4 occurrences in 4 dictionaries

Reference: Giants


Earth-born. It is supposed by many that the first men were of a size and strength superior to those of mankind at present, since a long life is usually associated with a well-developed and vigorous frame. We know also that there were giants and families of giants, even after the average length of human life was greatly abridged. These, however, appear to have been exceptions; and if we judge from the mummies of Egypt, and from the armor and implements of the earliest antiquity, found in ancient tombs, in bogs, and in buried cities, we should conclude that mankind never exceeded, in the average, their present stature. There were, however, giants before the flood, Ge 6:4; fruits of the union of different families, and extraordinary in stature, power, and crime. After the flood, mention is made of a race called Rephaim, Ge 14:5; Jos 17:15; kindred with whom were the Emim, early occupants of the land of Moab, and the Zamzummim in Ammon, De 2:10,20. Og was one of the last of this race, De 3:11,13. West of the Dead Sea, around Hebron and Philistia, lived the Anakim, whose aspect so terrified the Hebrew spies, Nu 13:33; Jos 11:21-22. Of this race were Goliath and his kindred, 1Sa 17:4; 1Ch 20:4-8. See ANAKIM, GOLIATH, and REPHAIM.

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(1.) Heb nephilim, meaning "violent" or "causing to fall" (Ge 6:4). These were the violent tyrants of those days, those who fell upon others. The word may also be derived from a root signifying "wonder," and hence "monsters" or "prodigies." In Nu 13:33 this name is given to a Canaanitish tribe, a race of large stature, "the sons of Anak." The Revised Version, in these passages, simply transliterates the original, and reads "Nephilim."

(2.) Heb rephaim, a race of giants (De 3:11) who lived on the east of Jordan, from whom Og was descended. They were probably the original inhabitants of the land before the immigration of the Canaanites. They were conquered by Chedorlaomer (Ge 14:5), and their territories were promised as a possession to Abraham (Ge 15:20). The Anakim, Zuzim, and Emim were branches of this stock.

In Job 26:5 (R.V., "they that are deceased;" marg., "the shades," the "Rephaim") and Isa 14:9 this Hebrew word is rendered (A.V.) "dead." It means here "the shades," the departed spirits in Sheol. In 2Sa 21:16,18,20,22, "the giant" is (A.V.) the rendering of the singular form ha raphah, which may possibly be the name of the father of the four giants referred to here, or of the founder of the Rephaim. The Vulgate here reads "Arapha," whence Milton (in Samson Agonistes) has borrowed the name "Harapha." (See also 1Ch 20:5-6,8; De 2:11,20; 3:13; Jos 15:8, etc., where the word is similarly rendered "giant.") It is rendered "dead" in (A.V.) Ps 88:10; Pr 2:18; 9:18; 21:16; in all these places the Revised Version marg. has "the shades." (See also Isa 26:14.)

(3.) Heb 'Anakim (De 2:10-11,21; Jos 11:21-22; 14:12,15; called "sons of Anak," Nu 13:33; "children of Anak," Nu 13:22; Jos 15:14), a nomad race of giants descended from Arba (Jos 14:15), the father of Anak, that dwelt in the south of Palestine near Hebron (Ge 23:2; Jos 15:13). They were a Cushite tribe of the same race as the Philistines and the Egyptian shepherd kings. David on several occasions encountered them (2Sa 21:15-22). From this race sprung Goliath (1Sa 17:4).

(4.) Heb 'emin, a warlike tribe of the ancient Canaanites. They were "great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims" (Ge 14:5; De 2:10-11).

(5.) Heb Zamzummim (q.v.), De 2:20 so called by the Amorites.

(6.) Heb gibbor (Job 16:14), a mighty one, i.e., a champion or hero. In its plural form (gibborim) it is rendered "mighty men" (2Sa 23:8-39; 1Ki 1:8; 1Ch 11:9-47; 29:24.) The band of six hundred whom David gathered around him when he was a fugitive were so designated. They were divided into three divisions of two hundred each, and thirty divisions of twenty each. The captians of the thirty divisions were called "the thirty," the captains of the two hundred "the three," and the captain over the whole was called "chief among the captains" (2Sa 23:8). The sons born of the marriages mentioned in Ge 6:4 are also called by this Hebrew name.

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Two Hebrew terms.

