Saturday, March 31, 2012

Genesis 6 - Pt 4 - Moses, Joshua, and The Nephilim

Today we get into some of the nitty gritty, so to speak. We're talkin' hybrid species today folks.

"The Sons of God Saw the Daughters of Men that they were Fair" by Daniel Chester (1923)

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, Genesis 6 - Pt 1 - B'nai Elohim, the "sons of God" are fallen angels who came to the earth and had sexual relations with ordinary human women. Genesis 6:4 explains that the resulting offspring were not ordinary by any means.... they were giants, mighty men, and men of renown. And, this didn't just happen once.... but twice, according to the Bible. The first time before the flood, and also after that.

Genesis 6:4
4 There were Nephilim in the earth in those days—and also after that—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. The same became mighty men which were, of old, men of renown".
The Hebrew word Nephilim, from the root word naphal, meaning to fall or fallen ones, also meaning "giants". The B'nai Elohim/sons of God/fallen angels are the fathers of these giants, ordinary human women are the mothers. The children are the Nephilim, mighty in flesh, and corrupted in spirit...fallen, just like their fathers. Like I said, a hybrid species!

[Note: Some also argue that the word Nephilim was translated as "gegenes" when the Greek Septuagint was made. "Gegenes" suggests giants but actually it has little reference to size or strength, rather the meaning of the word is "earth born." The same term was used to describe the mythical "Titans" -- being partly of celestial and partly of terrestrial origin.[4]]

We notice the verse above also reveals that these events occurred not only once, but twice - once before the flood, and again afterward. Today I'd like to focus on the descriptions of the Nephilim given in the Bible after the flood. I will go back to explore more of the information given prior to the flood in a later post in this series, but for now let's jump ahead about 436 years or so.

In Genesis 14:5 we learn that Nephilim are dwelling in the land of Canaan  during the time of Abraham and Sarah.
5And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that were with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzims in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim

Three tribes of Nephilim are mentioned: the Rephaims, the Zuzims, and the Emins. The Rephaims are spoken of again in Deuteronomy, along with the Anakims, another tribe of Nephilim.

Deuteronomy 2:8,10,11

8And when we passed by... we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
10The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
11Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites called them Emims.
At the end of this post I will list the tribes/branches of Nephilim as listed in the Bible, along with their relations, where they descended from, and what their names mean.

Moses, Joshua, and the Nephilim

We can remember the story of Moses leading the children of Israel after the exodus from Egypt. They wandered the wilderness for 40 years until they were finally ready to enter their Promised Land. As a child I'd always assumed this was a big empty land mass just sitting there waiting for them to find it and move on in. But the reality is that their Promised Land would have to be fought for. But before invading, Moses sent 12 spies to survey the land they were about to enter, and the peoples who inhabited it.
Numbers 13: 17-20
 17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.)  21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath.  22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 
Upon their return, 10 out of 12 of those spies were determined to give up on the land and go back to bondage in Egypt. The reason for their fear? The land was filled with giants, and they felt it would be impossible to defeat them. These giants were the descendents of Anak, and other huge people.

Numbers 13: 26-33:

 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan."
 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
Interestingly, these 12 spies not only found the land to be inhabited by giants, but they found it to be a land of great richness. Not only was it full of giant people, it was also full of giant food. They cut down a cluster of grapes to prove it, and it took two men to carry one cluster of grapes on a staff between them. The grapes must have been very heavy indeed to require two strong Israelite men.
Numbers 13:23-24:
23 When they reached the Valley of Eshkol,[a] they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there.
Only 2 of the spies - Joshua and Caleb - believed they could conquer these mighty men. As the story goes, the Israelites listened to the 10 others and wanted to stone Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb and return to Egypt. In the end, Joshua leads them to invade the land of giants and they do in fact defeat them. In doing so, Joshua and the Children of Isreal destroyed offspring and relations of the Nephilim, including The Horims, Zamzummims, and Avims.
Deutoronomy 2:19-23:

 19And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.
 20(That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
 21A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them...
 22As he destroyed the Horims from before them...
 23And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim.

