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Nephilis : Home of The Nephilim

Nephilim in the Bible
About The Nephilim
Nephilim in the Bible
Find out more about the Nephilim
Modern day Nephilim

Biblical references to the Nephilim.


The progeny of the fallen angels with the daughters of Adam (see notes on Gen. 6, and Ap. 23) are called in Gen. 6, Ne-phil-im, which means fallen ones (from naphal, to fall).  What these beings were can be gathered only from Scripture.  They were evidently great in size, as well as great in wickedness.  They were superhuman, abnormal beings; and their destruction was necessary for the preservation of the human race, and for the faithfulness of Jehovah's Word (Gen. 3:15).

This was why the Flood was brought "upon the world of the ungodly" (2Pet. 2:5) as prophesied by Enoch (Jude 14).

But we read of the Nephilim again in Num. 13:33 :  "there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, which come of the Nephilim".  How, it may be asked, could this be, if they were all destroyed in the Flood?  The answer is contained in Gen. 6:4, where we read :  "There were Nephilim in the earth in those days (i.e. in the days of Noah); and also AFTER THAT, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became [the] mighty men (Heb. gibbor, the heroes) which were of old, men of renown" (lit. men of the name, i.e. who got a name and were renowned for their ungodliness).

So that "after that", i.e. after the Flood, there was a second irruption of these fallen angels, evidently smaller in number and more limited in area, for they were for the most part confined to Canaan, and were in fact known as "the nations of Canaan".  It was for the destruction of these, that the sword of Israel was necessary, as the Flood had been before.

As to the date of this second irruption, it was evidently soon after it became known that the seed was to come through Abraham; for, when he came out from Haran (Gen. 12:6) and entered Canaan, the significant fact is stated :  "The Canaanite was then (i.e. already) in the land."  And in Gen. 14:5 they were already known as "Raphain" and Emim", and had established themselves at Asteroth Karnaim and Shaven Kiriathaim.

In ch. 15:18-21 they are enumerated and named among Canaanite Peoples :  "Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites" (Gen. 15:19-21; cp. Ex. 3:8, 17; 23:23.  Deut. 7; 20:17.  Josh. 12:8).

These were to be cut off, and driven out, and utterly destroyed (Deut. 20:17.  Josh. 3:10).  But Israel failed in this (Josh. 13:13; 15:63; 16:10; 17:18.  Judg. 1:19, 20, 28, 29, 30-36; 2:1-5; 3:1-7); and we known not how many got away to other countries to escape the general destruction.  If this were recognized it would go far to solve many problems connected with Anthropology.

As to their other names, they were called Anakim, from on Anak which came of the Nephilim (Num. 13:23), and Rephaim, from Rapha, another notable one among them.

From Deut. 2:10, they were known by some as Emim, and Horim, and Zamzummim (v. 20, 21) and Avim, &c.

As Rephaim they were well known, and are often mentioned :  but, unfortunately, instead of this, their proper name, being preserved, it is variously translated as "dead", "deceased", or "giants".  These Rephaim are to have no resurrection.  This fact is stated in Isa. 26:14 (where the proper name is rendered "deceased," and v. 19, where it is rendered "the dead").

It is rendered "dead" seven times (Job 26:5.  Ps. 88:10.  Prov. 2:18; 9:18; 21:16.  Isa. 14:8; 26:19).

It is rendered "deceased" in Isa. 26:14.

It is retained as a proper name "Rephaim" ten times (two being in the margin).  Gen. 14:5; 15:20.  Josh. 12:15 (marg.).  2Sam. 5:18, 22; 23:13.  1Chron. 11:15; 14:9; 20:4 (marg.).  Isa. 17:5.

In all other places it is rendered "giants", Gen. 6:4; Num. 23:33, where it is Nephilim; and Job 16:14, where it is gibbor (Ap. 14. iv).

By reading all these passages the Bible student may know all that can be known about these beings.

It is certain that the second irruption took place before Gen. 14, for there the Rephaim were mixed up with the five nations or peoples, which included Sodom and Gomorrha, and were defeated by the four kings under Chedorlaomer.  Their principal locality was evidently "Ashtaroth Karnaim"; while the Emim were in the plain of Kiriathaim (Gen. 14:5).

Anak was a noted descendant of the Nephilim; and Rapha was another, giving their names respectively to different clans.  Anak's father was Arba, the original builder of Hebron (Gen. 35:27.  Josh. 15:13; 21:11); and this Palestine branch of the Anakim was not called Arbahim after him, but Anakim after Anak.  They were great, mighty, and tall (Deut. 2:10, 11, 21, 22, 23; 9:2), evidently inspiring the ten spies with great fear (Num. 13:33).  Og king of Bashan is described in Deut. 3:11.

Their strength is seen in "the giant cities of Bashan" to-day; and we know not how far they may have been utilized by Egypt in the construction of buildings, which is still an unsolved problem.

Arba was rebuilt by the Khabiri or confederates seven years before Zoan was built by the Egyptian Pharoahs of the nineteenth dynasty.  See note on Num. 13:22.

If these Nephilim, and their branch of Rephaim, were associated with Egypt, we have an explanation of the problem which has for ages perplexed all engineers, as to how those huge stones and monuments were brought together.  Why not in Egypt as well as in "the giant cities of Bashan" which exist, as such, to this day?

Moreover, we have in these mighty men, the "men of renown," the explanation of the origin of the Greek mythology.  That mythology was no mere invention of the human brain, but it grew out of the traditions, and memories, and legends of the doings of that mighty race of beings; and was gradually evolved out of the "heroes" of Gen. 6:4.  The fact that they were supernatural in their origin formed an easy step to their being regarded as the demi-gods of the Greeks.

Thus the Babylonian "Creation Tablets", the Egyptian "Book of the dead", the Greek mythology, and heathen Cosmogonies, which by some are set on an equality with Scripture, or by others adduced in support of it, are all the corruption and perversion of primitive truths, distorted in proportion as their origin was forgotten, and their memories faded away.

Genesis 6:4
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Numbers 13:22
They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived.

Numbers 13:28
But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.

Numbers 13:33
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."

Deuteronomy 1:28
Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.' "

Deuteronomy 2:10
(The Emites used to live there-a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites.

Deuteronomy 2:11
Like the Anakites, they too were considered Rephaites, but the Moabites called them Emites.

Deuteronomy 2:21
They were a people strong and numerous, and as tall as the Anakites. The LORD destroyed them from before the Ammonites, who drove them out and settled in their place.

Deuteronomy 9:2
The people are strong and tall-Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: "Who can stand up against the Anakites?"

Joshua 11:21
At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns.

Joshua 11:22
No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive.

Joshua 14:12
Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said."

Joshua 14:15
(Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.) Then the land had rest from war.

Joshua 15:13
In accordance with the LORD's command to him, Joshua gave to Caleb son of Jephunneh a portion in Judah-Kiriath Arba, that is, Hebron.

Joshua 15:14
From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites-Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai-descendants of Anak.

Joshua 21:11
They gave them Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), with its surrounding pastureland, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.)

Judges 1:20
As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.

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