a nomadic tribe of uncertain origin, which occupied the peninsula of Sinai and the wilderness intervening between the southern hill-ranges of Palestine and the border of Egypt. (Numbers 13:29; 1 Samuel 15:7; 27:8) Their wealth consisted in flocks and herds. Mention is made of a "town" (1 Samuel 15:5) but their towns could have been little more than stations or nomadic enclosures. The Amalekites first came in contact with the Israelites at Rephidim, but were signally defeated. (Exodus 17:8-16) In union with the Canaanites they again attacked the Israelites on the borders of Palestine, and defeated them near Hormah. (Numbers 14:45) Saul undertook an expedition against them. (1 Samuel 14:48) Their power was thenceforth broken, and they degenerated into a horde of banditti. Their destruction was completed by David. (1 Samuel 30:1-17)
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