Amalek; Amalekites

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(valley dweller). An Edomite chieftan (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chron. 1:36).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

There is a difficulty connected with these names, seeing that we read of Amalekites in Genesis 14:7, some hundred years before Amalek, the son of Eliphaz and grandson of Esau, was born (Gen. 36:12). Whether all we read of the tribe after this refers to the descendants of Esau, or whether the more ancient people were amalgamated with them, is not known.
The tribe became numerous and warlike. The first we read of them is that they attacked Israel soon after they had passed the Red Sea. They were conquered, and God declared “I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven”; not that they were at once destroyed, but the Lord swore He would have “war with Amalek from generation to generation” (Ex. 17:8-16). They dwelt in the south of the land (Num. 13:29), and Balaam called them “the first of the nations,” but predicted that they should perish forever (Num. 24:20).
When the Israelites, who, alas, disbelievingly agreed with the spies who had brought up the evil report of the land, were told they should all fall in the wilderness, they then said they would go up and possess it; but they were smitten by the Amalekites and the Canaanites. Several times in the period of the Judges war was made against them. Saul, as anointed king over the Lord’s people, was bidden to destroy them utterly; but failed to answer to the Lord’s vindication of His people: it was Samuel who cut Agag their king to pieces (1 Sam. 14:48; 1 Sam. 15:1-33). In the early days of David he attacked the Amalekites (1 Sam. 27:8); and again when they burned Ziklag and carried away the women and children, including David’s two wives, he recovered all, and sent of the spoil to the elders of Israel (1 Sam. 30:1-31). David dedicated their silver and gold unto Jehovah (2 Sam. 8:12). In the days of Hezekiah the rest of the Amalekites were smitten by the sons of Simeon (1 Chron. 4:41-43). Among the nations confederated for Israel’s destruction in Psalm 73, are the Amalekites.
We thus find that Amalek was the first to attack Israel, and continued an enemy ever ready to molest them when they were weak even until the days of Hezekiah, and they are found in the hostile confederacy at the close of their history: an apt type of Satan as the enemy of God’s people.

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

people of lapping (or licking up)

Related Books and Articles: