Israel Separated From (Sanctified)
|3. The Culture of Moloch (the
culture did human sacrifice)
SACRIFICING CHILDREN MAY SHARE SOME ROOTS WITH ABORTION
In Practical terms
|To be in the world but not of the world. Separated from
the culture of human sacrifice and worship of outer than the unseen God.
To be under the law of Moses.
Sanctification is not salvation. See Hebrews 11:39 And these all,
having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
|1. The act of sanctifying or making holy; the state of
being sanctified or made holy;
God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.2 Thess. ii. 13.
Israel Separated (Sanctified) From What?
|Tophet or Topheth (Hebrew:
is believed to be a location in Jerusalem,
in the Valley
of Hinnom, where the Canaanites
children to the god Moloch
Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved
|Ancient Near Eastern deities|
Adonis | Anat | Asherah | Ashima | Athtart/Astarte | Atargatis | Ba'al | Berith | Chemosh | Dagon | Derceto | El | Elyon | Eshmun | Hadad | Kothar-wa-Khasis | Melqart | Moloch | Mot | Qetesh | Resheph | Shahar | Shalim | Shapash | Yam | Yarikh
Abzu/Apsu | Adad | Amurru | An/Anu | Anshar | Ashur | Enki/Ea | Enlil | Ereshkigal | Inanna/Ishtar | Kingu | Kishar | Lahmu & Lahamu | Marduk | Mummu | Nabu | Nammu | Nanna/Sin | Nergal | Ningizzida | Ninhursag | Ninlil | Tiamat | Utu/Shamash
|Amun | Ra | Apis | Bakha | Isis | Horus | Osiris | Ptah|
Moloch, Molech, Molekh, Molek, or Moloc, representing semitic מלך m-l-k, (a root which occurs in various Hebrew and Arabic words related to kings) is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated with fire. Moloch was historically affiliated with cultures throughout the Middle East, including but not limited to the Hebrew, Egyptian, Canaanite, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
In modern English usage, "Moloch" can refer derivatively to any person or thing which demands or requires costly sacrifices.
Moloch went by many names including, but not limited to, Ba'al, Moloch, Apis Bull, Golden Calf, Chemosh, and many others. The god was widely worshiped in the Middle East and wherever Punic culture extended (including, but not limited to, the Ammonites, the Edomites, and the Moabites). Baal Moloch was conceived under the form of a calf or an ox or depicted as a man with the head of a bull.
Hadad, Baal, or simply the King identified the god within his cult. The name Moloch is the name he was known by among his worshipers, but this is a Hebrew translation. (MLK has been found on stele at the infant necropolis in Carthage.) Some say that the written form Μολώχ Moloch (in the Septuagint Greek translation of the Torah), or Molech (Hebrew), is the word Melech or king, transformed by interposing the vowels of bosheth or 'shameful thing'.
Moloch is sometimes also called Milcom in the Old Testament (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:33, 2 Kings 23:13 and Zephaniah 1:5).
Forms and grammar
The Hebrew letters מלך (mlk) usually stands for melek 'king' (Proto-Northwest Semitic malku) but when vocalized as mōlek in Masoretic Hebrew text, they have been traditionally understood as a proper name Μολοχ (molokh) (Proto-Northwest Semitic Mulku) in the corresponding Greek renderings in the Septuagint translation, in Aquila, and in the Middle Eastern Targum. The form usually appears in the compound lmlk. The Hebrew preposition l- means "to", but it can often mean "for" or "as a(n)". Accordingly one can translate lmlk as "to Moloch" or "for Moloch" or "as a Moloch", or "to the Moloch" or "for the Moloch" or "as the Moloch", whatever a "Moloch" or "the Moloch" might be. We also once find hmlk 'the Moloch' standing by itself.
Because there is no difference between mlk 'king' and mlk 'moloch' in unpointed text, interpreters sometimes suggest molek should be understood in certain places where the Masoretic text is vocalized as melek, and vice versa.
Moloch has been traditionally interpreted as the name of a god, possibly a god titled the king, but purposely mispronounced as Molek instead of Melek using the vowels of Hebrew bosheth "shame".
Moloch appears in the Hebrew of 1 Kings 11:7 (on Solomon's religious failings):
Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and lmlk, the abomination of the Sons of Ammon.
