[b-hebrew] Amalek's attacks before the big battle of Ex 17:8?

Chris Watts dekruidnootjes at eircom.net
Thu Jul 11 13:36:25 EDT 2013

This question really began because of the use of the word:  בדרך   
twice here, which catches my attention mostly because it does not  
say, when he met you at Rephidim, now I accept that this is still  
Rephidim, but I also accept that words are not chosen haphazzardly in  
scripture, they are very precise and that this phrase: "he met you  
along the way" might just have been a complimentary addition to the  
story in that Amalek was already attacking perhaps for a day or two  
before the battle in Exodus.    Deut clearly states that the  
Amalekites attacked the rear, the tail end, the stragglers, because  
in exodus the account is clear that Amalek attacked first, and Moshe  
did not attack immediately for it says:  Tomorrow..(we will fight)  
before organising his counter attack.  So I suppose then, not to make  
too huge a fuss, Amalek must have been nit-picking in guerilla like  
tactics trying to avoid a full scale onslaught simply to steal and to  
plunder from civilians as opposed to the "honourable" thing of  
attacking fighting men on a field, while the Israelites were encamped  
over a vast distance at Rephidim.  And Joshua organised the tactics  
to sort him out the next day.

Chris Watts

On 11 Jul 2013, at 16:56, K Randolph wrote:


This is a linguistic answer.

The reason people were lagging was because they were thirsty and  
tired, so
didn’t have the strength to fight back. In fact, the complaints to  
about the lack of water could very well have been made even before  
all the
stragglers got to the camp.

The language of Deuteronomy doesn’t insist that the attacks of the
Amalekites happened before the main body of people had already reached
Rephidim. The phrase “on the road” includes the time encamped.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 3:57 AM, Chris Watts  
<dekruidnootjes at eircom.net>wrote:

> To begin with just a brief question, we're all familiar with the
> battle in Ex 17:8.  But in Deut 25:17 we note that Amalek was picking
> the Israelites off at the rear, the weakest, those that were lagging
> behind.  What I am curious about is this must have been happening
> before the major battle where Moshe organised His major assault while
> at Rephidim.  Is this true?  The only snag here is that the
> Israelites were complaining about a lack of water, if the Amalekites
> were already doing there hit and runs a few miles down the road on
> theose that were at the back of the long march then the Israelites
> would have told Moshe and they would have complained about this as
> well.  So this is my question mark, the idea that the Amalekites
> continued to haunt the Israelites after that major battle does not,
> at this moment, seem plausible.
> Chris Watts
> Ireland
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