Who were the Amorites in the Bible?

The Amorites

According to the Bible, the Amorites are the descendants of one of the sons of Canaan (Genesis 10:15–16). They were also named Amurra or Amurri. This powerful group of people occupied a territory from the border of Egypt to Babylonia during the patriarchal age. They were the founders of the First Dynasty of Babylon, of which Hammurabi, was the most famous king.

The available evidence shows that they infiltrated Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine in the early part of the second millennium B.C. and replaced the existing ruling classes in those countries. By the time the Hebrews invaded the country, only remnants of the formerly powerful Amorite population could be found (Numbers 21:21).

Moses overcame two kings of the Amorites named Sihon and Og (Deuteronomy 31:4). King Og, was one of the remnant of the giants (Deuteronomy 3:11) who were the ancient people that lived in that region on both sides of the Jordan. Joshua later defeated five Amorite kings when the Lord made the sun to stand still to lengthen the day and give additional time for the total destruction of the enemies of Israel (Joshua 10:10; Joshua 11:8).

The Amorites worshiped the god Baal and the goddess Ashtoreth as representations of the sun and the moon, respectively. The miracle of literally making the sun and moon stand still proved that these were subject to the God of Israel, the one and only true God (Joshua 10:12).

During the time of Samuel, the prophet, there was peace between Israel and the Amorites when “Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines” (1 Samuel 7:14). Later on, King Solomon subdued the Amorites and put them into slavery. “All the people who were left of the Amorites . . . who were not of the people of Israel—their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel were unable to devote to destruction—these Solomon drafted to be slaves” (1 Kings 9:20-21).

The last mention of the Amorites is found in Amos 2:10 where God declared it was He who gave the Israelites the land of the Amorites as an inheritance, as He promised Abraham.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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