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Amalekite Problem

Hi. Just wondering if anyone has had any success in refuting the Amalekite objection to Christianity.

(If you're not familiar with it, it goes something like "Christians (via Jews and the Old Testament) believe in genocide. They wiped out the entire Amalekite race, women and children. How do you serve a God like that?")

Ways I thought of responding to it are:
- The dispensational paradox: God was different then and there was a different covenant (this line of reasoning could be problematic...)
- The Amalekites were a voluntary association: (like the Israelites.) Anyone could join or leave (see the book of Esther for the voluntary Israel reference), kind of like ISIS does not require one to be of Arab descent, and Christianity does not require one to be Jewish or Greek
- Women and children could be soldiers also: It does not include infants. Perhaps the death warrant was issued against women and child soldiers only. Certainly many terrorist organizations of today are training women and children as suicide bombers.
- Textual criticism: I'd love for the LXX or Dead Sea Scrolls to prove the Amalekite passage was an interpolation; however this is unheard of.
- Archaeology: Proof that the Amalekites were not wiped out; where is Indiana Jones (or his son) when you need them?

In short, asking if any fellow believers have had success in confronting the Amalekite dialemma - - what an Orthodox Jewish rabbi once referred to as, "the dark side of Judaism."

Grace be with you.

FelixPhil's picture

Amelekite Problem

I think its a red herring. Christians do not believe in genocide, but they should be actively involved in putting to death their earthly nature - sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed - as in Colossians 3:5. The Amalekites are symbolic of anything that would rob you of your salvation or keep you from faith - things like self doubt, ridicule and cynicism - now that is the real internal spiritual war. There are Orthodox Jews that have this understanding.

1. God does not change - Malachai 3:6. He is no different today than he was way back then (our time - what is time to an omnipresent God?). He does change how he deals with people depending on what they do and he is known to respond to earnest prayer and pleading, contriteness and repentance, and faith - Exodus 32, Jonah 3.
2. Why base an objection on what happened to the Amalekites when many more were killed in the Genesis flood? Except for righteous Noah and his family, all other humans (who were so wicked that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time) were destroyed in the flood - Genesis 6, 7. Think of Nineveh in Jonah 3 as being a microcosm of the world that existed before before the flood. Think of Noah and Jonah being preachers of righteousness 2 Peter 2:5, Jonah 3:2. The people destroyed in the flood did not respond to Noah's message whereas the people of Nineveh responded to Jonah's message.
3. How do the Amalekites fit in with that? From Exodus to Esther the Amalekites were bent on destroying God's chosen people. The Amalekites have the distinction - Exodus 17:8 - of being the first nation to attack Israel after they crossed the Red Sea. This occurred at a place called Rephidim where the Israelites were weak, weary, thirsty and spread out and they attacked those who were lagging behind - Deuteronomy 25:17-18 and where God stood before the rock at Horeb when Moses struck the rock to obtain water for the thirsty people which is Symbolic of Christ's crucifixion and the Rock being a type of Christ. Deuteronomy 25:18 says the Amalekites had no fear of God. In Numbers 24:20 Balaam predicts Amalek's destruction. The Amalekites joined with various nations when they attacked Israel - Canaanites in Numbers 14, Moabites in Judges 3, Midianites in Judges 6. The Amalekites were not all killed in Saul's attack as they appeared again in 1 Samuel 30 to sack Ziklag (David's first city). David got his possessions back later but 400 Amalekites escaped. A remnant of the Amalekites were killed in 1 Chronicles 4. And wasn't Haman the Agagite (possibly a descendant of Amalekite King Agag) the guy who planned the Genocide of the Jews in Esther?
4. The examples above show the physical Amalekites appearing as an enemy at various stages of Israel's development. And this is just like the spiritual or mental Amalekites appearing at various stages of your Christian journey. When those internal Amalekites raise their ugly heads, put them down.

Amalek delenda est!

sciemusne unquam