We've been thinking about how Amalek is the ancient enemy of God's people. The first attack when Israel came out of the land of Egypt was by the Amalekites. Now forty years later, Moses is giving final instructions to his people before they enter the Promised Land.
"Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt, how he attacked you on the way when you were faint and weary, and cut off your tail, those who were lagging behind you, and he did not fear God. Therefore when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies around you, in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you shall not forget." (Deuteronomy 25:17-19)
This passage sheds some light on the reason for detesting Amalek. The nation hadn't even targeted soldier, but rather the weak and lowly of the Israelites, those lagging behind. It was like ancient guerilla warfare, picking off easy targets rather than standing up for a fight.
Time may have moved on, yet the command is the same - Amalek is not to be tolerated, but to be destroyed. What will happen when Israel moves into the land? Will it obey God's commands?