October 14, 2023

Subject: To Understand Hamas, Know Your Bible: Terrorism and the Spirit of Amalek

Deuteronomy 25:17-18 “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt…”

Ed Croteau

“The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: ‘O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.’” This is the charter of the terrorist group called Hamas. Notice it makes no distinction between an Israeli, a Zionist, or any other descendant of Abraham. Hamas’s charter is against all Jews.

Hamas is a militant Palestinian nationalist and Islamist group in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that is dedicated to the establishment of an independent Islamic state in Palestine and the genocide of Jews.

They reject both the “Two-State solution” (proposed in 1974 by the United Nations) and the establishment of Jewish settlements built on land Israel occupied in 1967 after the Six-Day War. Israel points to the Bible as their claim to the land since their exodus from Egypt. And this is where Amalek enters the picture.

After God led Israel out of Egyptian slavery, Exodus 17:8-16 Amalek attacks: “Amalek fought with Israel in Rephidim (vs. 8). Joshua defeated Amalek with the edge of the sword. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua. I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amelek from under heaven. Moses built an altar and called it The-Lord-is-Our-Banner, for he said, ‘the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amelek from generation to generation” (vs. 13-16).

The Amalekites were a nomadic, desert tribe. The Amarna tablets call them the Khabbati, or “plunderers.” This week’s verse (Deuteronomy 25:17-18) details their brutality towards the Israelites as they travelled towards the land promised to them by God – the land they now occupy: “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear (the women, children and elderly), when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God.”

Amalek was not focused on military warfare with Israel. His hatred of Israel drove him to want to kill as many of the weaker civilian Jews as possible. Sound familiar? Hamas was not interested in a military conflict on October 7. Their hatred for all Jews led them to slaughter innocent, weaker Jews, including the elderly, women and the beheading of 40 babies. We are battling spiritual wickedness in dark places.

Hamas’s surprise attack on October 7 left 900 Israelis (and counting) slaughtered in cold blood, 2500 wounded, and at least 100 hostages taken to Gaza, the vast majority being elderly, women and children.

As ‘OneforIsrael’ explains: “As ancient Israel escaped from Egypt, the Amalekites picked on the weaker ones trailing behind, the children, the infirm, and the elderly… and God did not forget it. We see that same spiritual hatred of Israel, the Amalek spirit, raising its ugly head once again in our days in Hamas.”

Although Israel defeated the Amalekites at Rephidim, they kept coming after the Jews. In Judges 3:13, Amalek joins Ammon to defeat Israel. In Judges 6:3, they join forces with the Midianites against Israel.

Later, after Israel anoints Saul as king, God tells King Saul in 1Samuel 15:2-3 to completely obliterate the Amalekites for their murderous campaign against Israel. But Saul disobeys and does not wipe out Amalek.

The repercussions of Saul’s disobedience are seen in 1Samuel 30, when the Amalekites raid King David’s camp at Ziklag: “David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire. Their wives, sons and daughters had been taken captive. David and the people with him wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s 2 wives had also been taken captive.” (1Samuel 30:3-5). Sound familiar? Just like Amalek, Hamas took as many of the Jews as possible as hostages, especially women and children.

And finally, the last mention of Amalek is in the book of Esther. Haman the Agagite, a descendant of the Amalekite king Agag, plots to annihilate all the Jews in Persia: “Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom.” (Esther 3:6). The situation looked so bad all Jews fasted in sackcloth and ashes for three days, praying for God to intervene in Haman’s genocidal plan. Sound familiar? The charter of Haman matched the current charter of Hamas. We are not dealing with flesh and blood here.

But it was the Amalekites’ generational hatred of the Jews – God’s chosen people – and their repeated attempts to destroy them, that resulted in their ultimate doom. This same warning goes out to Hamas. As Genesis 12:3 tells us, a nation is wise who at this moment in history stands with Israel.

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.