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William Shepard

The Victory over the Amalekites

Now there were a people called the Amalekites in that neighborhood, who, when they heard of the coming of the Israelites, determined to fight with them and conquer them. Moses exhorted his people to be brave and to resist these enemies. There was a brave and good man among them, named Joshua, whom Moses chose to be the captain of the Israelites, to command them in the battle. When the Amalekites arrived, Joshua went out with his men and attacked them, and both sides fought long and bravely. But Moses, with his brother Aaron and another man named Hur, had gone up a high mountain to pray for his people that they might be successful. So long as he stretched out his hands towards heaven, the Israelites were too hard for the Amalekites, but when he was tired and lowered them, the Amalekites prevailed. Therefore Aaron and Hur stood on each side of him, and assisted him and held up his hands. When this was done the Israelites conquered the Amalekites, and they would have killed them all if darkness had not come on and put a stop to the bloodshed.

This victory was of great use to the Israelites, for it terrified all their enemies so that they durst no more attack them. Moreover, they acquired a vast quantity of riches, for a great deal of silver and gold was left in the enemy's camp, as well as brazen vessels and other things that served for use in the family and for the furniture of their tents. And the Israelites now began to pride themselves upon their courage and strength, and to take exercise for the purpose of inuring themselves to fatigue and danger. Such were the consequences of this battle.

On the next day Moses stripped the dead bodies of their enemies, and gathered together the armor of those who had fled and left it behind them. He also gave presents to those who had distinguished themselves in the battle, and he highly commended Joshua, whom all the army praised on account of the great actions he had done. He also foretold that the Amalekites should be utterly destroyed hereafter, because they fought against the Israelites when they were in distress in the wilderness. Moreover, he refreshed the army with feasting, and allowed them to rest for a few days. Then, going slowly on, he came to Mount Sinai, where the vision of the bush and other wonderful things had happened to him.