In other passages, however, the god of the Ammonites is named Milcom, not Moloch (see 1 Kings 11.33; Zephaniah 1.5). The Septuagint reads Milcom in 1 Kings 11.7 instead of Moloch which suggests a scribal error in the Hebrew. Many English translations accordingly follow the non-Hebrew versions at this point and render Milcom. The form mlkm can also mean "their king" as well as Milcom, and therefore one cannot always be sure in some other passages whether the King of Ammon is intended or the god Milcom.
It has also been suggested that the Ba‘al of Tyre, Melqart "king of the city" (who was probably the Ba‘al whose worship was furthered by Ahab and his house) was this supposed god Moloch and that Melqart/Moloch was also Milcom the god of the Ammonites and identical to other gods whose names contain mlk.
Amos 5:26 reads in close translation:
The Septuagint renders "your king" as Moloch, perhaps from a scribal error, whence the verse appears in Acts 7.43:
Other references to Moloch use mlk only in the context of "passing children through fire lmlk", whatever is meant by lmlk, whether it means "to Moloch" or means something else. It has traditionally been understood to mean burning children alive to the god Moloch. But some have suggested a rite of purification by fire instead, though perhaps a dangerous one. References to passing through fire without mentioning mlk appear in Deuteronomy 12:31, 18:10-13; 2 Kings 21.6; Ezekiel 20.26,31; 23.37. So the existence of this practice is well documented. For a comparable practice of rendering infants immortal by passing them through the fire, indirectly attested in early Greek myth, see the entries for Thetis and also the myth of Demeter as the nurse of Demophon.
The word here translated literally as 'seed' very often means offspring. The forms containing mlk have been left untranslated. The reader may substitute either "to Moloch" or "as a molk".
The laws given to Moses by God expressly forbade the Jews to do what was done in Egypt or in Canaan. “You shall not give any of your children to devote them by fire to Moloch, and so profane the name of your God” (Lev. 18:21). .
And you shall not let any of your seed pass through l'Molech, neither shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
Again, you shall say to the Sons of Israel: Whoever he be of the Sons of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that gives any of his seed l'Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man and will cut him off from among his people; because he has given of his seed l'Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. And if the people of the land do at all hide their eyes from that man, when he gives of his seed l'Molech, and do not kill him, then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go astray after him, whoring l'Molech from among the people.
2 Kings 23:10 (on King Josiah's reform):
And he defiled the Tophet, which is in the valley of Ben-hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire l'Molech.
And they built the high places of the Ba‘al, which are in the valley of Ben-hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire l'Molech; which I did not command them, nor did it come into my mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Jewish rabbinic commentary
The 12th century rabbi Rashi, commenting on Jeremiah 7:31 stated:
Tophet is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.
A rabbinical tradition attributed to the Yalkout of Rabbi Simeon, says that the idol was hollow and was divided into seven compartments, in one of which they put flour, in the second turtle-doves, in the third a ewe, in the fourth a ram, in the fifth a calf, in the sixth an ox, and in the seventh a child, which were all burned together by heating the statue inside.
Classical Greek and Roman accounts
Later commentators have compared these accounts with similar ones from Greek and Latin sources speaking of the offering of children by fire as sacrifices in the Punic city of Carthage, which was a Phoenician colony. Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch all mention burning of children as an offering to Cronus or Saturn, that is to Ba‘al Hammon, the chief god of Carthage. Issues and practices relating to Moloch and child sacrifice may also have been overemphasized for effect. After the Romans defeated Carthage and totally destroyed the city, they engaged in post-war propaganda to make their archenemies seem cruel and less civilized.
Paul G. Mosca, in his thesis described below, translates Cleitarchus' paraphrase of a scholia to Plato's Republic as:
There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos, its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier. Thus it is that the 'grin' is known as 'sardonic laughter,' since they die laughing.
Diodorus Siculus (20.14) wrote:
There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.
Diodorus also relates relatives were forbidden to weep and that when Agathocles defeated Carthage, the Carthaginian nobles believed they had displeased the gods by substituting low-born children for their own children. They attempted to make amends by sacrificing 200 children of the best families at once, and in their enthusiasm actually sacrificed 300 children.
