1 Samuel 15:2
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
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(2) That which Amalek did to Israel.—The Amalekites were a fierce, untameable race of wanderers, who roamed at large through those deserts which lie between Southern Judea and the Egyptian frontier. They were descended from Esau’s grandson, Amalek. Not long after the exodus from Egypt, they attacked and cruelly harassed the almost defenceless rear-guard of Israel in the desert of Rephidim. They were then, at the prayer of Moses, defeated by Joshua; but, for this cowardly unprovoked attack, solemnly doomed to destruction. In the prophecy of Balaam they are alluded to as the first of the nations who opposed the Lord’s people. During the stormy ages that followed, the hand of Amalek seems to have been constantly lifted against Israel, and we read of them perpetually as allied to their relentless foes.

15:1-9 The sentence of condemnation against the Amalekites had gone forth long before, Ex 17:14; De 25:19, but they had been spared till they filled up the measure of their sins. We are sure that the righteous Lord does no injustice to any. The remembering the kindness of the ancestors of the Kenites, in favour to them, at the time God was punishing the injuries done by the ancestors of the Amalekites, tended to clear the righteousness of God in this dispensation. It is dangerous to be found in the company of God's enemies, and it is our duty and interest to come out from among them, lest we share in their sins and plagues, Re 18:4. As the commandment had been express, and a test of Saul's obedience, his conduct evidently was the effect of a proud, rebellious spirit. He destroyed only the refuse, that was good for little. That which was now destroyed was sacrificed to the justice of God.Compare the marginal references. It appears 1 Samuel 14:48 that this expedition against Amalek was not made without fresh provocation. Probably some incursion similar to that described in 1 Samuel 30 was made by them upon the south country at a time when they thought the Israelites were weakened by their contests with the Philistines. 2, 3. Amalek—the powerful tribe which inhabited the country immediately to the eastward of the northern Cushites. Their territory extended over the whole of the eastern portion of the desert of Sinai to Rephidim—the earliest opponent (De 25:18; Ex 17:8-16)—the hereditary and restless enemy of Israel (Nu 14:45; Jud 3:13; 6:3), and who had not repented (1Sa 14:48) of their bitter and sleepless hatred during the five hundred years that had elapsed since their doom was pronounced. Being a people of nomadic habits, they were as plundering and dangerous as the Bedouin Arabs, particularly to the southern tribes. The national interest required, and God, as King of Israel, decreed that this public enemy should be removed. Their destruction was to be without reservation or exception.

I remember—I am reminded of what Amalek did—perhaps by the still remaining trophy or memorial erected by Moses (Ex 17:15, 16).

I seem to have forgotten, but now I will show that I remember, and now will revenge, those old injuries done four hundred years ago, which now I will punish in their children; which was the more just, because they continued in their parents’ cruel practices, below, 1 Samuel 15:33. In the way when he came up from Egypt; when he was newly come out of cruel and long bondage, and was now weak, and weary, and faint, and hungry, Deu 25:18; and therefore it was barbarous and inhuman, instead of that pity which even nature prompted them to afford, to add affliction to the afflicted; it was also horrid impiety to fight against God himself, and to lift up their hand in a manner against the Lord’s throne, as some translate these words, Exodus 17:16, whilst they struck at that people which God had brought forth in so stupendous and miraculous a way.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts,.... Of the celestial host of angels, and of the army of Israel, yea, of all the armies of the earth: this is premised to engage the attention of Saul:

I remember that which Amalek did to Israel; four hundred years ago:

how he laid wait for him in the way when he came up from Egypt; in the valley of Rephidim, just before they came to Mount Sinai, and fell upon the rear of them, and smote the feeble, and faint, and weary, see

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
2. I remember] Rather, I have reviewed, or, considered. Vulg. recensui.

that which Amalek did to Israel] The origin of the powerful tribe of the Amalekites is uncertain. According to one view they had migrated from the East: according to another they were the descendants of Esau’s grandson Amalek (Genesis 36:12). They were a nomad people, roaming over the wilderness which lies to the south and south-west of Palestine and stretches down into the peninsula of Sinai. They disputed the passage of the Israelites, but were signally defeated at Rephidim (Exodus 17:8). Upon a later occasion they joined with the Canaanites, and were victorious in a battle near Hormah (Numbers 14:45). In league with the Moabites (Jdg 3:13) and Midianites (Jdg 6:3) they continued to harass the Israelites alter their entrance into Canaan. As the first of the heathen nations who opposed the progress of God’s people after the Exodus they were doomed to utter destruction (Exodus 17:16; Numbers 24:20; Deuteronomy 25:17-19), and the time had now come for the execution of this sentence.

Verse 2. - Amalek. The Amalekites were a fierce race of nomads who inhabited the desert to the south of Judaea towards Egypt. They were, and still continue to be in their descendants, the Bedouins, an untamable race of savages, whose delight is in robbery and plunder. Between them and Israel there was bitter hostility occasioned by their having attacked the people immediately after the Exodus (Exodus 17:8-16), and the command there given to exterminate them is repeated now, probably in consequence of their raids having become more numerous and sanguinary under their present king, as we gather from ver. 33. The reference to a war with the Amalektes in 1 Samuel 14:48 no doubt refers to this expedition, as we have there a mere summary of Saul's military enterprises. I remember. Literally, "I have visited;" but the sense of remembering seems confirmed by such passages as Genesis 21:1; Genesis 1:24; Isaiah 23:17; Isaiah 26:16. The Septuagint, however, and Aquila, give a very good sense: "I have considered, "thought over." How he laid wait for him in the way. There is no idea in the Hebrew of ambuscade or treachery. It is simply, "How he set himself in the way against him," i.e. opposed, withstood him, tried to bar his progress. 1 Samuel 15:2"Thus saith the Lord of Zebaoth, I have looked upon what Amalek did to Israel, that it placed itself in his way when he came up out of Egypt" (Exodus 17:8). Samuel merely mentions this first outbreak of hostility on the part of Amalek towards the people of Israel, because in this the same disposition was already manifested which now made the people ripe for the judgment of extermination (vid., Exodus 17:14). The hostility which they had now displayed, according to 1 Samuel 15:33, there was no necessity for the prophet to mention particularly, since it was well known to Saul and all Israel. When God looks upon a sin, directs His glance towards it, He must punish it according to His own holiness. This פּקדתּי points at the very outset to the punishment about to be proclaimed.
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