The Lord will be at war with you forever.” Could there be any greater curse placed on a people? This was the curse God gave to Moses about the Amalekites.
The Amalekites were an ancient nomadic people who generally lived at the southern border of Judah and in the northern Sinai region (Genesis 14:7; Numbers 13:29; 1 Samuel 15:7; 27:8).
Israel’s first contact with them came while the Israelites were traveling from Egypt to Mount Sinai to receive the commandments of the Lord. The Amalekites attacked them at a place called Rephidim, but the Israelites defeated them. Because of the Amalekites’ aggression against Israel, the Lord declared to Moses that He would blot out their name and be at war with them forever (Exodus 17:8–16).
After Saul became king, Samuel instructed him to carry out the Lord’s curse on the Amalekites and devote the entire nation to destruction. Saul attacked them, but he did not carry out God’s commands completely, allowing the king of Amalek and the livestock to live (1 Samuel 15).
Later David attacked the Amalekites again after they raided his town of Ziklag and carried away some people as captives (1 Samuel 30).
It seems that a remnant of Amalekites remained even as late as Hezekiah’s time, but essentially they ceased to exist as a significant population (1 Chronicles 4:41–43).
It is somewhat ironic that Saul, who failed to destroy all the Amalekites, called for an Amalekite to kill him and put him out of his misery (2 Samuel 1:8).