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Giants

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Earthling, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    The term giant can be found in the Bible to describe people of an unusual size. Og, the king of Bashan was of the people of the Rephaim who were unusually tall. His bier was nine cubits (13.1 ft; 4 m) in length and four cubits (5.8 ft; 1.8 m) in width. (Deuteronomy 3:11) Other giants mentioned in the Bible were Goliath of Gath, who was about 9.5 ft (2.9 m) tall, Ishbi-benob, Saph (Sippai); and Goliath's brother Lahmi as well as a man with six fingers on each of his hands and six toes on each of his feet. (1 Samuel 17:4-7 / 2 Samuel 21:16-20 / 1 Chronicles 20:4-5)

    Genesis 6:4 - The Hebrew word nephilim is plural, from the causative form of the verb naphal, meaning to fall, as found at 2 Kings 3:19; 2 Kings 19:7. Nephilim, then, means Fellers, or those who cause others to fall down. It is also used in a false sense at Numbers 13:33 (see below).

    Scholarly interpretation varies as follows:

    Some scholars believe the meaning of the word from fall indicates that the Nephilim were the fallen angels themselves who mated with human women. The Nephilim being the fallen angels.

    Others believe the term "and so after that" at Genesis 6:4 indicates that the Nephilim were not the fallen angels or the mighty ones since the Nephilim "proved to be in the earth in those days" before the sons of God had sexual relations with the women. Those who interpret it this way believe the Nephilim were simply wicked men who would have been destroyed in the flood.

    Considering the context, the Nephilim were not the angels themselves but the hybrid offspring of the unnatural union of angels taking the form of man and mating with human women.

    I am convinced of the latter interpretation based upon the fact that in physical form the angels who forsook their natural position to become men in order to have sex with human women had their physical forms perish in the flood but would have returned in spirit form to heaven. (1 Peter 3:19-20 / 2 Peter 2:4 / Jude 1:6)

    Some translations will move the term “and after that” to the beginning of the verse. This identifies the Nephilim with the mighty ones. For example Some Bibles translate the Hebrew hannephilim as giants and heroes from the Hebrew haggibborim. (See NIV) In the Greek Septuagint the word gigantes (giants) is used to translate both of those expressions.

    Numbers 13:33 is a really cool reference for to use here. It can easily be somewhat misunderstood. No one can deny the Bible’s potential for being misunderstood, but often it is misunderstood in that it is expected to reveal the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when that isn’t always the case as such. In this verse ten of the twelve sent out to survey the situation returned fearful and faithless. With Jehovah God on their side they were nevertheless afraid of the men of extraordinary size who they would come up against. They referred to them as the “Nephilim” and as “giants.” Only in this occasion are the people of Canaan referred to as “Nephilim” and only then to strike fear into the hearts of the camp. The fearful returning spies only used the term for that reason. The Nephilim perished in the flood, so the Bible is truthful in revealing this distortion but the distortion itself shouldn’t be misconstrued as truth. The Nephilim of Numbers 13:33 may be misapplied as those mentioned above in Genesis 6:4 when they in fact are not the same.

    After the confusion of languages at Babel the brief account of the Nephilim seems to have inspired more than a few pagan mythologies. The confusion, at least in a modern interpretation, might be due to the term giants being thought of as mythological in the sense of the Greek deity, the Titan.

    Joshua 12:4; Joshua 18:16 - Is an interesting example of the distinction between the two types of Bibles available. Many people don’t realize that the Bible version differs from the Bible translation in that the version allows for a greater or lesser degree of creative license whereas the translation typically leans towards the literal translation. The King James Version tends to be a great deal more liberal than most versions. Most Bibles read this verse as being in reference to the area of Rephaim, which in other verses is associated with people of unusual tall stature. NIV, ESV, ASV.

