Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Exodus 17- Defeat of the Amalekites


Deuteronomy 1

6 The I AM our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying, “Ye have stayed long enough in this mount:

7 “Turn you, and journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and to all the places near there, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

Exodus 17

1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel traveled from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the I AM, and pitched their tents in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

2 So the people complained to Moses, and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you complain to me? Why do you tempt the I AM?”

3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses, and said, “Why have thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”

They still think it would be better to be back in slavery and don’t trust God to care for them.

4 And Moses cried to the I AM, saying, “What shall I do to this people? They are almost ready to stone me.”

The people were so upset, Moses feared for his life.

5 And the I AM said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel, and thy rod, that thou hit the river with, take in thine hand, and go.

6 “See, I will stand before thee there on the rock in Horeb, and thou shall hit the rock, and there will come water out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Again, God tells Moses exactly what to expect.

This is another great miracle, to bring water out when a rock is hit. You would think Israel had seen enough to make anyone believe unreservedly for generations to come.

Horeb is where Moses was watching his father-in-law’s sheep when God spoke from the burning bush.

On the back side of Jebel al Lawz (which is in a mountain range called Hurab by the locals today) is a large rock that has broken in two and shows signs of tremendous water erosion; way more than any rock in this desert should ever show.

7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the complaining of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the I AM, saying, “Is the I AM among us, or not?”

Massah appears to mean “a place of trial.”

Meribah means “a place of strife.”

8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Amalek was the son or grandson of Esau, Jacob’s brother. His descendants have attacked Israel. Some believe they were the Hyksos who will soon invade Egypt.

9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.”

Time to go to war!

Though Christians are a people of peace, there is a time when it is appropriate, required even, to defend ourselves, and especially, the innocent. If we have the power to defend the innocent and we don’t we are being selfish. Sometimes we need to fight to accomplish God’s will.

This is the first mention of Joshua. He was Moses' right-hand-man, his assistant. A lot more is said about Moses, and he was a great man. But Joshua was very special himself. He didn’t receive the glory Moses did, but he led Israel and accomplished great things for God just the same.

10 So Joshua did what Moses told him to do, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Instead of leading in the war, Moses, Aaron and Hur go to the top of the hill to watch. This is God’s will, even though legend says Moses was a military commander in Egypt before he fled to Midian.

11 And it happened, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel would win, and when he let down his hand, Amalek would win.

A rather odd miracle. As long as Moses had his hands raised, Israel was winning the battle. But if his hands fell, they would lose. I wonder how often what happens in our lives depends on things like this that we can’t see, or don’t even know is happening? Joshua couldn’t have seen Moses, yet his success as a commander depended on him.

12 But Moses hands were heavy, so they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side. And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

This is why God had Moses take helpers with him; he couldn’t do the job alone.

Sometimes the greatest ministries are not the ones people see (Moses), but the helpers (Aaron, Hur, Joshua.)

13 And Joshua conqured Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Israel won.

14 And the I AM said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua, for I will completely remove the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

This is a promise. It will be about 300 years before Amalek is destroyed, but it WILL happen. God will assign King Saul the job of wiping them out.

Something that has long puzzled historians is the period of time the Hyksos (Shepherd Kings) ruled Egypt. According to the records, these Hyksos appear to have just walked into the country and took over without a fight. Then, a few centuries later, they just disappeared (with a bit of a battle that is recorded.)

Some historians are now speculating that at some point during this battle with Israel, the Amalekites (who appear to have been nomadic shepherds) learned that Egypt no longer had an army (them all being at the bottom of the sea). So after their defeat by Israel, they wandered to Egypt and took over. Egypt was defenseless and couldn’t fight back. The Hyksos/Amalekites disappeared because Saul slaughtered them at the command of God. It does rather fit.

15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

He called it “The Lord is my banner.”

16 For he said, “Because the I AM has sworn that the I AM will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”