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The fight against Amalek

Exodus 17:12

But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

Full bible text

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner, saying, “A hand upon the throne[c] of the LORD! The LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation’

About this painting

The Amalekites, descendants of Esau, attack the people of Israël at camp Rephidim, not far from Mount Sinai.The Israelites have to learn in the wilderness to trust in God in all circumstances. Not only trust that the Lord gives water from the rock and mannah for food, they also have to trust in His help when being attacked by the enemy.
Moses instructs Joshua to go to war against Amalek, but in that battle victory is only possible by God’s help. Israel is God’s people, and who fights against Israel, fights against God. (vs. 16). Moses holds up the staff, through which God performed many miracles in Egypt, like a banner/ field sign in battle. When Moses lowers his hands with the staff in it because of weariness, the Amalekites prevail. Aaron and Hur help Moses hold up the staff. Then the Israelites defeat Amalek.
Psalm 20:6-8 ‘Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he will answer him from his holy heaven
with the saving might of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
8 They collapse and fall,
but we rise and stand upright’.

See Isaiah 31, which mentions the Lord’s battle for Zion (Jerusalem).

Christians are allowed to share in the blessing of God’s covenant with Abraham. In the spiritual warfare they face against demonic powers, they can only overcome if they are clothed with ‘the whole armor of God.’ Eph. 6:10-18

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