WHEN GOD IS SILENT

The Jews have traditionally held that Haman of the book of Esther was an Amalekite. Jews in post-biblical times have associated contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites. Until the 19th century, for example, Armenians were considered to be Amalekites. Kaiser Wilhelm in 1898, three decades before Hitler's rise to power, visited Palestine and informed them that he had been taught that the Germans were descended from the ancient Amalekites. Jewish fundamentalists of today refer to the Palestinians as the 'Amalekites'. Like the Muslims they would have their jihad against the Palestinians.

In answer to these Jewish "jihadists," an anti-Zionist Haredi rabbi denounced "the Zionists [as] coming from the seed of Amalek. There has never been such a sect that caused so much damage to the Jewish people."i

A conclusion can be made that whoever threatens the existence of the Jewish people are considered by someone as descendants of Amalek and Haman.

THE LORD DID CONDEMN THE ORIGINAL AMALEK

“Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, ...Therefore when the Lord your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget" (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).


The Torah commands Israel to annihilate the Amalekites. These were the people that had attacked Israel when they had just recently escaped from Pharaoh's army and Egyptian slavery (Exodus 17:14-16; Numbers 24:20). During the years of the Judges, the people had rest but they never tried to unite to obey the Law. During this time, on the other hand, Amalek continued to harass Israel (Judges 3:13, 6:3, 6:33, 7:12).


Finally, a king was in Israel who had the power to destroy Amalek. Samuel told King Saul, "Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘... go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them'" (1 Sam. 15:2-3).


We know that King Saul did not obey God. Therefore, God rejected him from being king: "Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek" (1 Samuel 28:16-18). Saul had not killed all the Amalekites. King Agag was alive and there with Saul. Samuel had to kill him.


Again, we know that Saul had not killed all the Amalekites because David had to fight some of them (1 Samuel 27:8). Years later in the days of Hezekiah, the Simeonites annihilated a group of Amalekites on Mount Seir and settled in their place (1 Chronicles 4:42–43). And yet later, it is thought that Haman "the Agagite" in Esther was a descendant of the Amalekite royalty. He wanted to annihilate all the Jews.


WHY WAS GOD SO ANGRY?


Why was God so angry with a certain nation and determined to annihilate them every one, even the children? I believe there were two reasons. The first reason is the immediate one given: their society was violent and cruel to Israel; however, God said their annihilation would wait until Israel was at rest. Some commentators feel that God waited until their iniquity was total. This conclusion they base on Abraham being told that he could not take possession of Canaan until the Amorites' iniquity was full (Genesis 15:16). This took 400 years. It took another 400 years before Saul was commanded to annihilate the Amalekites.


I personally believe that there is a second reason that lies in the logic of God's foreknowledge and predestination in Christ. All spiritual blessings are located in Christ (Ephesians 1:3); God predestinated this to be: "Greek: proorizo (Thayer's Greek Definitions): (1) predetermine, decide beforehand; (2) decreeing from eternity (NT); (3) appoint beforehand." God had predestinated that Christ would come through Isaac (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:21; Galatians 3:16). God had “confirmed” it and it could not be altered (Galatians 3:15). "Salvation was of the Jews", asserted Jesus (John 4:22b).


FOREKNOWLEDGE


God foresaw the fullness of iniquity of the Amorites (Genesis 15:16). He could see the time when Amalek would also be full of iniquity. God would also have foreseen all that the devil planned to do to thwart His purposes. The devil had tempted Israel so that God's anger would destroy them. But God always left a remnant to fulfil His plan. The devil would see then that his best if not last chance at stopping God's purpose was to annihilate the Jews, thereby defeating God's promise of saving the world.


God could look ahead to the time that an Amalekite Haman would have the power to destroy every living Jew. If we accept that God had this ability then we can reason His wanting to remove this seed of hatred while He could righteously do it.


We have Haman's evil plot in the book of Esther. God had been verbal and had ordered and given Israel the opportunity to obey the Torah's command to destroy every Amalekite. If there had been compliance then there would not have been Haman.


In Esther God is silent. There is no voice from heaven. There is no direct reference to God nor to prayers nor to signs of healing. And yet the book is painted with God's Spirit and presence. It may be said that the talking was absent but the deeds of the Spirit were being done. Esther had come to the throne to serve God. When there were prophets and signs God had called on many to take care of the Amalekites. But it took the silence of Heaven and an Esther to answer His call.


IN CONCLUSION


God does not authorize anyone today to annihilate any people. The purpose of the annihilation of the Amalekites is pass. Jesus has come. God's plan has been fulfilled. As Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished." To the faithful Christian today, the book of Esther gives the confidence that God is present in any day and time even without a prophet and without a voice from heaven. The Scriptures give us the guidance to live and do as Jesus desires (2 Timothy 3:16). We are to be a blessing to the world for Jesus' sake.



Gaylon West

“Throw Out the Lifeline”

i Yisrael Hess, Mitzvot Hagenocide Batorah, in Bat Qol, (Bar-Ilan University)) February 26, 1980. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalek#Armenians_as_Amalekites