AGAGITE
ethnic background of Haman, book of Esther

AGAG, AGAGITE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

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AGAGITE [Wikipedia ]

The term Agagite is used in the Book of Esther as a description of Haman. The term is understood to be an ethnonym although nothing is known with certainty about the people designated by the name. As the events of the Book of Esther occur in Persia, it is considered likely that the term refers to people from the Persian town of Agag.

A well known Midrashic explanation of the term relates it to King Agag of the Amalekites whereby it is viewed as meaning either a literal descendant of Agag or an antisemite, the Amalekites having come to be symbolic of the antithesis of Judaism. -


AGAG, AGAGITE [Smith Bible Dictionary]

(flame),
possibly the title of the kings of Amalek, like Pharaoh of Egypt. One king of this name is mentioned in (Numbers 24:7) and another in 1Sam 15:8,9,20,32 The latter was the king of the Amalekites, whom Saul spared contrary to Jehovah’s well-known will. (Exodus 17:14; 25:17) For this act of disobedience Samuel was commissioned to declare to Saul his rejection, and he himself sent for Agag and cut him in pieces. (B.C. about 1070.) [SAMUEL].

Haman is called the AGAGITE in (Esther 3:1,10; 8:3,5) The Jews consider him a descendant of Agag the Amalekite.


AGAGITE [ISBE]

a'-gag-it, ('aghaghi, from, 'aghagh, "a member of the house of Agag"):
A title of opprobrium given to Haman (Esther 3:1,10; 8:3,5; 9:24). Jewish tradition always assigned the arch-enemies of Israel membership in the house of Amalek, the hereditary foe of the nation. Compare Ant,XI , vi, 5. The word Agag has properly been taken by Delitzsch as related to the Assyrian agagu, "to be powerful," "vehement," "angry." In the Greek parts of Esther, Haman is termed a Macedonian (Est 12:6; 16:10). The name Haman is probably of Elamitic origin. Oppert's attempt to connect the term "Agagite" with "Agaz," a Median tribe mentioned by Sargon, has found no supporters.

See AGAG (below) .

H. J. Wolf

AGAG [ISBE]

a'-gag ('aghagh, or 'aghagh, meaning unknown, possibly "violent," BDB):
A name, or title, applied to the king of the Amalekites, like Abimelech in Philistia and Pharaoh in Egypt. It is used of two of these kings: (1) A king of Amalek, mentioned by Balaam (Numbers 24:7) in his blessing of Israel; (2) A later king, in the days of King Saul (1 Samuel 15). Saul was sent with his army to destroy the Amalekites, who had so violently opposed Israel in the Wilderness. He disregarded the Divine command, sparing the best of the spoil, and saving Agag the king alive (1 Samuel 15:8-9). After rebuking Saul, Samuel had Agag put to death for all the atrocities committed by himself and his nation (1 Samuel 15:32-33).

Edward Mack


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