And lastly, Og, the King of Bashan was defeated by the children of Isreal.
Deuteronomy 3:4,5,11:

4And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many...

11For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.
 More proof is given for the gigantic size of the Nephilim: King Og's bed was nine cubits in length and four cubits in width, which equates to 18 3/4 feet long and 8 1/3 feet wide! This could also be translated to be refering to King Og's coffin, which assuming he was one foot shorter than his bed/coffin would mean he was about 11 feet, 10 inches tall. I found this comparative chart from Remnant of Giants to illustrate this:

There was two giants named Goliath in the Bible, did you know that? I will discuss that in my next few posts. But for now, we have covered what the Bible tells us about Joshua defeating almost all the tribes of Nephilim at this time. However there was still a remnant that remained, in Gath, Gaza, and Ashdod, as mentioned in Joshua 11:21,22. But this post is sufficiently long enough so I will continue on  in my next post covering more information on the Nephilim. I will leave you with a breakdown of the branches of the Nephilim and the Biblical information provided about each of them.


Branches of The Nephilim, Names and Biblical Information


Anakims ("long-necked; giants") aka Anakites

  • Descended from Anak ("long-necked; giant")
  • Anak was the son of Arba (in Hebrew, "Strength of Baal")
  • Arba was one of the "sons of Heth" who built the city of Hebron (called Kirjath Arba, meaning the city of Arba)
  • Anak, Arba's son had three descendants in the days of Moses and Joshua who were giants:  Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai. They dewlt in Hebron circa 1490 BC (Joshua 15:14)
  • Mentioned: Deuteronomy 1:28, Deuteronomy 2:10, Deuteronomy 2:11, Deuteronomy 2:21, Deuteronomy 9:2, Joshua 11:21-22, Joshua 14:12, Joshua 14:15, Joshua 15:14

Avims ("to crook" as "to do amiss"; "commit iniquity"; "to pervert"; "to do wickedly"; "to overthrow") aka Avvites

  • Southwest Philistia (between lower Egypt and Gaza) [2]
  • The Talmud (Chullin 60b) notes that the Avvites were the first Philistines
  • Mentioned: Deuteronomy 2:23

Emim ("terrible ones") aka Emites

  • Dwelling to the East of the Salt Sea
  • In Ancient times, the whole land of Canaan was held by the Emim
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5, Deuteronomy 2:10-11

Horims (In Hebrew, Troglodyte, meaning"cavemen", "those who dwell in caves") aka Horites

  • Inhabited Mount Seir
  • Related to the Emim and Raphaim
  • Their excavated dwellings are still found in the sandstone cliffs and mountains of Edom and Petra [1]
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:6, Deuteronomy 2:12, Deuteronomy 2:22


Rephaims ("fearful ones; giants") aka Rephaites

  • Descendents of Rapha ("fearful one; giant")
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5, Genesis 15:20, Deuteronomy 2:11, Deuteronomy 2:20, Deuteronomy 3:11, Deuteronomy 3:13, Joshua 12:4, Joshua 13:2, Joshua 17:15, 1 Chronicles 20:4
  • According to some scholars - in the following instances, Rephaim has been incorrectly translated as "Dead"; it should be rendered "the Rephaim," as this is a proper name: Job 26:5, Psalm 88:10, Proverbs 2:18, Proverbs 9:18, Proverbs 21:16, Isaiah 14:9, Isaiah 26:19 [5]

Zamzummim ("powerful, vigorous") aka Zuzims ("prominent, strong, giant") [3]

  • Related to the Rephaim dwelling in the region afterwards occupied by the Ammonites
  • Mentioned: Genesis 14:5,  Deuteronomy 2:20


[1] Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Bible, Lutterworth Press, London, 1879, p. 491
[3] Ibid. Pages 1086 and 1090
[4] Unger, Biblical Demonology (Wheaton: Van Kampen Press, 1957), p. 48. 
[5]  The Nephiim and the Pyramid of the Apocalypse by Patrick Heron, Citadel Press, p. 233

No comments:

Post a Comment