I. Nephilim; Hebrew "those who fall on" men; men of violence, robbers, tyrants; compare Ge 6:13, "the earth is filled with violence through them." Applied to antediluvians (Ge 6:4). Distinct from the gibbowrim, "mighty men of old, men of renown," the offspring of the intermarriage of the "sons of God" (the Sethites, Ge 4:26, margin" then men began to call themselves by the name of the Lord"; De 14:1-2; Ps 73:15; Pr 14:26; Ho 1:10; Ro 8:14) and the "daughters of men." The Sethites, the church separated from the surrounding world lying in the wicked one, had been the salt of the earth; but when even they intermarried with the corrupted races around the salt lost its savor, there was no seasoning of the universal corruption; (compare Ex 34:16; Ezr 10:3-19; Ne 13:23-28; De 7:3; 1Ki 11:1-4;) a flood alone could sweep away the festering mass, out of which one godly seed alone, Noah, was saved.

Hence our Lord dwells on the "marrying" in the list of the things lawful, but then unlawfully absorbing men wholly, as characteristic of the age just before the flood, as it shall be of the age when the Son of man shall appear (Lu 17:27). The Hindu tradition of two races, Suras and Asuras, and the Greek legend that the demi-gods were sons of the gods and that the Titan giants sprang from the union of heaven and earth, flow from the history of Genesis 6 corrupted. Moreover nephilim is applied to the giant in the report of the spies (Nu 13:33); compare on the Anakim ("longnecked") about Hebron, Debir, Ahab, and the mountains of Judah and Israel, De 2:10,21; 9:2. (See ANAKIM.)

II. Rephaim; a people defeated by Chedorlaomer at Ashteroth Karnaim (Ge 14:5), occupying the N.E. of the Jordan valley (Peraea) before the Canaanites came. Og, the giant king of Bashan, was the last of them (De 3:11). They once extended to the S.W., for the valley of "Rephaim" was near the valley of Hinnom and Bethlehem, S. of Jerusalem, "the valley of the giants" (Jos 15:8; 18:16; 2Sa 5:18,22; 23:13). Rephaim was used for "the dead," or their "ghosts" (Job 26:5, translated "the souls of the dead tremble; (the places) under the waters, and their inhabitants (tremble)"; Ps 88:11; Pr 2:18; 21:16; Isa 14:9; 26:14,19) perhaps because scheol or hades was thought the abode of the buried giants.

Raphah "the weak," or "resolved into their first elements," expresses the state of the deceased. Whether it has any connection with the tribe Rephaim is doubtful. Possibly "tall" was the primary sense (Gesenius); then the tall national Rephaim; then giants in guilt, as in might; these being doomed to gehenna, the term became the general one for "ghosts." Or else from ghosts being magnified by fear to more than human size. EMIM "terrors"; so-called from their terrible stature by the Moabites, who succeeded them in the region E. of Jordan (De 2:10). Or rather the word equates to the Egyptian term Amu, i.e. nomadic Shemites. Smitten by Chedorlaomer at Shaver Kiriathaim (Ge 14:5). (See ANAKIM also.)

The ZUZIM of Ham were a northern tribe of Rephaim between the Arnon and Jabbok, smitten by Chedorlaomer. The Ammonites who supplanted them called them Zamzummim (De 2:20; Ge 14:5). Connected with the Horim. LeClerc explains the name "wanderers" from zuz "to wander." Ham may be the original of Rabbath Ammon. The ruined cities of Bashan are thought by many to evidence their possession formerly by giant races. The success of David and his heroes against Goliath and the giants of Philistia (a remnant of the old giant races) illustrates the divine principle that physical might and size are nothing worth, nay are but beaststrength, when severed from God and arrayed against the people of God. Samson was but of average height (Jg 16:17), yet was irresistible by the Philistines so long as he was faithful to God. David was chosen above his brothers in spite of their "height of stature" (1Sa 16:7; 17:36-37,45-47; 2Sa 21:15-22).

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men of extraordinary size or height.

1. They are first spoken of in

Ge 6:4

under the name Nephilim. We are told in

Ge 6:1-4

that "there were Nephilim in the earth," and that afterwards the "sons of God" mingling with the beautiful "daughters of mens produced a race of violent and insolent Gibborim (Authorized Version "mighty men").

2. The Rephalim, a name which frequently occurs. The earliest mention of them is the record of their defeat by Chedorlaomer and some allied kings at Ashteroth Karnaim. The "valley of Rephaim,"

2Sa 5:18; 1Ch 11:15; Isa 17:5

a rich valley southwest of Jerusalem, derived its name from them. They were probably an aboriginal people of which the EMIM, ANAKIM and ZUZIM [which see] were branches. [See also GOLIATH]

See Anakim

See Zuzim, The

See Goliath

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