Plutarch wrote in De Superstitiones 171:
... the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of wailing should not reach the ears of the people.
in medieval texts
William Blake (1809, The Flight of Moloch, watercolour, 25.7 x 19.7 cm. One of Blake's illustrations of On the Morning of Christ's Nativity, the poem by John Milton
Like some other gods and demons found in the Bible, Moloch appears as part of medieval demonology, as a Prince of Hell. This Moloch finds particular pleasure in making mothers weep; he specializes in stealing their children. According to some 16th century demonologists, Moloch's power is stronger in December.
in early modern and modern texts
in Milton's Paradise Lost
In John Milton's Paradise Lost, Moloch is one of the greatest warriors of the rebel angels,
"First MOLOCH, horrid King besmear'd with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents tears,
Though for the noyse of Drums and Timbrels loud
Their childrens cries unheard, that past through fire
To his grim Idol. Him the AMMONITE
Worshipt in RABBA and her watry Plain,
In ARGOB and in BASAN, to the stream
Of utmost ARNON. Nor content with such
Audacious neighbourhood, the wisest heart
Of SOLOMON he led by fraud to build
His Temple right against the Temple of God
On that opprobrious Hill, and made his Grove
The pleasant Vally of HINNOM, TOPHET thence
And black GEHENNA call'd, the Type of Hell."
He is listed among the chief of Satan's angels in Book I, and is given a speech at the parliament of Hell in Book 2:43 - 105, where he argues for immediate warfare against God. He later becomes revered as a pagan god on Earth.
in Russell's A Free Man's Worship
In Bertrand Russell's A Free Man's Worship, Moloch is used to describe a particularly savage brand of religion:
The savage, like ourselves, feels the oppression of his impotence before the powers of Nature; but having in himself nothing that he respects more than Power, he is willing to prostrate himself before his gods, without inquiring whether they are worthy of his worship. Pathetic and very terrible is the long history of cruelty and torture, of degradation and human sacrifice, endured in the hope of placating the jealous gods: surely, the trembling believer thinks, when what is most precious has been freely given, their lust for blood must be appeased, and more will not be required. The religion of Moloch — as such creeds may be generically called — is in essence the cringing submission of the slave, who dare not, even in his heart, allow the thought that his master deserves no adulation. Since the independence of ideals is not yet acknowledged, Power may be freely worshipped, and receive an unlimited respect, despite its wanton infliction of pain.
in Ginsberg's Howl
In Allen Ginsberg's Howl, Moloch is used as a metaphor for the American city, thus aligning McCarthy-era America with the god. The word is repeated many times throughout Part II of the poem, and begins (as an exclamation of "Moloch!") in all but the first and last five stanzas of the section.
in Fritz Lang's Metropolis
In Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Freder uses the term to describe the horror as he watches his fellow men devoured by their work in the workers' city.
in Jeff Lindsay's Dexter in the Dark
In Jeff Lindsay's Dexter in the Dark, Moloch is cast as the original and almighty entity behind all human evil.
Modern research, theories and concepts
Nineteenth and early twentieth century theories
Nineteenth century and early twentieth century archaeology found almost no evidence of a god called Moloch or Molech. (See below: 7.3 Eissfeldt's theory: a type of sacrifice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch#Eissfeldt.27s_theory:_a_type_of_sacrifice ) They also characterized Rabbinical traditions about other gods mentioned in the Tanach as simply legends, and regarded them as raising doubt about what was said about Moloch. They suggested that such descriptions of Moloch might be simply taken from accounts of the sacrifice to Cronus and from the tale of the Minotaur; They found no evidence of a bull-headed Phoenician god. This did not hold back some from identifying Moloch with Milcom, with the Tyrian god Melqart, with Ba‘al Hammon to whom children were purportedly sacrificed, and with any other god called "Lord" (Ba‘al) or (Bel). These various suggested equations combined with the popular solar theory hypotheses of the day generated a single theoretical sun god: Baal.
