Question: I always read about countries like Babylon, Canaan, Amalek, and the Philistines in the Bible. I believe those countries and still exist even today. Who are they and are they still enemies of Israel today?
Answer: Good question. You know, the ancient Assyrians mixed up the nations of the Middle East so much that it’s no longer possible to identify someone as a Hittite or Moabite or Midianite, and the Philistines disappeared as a nation in Judah Macabee’s time. (The Macabees didn’t exterminate them, by the way, though the ancient “Filistin” had been declining since Samson’s and King David’s time; rather, they chose unwisely in siding with evil against good, with the Syrian-Greeks in their long war against the Jews, and the Syrian Greek emperor, who desperately needed vast infusions of cash to keep paying for the war and just seized them and all their property and sold them off as slaves.)
It would probably be good to mention right here that everyone on earth has thousands and thousands of ancestors. We all had two biological parents, a mother and father; they had two each, and those four had two each, or eight, and those eight had two each, or 16, and those 16 had two each, or 32. . . So, even though there would have been countless cousin-cousin marriages, by the time you go back a mere 100 generations or so – say, back to King David’s time – you’re looking at proof that pretty much everyone is related to everybody else, 10 to the 10th power equaling several BILLION ancestors. So, for instance, every Jew on earth and almost every gentile, or at least every gentile with mostly European ancestors, is almost certainly descended from King David. Similarly, everyone, with the possible exception of some New Guinea and Australian aborigine tribesmen, Jew and Noahide (that is, non-Jew) alike, can count Amalek among our ancestors.
So let me submit, it isn’t blood or DNA so much as culture that determines who we are as members of a society and nation. Take the Bible’s Ham (Cham), Noah’s son, whose line is cursed (through the line of his son Cana’an). His “descendants” will be “slaves of slaves.” What’s a slave of a slave? Thanks to First Covenant Foundation co-founder and director Rev. Jack E. Saunders for teaching me this concept: “Cham means hot (in Hebrew). Cham is driven by his animal parts, by his instincts – he’s “hot.” G’d wants us to master our animal instincts and turn them into our slaves; Cham is mastered by his instincts: he is enslaved by what should be his slave. So, the culture of Cham is an animalistic, sensual, instinct-driven culture. Does this mean that every descendant of Cham is a slave of slaves? It better not, because you and I and all of us are definitely, somehow, someway, descended from Cham. Racists insist that black people, Negroes, are descended from Cham, that they embody the culture of Cham. To the limited extent that there is any truth there, this is a cultural characteristic, not a racial or genetic inevitability. Chamitic culture is “hot” and sensualist – but is black or African-American or “Negro” Orthodox rabbi (I have a pretty good friend in Jerusalem, who originally came from Detroit, who’s one) a “slave of slaves” or tribal member of Cham? No way! Neither are his children (who are themselves rabbis and yeshiva and seminary students).
Sorry to go on and on with this answer. Let’s get back to Amalek. Amalek is perpetual, the Torah tells us so: G’d will have war with Amalek from generation to generation, in every generation; the end of Amalek is synonymous with the Millenium, when knowledge of Torah covers the earth like the water covers the seas.
We just discussed Amalek in a recent newsletter – I urge you to read it: 1stCovenant.org and read the June Covenant Connection, “The Counter-Revolution.” If the movement that came into the world so explosively at Sinai can be called a revolution, Amalek stands for the counter-revolution.
Amalek is not just Haman, then. Amalek is known by certain features – you really must read that article (and it wouldn’t hurt for you to read First Covenant’s big book, either, since it was written just for you: The Rainbow Covenant, Torah and the Seven Universal Laws). Also, generally, go to Articles at 1stCovenant.org.
You see, the Nazis were Amalek. The Romans under Hadrian were Amalek. The Spanish Inquisition at its height, or depths, was Amalek. The Russian Cossacks and Pogromists were Amalek. . . every enemy of Israel who goes after the weakest of Israel – the civilians rather than the soldiers, the “weaklings,” the unarmed, the old people, the infirm, the women with children and women who are pregnant with children, the children in nurseries and the Jewish infants and toddlers – by preference, to mutilate and kill them with pleasure, rather than shame: that’s Amalek.
One could go on – by describing Israel’s enemies one can learn about Israel, and by learning about Israel we learn about G’d and His Torah, so the study is almost endless – but I hope this already over-long answer helps you for now.
With warm regards,