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No.39. Amalek, type of the flesh.
Aaron and Hur, types of fellowship (Exod. 17: & 18:)
pp. 232 - 237
"THEN CAME AMALEK." In the generation of Esau (Gen. 36:) we find that
Esau and his descendants are the Edomites; "Esau is Edom" (verses 1 and 8). In
verse 12 we learn that Amalek was the grandson of Esau. Both Israel and Amalek
therefore could trace their descent from Abraham, and herein lies the significance of the
type. Amalek stands for the flesh. This typical feature is repeated. Going back no
further than Abraham we find two sons--Ishmael who stands for the flesh, and Isaac for
the spirit. The epistle to the Galatians provides a commentary upon the typical character
of these two sons and their relation to the flesh and spirit.
Coming to Isaac we find that he also had two sons--Esau and Jacob, and once again
the type is clear. The epistle to the Hebrews provides explanation of the meaning of the
typical character of these two sons. Two others must be included, viz., Moab and
Ammon, both the children of Lot, and pre-eminently the children of the flesh. When we
speak of these types of the flesh, Ishmael, Edom, Moab, Ammon and Amalek, we
enumerate those foes of Israel who sought to bar the way and prevent their entry into the
land of promise.
This is exactly what `the flesh' in a believer does. Israel, when bondmen in Egypt,
when confronted by the Red Sea, and when in need of bread and water, were called upon
neither to fight nor to fend for themselves. In all these experiences they typified the
passive position of the believer under grace. The believer, however, has a warfare that is
legitimate, a conflict that lasts until this life finishes, the conflict between flesh and spirit.
The word `fight', apart from the instance in Exod. 1: 10 which voiced the fears of
Pharaoh, is used in two settings only:
(1) OF THE LORD
"The Lord shall fight for you" (Exod. 14: 14).
"The Lord fighteth for them" (Exod. 14: 25).
(2) OF ISRAEL
"Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel" (Exod. 17: 8).
"Go out, and fight with Amalek" (Exod. 17: 9).
"So Joshua . . . . . fought with Amalek" (Exod. 17: 10).
The initial conflict of the believer after redemption is with the flesh. What was the
occasion of the fight? We believe it was two-fold. The word `then' in the sentence,
"then came Amalek", appears to be connected with:
The provision of water.
In a country like Arabia water is precious, and its possession eagerly sought. Parallel
cases may be found in Gen. 21: 25, where we find Abimelech's servants violently