Who was the specific Pharoah of Egypt when the Jews left Egypt? And also, given "Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear" where does he come into the last part of that sentence," does this mean that that Pharaoh is among Hitler and Haman, a descendant of Amalek? If not, what does it mean precisely?

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to the site. Pharaoh's identity is heavily debated and there is no conclusive answer. I don't quite understand your second question. "he met you along the way" refers to the Amalekites, not Pharaoh. As we know from Exodus and Deuteronomy, the Amalekite attack on Israel happened not long after the Exodus from Egypt.
    – Harel13
    May 4, 2023 at 5:29

3 Answers 3


Right after the exodus, the Torah says

"Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim." (Shemot 17:8).

This is what your pasuk in Devarim 25:17 is mentioning.

Amalek was a nation back then, the son of Esav's son Eliphaz - check out the descendents of Esav, particularly Bereshit 36:12:

וְתִמְנַע הָיְתָה פִילֶגֶשׁ לֶאֱלִיפַז בֶּן־עֵשָׂו וַתֵּלֶד לֶאֱלִיפַז אֶת־עֲמָלֵק אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי עָדָה אֵשֶׁת עֵשָׂו׃

Timna was a concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz; she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. Those were the descendants of Esau’s wife Adah.

Mitzrayim is one of the 70 nations descended from Noach, specifically from his son Cham, a son who bore that name - see Bereshit 10:6:

וּבְנֵי חָם כּוּשׁ וּמִצְרַיִם וּפוּט וּכְנָעַן׃

The descendants of Cham: Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.

So while the identity of Pharoah at that time is debatable, it's quite clear that he was not of Amalek.

  • Amalek and Mitzrayim tend to represent different negative philosophies in Torah thought. For example, Amalek wants to make everything meaningless (keri, they "happened" upon them). Mitzrayim seems against holiness and purity in general.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 4, 2023 at 14:11

Personally, I suspect that the Pharaoh was the father of the one to whom were addressed the Amarna Letters during the time of the revolt in Canaan. Why? Because that pharaoh to whom the letters were sent was a boy king and not his father's first-born. His elder brother died of a sickness. And then the boy became king upon his father's death. When he grew up, he became obsessed with monotheism.

But I am not an expert in these things!

  • I think you mean Akhenaten. Although Jewish literature sometimes 'jumps' at him being a progenitor of 'monotheism' this is highly doubtful, and certainly not in the way that Judaism refers to monotheism.
    – bondonk
    Jun 5, 2023 at 7:03
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    – mbloch
    Jun 5, 2023 at 13:00
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    – Easton
    Jun 5, 2023 at 14:45

With regards to Pharaohs connection with Amalek and the enemies of the jewish people.

During the enslavement in Egypt Bilaam had offered his advice to the pharaoh regarding implementing harsh sanctions on the Israelites (Sanhedrin 106a, Sota 11a).

After the exodus of the Jewish nation, Amalek consulted with Bilaam, where bilaam strongly encouraged Amalek to wage war on the jewish people (Esther Rabbah 7).

With regards to Haman, it is mentioned that Haman had emulated and learnt his methods from Bilaam (Megaleh Amukot 44).

Considering the above, there seems to be an intrinsic connection between Pharaoh, Amalek, and Haman, by way of them all receiving disparaging counsel from Bilaam.

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