Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Matthew Roper


Moses, Captain Moroni, Amalekites, Israel, battle


After Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage and crossing of the Red Sea, another enemy, the Amalekites, attacked the camp on its pilgrimage to worship God at Sinai. Moses, in response to this cowardly act, directed Joshua to fight them. For his part, Moses would stand atop a nearby hill holding the rod of God. “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” Moses, however, was tired and could not always keep his hands up, so “Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” (Exodus 17:8– 12, emphasis added), allowing Joshua and the men of Israel to prevail in the battle.