Numbers 24:20 NIV

20 Then Balaam saw Amalek and spoke his message:

Amalek was first among the nations, but their end will be utter destruction.”

In the above text when Balaam takes his oracle about the Amalekites he alludes to them as being the first among the nations..Its not clear what he was alluding to in the above text

What did Balaam mean by Amalek as being the first the nations?

2 Answers 2


The Wikipedia entry for Amalek is interesting and worth reading.

With regard to the expression :

Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. [Numbers 24:20, KJV.],

the Wikipedia article states :

In the exegesis of Numbers 24:20 concerning Balaam's utterance: "Amalek was the first one of the nations, but his end afterward will be even his perishing", Richard Watson attempts to associate this passage to the "first one of the nations" that developed post-Flood.[16] According to Samuel Cox, the Amalekites were the "first" in their hostility toward the Israelites.[18]



This prophecy in Numbers 24 speaks of the “latter days” of which we are currently living in. The people of "Amalek" (who love to be first...love to have the preeminence among us) will come to an end as their rule over us shall come to an end.

The spiritual people of “Balak” (meaning “waster” or destroyer) are those who have crept in among us and are destroying the church from within. They have certain characteristics.

Numbers 24:14 KJV (14) And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.

As we know, “tares” have been sowed among the “wheat” as men “slept”….that is, as men became weary in well doing (sleeping) and have forgotten to have love for one another among their churches.

Matthew 13:24-26 KJV (24) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (25) But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (26) But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

These “tares” and their teachings and their covetous practices have been sowed among us while men “slept”. They have crept in unawares among us (while men sleep…forgetting to do His righteousness)….and they destroy those who become forgetful in well doing.

Jude 1:4-5 KJV (4) For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

The spiritual “Amalekite” comes forth to cut off from the Way of righteousness those who become “feeble” (those who become weary in well doing) who are just escaping the pollutions of the world (having been saved out of the land of “Egypt”). They are destroyers of those who forget to always let brotherly love continue.

(5) I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

Their function is to "take and destroy" (not made "TO BE" taken and destroyed) those who have become weary in well doing. A "natural, brute beast" such as a lion or bear or leopard (think about Daniel 7 here) is a predator that captures and destroys those whom they deceive...the prey. Yet, their own end is also destruction.

2 Peter 2:12 KJV (12) But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

They that are current wasters/destroyers of the churches have certain characteristics.

“Amalek” loves to be first among the gentile churches. They love to have the preeminence among men. They do not really fear God (even though they say they do) as they love to be first and not put God …the King…first. The Amalekites are not living as servants but are living as “kings” exercising their authority over the churches.

Again, a spiritual “Amalek” of today is one following in the footsteps of the original as they come forth to cut off those who become weary in well doing. They cut off many from the Way of righteousness ….and they do not fear God the King as they love to be first among the churches. They lead them down the broad way to the destruction of the mortal flesh from this earth.

Deuteronomy 25:17-18 KJV (17) Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; (18) How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.

The word “Amalek” means the “people who lick” (as a dog does). They flatter us with their tongues (lick) and deceive the unstable souls who fall for the flattery.

2 Peter 2:17-22 KJV (17) These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

The “amalek” (the people who lick) speaks great swelling words of emptiness with their tongues as they flatter those who are just escaping “Egypt”….the pollutions of the world. They overcome those who have become “feeble” in well doing.

(18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (19) While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

The spiritual “Amalek” (the “people who lick) flatters with tongue and leads many astray from the Way of righteousness. They cut them off from doing the Holy Commandment to have love for one another and so are destroyed along with them whose own end is destruction.

(21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Beware of “dogs” (those who lick with their flattering tongues).

Beware of the “concision”….meaning “to cut off”.

They come forth to cut us off from going in the Way of righteousness. Beware of evil workers as they do not work with their own hands to support their own earthly necessities (as Paul…the tentmaker ) as they love to live as “kings”….loving to be first.

Philippians 3:2 KJV (2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

They love to be first…to be kings and not His servants…even though the Son of man came not to be ministered to but to minister.

Matthew 20:25-28 KJV (25) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. (26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

The earth is “disquieted” when a servant becomes a “king”.

Proverbs 30:21-22 KJV (21) For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: (22) For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;

A king lives off his subjects and does not work with his own hands to support his own earthly necessities and cannot spiritually feed the flock of God because he does not have any understanding of the Scriptures because of such things.

Paul shows us how to properly feed the people of God….by working with our own hands to support our own need for earthly necessities. We must be with Paul in this. "Amalekites" are covetous.

Acts 20:33-35 KJV (33) I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. (34) Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. (35) I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

This is why the servant of the Lord… Paul….said to “be followers together of me”….to follow his example of working with our own hands for our own earthly necessities as he did. That way, we can truly feed His flock and also support the weak consciences of this world as they will not speak evil of the Way of righteousness if we are with Paul in this.

Philippians 3:17-21 KJV (17) Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (18) (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

The “Amalek’s” own end is destruction: “And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. “

The enemies (Amalekites) of the cross of Christ end is destruction. They preach themselves only (loving to be first among the gentile churches) and are not servants of the Lord. They mind earthly things only: how to get their earthly needs met from those whom they deceive.

(19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) (20) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

“But you, brothers, be not weary in well doing”.

Watch out for those who are not working for their own bread (their own earthly necessities) and are living as kings and not servants of the Lord. They are walking “disorderly”. If we become forgetful in doing well, then they can deceive us...to capture us with their flattery and destroy us in their own destruction.

2 Thessalonians 3:11-15 KJV (11) For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. (12) Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. (13) But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. (14) And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. (15) Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

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