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Exodus 17:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 So Joshua destroyed[a] Amalek and his army[b] with the sword.[c]

14 The Lord said to Moses, “Write this as a memorial in the[d] book, and rehearse[e] it in Joshua’s hearing;[f] for I will surely wipe out[g] the remembrance[h] of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar, and he called it “The Lord is my Banner,”[i]


  1. Exodus 17:13 tn The verb means “disabled, weakened, prostrated.” It is used a couple of times in the Bible to describe how man dies and is powerless (see Job 14:10; Isa 14:12).
  2. Exodus 17:13 tn Or “people.”
  3. Exodus 17:13 tn Heb “mouth of the sword.” It means as the sword devours—without quarter (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 159).
  4. Exodus 17:14 tn The presence of the article does not mean that he was to write this in a book that was existing now, but in one dedicated to this purpose (book, meaning scroll). See GKC 408 §126.s.
  5. Exodus 17:14 tn The Hebrew word is “place,” meaning that the events were to be impressed on Joshua.
  6. Exodus 17:14 tn Heb “in the ears of Joshua.” The account should be read to Joshua.
  7. Exodus 17:14 tn The construction uses the infinitive absolute and the imperfect tense to stress the resolution of Yahweh to destroy Amalek. The verb מָחָה (makhah) is often translated “blot out”—but that is not a very satisfactory image, since it would not remove completely what is the object. “Efface, erase, scrape off” (as in a palimpsest, a manuscript that is scraped clean so it can be reused) is a more accurate image.
  8. Exodus 17:14 sn This would seem to be defeated by the preceding statement that the events would be written in a book for a memorial. If this war is recorded, then the Amalekites would be remembered. But here God was going to wipe out the memory of them. But the idea of removing the memory of a people is an idiom for destroying them—they will have no posterity and no lasting heritage.
  9. Exodus 17:15 sn Heb “Yahweh-nissi” (so NAB), which means “Yahweh is my banner.” Note that when Israel murmured and failed God, the name commemorated the incident or the outcome of their failure. When they were blessed with success, the naming praised God. Here the holding up of the staff of God was preserved in the name for the altar—God gave them the victory.
New English Translation (NET)

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