Ministry Resources

Lesser Known People of the Bible

Jim Cole-Rous researched background information on Lesser Known Bible People beginning in 2008. Jim trained at the South African Bible Institute. He publishes his studies researched, in Theology, World History, and the writings of the early Church Fathers. Jim is reading for his Master of Arts, at the Global University, School of Graduate Theology.

Agag King of the Amalakites

The First Biblical Mention of the Amalekites.

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.”

In Genesis we encounter the first Amalek, son of Eliphaz, who was the son of Esau by Timna, Esau’s concubine. These details make it clear that there was no title or inheritance in Israel entailed to Eliphaz nor his descendant, Amalek.

Opposition by Amalekites to Israel

Exodus 17:8-9 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto 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.”

Exodus 17:14-16 “And the LORD 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. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

As the people of Israel left Egypt, the very first battle they were forced into, was instigated by the Amalekites. God delivered them, as we read in Exodus. Amalek was beaten, not destroyed. They would come back again.

Initial Mention of Agag as King of the Amalekites

Numbers 24:7 “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

1 Samuel 15:8-9 “And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag,”

God had specifically ordered the destruction of the Amalekites, through the Prophet Samuel, by King Saul. Saul however did not carry out the orders he received, and made excuse that he had brought some of the best Cattle to use in sacrifices. Of course, when sacrifices were made to God, the people got to enjoy eating the meat that was cooked! King Agag was also spared by Saul, until Samuel had Agag executed. God intended that the destruction of the Amalekites be His judgment on them, but Saul was looking to see how his men could benefit from the plunder.

Samuel makes it clear that God is more interested in our obedience, than our self-satisfaction.

The Meaning of the Name Agag

The name in Arabic means, to “Burn”. It is not a person’s name but his title, as Pharaoh is a title of the Kings of Egypt. This was the ‘Flame’ that would lead his nation to attack and burn Israel repeatedly.

King David, was given the City of Ziklag, by the King Achish; and while he and his troops followed the Philistines going to war against King Saul, the Amalekites came and burned Ziklag to the Ground.

1 Samuel 30:1 “And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;”

This was the methodology of the Agagite Kings of the Amalekites, whose title was the ‘Flame’ or the ‘Burning One’.

They warred with a ‘Scorched Earth Policy’.

We encounter an Agagite hostile to Israel

Esther 3:1 “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.”

Esther 3:10 “And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.”

Esther 8:5 “And (Esther) said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces:”

The history of the feud between the Amalekites and Israel had continued for many hundreds of years.

They were the first to attack Israel as they exited Egypt. They attacked Israel repeatedly over the years of the Judges. King Saul was commanded to annihilate the entire tribe, man, woman and child, livestock and all that pertained to them. His disobedience ultimately cost him his throne. Still there were remnants of Amalekites who were living elsewhere and survived, and regrouped. One of them was Haman, the son of Hammedatha, of the Royal blood of Amalek, who was Esau’s grandson.

Haman was captured during the Persian conquest of Egypt, and taken to Shushan, the Palace of Xerxes. Here he hatched a plan to exterminate all the Jews in what was then the greatest federation of nations in the world.

The old enmity remained

God used Queen Esther to foil the plot and save the nation of Israel from the Amalekite, Haman

The Jews still commemorate this deliverance in the yearly Festival of Purim, on the 14th and 15th of Adar (February, March). Looking at the historical timeline, it is amazing to see that the enmity fostered between Jacob and Esau, festered for some 1,700 years within the Biblical record until 300 B.C. when Alexander the Great fought and conquered Ahasuerus – Xerxes.

When people are in a covenant relationship with God, He takes care of them, as His own special people.

Have you come to the place where the Lord is your Shepherd, King and Savior? You can come into that relationship now, for God loved you so much He sent His only son into the world to pay for you to be reconciled to God through what He did for you on the Cross of Calvary. No matter who seems against you, if you belong to the Lord God, you will find He will never leave you, or desert you.

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