    1 Samuel 17:4-7 - Goliath's height was six cubits and a span, which in today’s terms would be about 9.5 ft [2.9 m]. His coat of mail weighed about 125 lbs. [57 kg] and the blade of his spear weighed about 15 lbs. [6.8 kg]. His mail alone likely weighed as much or more than David himself.

    Deuteronomy 2:20-21; Deuteronomy 3:11 - These verses are similar to the verses above in that the King James Version uses the term associated with the area of Rephaim with the “land of giants” which, while not inaccurate isn’t a very literal translation. These verses differ in that they elaborate on the reference to giants. Here they are described in fuller detail.

    Deuteronomy 2:10-11 - This verse indicates to me, the fallacy of the King James Version’s liberal approach to translation. The NIV reads: "The Emites used to live there—a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites." The KJV’s mention of Rephaites simply as “giants” gives us some insight into the unusually tall stature of the people in this area which the more literal translation doesn’t, but on the other hand there is something specific lost in translation; the specific mention of the Rephaites / Emites.
     
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  2. Estro Felino

    Estro Felino Believer in free will
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    There is no semantic correlation between Nephilim and γίγαντες .
    In the Septuagint, it says the sons of God took the women (tekna Theoù)...I don't think they were "angels"...I do think it's a weird translation...of benei ha-elohim
     
  3. Earthling

    Earthling David Henson

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    Well, what do you think of the corroborating scriptures given? They indicate they were angels. But none of those are in the Hebrew and that's your specialty?

    In essence it is the men who took the women, once they took on human form. This reminds me of a post I made ages ago on seeing God's face. I think you would find it interesting in a similar way. Angels, when taking the shape of earthling men, in the context of the account, may be referred to simultaneously as men, angels, God, and even Jehovah, because they are spirit creatures, angels, if you like, who became men as representatives of Jehovah God.
     
  4. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Nephilim are mentioned again as the sons of Anak in Numbers 13:33. I don't agree with you that this was necessarily a twisting of things by the fearful spies. Apparently they really did see giants in the land. They said they seemed like grasshoppers in comparison. Their fear however blinded them to the fact that if God had already done so much for them then a few giants would be no problem either.

    It's not to be understood that all the inhabitants of Canaan were giants. However the fact is that giants did live among them. You pointed out yourself that in Genesis 6 we see that it says "also afterward". So there was apparently another group of "sons of God" who came after the flood.

    Gilgamesh himself according to the epic of Gilgamesh was a giant. He was supposedly 2/3rds "god" and 1/3 human. I'm not saying these Sumerian myths are facts, but the point is that Genesis 6 specifically says these children of the sons of God became "mighty men of old, men of renown". So that's evidence that many of these myths of Hercules or Gilgamesh etc. may actually be rooted in a small slice of reality.

    Anyway, back to the giants in Canaan. There was Og king of Bashan and he was apparently a giant. As you pointed out and there was also Goliath of Gath. Gath is pretty interesting because according to 2 Samuel 21:22 there were 4 men "born to the giant" in Gath. Goliath himself is never even called a giant in the scriptures. However he was definitely "born to the giant". So he was descendant of a true giant. If Goliath being 9 ft tall is only the son of a giant then that speaks for the size of the "giant" himself!

    This giant was likely Anak. It's noteworthy that in Judges 1:20 we find that they "expelled 3 sons of Anak". This is an odd fact to record if there was nothing significant about the sons of Anak.

    These sons of Anak were "expelled" and apparently not killed. So apparently they lived with the Philistines. As Joshua 11:22 points out this was the last place the Anakim lived in Canaan. Which is a pretty clear hint as to the ancestry of Goliath himself.

    Joshua 11:22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

    Some people have linked the Anakim with the "Anunnaki" the gods of the Sumerian mythos. I'm not convinced on that point myself, but the similar name is interesting.

    There is also another theory that the some of the giants moved to Carthage. Carthage was a Canaanite colony. It's founding is supposed to have been much later than the time of Joshua, but people have often had dates wrong when it comes to history.
     
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