hebrew
1)

What does the Pasuk mean when it states that Bil'am saw Amalek?

1.

Rashi and Ramban #1 (citing Rashi): It means that he saw the punishment (the downfall) of Amalek.

2.

Ramban #2, Rashbam and Targum Onkelos: It means that he actually saw Amalek from the vantage point where he was standing. 1


1

See Ramban.

2)

Why does he refer to them as "Reishis Goyim"?

1.

Rashi, Ramban #1 (citing Rashi), Rashbam,Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonasan: Because they were the first to attack Yisrael 1 (after they became a nation).

2.

Ramban: Because they were a leading power among the nations. 2


1

See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2

Ramban: on account of their great strength and fighting ability, as is evident from the battle against Yisrael, recorded at the end of Beshalach. See Ramban.

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