites lacked courage and did not possess much fighting skill. They attached defenseless women, children and the elderly in the rear of the Israeli vanguard. They specialized in hit and run warfare attacking on the weak and the stragglers.
We see that they harried Israel continually and Moshe in addressing Joshua his successor instructed him to destroy Amalek. In Exodus 17:13-16 we read:
Exo 17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
Exo 17:14 And YHVH said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.
Exo 17:15 And Moshe built an altar, and called the name of it YHVH Nissi (Israel’s battle flag):
Exo 17:16 For he said, Because YHVH hath sworn that YHVH will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
In this Scripture the battle lines are drawn, and implicit in this passage is the stark reality that Amalek would perpetually battle Israel. Here also, we see firmly established in the pages of Scripture that in the far future, YHVH Nissi will fight for Israel in its final battle against Amalek.
Now let me jump ahead to the time of Balaam’s prophecy where the Amalekites are seen as agitators and instigators. The king of Moab paid Balaam a large sum of money to curse Israel, but Balaam under the power of the Ruach HaKodesh blessed Israel instead, and in the process he also uttered a prophecy concerning Amalek.
In Numbers 24:20 we read:
Num 24:20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish forever.
This phrase “the first of the nations” does not mean that Amalek was the first nation in the earth, but Amalek does hold the position of being the first nation to attack Israel. In addition, the word here for nations is goyim, the Hebrew word for Gentiles. To me this infers that Amalek is the first Gentile nation in a long list of Gentile powers that would array themselves against Israel. Amalek and his progeny being the preeminent aggressor.
In Deuteronomy 25: 18, 19 YHVH Elohim instructs Israel to “blot out” the people of Amalek from the earth. Let me read speaking of Amalekites:
Deu 25:18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
Deu 25:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD 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 it.
Unfortunately, Joshua did not carry out this directive to destroy all the Amalekites, and in the days of Israel’s King’s, King Saul also failed because of greed. The prophet Samuel brought a message from G-d to Saul commanding him to wipe out all the Amalekites. In 1 Samuel 15:3 we read:
1 Sam 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel, and ass.
This terrible proclamation is G-d’s attempt to spare Israel centuries of agony at the hands of the Amalek’s. The Amalekites were a decadent and debauched society given to the worship of fertility gods and were so totally involved in religious sexual rites that virtually the entire population was infected with venereal disease. They were not only evil treacherous aggressors, a source of false worship, but a major carrier of diseases.
G-d’s order was patently clear, yet Saul failed to execute the responsibility placed upon him and G-d took the kingdom away from him. Saul had kept the cattle and goods G-d told him to destroy, and he also allowed the Amalekites King Agag and his children to live contrary to G-d’s command. Samuel later killed Agag with his bare hands, but the children escaped to live on to plague David during his reign.
Now in Scriptural timeline we come to Esther and we see that Haman was identified as an Amalekite confirmed by this scripture:
Esther 3:1 After these things did king Ahasuerus (Greeks called him Exerxes) promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
Pay attention here for Haman is called an Agagite, a descendant of King Agag. He is a descendent of King Agag, the Amalekite.
Now let us examine the view of the ancient Jewish sages. They report that the line of Amalek lived on after Haman and that Amalekite descendants not only migrated throughout the middle east, but also migrated north through Persia and into Russia. In the Artscroll series on Ezekiel, a commentary teaches that Gog the ruler of Russia in the Ezekiel 38 war against Israel in the last days is and Edomite and/or Amalekite if you will.
We also find in the Jewish commentaries another dimension to Edom that places it squarely at the center of world history. Edom is the last nation and most vicious of the nations named in Scripture: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Judaism has taught for eons that Esau, Edom, Amalek, Agag, Seir and Idumea are all the same people, they are Rome. Rome destroyed the last Temple of Israel and we read in Daniel 9:6 that the “prince who shall come is a descendant from the people who destroyed the Second Temple” and that means Rome. Herod was an Idumean, a descendant of Esau and when the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE Edom then disappeared into Rome.
In Midrashic literature Gog, so prominent in the Ezekiel 38 war is often referred to as Armilus, which is a variant of Romulus, founder of Rome. In Obadiah, the prophet predicts that Edom will be brought down at the time of the “day of the L-rd.” It reads:
v. 4“Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set they nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down saith the L-rd.”
Then in verse 6 we see that the identity of Edom is hidden, not apparent. It reads:
“How are the things of Esau searched out! How are his hidden things sought up!”
Interestingly, those nations associated with Esau/ Edom/Amalek employed the eagle as their national symbol as Obadiah identified Edom. The Idumean progeny of Esau/Amalek’s symbol was also an Eagle as was the symbol of The Holy Roman Empire, The Hapsburgs, The Third Reich, and other western powers including the United States. That’s for another message.
Scripture further confirms that Esau, Edom, and Amalek will be cursed with the same curse that they wished upon Israel, and Israel will receive all the land G-d promised to them; the land that Edom has coveted for so long. This has not come true to this day but be assured it shall.
In vv. 16, 17 we read:
“For as ye have drunk (referring to Edomites in all their constituencies) upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”
“But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the House of Jacob shall possess their possessions.”
One further observation we must note is that Russian and Iran in Ezekiel’s prophecy are Japhetic nation’s, however we must not forget that Haman was not a Persian, and he instigated the destruction of the Jews using that Japhetic nation and it’s King as his platform for the destruction ow worldwide Jewry. The rabbis teach that the leaders of these nations will be the progeny of Esau/ Edom/Amalek, but the forces employed will be Japhetic in origin.
In our own time we saw Hitler, who was an Austrian and not even a German citizen rise to power and rule the Third Reich. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that the opinion of the sages is that the kings mentioned in Ezekiel will be Esau-Edom-Amalekite, but the fighting forces will be largely Japhetic.
In the B’rit Chadasha Esau’s progeny are the children of the evil twin who disdained and sold his birthright for a bowl of lintels. In Romans 9: 10 – 13, Sha’ul writes concerning the seed of Abraham and Isaac. It reads:
Rom 9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
To Jacob, Isaac gave the covenant of Abraham and the promises of final rule over the nations. To Esau he prophesied a life lived by the sword and hatred. For literally thousands of years Isaac’s prophecies have held true as we see even today in Israel.
As a personality study Esau is an open book. Scripture paints him as vain, cruel, selfish, jealous, rebellious and a war monger. He is driven by pride and the desire to build a kingdom of his own, to be his own god. As we have learned, if ancient Jewish prophecy is correct, the world power, the epitome of evil, the avowed enemy of Israel will be the revived Roman Empire, that is none other than Edom. At its head will be the ultimate personification of evil the Anti-Messiah. He will be the last Amalekite of the progeny of Esau who will attempt to destroy the Jews once again. In closing, we should consider that Amalek’s offspring exhibit the preeminent expression of Esau, the destruction of the Jews as Jacob’s offspring the Jews convey the preeminent expression of Jacob, Abraham.
Shalom v’brachas-Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart with credit to Rabbi Milchama ben David