Exodus 17:8-16

The Amalekites Defeated

8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[a] the throne of the LORD,[b] the LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Exodus 17:8-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 17

The children of Israel coming to Rephidim, want water, and chide with Moses about it, who, crying to the Lord, is bid to smite the rock, from whence came water for them, and he named the place from their contention with him, Ex 17:1-7 at this place Amalek came and fought with Israel, who, through the prayer of Moses, signified by the holding up of his hands, and by the sword of Joshua, was vanquished, Ex 17:8-13, for the remembrance of which it was ordered to be recorded in a book, and an altar was built with this inscription on it, "Jehovahnissi": it being the will of God that Amalek should be fought with in every generation until utterly destroyed, Ex 17:14-16.

Exodus 17:8-16 In-Context

6 I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the LORD saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?”
8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.
16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the LORD, the LORD will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”

Cross References 15

  • 1. S Genesis 36:12; Deuteronomy 25:17-19
  • 2. S ver 1
  • 3. Exodus 24:13; Exodus 32:17; Exodus 33:11; Numbers 11:28; Numbers 27:22; Deuteronomy 1:38; Joshua 1:1; Acts 7:45
  • 4. S Exodus 4:17
  • 5. ver 10-12; Exodus 24:14; Exodus 31:2
  • 6. James 5:16
  • 7. Joshua 8:26
  • 8. ver 8
  • 9. Exodus 24:4; Exodus 34:27; Numbers 33:2; Deuteronomy 31:9; Job 19:23; Isaiah 30:8; Jeremiah 36:2; Jeremiah 45:1; Jeremiah 51:60
  • 10. Exodus 32:33; Deuteronomy 29:20; Job 18:17; Psalms 9:5; Psalms 34:16; Psalms 109:15; Ezekiel 18:4
  • 11. ver 13; S Genesis 36:12; Numbers 24:7; Judges 3:13; 1 Samuel 15:3; 1 Samuel 30:17-18; Psalms 83:7
  • 12. S Genesis 8:20
  • 13. S Genesis 22:14
  • 14. Numbers 24:7; 1 Samuel 15:8,32; 1 Chronicles 4:43; Esther 3:1; Esther 8:3; Esther 9:24
  • 15. Esther 9:5

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "to"
  • [b]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
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