Gustave Flaubert's Salammbô, a semi-historical novel about Carthage published in 1862, included a version of the Carthaginian religion, including the god Moloch, whom he characterized as a god to whom the Carthaginians offered children. Flaubert described this Moloch mostly according to the Rabbinic descriptions, but with a few of his own additions. From chapter 7:
Then further back, higher than the candelabrum, and much higher than the altar, rose the Moloch, all of iron, and with gaping apertures in his human breast. His outspread wings were stretched upon the wall, his tapering hands reached down to the ground; three black stones bordered by yellow circles represented three eyeballs on his brow, and his bull's head was raised with a terrible effort as if in order to bellow.
Chapter 13 describes how, in desperate attempt to call down rain, the image of Moloch was brought to the center of Carthage, how the arms of the image were moved by the pulling of chains by the priests (apparently Flaubert's own invention), and then describes the sacrifices made to Moloch. First grain and animals of various kinds were placed in compartments within the statue (as in the Rabbinic account). Then the children were offered, at first a few, and then more and more.
The brazen arms were working more quickly. They paused no longer. Every time that a child was placed in them the priests of Moloch spread out their hands upon him to burden him with the crimes of the people, vociferating: "They are not men but oxen!" and the multitude round about repeated: "Oxen! oxen!" The devout exclaimed: "Lord! eat!" and the priests of Proserpine, complying through terror with the needs of Carthage, muttered the Eleusinian formula: "Pour out rain! bring forth!" The victims, when scarcely at the edge of the opening, disappeared like a drop of water on a red-hot plate, and white smoke rose amid the great scarlet colour. Nevertheless, the appetite of the god was not appeased. He ever wished for more. In order to furnish him with a larger supply, the victims were piled up on his hands with a big chain above them which kept them in their place. Some devout persons had at the beginning wished to count them, to see whether their number corresponded with the days of the solar year; but others were brought, and it was impossible to distinguish them in the giddy motion of the horrible arms. This lasted for a long, indefinite time until the evening. Then the partitions inside assumed a darker glow, and burning flesh could be seen. Some even believed that they could descry hair, limbs, and whole bodies. Night fell; clouds accumulated above the Baal. The funeral-pile, which was flameless now, formed a pyramid of coals up to his knees; completely red like a giant covered with blood, he looked, with his head thrown back, as though he were staggering beneath the weight of his intoxication.
A human sacrifice in this poster of Cabiria.
Director Giovanni Pastrone's silent film Cabiria (1914) was largely based on Salammbo and included an enormous image of Moloch modeled on Flaubert's description. Elizabeth Dilling's husband, Jeremiah Stokes wrote an anti-Semitic book The Plot Against Christianity, re-released under the title The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today (with Talmudic writings annotated by Dilling), which quoted Flaubert's description as if it were historically accurate. Information from the novel and film still finds its way into serious writing about Moloch, Melqart, Carthage, and Ba‘al Hammon.
Eissfeldt's theory: a type of sacrifice
In 1921 Otto Eissfeldt, excavating in Carthage, discovered inscriptions with the word MLK, which in the context meant neither "king" nor the name of any god. He concluded that it was instead a term for a particular kind of sacrifice, one which at least in some cases involved human sacrifice. A relief was found showing a priest holding a child. Also uncovered was a sanctuary to the goddess Tanit comprising a cemetery with thousands of burned bodies of animals and of human infants, dating from the 8th century BC down to the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. Eissfeldt identified the site as a tophet, using a Hebrew word of previously unknown meaning connected to the burning in some Biblical passages. Most of the children's bodies appeared to be those of newborns, but some were older, up to about six years of age.
Eissfeldt further concluded that the Hebrew writings were not talking about the god Moloch at all, but about the molk or mulk sacrifice, that the abomination was not in worshiping the god Molech who demanded children be sacrificed to him, but in the practice of sacrificing human children as a molk. Hebrews were strongly opposed to sacrificing first-born children as a molk to Yahweh himself. The relevant Scriptural passages depict Yahweh condemning Hebrews sacrificing their first-borns; those who did were stoned to death, and those who witnessed but did not prevent the sacrifice were excommunicated.
Similar "tophets" have since been found at Carthage and other places in North Africa, and in Sardinia, Malta, Sicily . In late 1990 a possible tophet consisting of cinerary urns containing bones and ashes and votive objects was retrieved from ransacking on the mainland just outside of Tyre in the Phoenician homeland. 
