Abstract

Josephus elevates Moses' role and diminishes the miraculous in the Amalek episode. In the Pentateuch Josephus, defensive about the charge that Jews preach genocide, omits the command to eliminate Amalek; rather, Moses predicts it. In 1 Samuel he explains that G-d so hated them as to order it. As to the parallel command to exterminate the seven Canaanite nations, this was necessary, says Josephus, for the national survival of the Israelites.

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