Exodus 17:11-13 And as long as Moses held up the rod in his hands, Israel was winning; but whenever he rested his arms at his sides, the soldiers of Amalek were winning. Moses’ arms finally became too tired to hold up the rod any longer; so Aaron and Hur rolled a stone for him to sit on, and they stood on each side, holding up his hands until sunset. As a result, Joshua and his troops crushed the army of Amalek… [Living Bible translation]
Under the yoke of the Egyptian bondage, the children of Israel constantly prayed for deliverance. GOD heard “their groaning” and sent Moses so that the people could enter into covenant relationship with GOD. Once the people left Egypt, undoubtedly many of them thought everything would be perfect. When things “were not perfect,” many of the people not only stopped praying to GOD, but many became angry. Some even argued with GOD and became arrogant and indignant. When there was no water, some of the people even “got an attitude” demanding, “Is JEHOVAH (GOD) going to take care of us or not?” (Exodus 17:7) Yet GOD continuous tried to teach the Israelites what it meant to for them to be “HIS people.” The defeat of Amalek is one of those important lessons.
The warriors of Amalek decided to fight the children of Israel at Rephidim, one of the places where the Israelites were camped. The name, “Rephidim” means “resting place.” Many of the Israelite probable saw this camp as a time when they could just “lay back and enjoy themselves.” So it must have been a surprise to learn that once again things “were not perfect” and they would soon have to defend themselves against an approaching army, the warriors of Amalek. In preparation for what was to come, Moses instructed Joshua to take a group of men to fight. Moses explained that he would stand on the top of the hill overseeing the battle, along with Aaron (Moses’ brother) and Hur (from the tribe of Judah) to ‘intercede” on behalf of the fighting Israelites with GOD. (See Exodus 38:22).
So the Israelites fought and Moses prayed. When Moses’ hands were lifted up, the people won. When Moses grew spiritually and physically weary and lowered his hands, the Amalek warriors prevailed. When the Israelites “saw” that they were in a physical and spiritual battle against their enemy, Aaron and Hur started to “prop” Moses up so that his hands would “constantly” be lifted up. They got a stone for Moses to sit on and then Aaron went to one side and Hur went to the other so that Moses' hands were “steady” until “the setting of the sun.” With Moses hands high, their enemy was defeated.