Further discussion of Eissfeldt's theories unfolded.
From the beginning there were some who doubted Eissfeldt's theory but opposition was only sporadic until 1970. Prominent archaeologist Sabatino Moscati (who had accepted Eissfeldt's idea, like most others) changed his opinion and spoke against it. Others followed.
The arguments were that classical accounts of the sacrifices of children at Carthage were not numerous and were only particularly described as occurring in times of peril, not necessarily a regular occurrence.
Texts referring to the molk sacrifice mentioned animals more than they mentioned humans. Of course, those may have been animals offered instead of humans to redeem a human life. And the Biblical decrying of the sacrificing of one's children as a molk sacrifice doesn't indicate one way or the other that all molk sacrifices must involve human child sacrifice or even that a molk usually involved human sacrifice.
It was pointed out the phrase "whoring after" was elsewhere only used about seeking other gods, not about particular religious practices.
Eissfeldt's use of the Biblical word tophet was criticized as arbitrary; Even those who believed in Eissfeldt's general theory mostly took tophet to mean something like 'hearth' in the Biblical context, not a cemetery of some kind.
John Day, in his book Molech: A God of Human Sacrifice in the Old Testament (Cambridge, 1989; ISBN 0-521-36474-4), again put forth the argument that there was indeed a particular god named Molech, citing a god mlk from two Ugaritic serpent charms, and an obscure god Malik from some god lists who in two texts was equated with Nergal, the Mesopotamian god of the underworld.
A temple at Amman (1400-1250 B.C.) excavated and reported upon by J.B. Hennessy, shows possibility of animal and human sacrifice by fire.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Minotaur|
According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek (Arabic,عماليق,Hebrew: עֲמָלֵק, Standard ʻAmaleq Tiberian ʻĂmālēq) was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36); the chief of an Edomite tribe (Gen. 36:16). His mother was a Horite, a tribe whose territory the descendants of Esau had seized.
According to the genealogy in Gen. 36:12; 1 Chr. 1:36. Amalek is a son of Esau's son Eliphaz and of the concubine Timna, a Horite and sister of Lotan. Gen. 36:16 refers to him as the "chief of Amalek" thus his name can be understood to be a title derived from that of the clan or territory over which he ruled. Indeed an extra-Biblical tradition recorded by Nachmanides relates that the Amalekites were not descended from the grandson of Esau but from a man named Amalek after whom this grandson was later named. Such an eponymous ancestor of the Amalekites is also mentioned in Old Arabian poetry.
The name is sometimes interpreted as "dweller in the valley"  , but most specialists regard the origin to be unknown (M. Weippert, Semitische Nomaden des zweiten Jahrtausends. Biblica vol. 55, 1974, 265-280, 427-433).
Some interpret Gen. 14:7 (which refers to the "land of the Amalekites"), to mean that the Amalekites existed as early as the time of Abraham, in the region that would later become the Roman province of Arabia Petraea . This view corroborates Nachmanides' claim of an origin for the Amalekites earlier than Esau's grandson. However the passage in question does not require this interpretation as it may be referring to the region by a name from a later era. However, the Arab historian Abu al-Hasan 'Alī al-Mas'ūdī, citing 'traditional' Arab history relates that the Amalekites did indeed exist at this early period having originated in the region of Mecca before the time of Abraham.
In the Pentateuch, the Amalekites are nomads who attacked the Hebrews at Rephidim in the desert of Sinai during their exodus from Egypt: "smiting the hindmost, all that were feeble behind," (1 Samuel 15:2). The Tanakh recognizes the Amalekites as indigenous tribesmen, "the first of the nations" (Numbers 24:20). In the southern lowlands too, perhaps the dry grazing lands that are now the Negev (Num. 12, 14), there were aboriginal Amalekites who were daunting adversaries of the Hebrews in the earliest times. "They dwelt in the land of the south...from Havilah until thou comest to Shur" (Num. 13:29; 1 Sam. 15:7). At times said to be allied with the Moabites (Judg. 3:13) and the Midianites (Judges 6:3). Each of their kings bore the hereditary name of Agag (Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8). They also attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Num. 14:45). Saul and his army destroyed most of the people, and earned Samuel's wrath for leaving some of the people and livestock alive (1 Sam. 15:8-9) against the Lord's command. Saul and the tribal leaders also hesitated to kill Agag, so Samuel executed the Amalekite king himself.
