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The name of a tribe that attacked the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 17: 8–16; Deuteronomy 25: 17–19), whose memory was to be ‘blotted out’. In the later Jewish tradition the actual identity of this tribe is unknown but Amalek becomes the symbol of wanton cruelty and murderous intent. The Jewish moralists speak of the need to eradicate the Amalek residing in the human heart—that is, aggressive tendencies in general.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies — Biblical Studies.

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