first of the nations

Numbers 24:20

24:20 first of the nations. These Amalekites, with their Agags (Numbers 24:7) may well have descended from an earlier Amalek than Esau’s grandson (Genesis 14:7; 36:10,12). They probably were a Canaanite nation; two of Esau’s wives were Hittites (Genesis 26:34), and it seems possible that Esau’s grandson may have been named after their ancient and very prominent ancestor. In any case, the Amalekites of Scripture, were inveterate enemies of God’s people Israel. A number of modern scholars have even argued that the Amalekites were the cruel Hyksos “shepherd-kings” of Egypt. See notes on Exodus 17:8-13.

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