Amalek is traditionally perceived as Israel's arch-enemy and rival. In the Hebrew Bible, divine laws command the annihilation of the Amalekites, and war narratives recount their execution. What is the basis for this uncompromising judgement against Amalek? What does it reveal about the national ethos, as well as about the realpolitik of the ancient peoples, the Israelites and Amalekites? To this day, commentators on the Hebrew Bible have endeavoured to explain and justify the tradition about the destiny of Amalek, or to deny and oppose it, thus reflecting their perplexity with the tradition. This article will employ historical-literary (diachronic) tools to shed further light upon the background, circumstances and drives that formed the merciless tradition about the genocide of the Amalekites.
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- BIBLE. Old Testament
- BIBLE -- Criticism, Redaction
- collective hatred
- Hebrew Bible
- political redaction