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Amalekite

am’-a-lek, a-mal’-e-kit, am’-a-lek-it (`amaleq, `amaleqi): A tribe dwelling originally in the region south of Judah, the wilderness of et-Tih where the Israelites came into conflict with them. They were nomads as a people dwelling in that tract would naturally be. When they joined the Midianites to invade Israel they came "with their cattle and their tents" (Jud 6:3-5). They are not to be identified with the descendants of Esau (Ge 36:12,16) because they are mentioned earlier, in the account of the invasion of Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:7) and in Balaam’s prophecy (Nu 24:20) Amalek is called "the first of the nations," which seems to refer to an early existence. We are uncertain of their origin, for they do not appear in the list of nations found in Ge 10. They do not seem to have had any relationship with the tribes of Israel, save as, we may surmise, some of the descendants of Esau were incorporated into the tribe. It is probable that they were of Semitic stock though we have no proof of it.


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