[b-hebrew] Amalek - reply

wattswestmaas wattswestmaas at eircom.net
Wed Jul 7 15:25:13 EDT 2004

Thankyou Peter and Harold.

it does seem unlikely that the Amalakites were defending anything since i
understand that their territory was much further north and that the
Israelites were not at that moment threatening Amalek's territory.  At least
biblically speaking we always seem to read when the israelites are about to
pass close to or over someone's land.

is this true?


NIV Study Bible (Exo 17:1): "/Rephidim./ Probably either the Wadi
Refayid or the Wadi Feiran..."

The New Bible Dictionary (REPHIDIM): "The site of Rephidim is uncertain,
the usual suggestion being the Wadi Refayid in SW Sinai."

Rand McNally Bible Atlas, p.112: "E.H. Palmer... imagines the Rephidim
events as having occurred in the Wadi Feiran."

Keller, The Bible as History, p.136: The chapter opens "Rephidim is now
Feiran", and Keller devotes two pages to justifying this.

To go back to your original question, Keller quotes Flinders Petrie:

"The Amalekites must have been trying to defend Wadi Feiran from foreign
invaders. If the climate has not changed... Today at a rough estimate
5,000 to 7,000 nomads live with their flocks on the Sinai peninsula.
Israel must therefore have been about 6,000 strong since the battle with
the Amalekites appears to have been indecisive." This reasoning doesn't
seem very strong to me, but it may be the best guide we have got.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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