Exodus 17:16

16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD ’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

Exodus 17:16 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 17:16

For he said, because the Lord hath sworn
So some Jewish writers F2 take it for an oath, as we do; or "because the hand is on the throne of the Lord" F3; which the Targum of Jonathan, Jarchi, and Aben Ezra, interpret of the hand of the Lord being lifted up, of his swearing by the throne of his glory; but, as Drusius observes, it is not credible that God should swear by that which is prohibited by Christ, ( Matthew 5:24 ) ( 23:22 ) rather the words are to be rendered, "because the hand", that is, the hand of Amalek, "is against the throne of the Lord" F4; against his people, among whom his throne was, and over whom he ruled, so against himself, and the glory of his majesty; because he was the first that made war upon Israel, when the Lord brought them out of Egypt, and unprovoked fell upon their rear, and smote the hindmost, faint and weary among them: therefore

the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation;
until they are utterly destroyed; and so in fact he had, and thus it was. The Targum of Jonathan is,

``he by his word will make war against those that are of the house of Amalek, and destroy them to three generations, from the generation of this world, from the generation of the Messiah, and from the generation of the world to come;''

and Baal Hatturim on the place observes, that this phrase, "from generation to generation", by gematry, signifies the days of the Messiah. Amalek may be considered as a type of antichrist, whose hand is against the throne of God, his tabernacle, and his saints; who, with all the antichristian states which make war with the Lamb, will be overcome and destroyed by him.


F2 R. Sol. Urbin. fol. 95. 1.
F3 (hy-ok le dy yk) "quia manus super thronum Domini", Pagninus, Montanus; "sublata manu super solium Dei (juro)", Tigurine version.
F4 "Quia manus (Hamaleki) fuit contra solium Jah", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth.

Exodus 17:16 In-Context

14 After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).
16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD ’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or Hands have been lifted up to the ’s throne, and now.
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