The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Amalek and the Seven Nations as Contemporary Theological and Moral Challenges

The election of Israel is correlated with the idea of ethical nationhood as articulated most lucidly in Deuteronomy 4:8 and Amos 3:2. By modeling ethical nationhood, Israel attracts the nations of the world to the God of Israel. Nothing undermines this mandate more than the notion that Israel is to destroy nations based as much on their ethnicity as their immorality. This lecture explores the biblical and post-biblical ambivalence regarding the alleged and possible mistaken commandment to destroy Amalek and the nations of Canaan