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1 Samuel 15:3


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#1 Ben Bet Beh

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:08 AM

I'm struggling with this passage from the Bible and was hoping someone could help with the context. What I find particularly troubling is the command from God through his prophet Samuel to kill everyone including infants.
Thank you!

#2 Snag

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:10 AM

the commandment to annihilate the entire amalekite nation is one of the more difficult ones for modern man to comprehend.
"Spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spiritual complexion, angularities, and stature of the individual who wears it."

"The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government. An earthly despotism would be the absolutely perfect earthly government, if the conditions were the same; namely, the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual. But as a perishable perfect man must die, and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible."

-Mark Twain

#3 TimeRebbe

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:23 AM

I'm struggling with this passage from the Bible and was hoping someone could help with the context. What I find particularly troubling is the command from God through his prophet Samuel to kill everyone including infants.
Thank you!

the best way to understand it (not that its easy to) is to imagine that every amalakite is a potential hitler, and the nation as a whole is 100 time worse than nazi germany - their entire philosophy is to deny the existence of God (atheism) and to destroy the one nation 'special' to God because that relationship is a reminder of the falsehood of their beliefs. even woman and children and infants are liable for destruction because the very foundation of their existence is corruption and fraud and violence.

there are other threads on this topic, if you care to take a look
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#4 spectra

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:51 AM

I'm struggling with this passage from the Bible and was hoping someone could help with the context. What I find particularly troubling is the command from God through his prophet Samuel to kill everyone including infants.
Thank you!

God gave the reason with the command. The command also included all their livestock.

Just as God said after the flood to Noah in Genesis 9:5 - And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

The judgement was already in place. Saul spared some livestock and their king. Saul was rejected as king. It was right after the flood and God judging the whole earth, that he spoke the words of that command.

#5 Ben Bet Beh

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:34 AM

...there are other threads on this topic, if you care to take a look

That would be most helpful. I am unsure how to look up prior topics. If you could either provide some links to those topics or direct me how to look up prior topics related to it would be great.

Thanks so far to everyone's responses so far! It's most appreciated.

#6 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 01:03 PM

G-d commanded this centuries before in the Torah. There is a Biblical commandment to annihilate the 7 Canaanite nations and Amalek.

Besides, the better question (and one they themselves got caught up in) is why to kill the SHEEP???
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#7 Dan

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 01:18 PM

BenBetBeh, the only way to understand that commandment is to believe that G-d, the one who authorized the commandment, has a different vision of good/bad then the one we see with our own eyes (intellect). G-d for some reason sees these people has having an inherently bad and dangerous root, and they must be eradicated. For some reason, animals too, once owned by them, acquire this element of evil and must be killed.
כלל זה יהא נקוט בידך: מי שאינו רואה את המקום [=ה'] בכל מקום, אינו רואה בשום מקום
איפה נמצא אלוקים? בכל מקום שנותנים לו להיכנס
-Kotzker

נישט אלעס וואס מען טראכט דארף מען זאגען, נישט אלעס וואס מען זאגט דארף מען שרייבען, נישט אלעס וואס מען שרייבט דארף מען דרוקען און נישט אלעס וואס מען דרוקט דארף מען ליינען!
-R' Salanter

יש בן חורין שרוחו רוח של עבד, ויש עבד שרוחו מלאה חירות; הנאמן לעצמיותו בן חורין הוא, ומי שכל חייו הם רק במה שטוב ויפה בעיני אחרים הוא עבד
-R' Kook

#8 Ben Bet Beh

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 01:47 PM

...For some reason, animals too, once owned by them, acquire this element of evil and must be killed.

Perhaps there was demonic possession involved here where in God's infinite wisdom, the best method to eradicate the threat was to kill them all and to leave the infants to God's mercy and justice.

#9 Rentsy

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 02:17 AM

The true evil is done by Shaul, when he does not follow the command in its entirety.

For in truth, the only reason to kill all of Amalek is out of obedience to a God we cannot fully understand.

To not fully obey is to kill not out of obedience to God, but for baser reasons.

If you can understand this, you will understand why it was so bad for Shaul to not fulfill this command in every detail.

This idea was said by Rav Lichtenstein, shlita.
רמב"ם הלכות תשובה פרק העשירי, הלכה ב

העובד מאהבה - עוסק בתורה ובמצוות והולך במתיבות החוכמה לא מפני דבר בעולם, לא מפני יראת הרעה ולא כדי לירש הטובה, אלא עושה האמת מפני שהוא אמת

הלכה ג

אהבה גדולה יתרה רבה עזה עד מאד, עד שתהא נפשו קשורה באהבת השם ... וכל שיר השירים משל הוא לענין זה

#10 Dan

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:34 AM

The true evil is done by Shaul, when he does not follow the command in its entirety.

For in truth, the only reason to kill all of Amalek is out of obedience to a God we cannot fully understand.

To not fully obey is to kill not out of obedience to God, but for baser reasons.

If you can understand this, you will understand why it was so bad for Shaul to not fulfill this command in every detail.

This idea was said by Rav Lichtenstein, shlita.

This idea was said by the Malbim. :) (finding you link where we discussed this on h.com)

See this - http://www.hashkafah...ost__p__1558193
כלל זה יהא נקוט בידך: מי שאינו רואה את המקום [=ה'] בכל מקום, אינו רואה בשום מקום
איפה נמצא אלוקים? בכל מקום שנותנים לו להיכנס
-Kotzker

נישט אלעס וואס מען טראכט דארף מען זאגען, נישט אלעס וואס מען זאגט דארף מען שרייבען, נישט אלעס וואס מען שרייבט דארף מען דרוקען און נישט אלעס וואס מען דרוקט דארף מען ליינען!
-R' Salanter

יש בן חורין שרוחו רוח של עבד, ויש עבד שרוחו מלאה חירות; הנאמן לעצמיותו בן חורין הוא, ומי שכל חייו הם רק במה שטוב ויפה בעיני אחרים הוא עבד
-R' Kook




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