According to Judaism it is the final of the 613 mitzvot, or good deeds, to destroy the seed of Amalek
In the books of 1 Samuel and Judges, the tribe of Kenites are associated with the Amalekites, sometimes their allies, sometimes allied with the tribes of Israel. The Amalek people are invariably enemies of Israel. Saul's successful expedition against the unidentified "city of Amalek," in the plain (1 Sam. 15) resulted in the capture of the Amalekite king, Agag.
As the Jewish Encyclopedia put it, "David waged a sacred war of extermination against the Amalekites," who may have subsequently disappeared from history. Long after, in the time of Hezekiah, five hundred Simeonites annihilated the last remnant "of the Amalekites that had escaped" on Mount Seir, and settled in their place (1 Chr. 4:42-43).
The Biblical relationship between the Hebrew and Amalekite tribes was that the Amalekite tribes opposed the Hebrews and vice-versa, the former became associated with ruthlessness and trickery and tyranny, even more so than Pharaoh or the Philistines among the Israelitish scribes who wrote the Bible, and must be responded to with ruthlessness:
This enmity is repeated in Numbers 24, in Balaam's fourth and final oracle:
And again in the law, in Deuteronomy 25:
The fighting is mentioned again in Judges 3:13, in the Judgeship of Ehud, and again under Gideon, as the Amalekites teamed up with the Midianites (Judges 6:3, 6:33, 7:12). This enmity is also the background of the command of the Lord to Saul:
Saul's failure to obey this command cost him his kingship. Note the commentary on this total destruction later by Samuel, when Saul summons him from the dead through prophetic vision literary tool:
A later Romanized Jewish author also commented on this event:
Maimonides explains, however, that the commandment of killing out the nation of Amalek requires the Jewish people to peacefully request of them to accept upon themselves the Noachide laws and pay a tax to the Jewish kingdom. Only if they refuse is the commandment applicable.
Some commentators, such as Rabbi Hayyim Falaggi (1788-1896) argue that we have lost the tradition of distinguishing Amalekites from other people, and therefore the commandment of killing them cannot practically be applied ("...We can rely on the maxim that in ancient times, Senaherib confused the lineage of many nations." [Eynei Kol Hai, 73, on Sanhedrin 96b])
The destruction of animals and booty, however, was not universal at Saul's time. This was evidently a command for a particular battle. His contemporary David handled the matter differently a few years later.
It is important, in Jewish tradition, that the plot to exterminate the Jews, as reported in the book of Esther, was carried out by Haman, an Agagite, or Amalekite. Because the Lord promised to "blot out the name" of Amalek, when the book of Esther is read at the Purim festival, the hearers make noise whenever "Haman" is mentioned, so his name is not heard.
See below for a current rabbinical teaching on the matter.
In Jewish tradition, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. For example, Haman, from the Book of Esther, is called the Agagite, which is the title of the Amalekite rulers Agag.
The term has been used non-genetically, to refer to certain types of enemies of Judaism and decency throughout history, including Adolf Hitler, and controversially, and rarely ultra-rightists compare the Palestinians to Amalek. However the Palestinians have also been equated by some with the Philistines. Rabbi Israel Hess claimed once that Palestinians are Amalekites. . Amalek has evolved in Jewish culture in a way that could be compared to Christians calling treacherous people Judas after the New Testament figure.
Samuel's words to Agag: "As your sword bereaved women, so will your mother be bereaved among women." (Samuel 1:15:33) were repeated by Israeli president Itzhak Ben-Zvi in his letter turning down Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann's petition for mercy. 
The concept has been used by hassidic rabbis (particularly the Baal Shem Tov) to represent the rejection of God, or Atheism. Of the 613 mitzvot (commandments) followed by Orthodox Jews, three refer to the Amalek: to remember what the Amalekites do to Jews, to not forget what the Amalekites do to Jews, and to destroy the Amalekites utterly. The rabbis derived these from Deuteronomy 25:17-18, Exodus 17:14 and 1 Sam. 15:3. Rashi explains the third commandment :