More on Amalek

9 02 2010

The main characteristics of the spirit of Amalek are genocide and murder with no reasonable basis. Haman in the Esther account was clearly a descendant of Agag, whom Saul failed to kill in Samuel’s day. The spirit is obviously with us today, but not in a clear bloodline.
According to Jewish history, the last traceable Amalekite was Herod. Josephus mentions the connection here: http://books.google.com/books?id=-MSl0S4G03YC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=Herod+and+Amalek&source=bl&ots=KI4epmOWM2&sig=_d5EqU6N5iQDZ8teno2u-d2Vq3M&hl=en&ei=XIZxS5OJKYmWtgeb0MXtCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Herod%20and%20Amalek&f=false

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2 responses

16 02 2010
Hadassah La Boissonniere

While it is a festive holiday, Purim has a serious side as well. It reminds us that we must always grapple with the problem of evil, and with people who, like Haman hate us simply for being Jews. But we are reassured that YAHWEH and the forces of good will ultimately triumph over evil. Esther’s bravery and willingness to stand up for her people reminds us that we must not be silent in the presence of evil. but must confront and eliminate it, combining our human initiative with trust in YAHWEH. Purim also reminds us of our human fraility and vulnerability. We see how close all the Jews in the Persian Empire came to being wipe out overnight at the whim of a foolish, leader. I am particularly reminded of the precariousness of my condition. Yet Purim also affirms that while oppressors come and go, YAHWEH promise and covenant with his people, Israel is everlasting. The Jews of the Persian Empire after all were saved, reminding us that YAHWEH never deserts His people. One of the underlying themes of Purim I think is the mysterious way that YAHWEH acts in the world. The rescue of the Persian Jews appears to have taken place entirely because of Esther’s initiative, whithout any divine guidance. The name of YAHWEH, in fact does not even appear in the entire book of Esther ! but althrough hidden, YAHWEH was present in every action and in every event that led to the Jews’being rescued. He worked through people like Esther, ( the name means ” hidden” or ” concealed ” appropriate when you consider how Esther had to hide her Jewish identity ” She and Mordecai I believe were the human instruments of YAHWEH power and salvation. Judaism affirms that there are two basic categories of miracles. First are supernatural miracles that transcend or defy the laws of nature, such as the parting of the Red Sea. Second are hidden miracles such as Purim, in which YAWEH redemptive actions take place in the course of normal human events. While almost everyone would agree events falling into the first category are miracles, many would not recognize those in the second category as miraculous. But this depends on our perspective, one person for instance might attribute one of Israel’s military victories to better training, another person while recognizing the importance of these things, might claim that the victory is properly credited to YAHWEH, who acted through man and natural phenomena. To the second person, who recognizes life’s miracles, life itself is a miracle !What Purim reaffirms to Christians and Jews alike is the fact that the everyday order is infused with YAHWEH’ presence and is under His control. It reaffirms that YAHWEH ‘ hand is indeed at work in human history. Renewing our belief in a God who acts in history and continues to perform miracles is one of the most fundamental affirmations we can make. And knowing we believe in a God of miracles is indeed cause for celebration at Purim or any time of the year !
Because of Yesuha Messiah. Hadassah.

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16 02 2010
elishasees

Excellent comment! Thank you for your insightful viewpoint. Yahweh God is certainly always working in our lives to fulfill His plan.

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