Inspired by this answer.

If the only one of Amalek left alive was Agag, then how was his mother to be bereaved among women (I Shmuel 33)? The Malbim seems to say that she will be so from that point forward, but she should already have been dead and it makes little sense to me that she would be any more bereaved than any other woman who dies before her child.

  • Who says the only one left alive was Agag? Only a short while later, the Amalekites capture the city of Tziklag! (And there are many other indications as well...) Mar 24, 2019 at 22:55
  • I understand that, but if the commandment was to (pasuk 3) "Spare no one, but kill alike men and women, infants and sucklings," and pasuk 9 says "but Saul and the troops spared Agag" and doesn't list anyone else, (pasuk 20 "I captured King Agag") why would I think anyone was left alive? If there is another concern, like the one you raise, that should merit a separate question (imho).
    – rosends
    Mar 24, 2019 at 23:20
  • Yoav mistakenly learned the passuk that only the men should be killed (BB 21b). Maybe Sha’ul made the same mistake?
    – DonielF
    Mar 24, 2019 at 23:38
  • 1
    His mother may not have been Amalekite. Tribal identity passes patrilinealy
    – Double AA
    Mar 25, 2019 at 19:23
  • 1
    @user the fear was the Keini would be accidentally harmed, not that they should be killed if they stay
    – Double AA
    Mar 26, 2019 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


According to this answer, it's possible that Agag's mother was not an Amalekite, and so was left alive.

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