War With Amalek



A new danger now threatened them. Because of their murmuring against Him, the Lord suffered them to be attacked by their enemies. The Amalekites came out against them and smote those who, faint and weary, had fallen into the rear. Moses directed Joshua to choose from the different tribes a body of soldiers and lead them against the enemy, while he himself would stand on an eminence nearby with the rod of God in his hand. Accordingly the next day Joshua and his company attacked the foe, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur were on a hill overlooking the battlefield. With arms outstretched toward heaven and holding the rod of God in his right hand, Moses prayed for the success of the armies of Israel. It was observed that so long as his hands were

 reaching upward, Israel prevailed; but when they were lowered, the enemy was victorious. As Moses became weary, Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands until the going down of the sun, when the enemy was put to flight.

The act of Moses was significant, showing that God held their destiny in His hands; while they made Him their trust, He would fight for them and subdue their enemies. But when they should let go their hold upon Him and trust in their own power, they would be weak and their foes would prevail against them.

Divine strength is to be combined with human effort. Moses did not believe that God would overcome their foes while Israel remained inactive. While the great leader was pleading with the Lord, Joshua and his brave followers were putting forth their utmost efforts to repulse the enemies of Israel and of God.

Just before his death Moses delivered to his people the solemn charge: “Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God... . Thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.”

Deuteronomy 25:17-19. Concerning this wicked people the Lord declared, “The hand of Amalek is against the throne of Jehovah.” Exodus 17:16, margin.

The Amalekites were not ignorant of God’s character or of His sovereignty, but they had set themselves to defy His power. The wonders wrought by Moses before the Egyptians were made a subject of mockery. They had taken oath by their gods that they would destroy the Hebrews and boasted that Israel’s God would be powerless to resist them. They had not been threatened by the Israelites. Their assault was unprovoked. To manifest their defiance of God they sought to destroy His people. The Amalekites had long been highhanded sinners, yet God’s mercy had still called them to repentance; but when the men of Amalek fell upon the wearied and defenseless ranks of Israel, they sealed their nation’s doom. Over all who love and fear Him, God’s hand extends as a shield; let men beware that they smite not that hand; for it wields the sword of justice.

Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, now set out to visit the Hebrews and restore to Moses his wife and two sons. Moses, the great leader, went out with joy to meet them and conducted them to his tent.”


EP 206-207



What the Eighth Commandment Requires

The eighth commandment condemns man-stealing and slave dealing, and forbids wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another, is registered as fraud in the books of heaven.

Patriarchs and Prophets, 309.

CS 254

One of Satan’s Nets for Souls

All must practice economy. No worker should manage his affairs in a way to incur debt.... When one voluntarily becomes involved in debt, he is entangling himself in one of Satan’s nets which he sets for souls.”


Christian Education, 67.